Rediscovering the Wonder of the Library!
I love books. In fact; my husband Mark and I have a bit of a book-buying problem. Christmases with our families have just turned into book exchanges.
So, as we prepare to move, for the 20th time (literally), I’m 7.5 months pregnant, packing up our books and sorting the ones that won’t make the cut. And, there are hundreds of dollars in books that we’ve bought and read but won’t wind up taking with us because they aren’t “library material”. I mean, I would love to just keep all of our books forever, but once you’ve moved boxes of books from Edmonton-to-Halifax-to-Vancouver-to-Halifax again, you start to purge. Books are heavy and take up a lot of precious living space. Chances are I’m never going to read that novel again because there are so many other wonderful novels out there! I mean is it really, necessary to hoard the Nora Roberts wedding series?
In the past, I’ve taken our books to used bookstores to sell or put them online in hopes of getting a few bucks but more often than not, we just wound up giving them away. Which is great (I love sharing) but it’s a bit of an expensive habit.
So… when we were in Chapters again last week, I had two books in hand (a novel and a baby book) and I had a revelation that I should maybe go to the library and borrow these books. I reluctantly left the books behind (my need for instant gratification is quite powerful, so it was a hard, hard decision. If I’m honest, I pouted the whole ride home).
I’m 31 years old and I can honestly say, I haven’t set foot in a library in 10 years. I completely forgot about this whole universe of free books. I spent a lot of time during my childhood at the library or more commonly at the “bookmobile” – a dandy little bus full of books that came out to our country neighborhood once a week, back in the 80s. I loved the bookmobile and the library but mostly, the smell of the library (I wish there was a scratch and sniff option here). I have no idea why this didn’t come to me sooner in my adult life but I went home that night and signed up for a library card online and put a hold on the book I was going to buy (in Nova Scotia, library cards are free, so I just saved myself $25).
Today I drove over to the library, a mere five-minute drive from home and picked up my first books. I’m officially a library member!! Now, I’ll admit I had planned to go and read at the library for the afternoon. But unlike memories from my childhood this library had a very different smell and I spent 20 minutes standing in line behind a wild-eyed, crazy-haired lady who was arguing over her late fees and had about 50 DVDs in her basket (who can watch 50 DVDs within the one week limit anyway? No wonder she has late fees…)
While sharing my excitement about rediscovering the library, my friend suggested creating a book exchange program with other parents. For example, you’d meet up once a month and exchange the books you own with each other (you could do this with kids books, but also with adult books). You’d create your own little community library!
There’s always the option to trade books among friends and look for books on our Used.com family of sites, or at your local used bookstore but if you’re like me and you haven’t been to the library in awhile, I highly recommend it!