Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Simple Suggestion #11 of 100...Use a library card

My family relies on our library a lot. Rarely does a week go by that someone isn't making a trip to pick up a book on hold or return a video, cd or novel. For a while, my eldest daughter was an employee there. Most of my reading material is picked off the "Staff Recommendation" shelf when I'm waiting for Julia to gather her weekly fix of Archie comics.

I also find the library very helpful when it comes to putting together book displays for my Voluntary Simplicity presentations. At the most recent one two weeks ago, I set up two small tables full of library books and referred to a few of them as I spoke. When the workshop ended, one of the participants came to me afterwards, saying, "I'm a librarian, and I'm just so happy that you're plugging libraries in your talks. You made my day!"

What's not to plug? A library is one of humanity's great inventions. Having a library card is like having a next-to-free pass to seeing the seven trillion wonders of the world. Books, magazines, newspapers, videos, audio files, cds, and now ebooks are available through large borrowing systems that will only get larger as we get deeper into this digital age. I wonder, how many lifetimes would I need just to get through the material in the nearest library branch?

Best of all, I have access to it, but I don't have to store it, keep track of it, or worry about it once I'm done with it. I know a lot of people who feel that it's important to have libraries of their very own on the shelves in their dwellings, but I'm afraid I can't see that as being very wise or practical. Yes, there are a few books that are handy to keep as reference, but why hold onto books you'll only ever read once? For a while, I thought about keeping books for my kids to read, but what are the chances they'll want to read the same things? They live a life much different from mine, but if they ever do decide that they want to read Mom's favourites, I've got a list to share. Even if it's such a great book that you don't want to part with it, you can always revisit it at the library if necessary.

Another wonderful thing about libraries is running into friends and neighbours there. It doesn't happen as often as I like, but when it does, I usually come away with a few books I've never heard of that other people recommend. Libraries are win-win situations all around. When's the last time you visited yours?

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

1 comment:

  1. Love this theme you have been on! Cannot wait to see each new one...
    Love this especially. We are libraryers for sure. I hold a bit of pride that our "small" town of 50,000 has quite a nice library and it gets nicer every year. Proximity to the library is one of the big reasons for choosing the neighborhood I live in. I believe I shall head there now!


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