11 March 2015

go to the library

A quick public service announcement for the start of National Reading Month...

Visit your local library!

It's been brought to my attention that people aren't using their libraries as much as they should. You guys, you know you can borrow stuff for free, right? Books, e-books, audiobooks, DVDs... For free. It's a dream. I remember packing a backpack full of library books as a kid and thinking I had just scored the deal of the century.

I'm on a halfhearted quest to pare down my own personal library. It's halfhearted because I'm never going to get rid of my books completely, but I am trying to be more thoughtful about which books I keep. For an obsessive reader, that can be pretty tricky, but here are two things that make it easier:

My kindle
I was on the fence about a kindle for awhile, and you can read about my decision here. I'm happy to report that it has been an awesome investment. I read books on my Kindle more than I do in hardcopy. It's lightweight to carry around with me, I can read it in bed without keeping Chris up and I have instant access to a gazillion books. I love it, it's awesome, the end. And! It doesn't mean you can't still use the library...

The library
Libraries are goldmines. You just walk in, find a book you like, flash your library card and they let you walk out with the book. Did you also know that many libraries have an e-book collection? Our library does and I borrow from it all the time. The downside is that the collection is less comprehensive than the hardcopy collection and also the wait time is generally longer. But still, I can borrow and download free e-books on my Kindle.

Libraries have more than books. A true story:  My friend recently lent me season one of The Newsroom. Chris and I watched it and were totally hooked. But how to get our grubby hands on season two? It's not on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Guess where it was? The library, of course. Sitting there, waiting for us to watch it for free instead of do anything productive around the house.

Ok, that was my public service announcement. Rediscover your libraries. Borrow books and whatever else they have. Ours even has free museum passes that you can borrow. And all sorts of events and classes. For free.

ps- If you are serious about buying a Kindle, or other e-book reader, may I suggest that you get a Kindle Paperwhite or other reader that is solely a reader and not also a tablet? Tablets are great, but dedicated e-readers are better for reading. Much easier on the eyes, better battery life, no distractions. The regular Kindle is on sale for $59 right now, but the Paperwhite and fancy Voyager have built-in lights which is a huge bonus for me.

pps- Not sponsored by my library, Kindle or the Nerd Association of America.

About banned books
Libraries & cookbooks

Photo: A shelf in our own personal library :)


  1. As a local librarian, I appreciate this post so much! It makes me sad that people don't always realize the great services we provide-- not to mention things like art classes, exercise classes, and book groups-- always free!

  2. Went to the EG Library just before seeing you on Sunday, Maphead by Ken Jennings, good stuff.

  3. You can utilize your local library's digital holdings for your kindle as well! Magazines, audio books, etc.


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