“People still go to libraries?”

So there I was, reading during my hour break at work, when my boss looked over at the book I was reading. He noticed the library barcode on the front cover and, surprised, ask me the question: “People still go to libraries?”

My immediate response was confusion. For some reason, in that space of a second when the words registered in my brain, I thought to myself, well, duh. Where else would you find books? Of course, bookstore, was being whispered in the back of my head, but I couldn’t — can’t — fathom the thought of people not going to the library. Going to the library every other weekend is such an integral part of my life. I guess it’s the same way I feel about reading in general. Like, what else are people supposed to do for fun?

With all these thoughts racing in my head, all I could really say was: “Yes.”

Arthur
Truer words have never been spoken.

Recently, I’ve noticed a trend. Going to the bookstore seems to be more acceptable — for lack of better description — than going to the library. If you go to a bookstore, you’ll look cool and ~cultured~, but if you go to the library, you’re seen in a more nerdy/geeky light. I literally got given a “wow, that’s weird” look from a reader (albeit one who doesn’t read as often as they used to) when I told them that I like to borrow books first. If I really like it, I’ll buy it to put on my shelf so I can reread it again. I guess it’s that part of me that wants to make sure my money is going to something that I like instead of a book having to join my pile of spontaneous, not-so-loved purchases.

Maybe I’m being a little defensive. I guess as times are changing, when everything is readily available at our fingertips, libraries can seem a little redundant.

But I mean, c’mon guys! Pretty much the only difference between a bookstore and a library  is that the latter is free. FREE BOOKS. Who doesn’t love free books? Don’t even get me started on the smell. It’s a truly magical experience. 😛 It just rubs me the wrong way when people who read (my boss included. He’s mentioned a few times that he reads books.) regard library-goers like an alien species.


Do you exclusively buy books without having first read them? Or do you borrow before you buy? What’s your style?

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11 thoughts on ““People still go to libraries?”

  1. I would LOVE to get acces at a library that has most of the books that I want to read, but sadly my local library here doesn’t have any YA books that I can borrow. But I do read some books through ebook first then if I loved that then I’ll eventually buy it. Occassionally though, I get allured by pretty covers and buy books on a whim when I’m in a bookstore.

    But then again, if you have access to a great library with FREE BOOKS why not, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I must be lucky then. 😛 The libraries within my local council have quite a good selection of books, especially YA, and are linked with each other so you can have books delivered to your library of choice, free of charge. Sometimes if a book I want has too long of a reservation queue, I’ll just go ahead and buy it because who can actually wait for a good read?! (Not me.)

      I’m a sucker for the pretty cover too. I think all of us bookfiends are haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m right there with you: I get all my books from the library, then go out and buy copies of the books I loved. But I only started doing that relatively recently–within the last, like, six years or so.

    Before that, I was strictly a book-buyer. Not because I wanted to hoard books or anything, but because going to the library didn’t even occur to me. I KNOW, RIGHT? But I can at least partially blame my family: they were eager to buy me all the books I wanted, so I never really had the experience of going to the library as a kid. It was only after I became fully independent and my wallet started crying that I remembered libraries are a thing that exist.

    Now, I’m utterly baffled (and a little defensive, like you) when people refuse to go to libraries just because they’re libraries. Like, what’s wrong with libraries? They’re amazing! And the more they’re used, the better funding they receive! Which will make them even better! Bah.

    Thanks for this post; I’d just read someone else’s post in which they sneered at libraries, and I was feeling pretty awful about life. This was well-timed. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Libraries are the greatest things! I have fond memories of going to the library on library day when I was in primary school so they’ve always been my go-to place. I always feel like a little kid who’s been given ALL THE CHOCOLATE. My family have always loved that I read (there could be worse addictions) and bought me any book I wanted too, but I was always too shy to ask.
      I’m sorry that you encountered a library snob; that sucks. But I’m glad you liked the post! Wear that library love with pride! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. I still go to the library. Visit it at least twice a month, even. I also like to browse the thrift stores for books and I do buy based on great reviews without reading the excerpt. Reviews and hype on a book definitely help me decide which books to borrow at the library and which book to buy at the thrift store.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh, I buy books based on great reviews too! Most of the hyped up books I’ve come across are young adult, which is a genre I’ve been staying away from lately, so I tend to ignore then. But I’m planning on getting back into the genre again so I’ll have to do some research on the good stuff that’s come out. There aren’t many thrift stores around my area so it’s always the library and bookstore for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Libraries do bring in new books too, so it’s not a bad choice either. You’re right, I just noticed that. I guess YA is the age to do anything. Take risks & make mistakes. Women’s Fiction or New Adult or Romance comes with marriage troubles and kids, sometimes it’s easier to just read about crushes and flirting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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