Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good bye Chapters, hello library (Day 20)

OK, a disclaimer first:  I work for the public library, so this next post is a little biased.....  :)

I love to read.  In fact, my current "to be read" pile stands at 8 books.  And those are just from the library.  That doesn't count the 5 bookshelves of books that I own that still need to be read.

I was looking at the bookshelf yesterday, and thought at how much money and paper was tied up in the books sitting on the shelf.  Many of them will be read only once, although some I will pass on to friends and family to read.  (In fact, if anyone is looking for a good book, you should check out my parents' place.  I swear they have an entire bookstore downstairs).

Those more I looked at them, the more I realized that most of them could be found at the library.  Now, as I mentioned, I work for the public library on a casual basis.  But it wasn't until I started working there, that I realized what a resource the library is.  I can find anything I want - books, magazines, movies, CDs, newspapers - the list is endless.

When DH discovered what our library has to offer, he went a little crazy with requests.  I think he requested about 30 items.  "I didn't know I could get all of this stuff!"  he exclaimed.  "It's great!"

One of my kids' favourite trips is to the library to get books.  We go about once a week, spend half an hour, and end up bringing home 30-40 books.  But I haven't really thought about using the library for me.  If there was a new book out that I really wanted to read, I usually went and bought it.  (Hence the five shelves...)  Many of them are books that I won't read again, and given my taste in reading material, no one else in my family will read them either.   It seems silly in retrospect to purchase brand new books, when they are already available at the library.

So I have decided to make the library my "bookstore".  I am not going to buy any new books or magazines with two exceptions:  1) if I get a gift certificate (a favourite birthday present in my family)  or 2) if I am giving a books or a GC as a gift  (another favourite birthday present).

Otherwise, all of my reading material will come from the library.  I'll save a few trees in the process, and my bank balance will thank me.  A win-win situation, all around.


  1. Ha! It sound like you're in my house! I'm terribly guilety of this. Like you I have about 3 shelves of books that I've bought and haven't read yet. Many which I will only read once. I DO re-read some books however and those I could see still buying. But even though I do get books from the library (and DVDs and CDs) I should really make it my primary resource. Financially it's what i need to do :)

  2. We do the same thing in TO.
    we go on line make a request and then we get a phone call when we can pick it up at the branch of our choice. its is really handy. Now for some people there is not substitute for holding a book but an e-books are growing in popularity. with the kindle and ipad and smart phones e-books are gaining popularity. Amazon sells almost as many e-books as regular books. More and more libraries are starting to carry e-books too. so something to think about :)


  3. I asked for an e-book reader for mother's day and have been using my Sony e-reader faithfully since then. I love that I can use it to download books free from the library, and even purchased books are cheaper. It took some getting used to, but with one battery charge lasting around 2 months and the library selection getting larger everyday I love it. In fact my recently purchased copy of "Sleeping Naked is Green" is on my reader as we speak. I think I will always miss the feel of turning the pages, but it sure is a lot more compact and lighter than lugging around a 6 hundred page book, and with all the books I've buy I know I'm saving trees.

  4. Congrats! I love the library :D I go there constantly

  5. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to give up the paper versions, just yet! :)

    I love the library too, so I can't wait to spend more time there.

  6. I love reading as well and found a wonderful site called BookCrossing.com. It is a great way to recycle those books that you have already purchased. There are also meet up in various cities so you can meet up and swap books. Now I don't purchase books I get them passed to me and then continue them along on their journey.

  7. I've heard of BookCrossing, but have not participated in it. Another great way to recycle books is to donate them to your local library - any books that aren't added to the collection are sold at the second-hand bookstores run by the Friends of the Library.

  8. Sorry - I should have added that all proceeds generated by the Friends are donated back to assist with the purchase of other materials for the regular collection.