Who Goes To The Library Anymore?

This is the inside of my library. It's so beautiful.
This is the inside of my library. It’s so beautiful.

Up until a few weeks ago, it had been a few years since I had stepped foot in a library for any reason except for voting. I did my duty as a citizen, but apart from that I didn’t actually walk down the aisles and peruse the shelves. Overall my love of reading had begun to fade, and with it the joys of walking into bookstores and libraries. It was a shame. But then that changed.

A good friend of mine decided that she wanted to start taking walks. So I joined her, thinking I could use it as well. One day we decided to walk to the library. There was something about walking into the building and being surrounded by books that got me instantly back into the mood for reading. There were so many books! And it was quiet and warm and there were tables and comfy chairs everywhere and all sorts of things. I immediately picked up a book and headed for the checkout.

It’s been so long since I’ve been that my card still had me registered as a child. We had to fix that up right away. Technology has also changed a lot since I’ve last been. You can check your own books out with a touch screen, and you choose what books to take out by setting them on the table, and it automatically figures out what the book is and prints a receipt for you. How cool is that? People who have already been exposed to this might think me silly, but hey, cool stuff is cool.

When I finished with my one single book, I went back and grabbed six more. While I do love my science fiction and fantasy, I headed straight for the theology and history sections. That might seem boring to some, but I love certain subjects. I like to read about them and continue learning about them. And they’re all free! Already the excitement of being in a library was in me again, but it made me wonder — how many people actually go to the library anymore? Are they outdated in most people’s minds?

This is especially important to me. I’ve been trying desperately to get back into reading. I’ve fallen out of the habit and fallen out of my love of books. Considering I used to work through countless books years ago, I’ve hated this change. I’ve wanted so badly to get back into reading, but it’s been extremely difficult. I set a Goodreads challenge for myself but gave up with a month or two to go because I just couldn’t do it. I was so far behind, and reading felt like a chore, not fun. So I’m hoping that this positive “yay books” attitude continues for the year and beyond. I also plan on making frequent trips to the library whenever I can.

Have you experienced anything similar, or are you still a frequent reader? Do you still go the library? If you do, what sections do you head for?

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17 thoughts on “Who Goes To The Library Anymore?

  1. When I’m taking classes I spend at least a couple of days a week in the library but when time allows I’m not beyond a stroll down to the local just to browse. I tend to head to the history and science sections, though I’ll occasionally be found in the law section as well. I too enjoy sci-fi but tend to buy those books…

    1. Ooh, law. I’ve thought about picking up something from there just to expand my knowledge a bit, And I do tend to buy a lot of books, but I am running out of shelf space so fast!

  2. I have just moved to a new area & can’t wait to join the library. Though I haven’t used one in a couple of years, I’m an avid reader & it feels like an important way of connecting with my new community & connecting with more books.

    Once im there, I plan to head to the historical fiction section, as I am interesting in reading that genre but wouldn’t buy any of those books (though if it were Stephen King or a classic, well, that’s a horse of a different colour!)

    Good luck reconnecting with your love of literature & libraries!!!

    1. I think it’s nice to visit a library of any place you visit… I’m not sure about any significance behind it, but damned if there aren’t some beautiful libraries out there. Always worth checking out!

  3. You know I would love to go to libraries and check out books. Sadly we have none of them here. =[ When I move I’m making you take me there right away! That’s such a pretty library.

  4. I can honestly say that I haven’t set foot in a library since college, and that was only for reference materials. I’m betting that the last time I went into a library with the intentions of finding a book I wanted to read, I was probably still in grade a school!

    But, here’s the thing…I never stopped reading. There have been times in my life when I didn’t really have the time, but I’ve never really STOPPED. I just…buy books. :\ Sure there are libraries around that I could go to, but I’ve always been the type to just purchase books I’m interested in. Even if a friend or family member already owns the book, I’ll buy my own copy rather than borrow it. I don’t really know why…maybe it’s because I’m an only child and I’ve always been obsessed with MY stuff versus EVERYONE ELSE’S stuff, or maybe it’s some writerly sense of unity (supporting other authors and all that), but whatever it is, I’ve always purchased, rarely borrowed.

    For the record, when I was young and in the library I would mostly head for the section that carried the Babysitters Club books. These days, when heading into the bookstore, I usually head for horror, sci-fi, or young adult (those ridiculous supernatural horrors are my guilty pleasure :P).

    1. I kind of know what you mean. I definitely like having my very own copy of things! But what I’ll tend to do is buy something if I really like it. I like to have a bookshelf full of books I enjoyed, and I can’t really know for sure unless I read it first. I’d rather do that than spend money on books I can’t stand… liiike a few I’ve read recently. I’m going to donate those, and that’s like $50 I could have spent on much better additions to my shelf. =C

    1. Definitely. I like that guilt-free feeling I get when checking out all sorts of books. Don’t like it, didn’t work for me? No problem, I didn’t pay anything. 8D

  5. I love libraries. Unfortunately I haven’t been very often since baby has come; they all have steps and are hard to access. Personally I hate the self-serving machines, they drive me nuts!! I love reading so much; my biggest problem at the moment is wanting to read books that aren’t related to my degree…

    1. Haha, the machines definitely take getting used to. Sometimes it picks up on books that aren’t even on the table. >_> And finding time definitely sucks when you’re busy, especially because reading can take up so much time. Out of sheer curiosity, what’s your degree? =D?

  6. Libraries are so under threat, we should value them more, visit them more, support them. I go at least once a month because my writing group meets there. But I should do more than I do. And all the staff at my library are lovely too. Very helpful.

  7. I only go to libraries now when they have book sales, but I LOVE libraries. When our son was young, we frequented three libraries on a regular basis. We spent most of our time in the Children’s section, of course (and I still walk through the children’s section whenever I have time in a library), then mysteries, biographies, and audio visual. How fun that you and Zen will be enjoying libraries together.

  8. Normally, I go to the library every day to pick up holds or just spend time there. However, these days, it’s a weekly treat. I hate to be so late to the conversation. Lovely blog!

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