Since a few months ago, it had been years and years since I used a library for anything other than academic research. In grad school, I tended to buy the books that I read for pleasure because the university library didn’t have a great selection, plus I had relatively little time to read for pleasure. It never occurred to me to use a public library in Austin, mainly because I would have had to drive to one.
But now we live in a neighborhood where I can walk to a public library. I started going and got a card so that I could take my baby to the little story times that they do for kids, but I also started checking out a lot of books. Even though this library doesn’t have a great selection of adult books—the kids’ section is amazing, on the other hand—I still find a lot of stuff that I want to take a look at, from cookbooks to mystery novels to some nonfiction books like The Year of Living Danishly and Better Than Before, both of which I read recently.
I really like how the library makes it easy to check something out, start it, skim it, and not worry about returning it unread. You can leave the book lying around for a couple of weeks and see if it sparks your interest without feeling compelled to read it because it cost $15, and without being disappointed if it’s not as good as expected.
They also have electronic books now. I’ve checked a few of them out, but they seem to have a shorter loan time than hard-copy books, which I find strange. They’re also often unavailable because they’re “out on loan,” which also seems weird. Can’t an electronic book be loaned to more than one person at a time for any length of time, since it doesn’t actually exist…? There must be laws about this that I’m not aware of, but it seems silly.
Right now I’m reading another Gretchen Rubin book, The Happiness Project, but it’s not as good (to me, anyway) as Better Than Before. I’ve also got a mystery novel, The Memory Game, going, plus several cookbooks. It’s pretty nice.