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?

UBoulderLibrary spittoon

UBoulderLibrary spittoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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  • I love the library too! I’ve gone to the same one my whole life, and it’s probably one of the best around here. They even have a little garden area with benches across the parking lot for people to sit, read and enjoy nature. I used to challenge myself all the time with the competitions at the library for summer reading.

    I also didn’t read much, if at all, during college. Textbooks consumed my life :(. Now that I am working full time it’s still difficult to find time to read when also trying to write blog posts. I’m currently trying to read a variety of personal finance books for inspiration/information. I will have to check out your recommendation though; fantasy books are my favorite besides mystery.

  • Libraries are pretty convenient nowadays. You can borrow e-books and renew books online. I have fond memories of the library growing up (pre-internet!) I used to go there to look up things that I’d look for online. That and in the summer, I’d go there for the air conditioning!

  • Kayla @ Drowning My Debt

    I love the library! When I was living down south a few years ago, I had three public libraries relatively close by- all of which were phenomenal. I loved it! Sadly, my current public library is teeny tiny, quite old, and without much of a selection. Even sadder is that they have been hit with budget cut after budget cut, and have to reduce hours and lay off workers. The library is such an awesome resource for everyone, and I hate to see them neglected and pushed aside!

  • If you are a true nerd, you should have read Ender’s Game. Especially since the movie is coming out soon 😛

  • Nerds rule! I love the local library. Love it. Love it. Love it. I always get lost at the library and find about a bazillion books I want to check out. When I have to cut the choice to just the ones I can finish, it’s always sad…..

    • Yes, I don’t understand why people choose to buy books when the public library is a great resource!! Plus if you’re book is not there, you can put it on hold, and choose another excellent book to read. It’s a win-win!

  • Libraries are so amazing! Not just the books; they have classes for people of all ages for all types of things…from kids wanting story time or craft days to adults wanting to learn how to write a resume or learn a new language. In a lot of areas, anyways. Library love for life.

    • The library has awesome summer programs. The library in my town also has resume writing, excel, word, and powerpoint classes for free. I already know how to use these programs extensively, but for someone who is catching up on technology, it’s a great place to start.

  • Wow, I can completely relate! For me, the library is one of the most important parts of the community.

    We really disliked our past community and the attitude about the library was one of the prime reasons why. Despite living in one of the richest places in the US (Douglas County, Colorado), the library was tiny and understaffed. The facility just couldn’t support the size of the town. I contacted the mayor about it and he stated that the city put a new library to a vote (funded by a small tax increase) and it was voted down. Voted down by the same people who drop their kids off at school in Ferrari 430s and Porsche Panameras. Wrong priorities folks.

    I LOVE Stephen King. Just got through the Dark Tower series.

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