Bookish confessions: I am a library snob.

That is to say, despite my best efforts, I judge those who only buy books and do not use libraries for their book needs.

Note the part about those who ONLY buy – of course I don’t mind people who buy books! I’ve bought them in the past, though not as often of late, and may buy some in the future. At least, when it comes to acquiring books for myself – I certainly purchase books to give as gifts! and I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I don’t want them buying books for me. ;)

I shouldn’t judge. There are so many reasons why someone may choose to buy over borrowing. Gifting, of course, is one, but even to buy one for yourself is fine. Maybe you’ve already read the book and loved it and want your own copy to highlight and make notes in the margins and share. Maybe you already know before reading a book that you’re going to love it and want to keep it. Maybe you know a book will take you awhile to read and don’t want to feel rushed and have the inconvenience of renewing your checkout and/or having someone else request that item before you’re done. Maybe none of your local library branches have the book you want and aren’t able to request it from another library. Maybe you’re building your own personal library. Maybe you only read a couple books a year so it’s not a huge expense to just buy them. Maybe a lot of things.

But but but!

if you’re only buying and not borrowing from the library, I’m likely thinking one of two, or both of these things about you: you have enough money to buy all the books you want to read and I’m jealous and kind of hate you and also people even less fortunate than me obviously don’t have that option and how dare you, you jerk AND you are so completely totally ohmygosh missing out because libraries are awesome and I’m just as sad for you as I am jealous of you.

Libraries need support. Both the people-using-them kind and the $$$ kind. and if you’re not using them, you’re less likely to recognize their importance and therefore, probably, less likely to give $$$. I realize our taxes (or in some cases, tuition) support them, but many of them rely heavily on donations as well!

and this is super crazy important, because libraries aren’t just for people who like to read. Libraries are one of many places people go for information! and I know some of you are thinking, well, Kayla, that’s what the internet is for!

But WAIT!

Not everyone has access to the internet! I know! It’s bonkers. But it’s true. Whether they’re missing the connection to the internet or the device needed in order to make that connection, many, many people could not get on the internet were it not for the library.

and this is significant because, among other reasons, lots of companies require online applications nowadays . Our poorer populations are missing out, or would be, on so many opportunities for employment and education because they don’t always have the access or ability to use a computer.

Libraries also provide more than just computer/internet access and reading/media materials. Many have classes you can take – often for free! Many provide a place for groups sharing a hobby to meet and learn more about their subject.

Libraries also have cheap books sales when they’re looking to make room for new materials. ;)

Libraries give so much to the communities they serve. and for me personally, they just feel sort of magical when you walk in. Like that movie, The Pagemaster! also Matilda.

I’ll admit – bookstores also have that magical quality, but it feels stronger in a library somehow. I think it’s all the history. All the old books, having been read previously, with notes and bookmarks often left behind.

I’m getting a bit rambly now. Just… if you didn’t already know, I love libraries, and I want you to love them too! They’re just, ugh, SO GREAT.

and so many people don’t realize what they offer! Even just in the way of materials! It’s not just print books – many libraries have e-books available now too, and there’s audiobooks, both digitally and on tape/CD, and magazines and newspapers, and DVDs, and research databases, and perhaps the greatest resource of all – the librarians.

I’m just asking…I might be begging… either make a quick stop at your local library some time soon and check it out, maybe check a BOOK out!, and/or throw a few dollars towards helping a library out.

Also, Austinites, cannnn we talk about how I cannot wait for 2016 when the new central library is completed? It’s going to be so prettyyyy!

 

ramble ramble libraries are awesome grumble grumble yay books! la la la…

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3 thoughts on “Bookish confessions: I am a library snob.

  1. I’m guilty. I don’t spend NEARLY the amount of time in libraries as I do bookstores. I’ve always been a bookstore person. (I even want to run my own one day.) Maybe that’s because I TOTALLY judge a book by its cover and love the crispness of new books. Or maybe it’s because there’s usually a cute cafe in bookstores, and coffee addicts like myself like to know that there’s caffeine nearby when they’re exploring the stacks for hours upon hours. Or maybe it’s because bookstores have big comfy chairs to snuggle up in while reading. I’m not sure.

    Anyway, the point of this comment is… I need to spend more time in libraries. Because you’re right, libraries are amazing and extremely important. And shame on anyone who doesn’t support them.

  2. I used to frequent the local library when I was growing up! I even did their summer reading program and got a few free books that way. In middle school, I’d go there to check out the Stephen King books that were worth 70 AR points but weren’t available at the school library. I still have my library card actually, but it’s probably been ages since I’ve been by there. Maybe I’ll pop by if I go back home over the summer. Or maybe see if Waco’s library has much to offer. I have fond memories of the library from back in the day. =)

    I’ve really gotten into the whole e-book thing lately. Reading from my tablet really isn’t that bad for extended periods of time, and I love that if I’m somewhere by myself where I have time to kill, I can just pull out my phone and continue where I left off. I read the first two ASOIAF as e-books, and I have some others on my to-read list for over the summer (when I’ll actually have free time…). That being said, I still very much appreciate real books, but the convenience of e-books is really nice.

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