Laura Kadner
June 18, 2014 8:46 am

I just received a notice for late fees from my local library and I couldn’t be happier. Are you crazy, you ask? You’re happy to get fined so you must be a mad woman, you say. But I’m not crazy and I’m not mad. I just love the library.

I’m happy that I can check out up to something like 80 items at a time from my local branch – including DVDs and audiobooks. I’m thrilled to have a building stuffed to the gills with books, non-fiction and fiction, that could satisfy my every curiosity and need. I find it absolutely amazing that everything in that building is at my fingertips and absolutely free! So when I foolishly keep my books and movies past their very generous four week limit, I’m pleased as punch to pay my fine. It’s incredible that my fines add up to less than fifteen dollars, when in my greedy paws I hold much more valuable materials.

I’m always shocked people don’t hit up their local libraries more regularly. When they say they love reading but books are so very expensive and what are they to do? I say nuts to that! There is a whole building of free information waiting to be mined. On any subject of which you could possibly dream. You needn’t spend a penny to feed your reading habit.

Or sometimes people claim they don’t like their local branch. It’s rundown, it hardly has any stock, it’s filled with creeps using the computers for their unsavory and unwholesome activities. But wait, I say! Head to your branch’s website and a world may open up before you. Because I know my library, and many many others, actually offer downloads of e-books and audiobooks with your library membership. You can load books right onto your phone or kindle or whatever other entertainment gizmo you have. And there are no late fees for those, because once the due date hits, the e-book files just return themselves.

If you’re looking for something to listen to while on your drive or walk to work, or need an escape from the reality shows blaring on your TV at the gym, you must hit up your library’s website. And I know as an Amazon Prime member you get access to their Lender’s Library. You can only borrow one book at a time, but that’s still amazing!

And if your issue is that you want new books, not musty dusty old ones, worry not. The library gets all the latest releases. Sure, you might have to pop onto a waiting list, but the anticipation is so very exciting.

So I guess all I’m really saying is, please support your local library. Take a look around and pick up your summer beach reads, your books that help pass your subway or bus commute, your secret self-help audiobooks that won’t show up on a credit card receipt. Join a reading group, attend an author event, take your kids to story time. There’s so much free stuff just waiting for you to snatch it up. What are you waiting for?

Be like Belle. Channel Matilda. Aspire to make Hermione proud. Just read, my friends! Read it all!

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