I used to be a massive book hoarder until a few months ago when I randomly decided to donate about a third of my collection to charity. Believe me, there’s no way I’m immune to the beauty of a well-stocked bookshelf, because honestly I don’t think many things look nicer in a room, I’ve just realised that the library can offer just as diverse a selection as a bookstore. I’m lucky in that I have a local library and a city-based one that’s very easy to get to, so the chances of me finding a gem are effectively doubled. Due to this, I thought I’d share some of the reasons why I’ve decided to convert to the library for the majority of my books.
This has to be the most obvious point that you would expect to be on this list. Libraries are completely free, yet the access you have to books is enormous.
You’re exposed to a much wider variety of books
Quite often when I was buying books I found that it limited the genres and authors I was exposed to. If you’re paying around £7/8 per book, you want it to be one that you’re going to enjoy. Due to this, I was only picking up books by authors I already knew, or genres that I was used to. With libraries, you can take out several books at once for no charge, and so in my experience this has made me far more likely to expand the books I pick up. Recently, I’ve taken out mystery, thriller and non-fiction books that I probably wouldn’t have spent money on otherwise. Any chance to diversify your reading has to be a good thing!
Borrowed books are little pieces of history
This goes for pre-owned books as well. You never know what you’re going to find in a library book! Train tickets, receipts, photos… they’re all a little piece of history showing the journey that that book has been on. This especially fascinates me, as I love glimpses into who else has experienced the same story as me.
The atmosphere of being in the library
Admittedly, this is a point that can be shared equally with bookstores. But still, that feeling of peace as you browse the shelves in the quiet where everyone else is there to do the same thing and appreciate books? Love it.
They usually have the books you want
I know the major problem a lot of people have with libraries is that it’s generally a matter of luck as to whether you will find the book that you’re searching for if you’ve gone there with a specific one in mind. While this is true if you just walk in, there are so many occasions where there’s been a book I’ve wanted and I’ve simply reserved it and picked it up a week later. You may have to wait a while for new releases, but generally there’s always the opportunity to find the specific book you want.
That being said, this post is not to say that I’m renouncing book-buying – I don’t think I could ever manage that (I literally bought a book two days ago). Obviously, I’m still 100% urging people to support booksellers; I’ve just recently found that my reading experience has been enriched massively by striking a balance between library books and shop-bought books.
Now on to my mini library haul!
Dying To Know You by Aidan Chambers (Synopsis)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Why I picked it up: I have a massive weakness for literary books (ones with references to other literature or characters who love reading/writing etc. – if that makes sense?), so as that theme seems to have a large bearing on this plot, I thought I’d give it a go!
With Malice by Eileen Cook (Synopsis)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Why I picked it up: I heard Ariel Bissett passionately reviewing it on her BookTube channel, and although it is definitely not a genre I would usually go for, I trust her judgment!
The Fever Code by James Dashner (Synopsis)
Why I picked it up: I am a massive fan of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner series, so when I heard that there was going to be another prequel I knew I had to pick it up as soon as I could!
Star Sand by Roger Pulvers (Synopsis)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Why I picked it up: Interestingly, it was actually the name of this that drew me towards it to begin with. Star Sand was such an obscure title, and when coupled with the image on the cover, was just so intriguing. Novels set during WWII are admittedly an area I’ve read very little from, and never from a Japanese perspective. I have a feeling this is going to be a good one.
Jackaby by William Ritter (Synopsis)
Why I picked it up: I must admit, the initial reason I picked up this title was because of the cover. I’d never heard of it before, had no idea what it was about, but saw the cover and knew it was calling to me to read it. Once I read the description I was only more intrigued; it’s described as a Sherlock Holmes/Buffy the Vampire Slayer mixture… sign me up.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Synopsis)
Why I picked it up: This was solely down to the hype. Everywhere I look online, people seem to be obsessed with The Raven Cycle and I don’t think I can avoid it much longer!
Let me know your thoughts on libraries – do you often use them, or are you strictly pro-bookstore? Also tell me if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned!