Sunday, February 22, 2009

Musing Mondays-- The Library

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the library…

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

I grew up in a library. My mother was the librarian in our village, and I was unpaid labor until my sixteenth birthday. I might have been unpaid, but it was a labor of love. Mom and I spent at least part of each day at the library, except for Sundays and the rare vacation. When I went to college, I was still spending most of my time in a library...a considerably bigger one. When I graduated and moved to Phoenix, I fully intended to patronize the Phoenix library system. I obtained a library card and began browsing, using a huge list of books that I'd heard about and wanted to read. Out of a list of at least 200 books, I found three. Several trips confirmed that I just wasn't finding the books I wanted. I obtained a library card for the Arizona State University and almost went wild. Not only was I finding the books I wanted, but many more of which I'd never heard. Trouble is, transportation was difficult. It didn't take very long for me to stop going to the library--any library--at all.

I'm a mood reader, and as such, it's best to get my own copies of books. I've owned books for ten years before I've gotten around to reading them, but I have read them and enjoyed them. If I'm not in the mood for them, I don't have to worry about fines or taking them back and being able to find them again. Many years have passed since those dismal attempts at finding books in my local library. I'm positive things have changed. Perhaps I'm too possessive or insecure, but I prefer that the books I have be mine and subject to my own whims.

Now that I've begun paring my books down so they don't completely take over the house, I'm finding myself going to the library once again--to donate the books I don't post on my favorite swap site, Paperback Swap.

Want to see more answers and perhaps join in this meme? Click on the Musing Monday graphic at the top of this post!


  1. I pretty much grew up in a library too. We were ery poor, I did not own a single book so naturally my schools library was the only place i could get them, I started volunteering my help there as soon as I learned how to read.

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  3. Ah, Cathy. I feel bad that someone who grew up in a library was forced to give up on it. And, I'm afraid, with this economy, we'll be losing more readers.

    One of the week's I remember fondly from my childhood was a week we spent housesitting down the street from the library, and I could go everyday.

    When I was 16, I started working at the public library, so I did go everyday. I only lost that for 2 years in college, and then when I had a car, I used the public library again regularly. I've never left. And, since I'm there every day, I'm never without something new & exciting to read.

    But, I'm afraid budget cutbacks will continue to hurt library collections for the next couple years, and we'll lose passionate readers who can't find the books they want. They'll find it easier to buy their own, or, eventually, buy them on Kindle.

  4. How funny! My mother was the librarian in a very small library that was open only on weekends. I often went with her and was even on the payroll when I was in 6th through 8th grades.

    I'm a mood reader too, so I generally check out only those books that I know I want to read immediately. Thus I usually have only one book out at a time.

  5. I just use the library for audio books and DVDs. Like you, I'm a mood reader. I have a ton of books in my TBR and most I've owned and haven't read for years. I tend to pick books based on whatever my current mood might be.

  6. Hey were you the person who talked about the "smut" test on one of the BTT questions? Isn't it what you gage romance novels by?

    I don't go to the library anymore. Here's my link.

    Monday Musing

  7. My post is up. In my next life I'll be a librarian!

  8. My parents had no education whatsoever, so I think it is quite unusual that my father read many books and taught us to use the local library. I went there with him on Friday evenings even before I went to school so this is where I got acquainted with Pippi Longstocking and other treasures :)
    Though I buy more and more of my crime fiction novels today, I still visit the library most months and bring home 8-10 books.

  9. My library never has anything in I want to read.

  10. I rarely go to mine...but whne I did recently, was happily surprised to see a number of my current desires on the 'new book' shelves.

  11. I love reading peoples' feelings toward their libraries. It is my fondest wish that everyone would patronize libraries, although I know that, for one reason or another, it just doesn't work for some people. Library budgets being cut back may result in the loss of patrons, which I think is tragic, but as long as people keep reading!!!

    Jessica--I have a feeling that it wasn't me. Romance novels are one of the very few genres that I don't read.

  12. I LOVE PBS! it's one of my new favorite things along with the monthly book sale my library holds. I even get books at the library sale just so I can put them on PBS! It's definitely an obsession.

  13. I just LOVE libraries, any library. To me, the internet is like a huge library and I often feel like a kid in a candy store, gloating over all my choices for reading.

    But I love visiting my local library, too. Nothing for me will ever replace the sensual experience of holding a book in my hands. I don't have enough money to support my book addiction, so the library at least helps there. Like Cathy though, I get very disappointed when I can't locate titles I want, especially if I believe the library jolly well SHOULD have them!

  14. Emily--I have a very dear friend who's also a PBSer who does the same thing. She works her library book sales just for titles she'll post on PBS. She's taught me how to use the Daily Digests and Daily Wish Lists emails.

    Susan--I never used to think that my reading tastes were that out of the ordinary until I kept going to the library and kept coming home empty-handed. Now I do realize that a lot of books I read are published in the UK and elsewhere, so I don't expect to be able to walk into a library and find them here.


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