Oh my public library, how do I love thee?

by mollykl

Yeah, that’s not a rhetorical question. See that list to the right, the one labeled “Anticipating”? Well, those are pretty much the ONLY books I’ll be buying. Everything else is coming from the library. And there are books I’m anxiously anticipating, but won’t buy, because I know they’ll be a “read-once-and-have-memorized” kind of deal, and there’s no sense in owning those.  Those I’ll get from the library. Besides, I’m broke and out of bookshelf space. I’ve even resigned myself to a wait for some things (after all, if I’m in a damn hurry I can shell out the cash).

New authors usually get put into the “library” category. I’m trying to place a hold on M.K. Hobson’s book “The Native Star.” I found out about her from Gail Carriger’s blog, read the description on Amazon, and immediately popped over to saclibrary.org to score myself one new read. Some authors start at the library, hello C.S. Harris, Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander, and then move to the must-buy list. Some authors start with a hold at the library, then I have a cocktail and end up at a bookstore buying a copy because it’s nine o’clock at night and I can’t wait damnit! Hello Gail Carriger and thank you husband J for driving me to Avid before they close.

Thank god for the LINK system. Even if Sac Library doesn’t have things you can borrow from other systems. Unfortunately, even through link it’s still sometimes not available. But I  keep checking back. Sometimes I get lucky. I was trying and trying to place a hold on the newest Rhys Bowen mystery “Royal blood” and kept getting the “Sorry, no copies available” message. The one day, poof!, it was available, and I should get it tomorrow which is convenient, since tomorrow’s my day off.

Since graduating I’ve lost track of how many books I’ve read, so I couldn’t even guestimate what percentage came from the library. I think I’m there at least once a week, probably twice. I’ve been reading lots of mysteries, home organization and decorating books, cookbooks and the occasionally trashy novel. I’ve also been checking out a lot of music lately. I want to hear a full album, not just snippets on i-tunes, before I buy it. So I’ve gotten Shakira’s newest, and I’ve got two Muse albums on hold, and well as one Nickelback (really, you have to listen to Nickelback before you buy, otherwise you don’t know what you’re going to get). And the library is the best place to get the first season of Perry Mason on DVD. I love me some Perry Mason, all black and white, with the constant smoking and Della’s awesome clothes.  It’s like a very restrained version of Mad Men, but with lawyers and cops.

I don’t really understand when I hear people say they don’t want to “bother” with going to the library. PEOPLE! IT’S FREE! The economy sucks, you’re trying to save money and you don’t want to be bothered to check out a FREE book (or DVD, or CD)? What the hell is wrong with you?