It’s February! Which means… official Library Month!
Yes, between the days celebrating singles, couples, flowers, the appreciation of tea, there is a month dedicated to libraries.
More than anyone, I know the feeling of happiness which comes with buying a new book; the new book smell, the perfect smooth cover and binding, the pages still pressed together closely, the price tags which now remove without leaving traces. It has a certain charm. And it is yours! To read, re-read, place on a shelf and marvel at, lend (if you dare!), and keep for as long as you like. Filling bookshelves is one of the perks of being a bookworm. There is nothing better than having the pressure of choosing a paint colour for a room alleviated from you by simply installing a bookshelf instead. As different and mismatched as they may be, the overall appearance of rows after rows of books is better than any paint or decoration.
But here is an issue: There are many times in life when buying every book new is not an option. At about one book a week, that’s 52 books a year, with an average of £10 a book including new releases and hardbound books, it comes to quite a high amount – and this doesn’t include beach holidays or cozy winter evenings when a book never lasts a full week! The answer? Libraries!
Borrowing a book means having to sadly give it back after reading and putting up with other people having mistreated – I mean used – it previously. What is your pet hate when it comes to books? Bent bindings? Folded corners? Notes scribbled on the margins?
It’s true, library books are not your own, but there is something brilliant about them. For one of course, you have the wonderful feeling of knowing someone else will enjoy it after you! I often wish I wasn’t as attached to some of my favourite books so I could leave them in a small bookshop somewhere, waiting for it to fall into the hands of the next happy reader.
Libraries also give you the opportunity to try anything you want, and simply return it if it wasn’t your style. You can explore, try out, dive into subjects you don’t usually read and simply see where it takes you. There is no harm in trying!
The best things that will happen to you in libraries are these: You run into people who love books as much as you do and can pick their brain about good books. You will discover books which are just a few years old but not current enough or famous enough to be in book shops. You will broaden your horizon! And at some point, you will come across an author you read and fall in love with, and discover they have all their books, or a full series and marvel at the fact you didn’t just have to empty your bank account to read the fifteen books.