In this post, I am sharing 10 reasons to use your local library. I speak about the library a lot on here but I still don’t think many people use their local library. I know a few people who read as much as I do but they never think to go to the library. You might be missing out!
Listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the post.
10 Reasons to Use Your Local Library
1. It’s free
This is probably the biggest reason people want to use their library; there is no charge for the book (unless you forget to take it back of course). If you’re like me and love to read a lot this can save you so much money. I am trying to read 100 books this year; if I didn’t use my library that would probably cost me between £700-£1000 on books.
Yes, it is a little more hassle than clicking a button on Amazon and waiting for the book to arrive through your letterbox but it’s actually much easier to use your library than you might think (more on that below).
2. Takes away disappointment
Not only does it save you money but it saves extra disappointment too. Is there anything worse than spending money on a book for it to turn out to be completely not your cup of tea?
Use the library as a way to test books before you buy. Sometimes I use the sample tool on Kindle to test books but you only get the very start and having the book in front of you is a good way to see if you like it before committing to buy.
I very often get a book from the library; if I love it, I will buy it to own myself. Firstly because I love to re-read books and secondly, I like having books on my bookshelf but only if I truly love the book.
3. The age of book
The age of the book can swing 2 ways here. I love old books; knowing how many have read it (well not the exact number but you get an idea from how worn it is), it’s already broken in for you and there’s just something special about reading a book after many others have.
However! I do love that new book smell and that crack of opening it. But don’t dismiss the library if you only love new books. Some libraries do stock new books and I’ve been lucky enough to be the first person to read a few books in mine.
They do also stock new releases sometimes too; especially if it’s expected to be a best seller/from a seasoned author.
4. Groups/classes, etc
There are many groups that run in local libraries that you could look at joining (and most are just drop in so no commitment necessary).
Gone are the days of being super quiet in a library and they are much more sociable now. They will probably have quiet areas but the rest (particularly the part around the kids section) is not somewhere you have to be afraid of the kids belting out their favourite nursery rhyme.
As well as kids groups there are some for adults too. In my library, they have a weekly craft group and a weekly music group. It can be a great place to go and meet with people who you have something in common with, for free.
5. You can browse
I do love a good browse around a place with all the books. Of course book shops are great too, but in the library, there is no pressure to buy the book. You can peruse at your leisure and not feel guilty about not buying anything.
I know this can be hard if you have kids but if your library is small enough you may be able to leave them in the kid’s part while you wander around the adult books. We have the smallest library and so I can see the kids but there’s also a colouring section set up for them near the adult books.
However, I have lived in places with multi-story libraries so I know this isn’t always doable. Why not try sneaking away for an hour on a weekend? Child-free and books! The perfect combo.
I also try and go when the kids are in school and then again with them at weekends when they want to go.
6. Unexpected books
While you are browsing you may find unexpected books that you either didn’t know existed or would have thought your library would stock.
An example I have is Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls. When that was released I just bought it straight away but I went into the library a couple of weeks later and they had it!
Most of the time now I find my books by browsing around the library. I reserve some and then when I go to pick them up I also look around the featured section and pick a couple out. I have found so many good books this way.
I mentioned not needing to be super quiet in the library any more which is true but they do have quiet spaces and if you go at a time there are no groups on (just grab a timetable to see) then you should be able to get a little bit of quiet time if you need it.
Before the kids started school I always got my hair done on a Saturday (not every Saturday; more like once a month on a Saturday) and sometimes after I would go into the library with a book and spend half an hour reading in peace.
Maybe time isn’t on your side. You work and like to spend weekends at home, or you’re at home stuck under babies. You don’t have to time go to the library, let alone read a book!
If this is you I recommend reading my post about how to read more when you’re a new mum. But also did you know that most libraries have e-books and audio books now? You don’t have to move off your phone! You will still need a card and if you don’t have one you might have to pop in to get one but then you’re away.
Just log in and look at their e-content service and read/listen right from your phone on your commute or during those night feeds.
Sometimes you can start a book but struggle to find the time to finish it.
The deadline of a library book can force you to make the time to read it. It’s amazing what can happen when there is a deadline imposed upon us and this can be a really good thing as it’s making you take time for yourself to finish that book. Although I am against finishing books for the sake of finishing; please ensure you like it too!
10. Takes the decision away
Libraries can help take the decision away from what to read next. I love making reading lists, particularly seasonal ones, and when making them I always look to see what books my library has.
If they don’t have it I sometimes choose another book instead (depending on how much I want to read the book). Did you know humans make over 35000 decisions a day? I won’t say no to 1 less!
I hope this list helps inspire you to use your local library and get reading more!