Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why Don't People Use Libraries More?

I use my local public library extensively. In addition to all the classics, the library stays up to date with a great selection of the latest literary fiction in standard and audiobook formats. I even get monthly e-mails from the library listing the new book acquisitions in my favorite genres (in my case, fiction and audiobooks). The library maintains an online catalog of books where I can make selections from the entire collection, which is spread throughout the city in over 40 local branches. It's a lot like shopping on Amazon. The library will then transport the books I've selected to a central "hold shelf" at the branch of my choice (downtown Houston) and will notify me when my books are ready. All I have to do is show up to pick up the books.

In most cases, I am given 6 weeks to read a book before the due date (2 weeks for books with waiting lists). And as long as I return the books before their due dates, all of this is completely free. Based on a typical reading year for me, I estimate that I save about $3500 per year (audiobooks and hardcovers are quite pricey these days). What's not to love?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The thing is, I often read according to my mood.. so I like to be able to go to my shelf and choose a book, rather than my library books dictating to me what needs reading. :)