Read for Free
For avid readers (as well as moderate readers), the money spent on books can put a dent in your bank account. And to what end? To make your bookshelf look impressive? There are very few books you actually need on your shelf for easy access. Even with the books you really loved, there’s always something else to read before going back to it again. Nobody can argue the value of borrowing a book. Why then, are people still reluctant to visit the local library?
For years I never considered visiting the library because the idea brought back memories of elementary school days when I was still looking up books on little index cards. The library never had any books I wanted and the books they did have were sadly outdated. And frankly, I was a new book snob. Used books just looked dirty. Ew.
So I bought any book that slightly interested me. The result is a bookshelf of mostly unread books rather than a collection of great books to be proud of. My boyfriend chastised me for purchasing so many books. He went often to the library and started borrowing books for me. I quickly got over the “ew” and realized the “wow” of the modern library system.
There are three Los Angeles County public libraries within a few miles from me. I can look up the availability of any book online. If the book isn’t available in a library near me, I can request it, and have it sent to the library of my choice. When they get it, they send me a letter and I go pick it up. All the libraries that are a part of the LACPL network takes a single library card and you can return your books to any library no matter where you borrowed it from. It has never taken more than two weeks for a requested book to arrive. Renewing is easy and can be done online as well.
The library has been an invaluable resource these past few years. Not only have I been able to read all the books I want without spending a dime (ok, there were a few late fees), but I’ve also read a lot of books I wouldn’t have picked up and purchased at a store. With no money involved, I’ve been able to grab and test all sorts of books I’ll never feel bad about not finishing.
So the next time you hear of a book you want to read, drive to your local library instead of the closest Barnes and Noble. It's not only a great way to save money, but it supports your community as well.