Alright, the “2021” in the title might be a bit optimistic but I’m hoping that this year will be better than the last. It’ll be better, book-filled, and brimming with possibilities! Though I’ve been able to blaze through the TBR pile, there’s a piece of my soul missing. It’s a place, a haven of literature. I need to get back to the library and here’s why.
1. Getting Real, Physical Books
Like everyone else during the pandemic, I’ve been reading my share of eBooks through virtual libraries. My kindle has gotten a lot of mileage during the last year, and I’ve even finally caved and entered the world of audiobooks.
Even still, nothing quite compares to the feeling of cracking open the spine of a real, paper-and-ink book. There’s something about a real, physical book in your hands that just gets those serotonin levels rolling. The crinkle of pages, the ink on the page—it’s a profoundly tactile experience that every book-lover savors.
2. Librarians, of Course!
Let it forever be known that librarians are saints. They’re the best people in the world for recommendations and they’re always ready to work a miracle. They’re always organizing some sort of event or bringing the community together in a way that few ever could. They’re amazing people with superhuman powers and each one of them deserves a lifetime supply of coffee and baked goods.
3. Not Needing to Buy Every New Book
There were so many good books released in 2020. So very, very many. Maybe it’s because everyone’s had some time to finally write that great novel that they’ve been planning for years. Maybe it’s because so many new voices were heard this year.
Whatever the reason, it feels like there’s been a massive release every two weeks, and my wallet is feeling it. With the Noachian deluge of debut authors, it’s starting to feel like I spend more on books than food. Usually, I can instead offset some of these purchases, since the local library will often keep a few. Sure, I have to wait a couple of weeks, but I’m usually in the book-loop early enough to talk about them before the hype dies down.
4. A Quiet, Peaceful Place to Read
Some people swear by the library being the absolute best place to read and I’m one of them. Libraries feel like liminal spaces, lost in time. They’re beautiful and aloof, a perfect avenue to start an adventure on the page. It’s just the sheer aura of the place: the musty smell of the pages all around, the academic, comfortable atmosphere. The quiet, revenant feeling of being surrounded by readers!
Also, nobody can interrupt you when you’re 300 pages deep into the action. That’s reason enough.
5. Bringing Home a Massive Stack of Books
Picture it: it’s a Saturday afternoon, you’ve walked to the library, and perused for three hours. You’ve dragged a massive bag of books home, each carefully selected from the shelves…and now you get to read them. What could be better?
What’s even better is the lack of commitment. Of my purchased books, my “did not finish” pile sits in a rather high stack in the corner of the room. Taunting me. “You bought me six months ago and you’re still on chapter 4,” they jeer, as I silently plan to send them off as Christmas gifts.
If I’m borrowing them, I just take them back to the library. Easy, done, no commitment! No clingy ex-books hanging around! I love a bookstore, but I’m less likely to toss six books in my bag without doing some serious research first. If I decide to read something else, I can sleep easy at night, knowing that someone else will be able to enjoy them.