I spent many years of my life loving the library and making good use of all it had to offer. When I was in graduate school, I lost touch with the joy of the library and only set foot in the University library TWICE (funny that that is possible, but such is the miracle of the internet and University computer access to all kinds of journal article online, instead of dusty stack-searching for them). While an undergrad, I practically lived at the library--either the college one or the public one, I spent a lot of time in both. Not necessarily checking out books or doing research, but as my "base" between classes, to study, write papers etc. After graduate school, I rediscovered the joy of reading for pleasure. I had library cards at the two cities we lived in prior to where we live now. I went to the library at least once a week and had a fabulous time. Then, we moved back to our hometown, and since we're out of the city limits a library card costs $20. I didn't get one. I've lived here for three years now and have only set foot in the library a handful of times, mostly to give them updated LLL posters for their windows. I haven't consciously missed it, because I get so many books from book sales, yard sales, friends, Bookins, and Amazon (who needs the library, I began to feel!)
Then, I went to a special children's program at the library about an hour away from us a couple of weeks ago, and was suddenly struck by how fabulous libraries are and how much I love them. It didn't hurt that this little library had some rockin' cool books for sale for only 25 cents each! (Excuse me while I swoon, but they had multiple copies of the brand new Our Bodies, Ourselves Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. Hardback, library bound copies. A QUARTER! I almost collapsed with joy).
So, this week, I decided that I should shell out the $20 for a library card at my local public library. I actually planned to do so only so my kids could check out books, videos, and participate in the summer reading program (side note: I asked L if he'd like to do the summer reading program and I told him that they had prizes for it. He, like most kids, love prizes and surprises, but he gave me a really funny look and said, "Why would I need to win prizes for reading books?! That doesn't make any sense." Aww. That's my guy. Reading books is its own reward! ;-) However, as soon as I stepped into the stacks I was in LOVE again. OMG. Libraries are fabulous. I found two books on my Amazon wish list as well as an interesting book-on-CD to listen to while I fold laundry. I've been twice this week alone and see many more trips in my future. The kids love it too and I feel guilty that I've been depriving them for so long (especially because I KNOW how much I loved the library when I was a kid. I literally had read every single book in the teenager section of the libraries in both towns near me. Every single one. I used to check out 20 "young adult" books at a time and read two each day. That was my mom's limit for me, because otherwise I'd be all weird-acting from having been buried in a book all day long).
Okay, so I already finished reading one of the books I checked out (not one that was on my wish list, but one that caught my eye). It was The Busy Mom's Guide to Simple Living. It was extremely religious. More so than I anticipated from my initial glance at it. While I didn't really get much out of it specifically, I did start to ponder all of the simple living/homesteading things I've lost touch with in recent months as the busy-ness of life has started to get away from me.