Our public library is wonderful. Books and movies as far as the eye can see (not really true, but more books than I could read in my entire life). I've not purchased any books this year, using instead the public library and I wanted to get an idea about how much money I've saved myself.
To date I've saved $110.56 this year in borrowing books instead of buying them. I came up with that number after looking for the cheapest Amazon.com purchase option. I buy used copies of all books unless a Kindle version is within a few dollars. We've also saved $16.00 in movies, many for the kids. My guess is that the total savings of $126.56 is a bit low. I've also borrowed books that I didn't enjoy and never finished but only included books I've read in that total savings figure. In some of those cases I would have purchased those books on Amazon, not read them, and then tried to re-sell them there or donated them someplace.
This has made me feel good. If I had bought those books - 13 in all - I would own them but then what? Donate them? Resell them? Yes I would have done some of those things but others would sit on my shelves, lonely like a paperback version of the Velveteen Rabbit. Hoping some person would pick it up and enjoy the story again.
How to you get started then? It's easy for me to do, I know what non-fiction areas I can explore and what movies I want to watch but what about you, the public library neophyte?
- Get a library card. Usually you need to go to the building with a photo ID and proof of residence statement like a recent bill.
- Ask the librarian for a tour. Libraries often have useful areas tucked away like children's books, movies, or computer work stations - get help in finding out where they are.
- Take a list of books with you. I keep my books to read in Evernote as well as Amazon.com that way both lists are available when I go there. Here's my Evernote list of library books, it's small now that I'm shifting from using an Amazon.com Wishlist to this.
- Familiarize yourself with the library's website. These typically aren't as easy to smartly search as Google but once you learn you can find some seriously great things.
- Dedicate time for reading. Reading takes a time. Turn off the glass teat, use your lunch break, and declare those to be reading times. It's even easier than declaring bankruptcy.
We can declare time to read and we can declare that we'll start getting more books from the library and reading them.