Falling in Love with the Library

Read more and save money, what’s not to love?

I didn’t read much growing up. I don’t think I read a single book in high school that I didn’t have to. It just wasn’t my thing.

I started reading in my early twenties, largely due to the works of Haruki Murakami. I still read pretty regularly, but I found myself buying way more books lately than I could ever hope to finish. Dozens of books sat unread on my bookshelf for years. I was buying them as if I would never have a chance to buy another book again.

As part of Abagail and I’s effort to save more money, I checked out our local library branch that’s a few blocks away. It’s a cute little library and the staff is always friendly. I started checking out books and making the most of it. It’s such a great resource.

I realized that about half of the books I owned I was never going to read, and if I really felt the need to read them, I could check them out from the library. I sold those books for $80 at a local bookstore, which is much better than them sitting on my bookshelf unread. I’m still working my way through the other half of my books.

In addition to books, the library also offers a bunch of other media that can be borrowed. They’ve got CDs and DVDs, which I don’t have a way to play but is still neat. They’ve also got digital books, music, audiobooks, TV shows, and movies, all for free. It’s incredible. I’ve been listening to audiobooks, watching documentaries, and reading ebooks in addition to the regular physical books.

Free Books by the Library

Utilizing the library has me reading more, which is always a good thing. There’s a sense of urgency when reading a book since it’s due in a few weeks from when I checked it out, so I’m taking reading the books more seriously.

Plus, if I don’t like a book, there’s no guilt in dropping it off and moving on to another one. (No more regretful purchases and feeling like I need to read the whole thing!) My local library also has an online website to place books on hold and request books. It’s a really slick experience and a great way to see what’s available. Goodbye, wishlists. 👋

A book might not be immediately available, which is totally okay with me. Putting a book on hold and waiting for it has helped teach me patience. I can always find something else to read in the meantime. I don’t have to read the book I’m interested in right now. It’ll be just a good in a week, month, year, etc.

Some highlights of what I’ve read since getting into the library:

  • Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki
  • You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham
  • Happy City by Charles Montgomery
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  • Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

We have been able to cancel digital video and music streaming services, stop shopping for books, and make use of what the library offers. It’s helped cut our monthly entertainment budget from $500/mo to $40/mo. Money saved, reading more, getting out into the world. What’s not to love?

If you haven’t joined your local library, you should! It’s a wonderful way to feel more connected with your community and save money. It’s a joy to pick up, drop off, and browse books. I’ve truly been loving my local library.

Author: Brett Chalupa

day: software developer, night: comic artist

3 thoughts on “Falling in Love with the Library”

  1. As the librarian at a school library, and as an avid user of public libraries… yes! I wish more people understood the magic of libraries! As an avid reader, and as a person who already knows what I like to read, I still only finish about half of what I start, and there is no shame and no wasted money when you can borrow these books/audio books/e-books from the library. I now only buy non-fiction books that I will refer back to again and again, or fiction books that are absolute favorites that I know I will go back to over and over, over the years. Also… if you like manga/graphic novels… there is a manga version of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” called the “Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up,” which is one of the few books I have added to my personal collection recently. Ha!

    1. Totally! I think it makes sense to own a book that one wants to put notes in, highlight, or read multiple times a year. I actually just checked out and read “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up” last week. It was a fun take on turning the content of the book into a story. A great refresher on the KonMari method. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s