I’ve always moved house a lot and although it’s second nature to me, the heart-breaking bit is having to part (yet again) with my books. Sifting through ‘keep’, ‘discard’ and ‘maybe’ piles is soul-wrenching; and so, even though I’m planning on staying put, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of libraries.
My local library has weird opening times, – which means that I can spend Sunday morning tucked up in the children’s section, reading picture books (for research purposes, of course!). I can then order in some absentee books and take out a few choice reads. I find libraries not only a lovely environment for taking some time out; but they allow me to read more voraciously. Not necessarily because of the choice they have (my library is tiny and limited so I order lots of books in), but because of the freedom they give.
Through libraries, I have rediscovered a child-like joy of reading. I can select books that friends/my trusty Mslexia diary/a stranger on the bus recommend and if I don’t like them, stop reading without feeling an iota of guilt. This may sound harsh to some (and completely unthinkable to many) but I wasted a lot of time (and money) over the years purchasing books which I didn’t enjoy.
These days, I’m thinking more like my good friend @DerekF03 (see his literary bucket list blog post) and have decided to be more discerning when it comes to reading. I’ve come to the conclusion that time is too precious; I don’t eat foods I don’t like so why should I waste time continuing with a plot/writing style/character I’m not enjoying?
What’s your take on libraries and what are you reading right now?
2 thoughts on “Libraries and the joy of reading”
Libraries meant the world to me as a child. As an adult they still do, and this year I am lucky enough to be the writer in residence for Portsmouth libraries. It was through libraries that I learned that being disabled was ok and the extent to which I was capable. Library books gave me refuge but also the nudge to go out and give things a try.
That’s an amazing story – and testament to what magical places libraries are. I was devoted to libraries as a child too; we were pretty poor so they enabled my thirst for knowledge, my search for other worlds and possibilities. Libraries are such an amazing resource. I hope you love every minute of being writer in residence – can’t wait to hear more about your adventures.