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Features | Libraries


When I was in secondary school a few of my friends went through a phase of spending every single lunch break in the school library. We weren't allowed to eat, drink, or talk in our school library so I basically hated it. Even books could not entice me to give up food or talking during my lunch breaks.

When I got to university it was a different story. That library quickly became completely essential. The idea of having to buy all the reference books I needed for every essay is enough to make my eyes water even now. I still didn't spend much time actually in the library though. I'm easily distracted so I preferred to rent out all the books I needed and work from home rather than sitting in the library until the early hours of the morning. Of course, I worked until the early hours of the morning anyway, but at least at home I had access to free coffee whenever I needed it.

My opinion on libraries has certainly changed since secondary school. Now I wouldn't hesitate to say that I think libraries are fantastic and so important. But I still prefer my own personal library.

Like some sort of hunter mounting the heads of all the animals they've shot on the wall, I like to fill every available space in my bedroom with books I've read. I'm a pescatarian so I don't do a whole lot of hunting. I do do a whole lot of reading though, and I enjoy displaying my book conquests. I like the look of a bookcase stuffed full of books. I like being able to re-read books whenever I want to and I like being able to recommend a book to a friend and then immediately pull that book down from the shelf and lend it to them. I have always lent to and borrowed books from my friends, like we have our own shared circle of personal libraries, although I am not always so great at borrowing.

I once borrowed a book from a friend and didn't even read it until two years later. When it's an understanding friend it's one thing, but borrowing a book from a library and knowing that my having it might be preventing other people from reading it is just too much pressure for me. For now, buying my own books and borrowing from friends works perfectly for me, but I am so grateful that libraries exist and I don't doubt that one day I may change my mind and become the proud owner of a library card again.

What about you? Are you an avid library user or do you prefer to buy your own books? Or do you strike a perfect balance between the two? Let's talk about it in the comments!

7 comments

  1. I make use of every avenue available to me to obtain books. For most of my life I've been very dependent on libraries — public and school, sometime even private libraries when I had means to access. Over the past two years though, I discovered a lot of new titles that were previously unknown to me. Trouble is, a lot of these books are so worn out at my public libraries, I don't fancy reading them, so I've shifted to buying the books I expect I will like.


    At the same time, I'm an avid fan of eLibraries. My library system is generally very updated and has thousands of books available for YA lit alone. The adult fiction collection is even more massive and the non-fiction genres span far and wide. All in all, libraries to me are essential but I've weaned myself off a bit now that I've my own income and can afford to buy books as well.

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  2. I've always been a fan of my local library and, like you said, made good use of my university one too. If I can rent it, I will, as I already have a mountain of books I need to find a permanent home for (I have a bit of a problem in that regard) so being able to just rent + return works well for me! Louise | Reads and Recipes - A literary lifestyle blog

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  3. Vena Isabella2:30 pm

    I used to be an avid library reader but now my local library is slowly deteriating so it's not as desirable. One thing that I prefer about borrowing books is that I don't feel a pressure to finish reading the book if I don't like it. Because you haven't spent any money you're not wasting any by putting it down. However, now I tend to look at reviews of books instead of buying them spontaneously. I completely agree though. Having a shelf of books is like having a collection of trophies, especially once you've read them.

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  4. Anastasia10:32 am

    I had never thought about it like that. I usually look at a lot of reviews before buying a book too but there are definitely times when I've picked up a book on a whim and regretted it when I'm half way through and trying to slog to the end! There really is nothing better than having those shelves full of books you've read though, is there?

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  5. Anastasia10:34 am

    I can completely relate to you there! I've got books ferreted away absolutely everywhere in my room so I think making use of a library is probably something I should think about if only so that I don't find myself actually drowning in books!

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  6. Anastasia10:38 am

    I have to admit I am the sort of person who likes my books to look pristine and new, so that definitely contributes to why I've never really made use of my local library. I had never even thought to check if they have an ebook system though. That definitely sounds more like the sort of thing I could get behind!

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  7. Vena Isabella8:14 pm

    Exactly! And then you end up reading the whole thing, which usually turns out to be part of a series haha. Having shelves full of books you've read is amazing! It's like a shelf of trophies. :P

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