Friday, April 07, 2006

Hug your librarians today

Or just bring them doughnuts.

In honor of National Library Week, I'd like to confess a dirty secret:

I hardly ever buy books.

Yeah, yeah, I should support my fellow authors by contributing to their sales figures. But if I only read books I could afford to buy, I'd never read anything, which doesn't help those authors at all.

Besides:

  • If I really love a book I’ve borrowed, I’ll often buy it, usually from the independent bookstore across the street from the library (they’re small, but they’ll order anything), because God forbid I leave my Habitrail and actually DRIVE somewhere else.
  • Checking out a book makes it more likely the librarians will order that author’s next book, or maybe even more copies of that current book. Well-read paperbacks get reordered when they fall apart.
  • I tell everyone I know, including y'all, about books I’ve loved. See the sidebar for current reads, both of which are excellent.
  • Having a deadline (due date) forces me to actually read the book instead of putting it on a shelf for "when I have free time," which always translates into "when I get my annual head cold."

If we don't patronize the public library system, our governments will be glad to spend the money elsewhere. Without libraries, literacy could become yet another privilege of the wealthy (like health care), further widening the gap between the rich and the poor.

Every time I go to the library, there's a mom or dad checking out a two-foot-high stack of books, and it brings back memories of when I was a kid. If my parents had paid for every book I read growing up, they probably wouldn't have the money to send me to college.

We already pay for our libraries through our taxes, so we might as well use it. Last year, the retail value of the books I borrowed equaled our county tax payments. So the way I see it, I got a year’s worth of free fire department and police services.

I think "Get Free Cops" ought to be next year's National Library Week slogan.

10 Comments:

Since this seems like as good a place as any to discuss your current reads, I have to say I really enjoyed Catch me If You can (we listened to the audiobook last year), and I till haven't read Rising Stars. I picked up the first issue when it was first released, and I didn't like the art a bit. I thought it got better once Brent Anderson (a terrific artist) started on the book, but I never got motivated to read the first section, so I never got any of the others, either.

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 4/07/2006 12:19 PM

I've actually finished Rising Stars already. It's best read in one sitting, if possible, with fifteen-minute intermissions at the end of Parts 1 and 2. It was really amazing. Some parts felt a bit too idealistic and over-the-top, but I chalked it up to the superhero genre. In general it was as well-written as any prose novel.

I haven't posted the book I'm currently reading now, because I'm judging it for a contest. I might talk about it later, because it's pretty good.

And everyone, feel free to comment at random on anything on the sidebar.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/07/2006 12:37 PM

I go to the library every Monday. I usually take out about 30 books, but I read really fast so I go through books real quick. However, I can honestly say I haven't read either book you talk about on the sidebar Jeri. I just finished "Dead and Loving It" by Mary Janice Davidson and am about to start "Share The Darkness" by Jill Monroe.

Posted by: Blogger Kathy at 4/07/2006 12:50 PM

30 books--wow! Undead and Loving It, is that the Undead/Derik's Bane crossover book? Is it good? I haven't read Derik's Bane (actually, I read the first chapter somewhere and didn't really care for it--I am SO sick of the obsession with pack order in werewolf books. From reading these novels, you'd think wolves do nothing all day but posture and fight and think about being ALPHA. We now return you to your previously unfinished sentence:) but I love the Undead books.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/07/2006 12:58 PM

Oh, and I meant to say, people feel free to comment at any time on any sidebar item. Not necessarily today. Just throw it into a comment about something unrelated. I'm always up for a book discussion.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/07/2006 1:00 PM

Is there pack order for fish? Are there Alpha betas?

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 4/07/2006 1:16 PM

There must be, because they have their own parking lot.

It's probably at SeaWorld.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/07/2006 2:30 PM

To answer you, yes the book is fantastic. It causes the world of the Wyndham werewolves to collide with Besty's world. It's so funny.

Posted by: Blogger Kathy at 4/07/2006 5:29 PM

I'm one of those moms checking out a stack every Thursday morning, for me and for them. Our library also loans CDs, DVDs, and is a county-wide system so I can request books from any branch to be held at my library. The vast array of cookbooks alone is staggering. Andrew gets books on CD all the time, and now there's a system so you can just download audiobooks straight to your computer. Plus, they have a free pre-school story hour and craft every week, AND special events all the time.

The money I saved by not having to rent DVDs has paid for my library taxes- let alone ALL those other things I listed. The public library system, IMHO, is the biggest bargan of your tax dollars.

BTW, my word verification word is ohzzbof.

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 4/08/2006 10:03 AM

Hmm, I've never rented DVDs from the library--we're so hooked on Netflix, but it would be nice to get them for free. I'll have to check out our library's selection. We also have a county-wide system so I can request books that are at other branches and at the two local colleges as well.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/08/2006 2:49 PM

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