Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Monday–Habits Of A Library Lover


Click here to play along!

click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my musing for this week about using my local library:

25c41eed283bd7af84d8229e3ac38e03I love to read, but I’m not independently wealthy—so I depend on borrowing library books pretty regularly to keep up with everything I want to read. Don’t get me wrong—I buy A LOT of books—but there’s just no way that I’d be able to get my hands on all the new releases out there without the help of my local library. I check out eBooks and audiobooks fairly regularly and once in awhile I’ll borrow a DVD—but the main draw for me is the books!

I’m very lucky to live in a town with a great library system. My local branch isn’t too close to where I live—it’s kind of out of the way to make a special trip—but I tend to stop by on my way home from work most Thursday or Friday nights. I find it helps me keep track of when books are due if I try to check things out on the same day of the week—believe me, this is a lifesaver when you’ve got stacks of library books all over the house! My library really doesn’t have a firm limit on the number of books that you can have checked out at one times (I’ve asked!) and I think there’ve been times when I’ve had at least a dozen library books in hand. The loan period is three weeks and you can renew if no one else is on the hold list. Right now I’ve got nine books checked out:

Picture1(So far I’ve finished Small Mercies, which was a good family saga taking place on Staten Island, and I just started Early Warning, which is the second book in what will be a trilogy.Have you read any of these?)

Once in awhile I’ll stop at the library on a Saturday morning and I tend to get there right when the family story time session is ending. I absolutely LOVE seeing the little kids pour out of the events room clutching whatever craft they’ve made that day and racing towards the kids’ section!

One thing that’s changed about my library habits over the past few years is that I rarely go into the library to just browse anymore. I used to plan on staying a good hour whenever I’d go—I’d usually have a list of specific books I wanted to find, and then I’d wander the shelves and pick out books that just looked interesting. Nowadays I do it all online—I’ll put the books I want on hold, or get on the waiting list for titles that aren’t available, and then I’ll stop by for only as long as it takes to pick them up. And with automated self-check out machines, I rarely interact with any of the librarians. It’s definitely efficient, but sometimes I do miss just wandering the stacks and finding unexpected new books or old favorites.

2312973323371462Something I love about my library is their willingness to order just about any book that they don’t currently carry—not just get it through interlibrary loan, but actually order it and add it to their collection. The requestor is then automatically added as #1 on the hold list for the title when it comes in. Plus, if you’re a total book geek like me, you get the thrill of knowing that other people will now have the chance to borrow a book that you recommended! Last week I made these two purchase requests and both were approved, so I’m anxiously waiting for the emails that will let me know that they’ve arrived!

I’ve also gotten into the habit of putting myself on a ton of waiting lists. When I hear that a new book is coming out, I automatically check to see it my library has it on order–if they do, I get on that list! My waiting list is usually made up of dozens of titles, but right now there are only ten books on it. The one that I’m most excited about is Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman which will be released on July 14–I’m #38 on the list of nearly 200 (so far!).

How about you? What’s the library situation like in your area? Do you use your library regularly? Why or why not? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

18 thoughts on “Musing Monday–Habits Of A Library Lover

  1. I don’t have a library near me so I envy your library so close. I don’t often go to a library anymore because I read ebooks more than anything and libraries, or the little one that I know is a suburb or so over, doesn’t have those. I used to have one growing up in South Africa that we visited every two weeks without fail that I have fond memories off! Here’s mine:

  2. Avid library patron here! and my book basket looks like your stack except add 4 audiobooks 🙂 LUV libraries and all those services of reserving , holding, delivering to your library of choice – PLUS online loaning of ebooks!

    My MM with book giveaway this week

    • I was really into borrowing audiobooks for awhile, but I’ve gotten out of the habit lately. I think I need to check to see what new audiobooks are available at my library!

  3. I love my library too. They get many of the new releases I want to read so it really does save me money.

  4. I have always belonged to a library although I had problems when I moved to Jersey as I needed someone on the electoral role to authorise me. I rarely visit now unless I want some non-fiction books on a specific subject. I feel guilty about this as libraries have been an important part of my life up until recently but a combination of a move and more time spent at work (when it’s open) has led to months passing without a visit – I last went in February 😦

  5. I don’t use the library as often as I once did, but I do love the request system our neighborhood branch has….and often find just what I’m looking for….in fact, since I’ve been doing a lot of purging lately, that tells me that I went overboard with the buying and need to return to the library.


    • True–I obviously borrow a ton of books but sometimes there’s a book that you just need to own and keep on your own shelves. I do need to do a purge of my own in the next month or two . . .

  6. I have nothing but praise for our library. I live ina senior retirement home. The Meridian Librarycomes once a week to bring new books. We can request books and theyhelp us to use their e-books.

  7. Great post. We have a wonderful library here. I’m part of the Friends of the Library. Right now, the book sale is going on. I don’t need any books, but I am sure I will stop by. I don’t go as often as I should, but that is mostly because I already have so many books here that I haven’t read yet. I use the library mostly for writing research right now.

  8. I’m going to be honest. I hate the libraries where I live. The ones with the best selection are downtown and have no parking since they are right next to the courthouse and the rest are right next to elementary schools so they cater mostly to children. I get this feeling constantly when I am in there that there are very few readers in my town and that makes me incredibly sad. These libraries are mostly used for little kid babysitting and research into county records.

    I’m jealous that your library is so awesome!

    • Convenience is definitely a factor–libraries need to offer ease of use if they expect patrons to use their services.
      I do really try never to take my library for granted, because I know that it’s not necessarily the norm for everybody!

  9. We have several branches, with the main one being the biggest and most fun to explore. Like you, I tend to just put books on hold and then pick them up when convenient.

    Sometimes though, I’ll browse shelves related to topics dearest to my heart and write down titles to remember. Exploring the whole library, particularly the main branch, can easily intimidate me.

    My other favorite part of the library is its annual book sales. One day I’ll have more used books than new, thanks to library sales. 😉

    • I love library sales as well–our is coming up in mid-June. I usually arrange to leave work early on the first day so I can get in there before everything gets picked over!

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