If you’re already a visitor to this blog, big up to both of you by the way, I will build a good follower count eventually, sigh. Anyway, if you’ve already read my posts you will be fully aware that I am a complete bookworm – the Waterstones staff get dollar signs in their eyes every time I walk in, and Barter Books in Alnwick is like my Mecca. But, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I have not set foot in a library since I was in primary school. Obviously I’m discounting the many hours spent in the university library because that was more of a necessary evil than a leisure choice and to be honest reading for my degree really made me fall out of love with reading, temporarily. I could never stay angry with you, literature.
I recently started a new job with a local council, and you’ll be aware if you live in the UK that libraries are generally being cut and merged with other facilities like job centres and housing offices, bloody tories. So, it was really by chance that I started visiting a library again because there’s one in the building where I work, and I sometimes have to take a turn being in charge of it (date stamping the books is seriously so satisfying I can’t explain it). Naturally, if you put me in a room full of books I’m going to start perusing and honestly my main question is ‘why on Earth haven’t I been using libraries for years?’ Council tax is an absolute pain in the backside – yes it’s nice to have the bins emptied and a local police force but it’s something we all resent paying. But guys, we can get free books. Free. Books. Books. For free. Without paying. How freaking amazing is that???
Every time I go into Waterstones I have an absolute crisis and fret over whether to buy books by unfamiliar authors because, let’s be real, £7.99 is a lot to spend on a paperback you might not necessarily enjoy, which will then also take up space in your house, so I always end up playing it safe with an author I know I like. And that’s fine, if you like one book then chances are you’ll like said author’s other books, but variety is the spice of life, yes? And I get it, you don’t want to be paying for something you might not actually like, hence why I have a regular order at every restaurant I’ve ever been to – no way am I going to risk branching away from a lemon and herb pitta now, Nando’s. The solution? Libraries! Did you know they have DVDs now? BLOCKBUSTER ISN’T DEAD GUYS, IT JUST MOVED TO THE LIBRARIES AND NOW IT’S FREE, WAHOOOO! Seriously though, they have ebooks and DVDs as well as all of the books ever, and if you don’t enjoy it then it doesn’t matter! You just take it back and get something else! No muss, no fuss, no scratting around the bin looking for your receipt and trying to pretend to the cashier that you never even cracked the spine.
Having access to free books is really pushing me to read more and to branch out beyond my usual genres, so for any book lover I really cannot stress enough how revolutionary a library card is. *Resists the urge to break into the library card song from Arthur*. If someone told me there was a place you could go to, on nearly every high street, where you can test a meal for free without having to buy it just to see if you like it; I would be all over that like a rash. Being able to read books for free? Honestly if I didn’t know better, I would’ve said that only exists in the dream world where I am also married to Justin Hawkins and Johnny Depp never became a greying domestic violence perpetrator. Matilda was definitely onto something here…