I rarely buy books. There are several reasons: 1) They’re expensive; 2) They take up space (that we don’t really have!); 3) After about a week, they’ll be sitting on a shelf. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of books. I buy the occasional book; if it’s a favorite, or a classic, or if I know that I’m going to want to revisit it. I’ve received many as gifts. (A GREAT gift, if you ever need an idea 😉 ) I also have plenty of books sitting on the shelves that are technically “borrowed” from family. My mom is an avid reader. She could easily read a book a day. She has passed along many to me. Usually, I can just go shopping in her bookshelves without ever having to visit Barnes & Noble. But, I forget what she has or what I’ve already read of hers. We also both have Kindles, but they are surprisingly difficult to share books through. (I think Amazon definitely needs to work on this system.) So, in lieu of buying and borrowing, I’ve reverted to the time honored tradition of: The Library!
When was the last time you set foot in a library? For many of you, I’m sure it was college. There might even be a few of you who have managed to avoid the library since high school. But, let me tell you, you are missing out! I LOVE the library! I actually got my library card many years ago. It was one of our first budgeting efforts after we became homeowners. You can find just about anything at the library: movies, books, magazines. Atlanta-Fulton Public Library has a huge selection and many locations so you should always be able to find a convenient branch. The branch I typically frequent is a little smaller, which I happen to like, but sometimes I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for in the branch. Enter my favorite library service: the hold. That’s right, I can log onto my account at home, add the titles I want to read (or watch), select the branch where I’d like to pick it up, and wait for an email notification telling me it’s ready. It’s awesome! I’ve always loved this service, but I have to say, I love it even more now that Munchkin is in the picture. There is no way he’s going to let me browse through the fiction and nonfiction sections, or at least, not quietly. So, now we can spend all of our library time in the children’s section, and I can pick up my selections on the way out. Plus, I don’t have to hope that my selection will be at the branch (although the online catalog will tell you which branches have the title available.) Holds are especially valuable when it comes to the hot titles. I believe I was number 150 on the list when I added The Girl On The Train about a year ago. I had forgotten all about it until I received my notification email that it was ready for pickup. Awesome!
Another great service the library offers is e-books. These are available through the library’s Overdrive system. Simply set up an account using your library card, and you have access to the library’s ebook catalog. You can send them to your e-reader device. Easy Peasy! (Next week, I’m going to share with you a great e-book I recently finished!) Now, similar to hard copies, the library has a set number of digital titles, so you may still have to wait for the newer titles. But, again, you can set up a hold list for e-books, and you’ll be notified when it’s ready. This service is great for traveling because I don’t have to guess how many books I’m going to read on vacation. I can read either on my Kindle or my iPhone. Definitely check it out if you like e-books!
Finally, the last reason I love the library applies to those of you with munchkins. STORYTIME! That’s right, our library offers a weekly Toddler Time. The best part? It’s FREE! Most branches offer some sort of children’s activity. Munchkin and I go every week to hear some stories, sing some songs, and make a craft. Then, we hang out in the children’s section and flip through some more books before picking out one or two to bring home with us. The librarians at our branch are amazing and love having the kiddos around.
If you’re looking for something fun to do this week, either with or without a little one in tow, check out your local library! Or, at least visit the overdrive system!
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