I have a confession to make, a confession no bibliophile should ever have. I have not been to the library in about three years until the past week. How is this possible for someone who reads on average eighty books a year? Easy. I love used book stores and e-books on my Kindle. There’s something about seeing the books on my shelves and being able to scroll through my Kindle. I love entering a used book store and being greeted by so many once-loved books, imagining the previous owner for each book I pick up. However, buying books is becoming a more costly passion than I need with a new baby coming, so I’ve turned my attention towards the local library.
I signed up for a library card two weeks ago, but a wave of nausea hit me before I could check out any books. However, I finally checked out one of the many branches of my county library system last week and was pleasantly surprised. I was greeted by a friendly staff and an abundance of books (a much better selection than the branch closest to my house). I quickly found four books after perusing just three aisles. It was time to leave before I was enticed by more books. When I got back home, I cracked open my first library book (Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, which is an interesting take on the consequences of our rapidly evolving technology) in years and was hit by nostalgia hearing the crinkle of the plastic cover. Memories of story time in school libraries from years past hit me, and I remembered how no matter where I moved, I could find refuge at the local library. I even visited the library in Nebraska closest to my grandparents’ home every time my family would visit. It became a ritual between my grandmother and me.
As I quickly devoured the first book, I looked at my stack of four books. Finding this to be an insufficient number, I visited the library once more last Thursday although I had already visited it on Monday. I quickly found five more books and now have a list of books to check out after perusing their online catalog. Although they’re now missing the iconic library cards attached to their back covers, there’s still something special about library books and the library itself. Where else are you allowed to borrow something completely for free? Think about it. Everything has a price nowadays, and if you wanted to get technical you could argue that we pay for libraries through taxes. However, it’s this great service where you can check out books and even movies, and as long as you have them back by their due date, you don’t pay anything extra. If you’re paying for it already through taxes, why not take advantage of them? Not only do they offer books and movies but also free Wi-Fi, computer usage, and printer, fax and scanner access. One building that contains thousands of secret worlds bound within books. How could this not be a siren call?