Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Reasons to visit the library...

I'm a huge fan of my local library, especially since I moved closer to it a year ago and immediately embraced the awesomeness of the whole experience.  Obviously I think everyone should make use of their library, but for those in doubt, here's some reasons why...

1 - FREE BOOKS!!! Ok I went with the most obvious first, but it's the best reason!  I don't often repeat read books because there's just so many out there to discover.  The library lets you do that without paying upwards of £5 per title (and that's just for the paperbacks).  I especially like the non fiction section for discovering lots of new ideas and subjects.  

2 - They order books especially for you!  If you can't find what you're looking for just ask at the desk and chances are the staff can find the book you're looking for.  If not you can be placed on a waiting list in case they decide to buy the book in - I did this when I inadvertently read the first book in a trilogy and a few weeks later got an email to say they'd got the second book (just for me, I like to think ;))

3 - They have a magazine and newspaper section with comfy chairs!  I don't really buy magazines - I may pick up the odd copy of Total Film but to me it hardly seems worth paying £4ish for an hour or so of entertainment.  My library has a really good selection with back issues, although I must admit they're not very good at acquiring the new issues on time... (last year I waited over a month for an issue of Marie Claire with Taylor Swift on the cover, but I did eventually get to read it and therefore saved £3.70!)

4 - They have free internet!  Now I haven't used the library computers in years, but I know you used to get two hours free every time you went on them, better than nothing.

5 - They have cheap CD and DVD rental!  Must admit I've never used this, but my co-worker assures me you can borrow a CD for 50p a week at his library.  I think if I found out more about it I'd use the DVD rentals, since I often have those moments where I just don't want to watch one of mine again, and you have to wait for the postman with online rentals. (I don't have broadband at home so streaming movies isn't an option unfortunately.)

6 - They're open at useful times!  Mine opens at 9am five days a week, until 7:30pm three nights a week, plus all day Saturday.  Even if you can't just stroll in on a weekday morning like me, it's got times to suit everyone. 

7 - It's warm and quiet!  Ah those elusive elements, peace to ponder and read as well as an almost too toasty environment in which to do it.  Bliss. (Although I've discovered the hard way that nursery schools like to visit for story time surprisingly often...)

8 - They have knowledge of the local area!  There are unlimited leaflets on local 'hotspots' at the desk, film club and photography club displays in the foyer and a noticeboard that takes up a huge wall next to the bookcases.  (They appear to have a knitting group that I've been too shy to join - yet!)

9 - They have knowledge of EVERYTHING!  I didn't read many non fiction or classic books as a kid, or even until a few years ago, so it's been great discovering everything I've been missing.  We have a HUGE fiction section here, and through the back in a separate room there's shelves and shelves of non fiction, which has become my favourite spot in the library.  I always go here first and work my way clockwise around the room, eyeing all the different sections and spending at least an hour picking up interesting titles, sometimes stopping to read for a while.  Since leaving full time education I've found learning way more fun when it's not forced, plus it's been good to discover things without staring at a computer screen.

Do you use your local library?  If you have any more points let me know!



  1. Love this, I really needed a kick up the bum to join my local library and now I'm definitely going to do it. I have no more space in my flat for books and like you say, unless I LOVE the book I'm unlikely to ever read it again: what a waste! Also, I've just started a distance learning degree so WHY I haven't joined yet is beyond me! Thanks for the reminder, I'm going to do it on my next day off for sure!


  2. Great post Elise! I'd also add to the free internet one: I think most libraries subscribe to the fee-paying sites like Ancestry so you can go on and research your family tree for free (and the staff are pretty knowledgeable on how to do it too, as well as local history) - my Dad's never away from the place!!

  3. So true! I was a regular library user until Christmas 2011 when I got my Kindle. Then I got really lazy and just downloaded free/cheap titles form amazon. I decided this year that I would make an effort and use the library again, although I just dicovered a few days ago that its closed for 6 weeks for renovations! Looking forward to the reopening though; it's a really, really old building so I'm intrigued to see what they do with it.

  4. Fabulous post,

    I'd be devastated if they closed my local library! xx

  5. Hear hear!

    I belong to a reading group. As soon as the next book is chosen I log on to our library service and reserve it. I've never had to wait long, and the 60p reservation fee is a considerable saving even on charity shop prices.

    Use it or lose it.

  6. Hi, I just discovered your blog via the Scottish Roundup. I thought you might like to know that Lost has an art gallery - called, unsurprisingly, the Lost Gallery http://www.lostgallery.co.uk/. It's well worth visiting if you're up this way again, although a little challenging to locate.

  7. I use my local library! I love it! Extra points as to why libraries are great:
    1. Being able to borrow books saves me space at home. If I buy a book, I feel as though I should keep it (at least for a while), even if I know I'm unlikely to read it again. Some books I like to have on hand to reference, but many fiction books especially I'm unlikely to read again. It's rather satisfying to drop off a book when you're done reading - such a decisive action feels as though you've achieved something! And it has the bonus of keeping your home (slightly) less cluttered.
    2. Set borrowing periods encourage you to actually read your book. Unlike buying a book and letting it languish because you know you can read it any old time...
    3. You read unexpected books that you wouldn't otherwise pick up because you browse and something looks vaguely interesting and you think, hey, it's free, why not give it a shot? And you may discover something new and wonderful as a result.

  8. Oh, and:
    4. You get to look over the date stamps on the borrowing slip at the front and imagine who the people are that borrowed the book before you, and wonder what inspired them to read it, why there was a two year gap and then three loans in the course of two months, etc.

  9. I'm a member of two local library systems :)
    They have free audio and e-books too, the DVDs are also free.
    The free internet is also free wifi now- so you can take your laptop or tablet and use it there.
    SOME of our libraries even have little cafeteria sections!
    Can you tell I love mine? ;)


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