I'm dropping in today - National Libraries Day - to ask the book lovers amongst you one thing [OK, admittedly, that might expand a bit ... you know I struggle to be brief ...] .
- Do you have a library card?
- Do you use it?
I've experienced so, so, so much pleasure from the worlds and characters I've borrowed from libraries in recent years that I'm near-evangelical about them. So don't expect any balance argument from me today!
To prevent me from ranting [about cuts and closures] and to stop me setting off on a full blown attempt to win over any non-library-ticket-holders ... I think I'd best just stick to cold facts and figures.
So here are 'My Library Habits ... in Numbers'
- I have 3 library cards which gives me access to all the libraries run by 2 local councils.
- As a staff member at the university I can also borrow from the campus library at work [I'm spoilt, I know]..
- And James has a library card for a 3rd council ...
- Which means that, all in, I can browse the shelves of 36 different physical libraries ...
- and 4 online catalogues.
In 2013 I started logging all my reading matter on Pinterest boards so I had a record to easily refer back to and, over the last 3 years ...
- of the 95 books I've saved on there ...
- 75 of them were library books!
- meaning that approximately 78% of the material I've read has been 100% free!!
- It means I can read more! I would never had read so much if I'd had to pay for each and every book.
- It means I can read broadly, risk free! I can try something different without worrying about liking it. You can never be disappointed with something that cost nothing and that you can return for nothing! Libraries keep their lending numbers up and you get to experiment and broaden your bookish horizons. Everyone wins.
- It means I don't have to find space for all those books! One of my favourite things about borrowing books ... is returning them, leaving space on my bedside table, in my bag, for a brand new one. And I don't have to find somewhere to store the old lot!
- It means I don't have any unread tomes languishing on a shelf! There's nothing glaring at me ... making me feel guilty for buying it then leaving it to gather dust.
- It means I have a reading deadline! There's nothing like a deadline looming in the distance to really help focus the mind. A book that I've bought can sit on my shelves for weeks, months, years before I read them [just ask Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrell. There was a lag of a decade between my starting and completing that book!!]. There's no urgency to spur me on. But a library book, with a return date? It's a self-contained mini time challenge!
Here ends the sales pitch. [Even though I'm trying to sell you free books!]
If you don't have a library card, and you fancy getting one, all you usually need to register is some ID and something with your address on it.
In my experience you'll also need a big bag. Because before long you'll be selecting books like they're giving them away!
And if you do have one that you haven't used for a while why not go and find it and treat yourself to some quality time with your local library.
For a map of libraries hosting special events for #LibrariesDay visit the National Libraries Day events page here.*
*Note: this is not in any way a sponsored post. What would they pay me in? Free books?