Sunday, 7 September 2008

Day 7 - Free Reading

Why haven't I been a member of the library for years? I remember that I gradually drifted away from being a member of my local library about nine years ago because I was slowly becoming dissatisfied with the book selection; at the time I was reading nothing but science fiction, and having read most of the books from their sci-fi collection that I fancied I just stopped going and switched over to buying books.

Amazon helped keep the cost of buying down, as did 3-4-2 offers at Waterstones - but at the end of the day books aren't all that cheap anymore (in the UK; I think mass market paperbacks in America work out much cheaper than the average paperback here), and with me being between jobs at the moment I decided that it was a good time to give the library another try.

Time has changed two things: firstly the library's collection of books has had the best part of ten years to grow; I spent a very happy half hour just wandering around and taking it all in, then selected a couple of sci-fi books that I had thought about buying before - but was now willing to take a chance on - and "Physics of the Impossible" by Michio Kaku, a book that I had heard about and looked interesting (and was!). It was a book I would never have bought, yet being able to borrow it from the library allowed me to learn a lot of really interesting things.

The other thing that has changed with time is me: I read more than ever now, and am much more open to reading fiction from different genres. Nine years ago I would never have thought to go and look through the crime fiction section; when I went two weeks ago I was looking for Henning Mankell, Mickey Spillane and many other authors to see what kind of selection was on offer. I also had a wander around the general fiction section, noting authors and books that I will borrow in the future.

If you aren't a member of your local library I would recommend you check it out!

(Note: I was not paid or persuaded by any group, agency or person for this public service announcement)


Caffeinated Librarian said...

Well done. :-)

You're still not getting my copy of The Graveyard Book, however. ;-P

zero_zero_one said...

Spoilsport! :P :)

Kerrie said...

I couldn't survive (or at least my purse wouldn't) without my local library

Bilbo said...

I love my local library. I also love owning books, but since they're so $@#! expensive nowadays, I usually check them out of the library first and then, if I think I like them well enough to own them, buy copies when they end up on the sale table.

Bethany said...

Aren't libraries radical?!