I know everyone is going to take one look at this blog title post and point me out as the fraud that am I am. How can I love books so much and yet not use the library, any library? Well, I’m sad to say that it is very true. This is a book blogger’s confession (aka me. My confession).
How did this sad state of sorry affairs begin? As a young, wide-eyed primary schooler I lived in the library. Actually, I lived in two libraries – the library at my primary school and the one in the town where I went to school. As I lived in a tiny country town where libraries are non existent, I relied on these two sources for books (and my parents, as they were thrilled that I just wanted to read). I read just about everything in my school library and most out of the other library. I read just like now, absolutely anything I could get my hands on, any genre, any author, I just read.
I get to high school, the library there is fairly decent and in year seven and eight we were encouraged to use it. But not so much through the higher grades and I just didn’t frequent there as much, instead sourcing my own books, either buying them or borrowing from my friends (there were about four of us who read) or requesting them from my parents as gifts, who were still happy to buy books for me as long as I would read. My high school was in a different town than my primary school, in a town that didn’t have a public library (they had a bus that came sporadically, but that was it) so suddenly I had no public library to go to.
Then I got a job. More money = more books! I always had something to read. I didn’t need libraries. I found GR and a whole lot of new books. Winning! I loved, and still love, buying new books, old books, any books.
When I got my license, I really did expect to go back to using my library. I was at uni and while I had more work, I also had more expenses. I even drove down to that old library I frequented in my primary school days (in its fancy new building) and I signed up as a member again.
But I never went back.
I signed up to the library and never went back. I know, I know. But I just love buying books too much. I love picking them out, bringing them home, putting them in my TBR piles until I finally read them and put them on my bookshelf, where they will stare out at me lovingly forever more.
This is not always a good thing.
I have more books , meaning that books do live on the floor or stacked on top of other books. I have a physical TBR of 100+ books (I stopped counting because it was depressing). I never spend money I don’t have, but sometimes I walk away from a spree thinking ‘should I have spent that much?’ or ‘should I have bought that many books?’ I try putting myself on bans, but it doesn’t always work.
I have learnt to bargain shop, though. I love secondhand stores and op shops, but I mainly use them when I’m not looking for something specific. Luckily I now receive many new books for review, but for ones I don’t I either buy from Dymocks, QBD or an independent bookstore or I buy online. I always price check (unless I’m on holiday – the same rules don’t apply then) and I try to make sure I’m getting a good deal or at least a reasonable one!
But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the wonder and magic of libraries. LIBRARIES NEED TO EXIST. They are so important to kids, adults, to everyone who doesn’t have access to books, or those who want access to more books. They are the pillarstones of the community, I really believe that. I will be very, very upset the day that libraries are considered obsolete. Which makes me think that maybe I should start using them again. For, you know, support.