Tax Dollars at Work


This, is our library.

According to, a library is a place set apart to contain books, periodicals, and other material for reading, viewing, listening, study, or reference, as a room, set of rooms, or building where books may be read or borrowed.

Snoooooze. The definition of the library itself is boring and makes a person ask, “Who would ever want to go there?”

But, leave it up to some modern innovations to make even the most mundane of places seem intriguing and exciting. An awesome place that is underrated in today’s society. Think about it – where else can you chill in an air-conditioned place, that’s quiet, where you can read a cool mag or surf the net, where you can take a nap, check out movies, meet some friends for a game of chess or cards, read about whatever you like, get free bookmarks, talk to some fine librarians, walk around aimlessly, find out how glow-in-the-dark works….. and all for free!

Obviously, a guy who has a thing for librarians wrote this, but still.

See, this library things is new to me. Yes, I knew they existed. I’m not that dumb. However, I had never utilized all they had to offer until now.

It’s amazing how inventive you become when you’re low on funds and need to entertain yourself.

I was an English major.

I love books. All sorts. When I was younger, I was a huge R.L. Stein and Lurlene McDaniels fan. In case you aren’t familiar with either, Stein is like the precursor to Stephen King for early teens and Lurlene McDaniels is like early romance novels for teens. All of her characters had terminal illnesses I think. A little morbid.

Now, I will read just about anything. Non-fiction usually isn’t my thing, same with most science fiction, but I will give any book that comes with a good recommendation a try. Hunger Games? On my list.

But, books aren’t the cheapest hobby in the world. Especially when you want to read the new books. So, I listened to some other bloggers and took their advice and joined the library.

But no one told me how overwhelming it was. I walked down to the fiction section and froze for a moment. There are hundreds and hundreds of books. In just one section.

I completely forgot all the books on my “to-read” shelf on and just stared for a moment.

I then realized I looked like a crazy person, so I sat myself down at the online card catalog and tried to remember some of the books on my list.

The best thing? Even though my library may not have a book or it’s checked out, they are connected to an extensive inter-library loan program and I can get it from some other library.

It’s amazing what they can do these days.

I must have been in a reading mood because within 4.5 hours of checking out the book, I had it finished. Sometimes I read like a speed demon. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Tomorrow I will return my book, pick up the two I put on hold (from home!) and go to the law library with Mr. A. He will slave and sweat over criminal law and I will pour over the drama of American Wife and get lost in another world. A movie lasts 2 hours. A book can last days and usually have better acting.

Do you use your library or do you prefer to buy all your books? Any library tips for this newbie?



Filed under Happy little posts, Life After College

8 responses to “Tax Dollars at Work

  1. Jamie

    I LOVE our library! I can’t believe all the money I used to throw away on new books at B&N or Target. It’s also (in our town) a great way to find out about upcoming community events or changes that our happening. I *love* the library.

  2. I like to buy books, but like you said, it gets expensive! My group of friends and family are pretty good about sharing the best books- and I just started using the library which is great but I get frustrated when a book I really want is on hold!

  3. I love the library! I almost never pick a book from browsing because I use the interlibrary loan hold feature online so heavily. I don’t really have any advice, except in my experience, if you hold the maximum number of books allowed (in Austin it is 5 due to budget cuts), all 5 have a tendency of becoming available all at once, even if one book says you are #10 and another says you are #3 (for six weeks in a row). Of course, that doesn’t usually happen, I just mean it tends to happen the week you are too busy to read much, and all of a sudden you have 5 books (on top of however many you already had checked out) that need to be read in 3 weeks!

  4. LOVE the library. I usually use it to reserve books for my book group, so I don’t have to buy a new book every month. BUT, if I really can’t get the book in time I am all about picking up a used copy at the local independent book store downtown.

    Like you, I love reserving books online. Plus, when you do it online you can have your goodreads account open in the other window to make sure you’re picking the right books. 🙂

  5. I absolutely love our library system here. It’s the best! I’m glad you figured out how to put books on hold from home. That’s the easiest way! You can always renew them online, if you have to.

  6. Notes from the Fatty File

    Love the library! I almost never go there just to browse, though, because my local library is not well laid out. (I remember spending SO much time browsing in the library as a kid, though. Good times.) Like some of your other commenters, I keep a running list of books I want to read in Goodreads and then I’ll pull up that list along with the library website and place holds on the popular books. I waited more than two months for Little Bee, which I just picked up on Saturday. BTW, I read American Wife this spring and it is awesome. I loved it!!

  7. Pingback: The Perks of this Town « New Teacher. {finally} New Wife.

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