Library Love

Library Stacks I used to work literally steps away from a branch of the local library (the branch shared our building). I loved it, and made great use of it’s convenient location – I always had piles of books checked out, and I’d reserve books constantly. The ease of finding them in their online catalog and placing a request on it, to then have it arrive at what was basically my door? Glorious.

I don’t work there any more, and I’ve had to retrain myself and my library reserve habits. Now I have to carefully plan when I’ll put books on reserve; with only visiting the library every three weeks it requires precision timing so that reserves don’t expire before I can pick them up (incurring much sadness from me, plus a $2 fine per book.)

What hasn’t changed is the rush I get walking into the library and picking up my holds it’s like shopping but better, because I only have to pay once and I get free access the rest of the year. Learning that for an annual fee I could have access to the larger and better metropolitan library system of the big city I live outside of was a fantastic discovery; no more limitations of my smaller suburban system.

It’s not perfect though. I’d never put a name to it, but I definitely suffer from the “Tyranny of the Library” as my own books sit, waiting for me to get to them. Without due dates they are constantly shuffled to the bottom of the stack. My last visit I brought home ten new books, and three of them were “I must start this right now!!!” exciting. And urgent, because two of them have lengthy holds lists so I’ll never be able to renew them, so they’ve got to be ready to return on time.

Do you love your library? How do you juggle reading personal books and library books?

photo credit: Amadeus ex Machina


  1. Love that “library rush”!! And yes, I too have trouble juggling the personal books with the library books (or review copies). I’ve had some books on my to-read list for almost a year, since I got my Kindle in January. And yet the ones with deadlines keep cramming those out of the way. And I love those deadline books – or I wouldn’t be reading them – but it’s hard to get to the ones that are yours for good, sometimes.

    • I know I’ve got some books that have been waiting for years, and they keep being ignored in favor of library books. And that just seems ridiculous, because if I liked the book enough to buy it, why am I pushing it aside??

  2. Driving to the library when I first got my license was one of the highlights of turning 16. I would bring my siblings with me and we would spend hour looking at books. Until this summer, I forgot about the joy of the library! I have read tons of books this summer though because of getting them for free. I really enjoy our library and I’m able to reserve books and it forces me to pick them up before they charge me a $1.

    I totally agree with you about books on my shelf being neglected though. I think that’s ok for this season of life. I love the books I’ve been reading!

  3. Uh, I don’t juggle it very well! I do prioritize library books that I had to wait to get, because I won’t be able to renew them. I know I’ll only have them for 3 weeks. But sometimes I just *need* to read a certain book at a certain time, and when that happens it bumps the other books to the bottom of the list. That may mean library books go back to the library unread, but it’s usually not the end of the world. Which is a good thing, because it happens a lot!

    • It’s so nice knowing I’m not alone in this.

      Library books with holds lists are always the ones I read first since I know I can’t renew them or expect to get them again any time soon.

      I also occasionally end up returning books unread to check them out again later. More frequently I have the books I’ve renewed an embarrassing amount of times… It’s probably a bad thing my library allows unlimited renewals if no one else has requested the book.

  4. I have the same issues with timing library visits and deciding what to read first. And it’s somewhat complicated by the 50 books at a time limit, since I use up a lot of my space for homeschool books. Still, the library is an awesome thing and I don’t know what I would do without it. Maybe read less. Or eat less, so I could afford to buy more books. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, that 50 book limit is always a challenge, and it does at times feel ridiculous to me that 50 books is a constraint, but it is. ๐Ÿ™‚ I miss when it was 75; those extra 25 made a big difference.

      Plus there’s the issue of if I don’t have enough “space” on my card to pick up my holds, I’ve got to get someone to check my returns in first, and it always seems that weeks when I need that to happen is when they’re really busy at the desk so I end up waiting and waiting for that. So I try to keep some breathing room on the card if you will.

      Of course I’ve got 48 checked out right now, so not a lot of room to spare this time.

  5. I get so excited when I pick up my library books–it’s like Christmas morning! I can’t wait to come home and start reading them. Libraries rock!

    • I know – whenever I get a new stack of books it’s all I can do to not start reading them on the way home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Oh my goodness. I LOVE the library! And since it is practically next door to my husband’s seminary he can easily run in and pick up the the items on hold. Our limit is 100…and um yeah, we currently have over 80 checked out (children and adults, but still!).

    I have had trouble with the prioritizing and I have definitely sent books back that were not read, but if I had to wait a long time to get them, I put them at the top of the list no matter what. You know, the whole, can’t renew thing…

    I typically reserve books and my husband does the pickup/drop offs, and then I take the kids for a good ole’ library day every 3 or so weeks. Works for us!

    • 100 books? How wonderful.

      I almost never take my kids to the library. I know, that’s awful. But they are so hard to wrangle & I’m just giving up on it for now. Eventually I’ll get back there with them. As it is, G is still excited when I go to the library because he knows it means new books for him, whether or not he’s gotten to pick them out.

      That’s great that your library is so convenient for your family!

      • Oh, I get you! When I go with the kids, it is not for the purpose of picking out anything really great. When I tried that I was only frustrated. IT is just for them to see the library, enjoy reading a few books there, pick a couple of books (that are never great ones, but…). The good stuff comes from my hold pile! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I do look forward to being able to go with them & not have it turn into a “teaching moment” every time. If you know what I mean. hahaha

  7. The library is the best! My 3 year old has story time every Tuesday, so we get to the library every week. It is hard to pick out books for me while we’re there (one reason I LOVE online reservations!), but it’s great to see him excited about picking out new books…and one video per week.

    I also have a big pile of books I own that have been patiently waiting to be read. I tell myself I can save them for when we go on a trip so that I don’t have to bring library books, but sometimes those patient books just can’t wait any longer and jump to the front of the reading line. ahhhh…good books! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I do that too, save books for a trip. Although I also bring library books with me when we’re traveling. ๐Ÿ™‚

      That’s awesome that your son is so excited about picking out new books!

Leave a Comment