Growing up I wasn’t a fan of reading. Sometimes I would go to the local library and look at books, but I would end up checking out a few issues of Popular Mechanics magazine instead, only to look at the pictures.
Things didn’t change much as I got older. The only time I read was when it was required for school and even then I found ways to cut corners. By the time I graduated high school I’d probably only read a handful of books beginning to end.
In college I still wasn’t reading much and only went to the library for research. I didn’t mind the library at my college, but I started to rack up fines and found it difficult to find books on my own. This is when I started to hate the library. The card cataluge and dewy decimal system was a a joke and computers didn’t make it much easier. The fines were annoying, the librarians were mean and where did they get all those books anyway?
As my hatred of libraries increased, ironically my love for books did also. One of my problems was I didn’t know what I liked to read. Then I read Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz the first non-fiction book I’d ever read on my own. I loved it and realized I loved non-fiction. This was just shortly after I graduated from college and I began to start reading more and more non-fiction. I also realized I enjoyed buying books, going to book stores and starting my own book collection. A collection of books kind of tells it’s own story, people can see what you’ve read and what you’re into. Plus, it’s nice to have those books if ever you want to reread them or loan them out.
Now nearly 8 years out of college I read constantly and my tastes have expanded to include fiction as well. I still love buying books, but in the past year things have changed. We’ve been trying to save money and pay off debt, which makes it harder to justify buying new books. We buy used when we can, but that can still add up. Then I discovered something. The library.
It started a few months back when I was trying to find a book we were to read for our book club. I didn’t want to buy it since I wasn’t sure if it was a book I’d want to keep, so I broke down and went to the library. To my surprise I found the book easily and as I was browsing I noticed a graphic novel section. I started getting into graphic novels a couple years ago, but found them to be very expensive. Now here I was at the library staring at a whole shelf of them. Over the next week or so I got onto the website for our county library system and learned how easy it is to request books online. They email you when the book is in and you go pick it up and check it out in a mater of minutes.
So over the past few weeks I’ve been requesting books like crazy (mostly graphic novels) and not only that but music and movies as well. And that is how I’ve come to love the library. I still enjoy buying books and probably always will, but the library provides an easy way to get books and media that I wouldn’t necessarily want to spend money on.