Some of my earliest childhood memories are of going along to my local library and spending hours exploring the books they had on offer. I’d spend many a happy Saturday afternoon finding new books to read and giving little high fives to those I’d already enjoyed (if you are a reader you know what I mean!).
From the ages of around 18-26 I didn’t use the library as much as I used to, instead, I’d buy endless books to read on my commute and my personal book collection grew and I’d take great pleasure in spending my disposable income on inflating my bookshelves.
As I’ve grown older and had children of my own my home has slowly but surely become a slave to space for all their toys and the ability for me to house a large book collection has fallen. I’ve also found that the once disposable income I had has become funnelled into activities for my children and the costs of raising my brood of 4. I’ve tended to favour e-books instead over the past few years, never going far without my trust Nook or my Kindle app on my phone or tablet and my collection has slowly grown but it struck me that with e-books my children have been missing out on that valuable experience of seeing books in and around our home.
As a result, I’ve been spending more and more time in my local library again and I’ve been thrilled and excited to find that it is an experience I’ve missed greatly. All too often we bookworms think that it is somehow a badge of honour to own as many books as possible but for those of us who cannot for space or financial reasons but still long for that physical feel of a book our libraries are invaluable and that got me thinking and so I decided to pull together my top 10 reasons that libraries are great….
- You can read as much as you like….for free!
- The staff if your local library will likely be book lovers themselves, or spend all day talking to booklovers so they will have lots of great recommendations for you
- Authors receive a fee when their books are borrowed from the library – this is called the public lending right, although it is only active in some countries, including the UK, Canada and Australia. So even though you’re not buying the books, you’re still supporting the writing community.
- Thanks to budget cutbacks within local government, library services are declining. Use them while you still can.
- It’s not just physical books that local libraries now offer, you can also borrow ebooks, magazines and audiobooks online meaning you can use your local service without even leaving your home.
- Libraries are often hubs for the local community and they have other events and meetings, including book clubs, happening on the premises. Some even have coffee shops or gift shops for users to browse or enjoy.
- You don’t just have access to the books in your local library, but also those in the wider town or area, which you can request to be delivered to your nearest branch.
- You can discover all kinds of things about other people’s reading habits by noticing how often certain books are borrowed, or reading the notes other people have made in the margins.
- Libraries are great places to introduce children to books. How many heavy readers have fond memories of wandering the aisles as a child, or discovering that their library card allowed them access to huge stacks of books? What better way to get through a rainy afternoon with a bored toddler than in the local library sharing a book together?
- They are a great place to escape to for a little downtime. If like me you have a hectic life and need somewhere to go for a little peace and quiet then your local library is a perfect place for some me time. I use it to recharge my batteries before returning to the madness of family life.
If you use your local library then why not share the reasons why you love visiting down below?