I don’t know if this is just a problem every book addict faces at one time or another, but I have to admit that I feel strangely and stupidly guilty at times for getting the bulk of my reading material from the library.
Realistically, I know there’s no point feeling that way seeing as I spend half of my life in a library. And even if I didn’t work at a library, I would love library books and I honestly doubt library books are harmful to authors even if they aren’t always that helpful.
So since I’ve been thinking about my tendency to prefer library books and to even read them faster than books I actually own, here are my 5 main reasons for loving the heck out of them.
Reason 1: I read. A lot. Much like a kid with a pillowcase full of Halloween candy, I will gobble up anything and take it home with me. I won’t always read what I get and I will always want more than I end up with. So honestly it would not be financially sound or wise for me to automatically buy everything I wanted to read.
Reason 2: Most of the books I check out are books I’ve requested or convinced my library to get.
Requesting a title or series from a library is something a lot of people get nervous about doing, which never makes any sense to me. Worst case scenario: A librarian says no. Best case scenario: The librarian gets a better sense of what patrons like to read and starts ordering similar books now that he or she knows that is actual interest.
The Best Case Scenario won’t always happen, but eventually your librarian just might surprise you and have already ordered the newest book by whatever author you’re into at the moment. As a librarian, I have Exel spreadsheets dedicated to the authors and series that need to go into the collections I’m in charge of in order to keep track of what’s coming out. And I’m always keener to buy books in a series that circulates well or books that a patron tells me they would like.
Reason 3: If I don’t like a library book, someone else will still probably like it and benefit from it being in any given collection. If I don’t like a book I bought… I guess I could sell it somewhere or maybe give it away somewhere. Neither option is really ridiculously better than the other, but personally I like the library one better.
Reason 4: I would much rather buy books as presents for other people. And I do. It’s a lot easier to buy an awesome book when I already know which authors are awesome.
Reason 5: I work at a library and I’m surrounded by books that aren’t always circulating. If I read them and like them, I can suggest them to patrons. There’s nothing lamer than trying to suggest a book to someone only to realize your collection doesn’t have the book.
What reasons do you have for getting library books?