I’m going to try and keep up these posts on a Friday where I ramble on about various bookish things, whatever takes my fancy really.
Today, the object of my rambles is the humble library.
An early introduction
At the house I lived in until I was about 14, we had a library at the bottom of the hill. It was about a 10 minute walk away and it was one of the first places I remember being allowed to go on my own.
I read loads as a kid, favourites being the Sweet Valley Twins and Saddle Club series of books, which later gave way to Point Horror and Christopher Pike.
I had a notebook that I’d use to list books in a series that I wanted to read and would cross them off as I went.
I have my mum to thank for the introduction to the library and it’s services. She took both me and my sister as children and instilled a love of books in us that I strive to pass on to my own children.
A way to feed the habit
When I was in my early twenties, I didn’t have a lot of money. I had various jobs that I didn’t particularly like, before starting on the bottom rung of the career I have today.
I also liked to really flex my introvert muscles by living on my own (which I LOVED) and so, for a lot of the time, had no one to share the bills with.
At these times, the library was my way of keeping up with books. I could lend the latest releases and not have to worry that the money should be kept for things like….well to be honest, at times, food!
It wasn’t just books either. I couldn’t afford a landline or internet at home (seems inconceivable now) so the library was also my source of music, film and tv as I could rent CDs and DVDs for a minimal cost.
The here and now
I am still a huge fan of the library. These days I have a bit more disposable income and can afford to splurge on a new release every now and again. But, at a time when they are constantly under threat from budget cuts, I don’t want to lose the library service and I want my kids to know that it’s there.
The library is still a place for me to get physical books but it’s more than that for me nowadays. It’s a place where I can get eBooks and audiobooks. It’s a place where I can take the kids to spend a bit of time or attend a playgroup (well, it was pre Covid). Its a place for me to have a peaceful wander round when it takes my fancy.
I am one of those people who will always pop up on Facebook posts to remind people about what their local library does. A lot of people always seem to forget or are simply unaware of what their library can do. An audible subscription for example can be expensive and whilst the library doesn’t have the same selection, there are a heck of a lot of audiobooks available to rent.
I have lived close to the border between two counties for the last 7 years and used that to my advantage by getting library cards for both. If there’s a book I’m after, I have two catalogues to consult to see if I can lend it from a library. That’s been really useful!
I think I will be a library lover for life, hopefully they’ll stick around as long as I do! It would be an absolute tragedy if we lost our libraries. Several near me have had to be taken over privately when the council could no longer fund them and are now run by volunteers. Its certainly something I’d love to do, maybe when the kids are older and I have more time and less bills to pay!
I’m preaching to the converted here, but use your libraries people and tell others to!
Anyway, I’m off to my local library today to pick up my latest reservation. Happy reading x