I love the library. If you are a regular in these parts you will know this as I have mentioned it quite a few times. As a youngster the library was a place of wonder I would go at the weekend with mum and go find a new book to love as well as finding some fascinating tome on something like spontaneous human combustion. Then at school again it became a place I loved (because ALL those books) and often a refuge (from being bullied), it sounds a bit sad but books became my friends. This has meant that as an adult, well since I started reading in earnest again, I have always supported and joined the library local to me. I am slightly worried I might be taking it too far and indeed I may be loving them a bit too much and a little too selfishly. (Is that possible with libraries?)
You see where I am in the Wirral I have a lovely library down the road which resembles a stately home meets museum, brimming with wonderful books. Whilst I haven’t maxed out the amount of books I have from there, I have borrowed quite a lot…
Then, lucky me, near where I work in the centre of town I also have another library (a literally amazing one) in town which I am also borrowing from as you can also see…
Now some of you may think that this is not that bad, some of you may think it is excessive. I love to support my library but I think that sometimes I am a little bit naughty, you see I am one of those people who renews books over and over and over and over… or I take them back and then take them out again on the next visit, often getting asked “erm, you have taken this out before”, which seems a bit unfair to everyone else who might want to borrow them. I know this is partly what the library is for but it is also there so we can try new things, whether we end up liking them or not. They shouldn’t be gathering dust on my shelves though.
So I have made some rules, this happened last night actually when I realised my books were up for return or renewal, that I must stick by.
- I can borrow the maximum amount of books and not feel guilty, that is what the library is for and we are blooming lucky to have them, if we don’t use them they will vanish.
- I am ONLY allowed to renew a book the maximum amount of times that I can. If after that I don’t want to read it, just let it go, if I still do but haven’t I need to buy myself a blinking copy. (I have just done this with Ben Myers Pig Iron and Lee Rourke’s The Canal which I have renewed well over ten times each!)
- I need to read at least one or two library books a month, this will stop me hoarding if books start to just linger.
- I need to be more adventurous in the library and take some more risks.
- I should donate more (because in the Wirral you can) books to the library rather than have those gathering dust on my shelves. I can check them out again if I suddenly have the urge to read them.
I returned several books today; of course I borrowed a couple more. How could I not?
So, that is my new library pact with myself. I can stay loving the library but not in such a bonkers way. It will also make me think about what I borrow a little more and be aware of how often I press that renew button, which I have never known if is a good move or not? What about you, what is your relationship with the library? Which gems have you discovered thanks to your library or a lovely librarian?