One of the few places that I have appreciated since I was 5 years old is the public library. Its richness and calmness are qualities that I have always taken for granted, but I am always surprised by how few people appreciate this wonderful resource!
The pleasure of browsing
No matter how dusty, old and small a library could be, browsing through its shelves is so great – it is amazing what treasures of information can be found – interesting books, music, films and even games for your children.
Doing the same thing in a bookshop, while being pressured by the sellers to buy something is just not the same – because the library affords you to easily try any book if it catches your attention. Some reference books can only be used in the reading room (not at home), but if the information is valuable enough for you, just copy those pages.
The digital media
Most libraries in the world do not offer digital books, but some of them don’t even require you to be a local resident to borrow their ebooks – like the Philadelphia Library.
You only need to register your reading device and after the lending period is over, the book is not readable anymore.
A quiet place for tackling a project that needs focus
To me, a library has always been a safe and beautiful place – an oasis of information in a hostile desert. In a world that never shuts up, a library is a place where quietness is required. Unlike the chaotic fast-paced world outside, a library is an organized place, where books are waiting on the bookshelves for their next readers and where the few people temporarily inhabiting this place are educated (even better: self-educated) and mind their own business. The risk of being distracted by noisy work colleagues is at a minimum, so get working on your project!
Enjoying paper books without cluttering your living space
If you enjoy reading books but move a lot, you’ll quickly appreciate the ebook reader. I am at my second one and I consider it one of the best investments I have ever made. I can carry lots of books with me and read just about anywhere!
Yet sometimes I miss reading paper books – not wanting to clutter my living space, the library is the perfect solution for renting the books when I need them.
Actually, it’s not only about the price, but about the social opportunities as well. Most libraries offer courses and conferences on a regular basis. Donating a book to a library means that you can always have access to it if you’ll ever need it or miss it, while allowing other people to enjoy it in the meantime (instead of letting the same book get dusty in your house).
Some books are prohibitively expensive for the average user and most books are not read twice, so why not enjoy the collective savings by borrowing the book from your local library instead of going to the bookshop? Even if you can’t find it there, national and international interlibrary loans are easy to use – you just need to wait a little bit more for your desired book.