There are few things that better represent slow living to me than a mug of something hot and a book full of words to read or space to fill. I’ve always been quite the reader, as a kid taking home stacks of books as big as my head each week, but reading for fun has ebbed and flowed as more adult responsibilities appeared in my calendar.
As I decluttered my bookshelves in preparation for downsizing this last summer, I was surprised to find several books that I’d gotten halfway through before midterms had hit, or that I’d sped through but barely remembered the plot for. Since then I’ve finished nearly all of them, and the ones that are left are less “for fun” reads and more “this is something I should probably know” reads.
So, I got a library card.
Buying books as quickly as I like to read them gets obscenely expensive pretty quickly, so while I enjoy picking up an occasional, very special book, I much prefer going to the library. Getting the card took quite a bit of back and forth and some digging through paperwork, as I live in one of those grey zones between districts, but with the help of a couple lovely librarians I quickly had a new little card added to my keychain.
I’m lucky to live in a very well-stocked library district, with several neighboring districts that allow reciprocal borrowing. As a result, I’ve got lots of new places to sit, read, and work surrounded by books! I’ve also registered with Hoopla to get digital resources on the go, and brought home several books. I’m currently finishing up How The Bible Actually Works, and excited to start on Over The Top next. I also got a book on cooking for dogs (yes, that’s a thing, & for my gastrointestinally challenged puppy sometimes a necessary thing), a couple poetry books, and have watched several documentaries.
I think that libraries are among the most valuable, yet most underrated, resources in many communities. Think about it, where else can you go to
- Just exist… not buy anything, not pay for anything, not do anything, just be.
- Educate yourself on something for free.
- Get reliable WiFi when yours goes down.
- Access books on literally anything.
- Have a quiet, private space to study or work that isn’t your house.
- Use a boardroom (or similar set-up) for groups or teams for $0.
… and so much more.
I love libraries.
I use my library.
I’m grateful for my local librarians.
Now, I’m going to excuse myself to go read more of those borrowed books on my coffee table, then return them to be borrowed again, and again, and again…