Not all book lovers are the same. We for sure have one thing in common- the love of reading. However, there can be vast differences in what we choose to read (fiction, non-fiction, genres), as well as the medium by which we choose to engage (print, newspapers, eBooks, audio books, graphic novels etc.)
There are some people (aka people richer than I) who love going to the big glossy book stores, mochaccino in hand, perusing the shiny new releases while buying 20$ candles. I have several friends who adore getting lost in musty old used book stores, exploring the aisles for hidden gems and fabulous deals. Many of our readers here on Good e-Reader, use digital services to get instant access to eBooks and audio books.
As for myself, I’ve always been a fan of libraries.
I fondly recall being a child and rushing over to the library across the street from my public school, desperate for help from the amazing librarians. Bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet, I would wave and say, “I have a report due on tigers due tomorrow!” They would smile, although looking back now as an adult, I think it was more of a kind grimace, “Hello Angie, yes, we have many books on tigers, but just a reminder, we’ve talked about you not leaving your projects until the last minute.” I’d nod away, engrossed in bright picture books full of tigers. I have to admit, it’s possible that one kindly librarian went grey a little prematurely due to my “happy procrastination energy”… which may be one of the subconscious reasons I now actively donate to the library as an adult… and not just with my considerable late-fees.
Libraries offer so much more than books
Although I’ve been using my local library since public school, it wasn’t until researching this article did I realize how many amazing services many libraries offer.
- Highly trained Librarians to help people find information they need
- Borrowing books and other items
- Free access to computers, the internet and printing
- Quiet study spaces for adults and children
- Movie and Music rentals
- Downloadable eBooks, Audio books and Videos
- Programs for Kids, Teens, Adults and Seniors
- Book Clubs
- Materials for Teachers, Homeschoolers and Daycare Providers
- Free Passes to local destinations
- Author live reading events
- Groups for learning and sharing
- ESL classes
- Resume help
- Yoga and Meditation
According to wordsrated.com, I’m not the only one exploring and taking advantage of all the extras a library offers.
- Library program attendance now accounts for 10.01% of all visits to libraries, up 84% from 2009
- States with the most programs per capita have more visits (88.25%), collection use (51.31%), and registered borrowers (12.21%) than states with least programs per capita
- More registered borrowers than ever (174.23 million, or 53.57% of population)
- Total library collection size is larger and more digital than ever (58.75% of collection)
- Library collection use is higher and more digital than ever (37.39% of all collection use)
Another factor for choosing to visit your local library is cost. Inflation rates are so high, that many people feel they need to reprioritize their spending. When going to buy gas, or trying to pick up a few groceries can feel like a trip to a proctologist, it’s not unreasonable to rethink spending habits around always buying new books.
I think for many of us readers, we utilize multiple sources. I do buy new books, especially when they are really engaging and in the areas of self-help and spirituality, where I know I’m going to re-read them and want to take notes in the margins. I’m also learning to love all of the amazing features that eReaders offer, as well as enjoying the ability to buy and quickly download new releases and fantastic audio books. Supporting authors is very important, and they deserve fair and equitable pay for their hard work. It’s inconceivable to think about living in a world without the amazing works of Shakespeare, Orwell, King, Hemmingway, Kristie, Tolkien, and so many more beloved writers. I for one am eternally grateful for my local public library, for without which, I would have never had the opportunity or money to dive into these amazing master pieces and brilliant worlds.