Why I love library wandering (and you should, too)

Library audio books

I love library wandering.

Once upon a time, I didn’t show up at my local branch without a game plan . . . or, more specifically, a hold plan. When I heard about a book I had to get my grubby little paws on, it was off to the library’s website to request it. Then I’d pull my hair out with impatience waiting for that “your book is on hold!” email, at which point I’d break the speed limit getting over there before they closed after work.

I’ll be totally honest: I’m a little too reliant on instant gratification to request popular traditional books from the library, but I do adore audios for the car. With my recent move came a work commute increase to a whole 15 minutes each way (gasp!), so that’s 30 minutes of interrupted listening I can get done each day. Considering what a lousy reading year I’ve had (wedding planning and all that), audios make up a major part of my literary diet. I need them.

But I don’t want to pay for them. And you know what’s great about the library? You don’t have to pay for anything. You show up, flash your pass (ahem — card) and walk out with anything your heart desires.

And I love not knowing what that is until I get there. In the past few months, I’ve found myself looking forward to my aimless library ambles every other week. I’ve gotten more spontaneous with the materials I chose, leaning more heavily into non-fiction audio books than ever before. I don’t plan, don’t pre-track. When I read about an appealing story on a book blog or beyond, I make a mental note . . . and that’s it.

Living in the moment.

As a reader, there’s something magical about meandering through the library stacks until I find The One. It reminds me of my pre-blogging days — back when I was a bookseller. I never read reviews, didn’t troll Goodreads or Amazon. It was enough to simply pace through Borders’ literature/fiction section until a novel “spoke” to me.

My ears are still perked at the library — with the added benefit that everything is free to us. So do it! Explore! Some of my favorite recent reads were stories I would have worried about shelling out my hard-earned dough to buy; I would be debate whether I’d really like it enough to pay $20 and own it forever and ever (or until donating it). But the library is an investment-free way to break out and do something daring. To get crazy! Wild!

Well, as wild as a group of unruly bookworms can get it.

But let’s not sell ourselves short.

Musing Mondays: Library time

musing_mondays Last Monday of February! Here’s this week’s question:

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

You’ll hardly ever find me in a library — for a variety of reasons! But first let me state firmly that I have absolutely nothing against libraries. Libraries are great. They’re an excellent resource for students and readers of all ages, and it’s awesome we have an organized system in place to spread knowledge and entertainment to the masses. For free!

But libraries aren’t for me. Our local library in my hometown really doesn’t have much to look at, and it’s old and I just . . . don’t like it. It’s not inviting. I do like the library in another part of the county, but I don’t usually feel like driving all the way over there to check out some books. Plus, I just like to own my books — I like knowing they’re mine. Even if I’ve Mooched them or gotten them as ARCs, they’re still here in my hot little hands — and all mine! I don’t have to worry about how long I have to read them, and when they’re due back. Although, when I think about it, having deadlines like that might help me sift through some of the books I keep in stacks for far too long, continuously picking up the newest books I bring into the house to read . . .

I have gone to the library recently, though — and that was to buy books! The library in a neighboring town sponsors a Saturday book sale, and I got four quality paperbacks and a mass market paperback for $2.36! My boyfriend and I are both avid readers, so we went together to look for some different and maybe hard-to-find titles. I was crazy excited with what I got! So the library does come through for me in the end!

Musing Mondays: Borrowing books

musing_mondaysAfter an entire weekend stranded on my couch with the flu, I’m still sticking around the house today . . . trying to make sure I have my strength back before I head to work. But what a bummer of a free weekend! I guess I should just be glad I’m somewhat vertical and keeping down food.

But down to business! Here’s this week’s question:

Do you have a system for borrowing out books from the library? Do you know what you’re going to borrow before you get there? How often do you borrow out books?

I hate to admit it, but I actually haven’t borrowed anything from the public library in a solid . . . ten years? When I was in college, I took out texts and novels from the university library but since those weren’t for fun, they probably don’t count for this question.

So since I really don’t borrow books, my answer to this question is incredibly dull! I do procure books through BookMooch, which feels a bit like “borrowing” since I’m getting my novels from someone else. But obviously I keep them — or send them back on their journey with another Moocher. Maybe I could resolve to borrow more this year? It would certainly save me money!