I am reading a library book! That’s right…a public library book that I will have to return in two weeks. Of course, I’ve already had to renew it once but I’m confident in my ability to finish it this time. I checked it out along with another book and a music CD when I attended a Civil War presentation held at the library. It had been so long since I had been there that I had to update my card information!
I have nothing against public libraries and, in fact, think they are one of the best institutions. During our travels in early Internet days, we often found access at libraries. I volunteered in the public library in my home town when I was a teenager, shelving books and cutting out name tags for the pre-school reading circles. Actually, I even volunteered at THIS public library during their summer reading program. And, in the days before I controlled my own money, I was a public library user.
But I’m not any more. I like owning books and being able to come to them in my own good time. I may think I want to read a book right away when I’m holding it in my hands at the library, but who knows what might happen by the time I get home. That book may have reminded me of another one that needs to be read first. And, if I really want to read a book immediately, I won’t wait to go to the library to check it out: I’ll just buy it on one of the two ereaders I now own. If it’s not available digitally, I would just as soon buy it from Amazon than drive to the library. Sad, but true. I have joined the “buy it now” generation, unable to postpone pleasure. And, even sadder? When I do buy a book, I almost never read it right away. It goes on the shelf and waits its turn, which may come sooner or later. So, I could certainly allow the library to store it for me and then go get it when it gets to the top of the list.
This year, I am going to try to become a public library user. As I clean out my books for the move to the farm, I’ll donate some to the library for their book sale. And, I certainly don’t want to buy any more analog books since I will just have to move them, so I’ll look to the library. Of course, there are plenty of unread books on my shelves but there’s something about knowing I have wider access that comforts me. I just like having books around me, endless possibilities for learning and laughing, musing and marveling.