Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm in love - Library confessions

Ok. I admit it. I'm in love with the library.  I'm completely addicted.  Between the city libraries and the university library, I visit several times a week with on-line visits daily. Just last weekend, I picked up a really great movie (Stardust - definitely check it out if you haven't seen it). A friend had recommended it when it was in the theaters and I've been anticipating my turn in the library queue since the DVD was released. Although I enjoy going to the movies on occasion, it's just a little expensive, no?  Renting from the library is completely free and I get the movie for a week if it's from the city library, or 3 days if it's from the university library. I was really surprised when I realized both library systems have new releases - most people I've talked to don't know either! I just keep a list of the movies I'd like to see and when I know they've been released on DVD, I watch for them to appear on the on-line library catalog.  Did I mention it's free?  I love free. 

And of course, it's not just movies. I'm notorious for having anywhere from 5-20 library books in my house at any given time (I just can't pass up a good mystery).  And ask me any time of the day, and it's likely my current read is within reach. When I get up, it' s on my night stand. When I leave for work, it gets tucked in my backpack for long waits at the bus stop. When I arrive back home, it follows me around the house, from room to room -  lounging on the porch with the afternoon sun on my face (and my book), curling up on the living room couch each evening with a cup of tea (and my book), crawling into bed at night for just a few more pages (there's definitely a recurring theme here). My Dad passed my love of reading on to me. He calls a book "a good friend."  I've found it so true.  That's what makes the library such an amazing place. It's like a building full of wonderful friends you have yet to meet.

And with the Bryan city library within blocks of the Saturday farmers market, there are many weeks when I've bungee cord-ed a rubbermaid tub to the back of my bike (that's on top of the two baskets that are already on the bike) just to get all the books and veggies back from the ride downtown. Fresh local food and books. Can a Saturday get any better?

And as if the 3 libraries in town weren't enough, don't forget interlibrary loan services. Actually this has been really useful as there have been so many books (particularly those on simplicity and the environment) that I couldn't find in either library system, books like Simple Prosperity by David Wann and Plenty by Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon.  Books that have made a difference in the way I eat, the way I think, the way I view the world.  And all it takes is a few moments to complete a short form. When the books come in (I've never waited for more than a couple weeks) you get an email or call and can read to your heart's content. 

Another wonderful option, at least here in town, is that at the Bryan Library (CS may have this too, I'm not sure), there is a section on the first floor with several carrousels of what they call "honor paperbacks."  This entire section is open for anyone to take home without technically checking them out (no due dates). You just make tick marks of how many honor paperback books you have taken on a small slip of paper located at the main desk and all they ask in return is that you eventually bring the books back. Sweet deal!  These are great for when I go on vacation and I might need more than the alloted three weeks for a city library book checkout.

The best part is that using the library is not only frugal, it's green too!

For more information on libraries in the BCS area, visit these sites:

PS. Great minds must think alike!  It turns out, as I was writing this post, several of the other bloggers I read were prepping reading posts as well.  Green Bean Dreams is hosting a "Be a bookworm challenge" on her website.  I've already signed up so if you'd like to join me, be sure to check out her site and leave a comment with which book you'll be reading. I'll be reading "Radical simplicity: small footprints for a finite earth." 

Also, Crunchy Chicken always has a book club or two going.  It's fun to read the books together and share comments. She's currently running two clubs:  Affluenza and In Defense of Food. Both are incredible books that helped me make significant steps towards healthier living.

And of course, no need to spend money to join the challenge or book clubs. Be frugal and support your local library at the same time!


Green Bean said...

I'm with you. The library ROCKS! With the inter-library loans, almost any book or DVD is within reach. I just finished a library post and then saw yours so I've linked back to it. Happy reading.

Heather said...

Thanks for linking me up, green bean! I'm looking forward to your book challenge. I just got another book today from ILL - "Everything I want to do is Illegal" by J. Salatin (the owner of Polyface Farms), Looks like I'll have two books for May!