Back in November, I moved in with my boyfriend. This entailed moving an hour away, to a town that I had been going to all my life because my grandparents lived there. I had long romanticized the little town and wanted so badly to move there and become a part of the daily life. Couldn't explain why if I had to. It's been the inspiration of a few stories that I've had running through my head, formulating themselves, for ages. Basically, I love it here.
Ever since I started law school, I have truly been living the "broke" part of our title. And, fortunately, since about the end of the semester, the "bookish" part has come back to me as well. We don't have a real book store up here. The closest one is a good hour away. But that doesn't matter because I am broke. :)
I decided a while ago that I wanted to get a library card. I figured that 1. it would help me be more a part of the town and 2. it would be a cheap way for me to get access to new to me books.
Somewhere around high school, I figured that I really sucked at libraries because you have just two weeks to read the book and return it (they didn't have online renewal yet), so I just gave up on libraries as a viable option for me. But, now that we've got online renewal, I can check out a book for quite a while and hopefully get to it in time, and my need is surpassing my former attitude.
I was still on the fence about it until last week at the pool. One of the ladies there asked what I was reading, showed me what she was reading, and said she got it at the library on a whim. Internally, I was like, "I'd like to get books on a whim and not risk getting burned!" A couple of days later she described the book and it sounded amazing! A quick look at my bank account made me realize that I couldn't buy my own copy even if we had a book store in town. That really kind of settled it for me--I needed to get a library card asap.
Yesterday I had some time to kill before the pool opened, so I took the plunge. I grabbed a utility bill that was in my name and headed downtown, on a mission. As I drove, I couldn't help being pretty excited--I was getting a library card--I was becoming a real citizen here. It all just felt big. I'm sure someone, probably even several someones, reading this post will understand what I mean.
I filled out the form.
Then they handed me this:
Yay! It wasn't quite the Harry Potter getting a wand moment, but it was maybe a little close since the AC kicked on and a slight breeze blew my hair back.
After getting the card, I looked around for the book. My pool friend still had it checked out. So I wandered around a little bit. I almost picked up a huge annotated Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but it's sheer size kept me from wanting to take it to the pool (I definitely filed it away for later). Randomly, I picked up and checked out Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut--started it at the pool, and so far so good.
I also put a hold on the book my pool friend has so as soon as she returns it, that sucker is mine! At least for a week.
I'm even looking at the two week limit as a challenge as opposed to a restriction.
As much as libraries have stayed the same since I was a kid, they've also changed a lot! For the past nine years, the only libraries I've been in have been on college campuses. They have all of the latest technology and, in many ways, are more about creating a research-friendly environment as opposed to fulfilling a civic service. This library had plenty of technology for the community, which is great, but they were definitely still book-centered. And the summer reading program. I wish there was one for grown-ups.
But my favorite thing is that now they'll send you texts when your books are due or when holds come in. Awesome!
I remember when I got my own library card. It was like being handed a bank card with no limit on it.ReplyDelete
Sometimes I still can't get over how awesome libraries are. They let you take a bunch of books home! For weeks at a time. For free!! And mine is a fairly large system, so they have an excellent collection of ebooks, which is how I do most of my reading these days. If your local library doesn't have a big ebook selection, check to see if there are others in your state that do that you can join. I live in Pittsburgh, but any Pennsylvania resident can be a member of the Big Free Library of Philadelphia, and they also have a great ebook selection. There's really nothing like checking out your library book and starting to read without ever having to get off your couch!ReplyDelete
A library convert!! I work at a library so this makes me weirdly happy, but your card looks way cooler than ours. Also good luck on the law school thing, I just graduated from it last year.ReplyDelete
As Library Cards go that one is super nice! :) However I remember giving up on my local library when I was twelve after wandering the children's section and realising that I had read EVERYTHING in it. It was a very Matilda like moment lol. However since all the libraries are mostly joined now, I think you can pretty much order most things in :)ReplyDelete
I just visited a library for the first time in years last week too! I didn't join yet because I found out it was $50 for out of county residents. I decided to check out a few other libraries before I commit. My only problem with libraries is that I like to KEEP my books. It's very hard for me to give books back. ;) But, while I was there I did discover the for sale section. I couldn't believe you could pick however many books you want and just leave a donation! Heaven! I'm a fan of libraries again! :)ReplyDelete
I love the library and the ability to get lost inside the maze of bookshelves! Not that I'm biased in any way though, libraries are just the only way for me to constantly get books considering I'm also broke lol.ReplyDelete
P.S. I wish my library card was a fancy as yours.
