Discussion | Going to the Library as an Adult

I was a child of libraries. When I was 6 years old, we moved house and we lived down the road to my local library. I could and would frequently spend hours there, exploring the shelves, piling up books and narrowing it down to the number I was limited to taking out. I remember reserving books and being on the waiting list for the latest Harry Potter book. I remember racing through summer reading challenges designed in a bid to get children to read six books over six weeks of summer holidays. I remember the thrill of reaching the age at which I could check out adult books.

I’m not sure when I stopped going to the library but it certainly feels like a trend among book bloggers and booktubers. Each month is an opportunity to buy shiny new books (and by all means do it if you are able to, I work in publishing: I’m ALL for supporting the industry) but I don’t see people talking about borrowing books very much. I do find this is more the case for booktubers rather than book bloggers though.

When in Doubt (Risa Rodil)
via Risa Rodil on tumblr

Having spent 2017 aiming to read only books that I owned, I was frustrated by the number of booktubers that had shelves and shelves of unread books. Becoming part of the book blogging community in the past few months, however, means I’ve seen tags such as Beat the Blacklist which was doing exactly what I aimed to do last year.

I understand the desire to read new books and the desire to own books. Who hasn’t bought or kept a book because it’s too pretty to give away? Which book lover doesn’t want a beautiful library of their own one day? And there is definitely pressure to read the latest and newest books. But, if you own books that you’re not reading just to give them away, I feel like there’s a lot of waste in that.

Paradise Quote
Quote by Jorges Luis Borges via Redbubble

I didn’t own very many books as a child – they were bought on birthdays, with book vouchers, on special occasions. So I always feel a certain connection with libraries, even if I spent the last few years of my life studying in them rather than reading for fun. I started going to the library again this year. The convenience certainly helps: it’s within walking distance, it’s open every day and late twice a week so that I can pop by after work. It’s not the biggest library in the world but I haven’t run out of books since January.

Libraries are great for the community and I absolutely adore them in all shapes and forms. From community libraries in phone boxes to university libraries to gorgeous historical libraries. I definitely try more different books and have discovered new authors when I know that there’s very little risk in checking out a book you don’t end up liking. But before this post gets far too long and ineloquent, I’ll leave you with a link to Neil Gaiman’s lecture on Reading and Obligation along with the encouragement to, if you have a local library, support it.

 

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Do you go to the library or do you tend to buy books? What’s your best library discovery? Let’s chat!

I’d also like to point you to another great posts on libraries. Check out Jess from A Novel Library Blog on her ode to libraries here!

Also, a quick disclaimer: I am aware that libraries are not convenient for everyone. The short loan time, the distance to your local library, the limited selection, how accessible your library is, are all real and valid factors when it comes to going to the library. I’m very lucky in that my library is close and is convenient and I just want to encourage those who can go to start going.

7 thoughts on “Discussion | Going to the Library as an Adult

  1. I completely agree that I don’t often see people talking about libraries! I love using mine and I’m happy that people are starting to use them again as adults ❤️ thank you for suggesting my post too 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your post was so lovely! I’ve recently come across a meme called Library Loot where people share what they’ve borrowed recently which is really cool/ 🙂

      Like

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