Libraries are Amazing!
I love, love, love books! Libraries have always been a safe haven for me. When I first came to the U.S., I refuged myself in the school’s libraries. I would check out 1 or 2 books a day and read them on top of doing my homework for school. Reading helped me improve my English and expand my imagination. I still pride myself in having better writing skills than most Americans; despite the fact English is my second language. During summers I would go to the library and check out the maximum amount of books. I would walk out with 7-10 books every week. I would live vicariously through the characters, and dreamed of one day living their adventures.
I even dabbled in writing fiction when I was 14. I wrote a couple of chapters, and shared them with my band leader. So far the only person that read the chapters before they were lost in time.
My “fun” reading slowed down significantly in college. Most of the time I was too tired from reading textbooks, articles, and case studies, to tackle reading fiction. Plus, my college library did not have an extensive fiction collection. I have never been a believer in buying new books. Sure I have bought books at garage sales for 50 cents, but I can never see myself buying a book for full price.
Why? Our local taxes are already paying for new books. There are an estimated 123,291 libraries of all kinds in the United States today. This estimate includes all types of libraries: public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries.
Overall, for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of federal government funding for public libraries is less than 1 percent. State government funding comes in at ten percent. And eight percent comes from grants, monetary gifts and donations, and library fines and fees. But the remaining 81 percent, the bulk of public library funding, comes from the local tax dollars of the residents reserved. For greater detail, see the report from ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics, Funding Issues in U.S. Public Libraries, Fiscal Years 2003-2006 (PDF).
It’s so easy to check out books in the library. If you can’t leave the house or don’t want to, most libraries offer e-books now.
My husband and I are nerds. NERDS are fun! NERDS FOR LIFE! We were so excited to go to the library on Saturday. He checked out a book, and set a hold for an e-book. I checked out three books, and then went home and checked out an e-book. So I’m now currently reading 2 books simultaneously. LOL. Scratch that – I finished one book already! Check out Magic to the Bone. Really cool book 1 of a fantasy series!
Do you go to your public library? What books are you currently reading?