What a beautiful card! That is one truly worth being excited about. I've also found that I've been using the library more, due to financial necessity and the ease of online renewal and notifications. I get three weeks though =PReplyDelete
What a sweet story! I need a little town like that. My perfect town has outgrown its romantic call to me that had me move here in 2002.ReplyDelete
Such a great story! I love you guys site! Man I have to say that your cards are very pretty vs. what they give us here in Winter Haven, FL. Ours look like crap lol. I think I have enough books on my TBR list that I won't need to hit the library for a while. Glad to hear that your reading again. And ya I think most of us feel ya on the broke thing.ReplyDelete
I've recently rediscovered the library too. I changed jobs, and the library is in view of where I work. It's fantastic! They get all the latest and greatest, and it doesn't cost me a cent. Like you, I'm living the broke part of your title. =)ReplyDelete
YAY LIBRARIES! Pennsylvania is awesome in that the entire state is linked - as long as I have a card for the county I live in I'm able to get a card anywhere. Right now I only have two, but I've been thinking about getting a third for when I'm back in my hometown for a visit! (You can never have enough books!) ALSO, if you haven't already, check out Overdrive - it's the online database for libraries. I've mainly been using it for audiobooks, but I've snagged a few ebooks as well and they even have movies and magazines.ReplyDelete
And I'm SO curious - what was the book the lady was reading at the pool??
I couldn't live without my library card! I could never afford to buy all the books I read and of course I also hate getting burned on a book that sounds good but turns out to be "meh".ReplyDelete
Luckily for me, my library lets you keep most books for four weeks, plus you can renew online! New books are two weeks though, but you can still renew if there's no active hold on the book.
Libraries are so much fun, I'm glad you got a card! I used to collect library cards haha. We had a couple different library systems near my growing up and I had a card (and fines, whoops) at each one. The library near where I live now is so great, I'm trying to use it more. It feels like shopping for books without the money or commitment! And it's nice because if there's a book I want to read, I can suggest it to the library and they might purchase it.ReplyDelete
You have such a cute card! Books and pool sound like my idea of a good summer :)
I loved my library cards when I was a child. We had 12 cards as a family and yep - between me and my sister we rotated those cards every 2 weeks. Good times! Enjoy your card.ReplyDelete
Really this is a great post,Thanks for sharing theReplyDelete
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Huzzah for getting a library card! I don't know what I'd do without mine. I even pay a yearly fee to use the library system in the nearest small city (a half-hour drive) because the one in our county, while very nice, doesn't have a huge selection, and the city one has 8 branches (there, and in our neighboring counties to the north, south, and west. Ours is the only one that doesn't participate.) I can go online, browse the catalog, search for books that are on my Goodreads want-to-read list, and put them on hold. They get transferred to the branch nearest me so I can pick them up there. And if a book isn't on hold for someone else, I can keep renewing it almost indefinitely. Plus they have ebooks. :-)ReplyDelete
Welcome to the "dark side". I am a huge library fan where all resources are free.ReplyDelete
Yay for libraries! There's something about just stepping into a library that feels wonderful. When I studied abroad in London for six months, one of the first things I did was take my student ID and get a library card at the nearest library-it instantly made me feel at home.ReplyDelete
I used to work at a library and it was always a joy to see people get a new library card. I loved seeing kids getting their very first library card it was so exciting! As long as I can remember (12 years) the library has had online renewal or at least an answer line you called to renew materials. Maybe it's different in your area. Anyway congratulations on your new library card!ReplyDelete