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Library Week – Booking Through Thursday

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This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

I used to use the library all the time. I used to use it for studying when I was in junior high/high school, which made me the darling of my friends’ parents, since how bad could I be if I spent most of my time studying at the library? I don’t remember checking out books very much, which is weird, because that’s like remembering a restaurant you used to frequent but not remembering actually eating food there. However, my very first memory of the library is rather upsetting.

These days I use the library to get books that I don’t necessarily want to buy but can’t seem to get off of Bookmooch. My only aversion to checking out books from the library is that if you check out a book that’s rather old, say, something published in the early ’90’s, then the book looks a little worn, and I can’t help but wonder how many grubby hands have touched that book. I’m not a germophobe, but it is kinda grody thinking about all those hands handling the book, and now I’m handling the book and…ewwww! I’ll still check books out, but it’s something I think about while I’m reading the book.

I don’t think the coffeehouse/bookstore has replace the library. They really serve different purposes.

I’ve only ever been to the one library in my town, so I can’t say if I like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet cozy libraries. My library seems to be getting a little worn down, so I think I just like libraries that don’t stink like homeless people. Give me that and I’m happy.

What about you? Do you use your library?

| Tags: , , , , 15 comments »

15 Responses to “Library Week – Booking Through Thursday”

  1. Mae

    I have the same aversion to really grotty books too. I always look for a cleaner or newer copy if I can but they’ve been generally quite decent.

    [Reply]

  2. Kimmy

    I love that you said “grody”

    I adore the library. I could never afford to buy every book I want to read. (though it would be nice!) So, I use the library a lot. I buy books that I know I’m sure to love, and sometimes books that I’ve heard so much about, I just can’t wait for the library.

    Our library is pretty nice. roomy and modern. I think I’d like an older library too, as long as it is clean.

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  3. jess

    I work in a university library and I think that saddest thing is when I come across a book that has never been opened or taken out of the library. I actually like knowing a lot of people have touched a book because it feels like the book is getting used and loved.

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  4. Robin of My Two Blessings

    The two reasons why I don’t use the library anymore. Grody books and the homeless folks that hang out there. Puts you off from going. I was the same -used the library all the time growing up – loved it there.

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  5. Amanda

    Oh I love browsing through the library. I like finding random books that I’ve never heard of or the gem I’ve been wanting to read. Lately I’ve been addicted to buying books from the library. They sell donated books and books pulled from the shelves. I’ve found amazingly wonderful hardbacks for only a dollar fifty. Nice!

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  6. Meghan

    The worst for grotty books are the fifty-year-old academic texts that I am assigned occasionally. I’ve met lots of disgusting students and I shudder to think who has touched these books before I got to them. In comparison, my library’s books always seem clean and new!

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  7. Matt

    I totally agree with you on the technical and sanitary condition on library books. Also I prefer to have my own copy of something that I enjoy reading.

    I was such a magnet to libraries when I was young. I still remembered that sensation of getting my library card—that felt so privileged and special!

    I love reading my own books at the library these days! 🙂 That said, I’m justified to visit my favorite bookstores almost every other day.

    [Reply]

  8. Natasha @ Maw Books

    I go to the library three times a week for storytime and of course, to check out books. Our library has so many DVD’s that we canceled our Netflix subscription and never looked back. It’s been great.

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  9. Christine

    Knowing that other readers have read the books I’m reading is one of the major draws for me when I use the library or otherwise read a used book. I love that feeling of connection to other readers.

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  10. Staci

    I work in a middle school library so I’ve seen a lot of “stuff” come back on books, in books, etc. But that hasn’t killed my desire to check books out at my public library. Just the other day when I was there I witnessed one of the library ladies wiping the books down. I do this too at the middle school. I buy a book or two per month but the rest of my reading comes from my library.

    [Reply]

  11. Jenners

    Hello. I was just reading your “Scene of the Blog” post over at Kittling Books and thought I would stop by. This was a lovely post … and now I’m thinking about how many KIDS have handled the books my son checks out. I’ll have to do a test to see how many colds follow a visit to the library.

    And yes..a minimal requirement for me would be a library that doesn’t smell like homeless people!

    [Reply]

  12. linda

    I always use the library for fiction. I usually check out the new books at Barnes and Noble and write down the ones that sound interesting and then plug them in online at the library. It can take awhile to get it but I save lots of money by not buying every book that looks good.

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  13. Beth F

    I’m not too squeamish but you all have been making me rethink touching old books! I have learned the difference between a library in a smallish town and one in a city. We don’t have scary people in our library. Phew!

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  14. S, Krishna

    It’s funny, I use Book Mooch for books I don’t want to buy, but my library doesn’t have – kind of the opposite of you!

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  15. Kimberly

    OK I have to comment on this one. What is it with the libraries and homeless people? I hate that it bothers me so much, but I work downtown and there’s a library literally a couple blocks from me and my favorite pastime at lunch was browsing through the library. That is until recently when the last three times I went, I kid you not, ambulances were there hauling out passed out drunk homeless people. And its such a beautiful building too, really a shame that its turned into more of a shelter than the library it was intended to be.

    [Reply]

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