Saturday 6 February 2016

Happy National Libraries Day! Free books for all!

Hello hello.

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? 
And if you do ...
  • Do you use it? 
National Libraries Day

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!!
And, library books being free means several important things to me: 
  • 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?


  1. I am, very definitely, a happy supporter of my local libraries - and, with your recent encouragement, found that although I couldn't have a library card for the city I travel *through* every day, I can have a library card for the city I work in! Bizarrely, even though I commute for an hour and half each day, this makes loaning books a lot more accessible! Result!

    Clair x

    PS. I still have books on my shelf that have languished unread since I worked in Waterstone's in my teens! *ahem*

  2. I am a big supporter of libraries! I went yesterday to a local library to return three books, read the Independent and also the local paper (all on a very comfy sofa ). Today, I listened to a radio four programme about Carson McCullers (by Jarvis Cocker), this sparked an interest in reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I looked at library stock on-line and found a copy at a different local library. I got dressed(always helpful not to turn up in your dressing gown!) drove to said library and borrowed a copy. In fact, I love libraries!

  3. Happy libraries day to you! As a librarian your post makes me feel very, very happy! Jo x

  4. Love the libraries--it was a big deal when turning 10 to apply for my own card! Spent many happy childhood hours browsing and reading in lovely old buildings. My enjoyment of reading has been a lifelong passion enriched by the value and privilege of always being a city card member!

  5. I loved libraries when I was a kid and when my kids were little. I don't really use the library as an adult, although I think I still have a library card.
    I now think that libraries are more like free internet cafes.
    I think they are essential, and I am very supportive of them.

  6. This is so crazy because I'd been meaning to get a library card and start going to the library more for months and I finally got around to it TODAY (it's still the 6th here) and I had NO IDEA it was National Libraries Day somewhere in the world! (I'm in the US) I was also telling my boyfriend how excited I am to be able to get awesome things for free...and then return them when I am done with them! I think my raving included at least half of your bullet points. I'm going to go check out the online catalog now.... =)

  7. I loved the library as a child - and visited weekly with mine when they were younger. My working hours mean I can only get to ours on a Saturday morning - but this time is usually filled with other mundane tasks. I do now have a kindle which has revolutionised my reading - and there are a lot of free books available that helps me 'find' new authors.
    I wouldn't want the library to disappear though - in the past it has been invaluable to me, and it must still be vital to others.

  8. Happy National Libraries Day to you too!

  9. I do have a card but rarely use it now. I used one all the time till about 3 years ago.


Thanks for leaving me a comment, asking me a question, sharing your own story or just randomly saying hello.