“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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