This is sort of a companion post to Why I Don’t Review ARCs. I know it sounds like I’m just trying to be contrary, but I promise it’s more than just a leftover pseudo-rebellious streak from my teenage years. I think.
Let me start this off by saying I love libraries. I think libraries are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, and I spent about 90% of my childhood in one. For a couple of years, we had a library right next to our school, so it was basically get up -> go to school -> go to the library -> read -> go to bed, rinse and repeat. Then the library moved ten minutes away, and I had to walk up a hill to get there. Pretty sure that’s the most continuous exercise I ever got, which is saying something because it was a pretty short walk. I should look into gyms again.
So why haven’t I owned a library card in years and years? Well, my dear reader, much like Voldemort’s soul, the reason comes to you in seven parts.
(If you’re asking what the eighth one is, it’s probably you.)
1. I’m lazy.
This should come as no surprise to you. I mean I’d have to actually leave my house and who wants that. Then I’d have to haul approximately fifteen books all the way to the library to return them and another fifteen from the library home. Why so many? BECAUSE BOOKS ARE SHINY AND I NEED OPTIONS. Like, seriously, they’re free no matter how many I take, so why limit myself?
2. I like owning the books
Just looking at my bookshelf brings me joy. Sure, there are books that incense me the moment I see their spine, but those go in the
fuck you eff you lower right corner of my shelf that I can’t see or reach because there’s a sofa in front of it. I tried giving them away for free, but no one wanted them, so there they go. That’s the decided minority of my books though, all the other beautiful and shiny ones are proudly displayed on my shelves where I can see them. I feel immediately more at home when I have my books with me. They’re like practical décor – pretty, but also functional.
3. I hate pressure
Once I borrow the books, I have to read them within a certain time frame. I mean I could just return them without having read them, but a. that’s would defeat the purpose of painstakingly carrying them home and b. I’m pretty sure that’s the real definition of walk of shame. Moreover, I often buy books and then read them months or even years later. I need to be in the mood to read a book or otherwise I won’t enjoy it, but when I get books from the library, I have to read those books because I’ll need to return them soon.
4. You need to take care of them
Yes, I know – a lot of people are very protective of their books. And I understand! They’re preciousssss and deserve our protection. However, I am clumsy, and sometimes I mark my page by folding down the edge and I confess to having committed the ultimate sin of reading while eating which invariably ends with spillage of some sort on your book. I also usually have at least one book with me, so I carry them in my bag, which never ends well. Basically, I’m a book abuser, and I’m sorry. This point is also the reason why I don’t usually borrow books from friends by the way – I’d just have to buy them new ones.
5. They don’t have what I want
Which is fine, and I can’t blame them. I read English books and they’re German libraries, so there’s usually not that much to choose from. Though to be fair, even when I used to read in German, I still almost ran out of options a few times.
6. It’s stressful
I guarantee you, I will remember when I have to return my books for every single day until I actually have to return them. I’ll stress about not having read this or that book yet, Final Countdown is blaring in the Soundtrack of my Life at random intervals, and I’ll prepare a nice stack of books to return to the library.
And then the Day of Judgement comes, and I completely forget all about it. Which leads me to…
7. It’s cheaper.
I know this is a bit of a stretch, but trust me. The library actually offered me to work my fees off as a kid, because they were so high. Which I did; it was a great deal, and they were kind to offer. Once I had like 80 bucks in fees (though I’m pretty sure they didn’t get my message about extending the deadline that time, because no way did I forget for that long). Do you know how many books I could have bought with that money? A lot, is the answer. A LOT.
So in conclusion, I cannot be trusted with library cards. I absolutely encourage librarying, but I will take a home delivery of my long anticipated books over going to the library any day.
What about you? Do you like going to the library? Where do you usually get your books?