As a book blogger I feel as though not using the library at least once in a while is a mortal sin. Personally however, I don’t know how true that actually is. When I was younger and a baby book lover I used my local library quite a bit. My love for reading hadn’t developed enough yet for me to be able to ask my mom to buy me books and so I went to the library to read books for free. That was fine for awhile until I would remember a favorite I had read and realize that I didn’t own it to reread it and taking a trip to the library again to reread that book would become troublesome. 

Another issue I started to come across was forgetting a book I read and enjoyed almost completely. I would remember a part of the story I loved, but the title and the author would be forgotten, and as time wore on so would the most of the story. This would especially hurt me after a few years. I am very sentimental about my books and if I don’t remember them or can’t hold them in my hand, something feels off inside me.

 Furthermore, I started to feel like I couldn’t properly support my favorite authors if I didn’t actually purchase their books. I wanted to be able to give back to the authors whose books fed my soul. Reading their books for free didn’t feel right. Although now I realize that giving back to an author could be in the form of a review this need to give back continued to distance me from using the library. 

So I decided to slowly stop checking out books and started purchasing the books that I wished to read. After I started purchasing my own books, my personal library built and built until I had more books to read then I knew what to deal with. Now, my own library has made my need to go to my local one almost obsolete. Currently, I own 108 physical books, of which I have only read 61. This is because I have only been collecting for a year and a half thanks to a move where I had to give up all my books (a long story for another day (also a story explaining my 4 year reading gap). All this doesn’t count for my growing ebook collection of Netgalley advance readers copies that have increased the amount of books on my tbr I can actually read immensely. 
Now, I feel like the point of a library is to get a taste for what you like so that you know what authors you wish to buy from and build a collection out of. I also feel like the library is more of a place to find subject knowlege from books you probably wouldn’t otherwise buy. For me the library is a symbol of education and research and that is what I would usually use it for now, but as I get older the library has become less and less appealing for me.  
Libraries certainly played a very important part of my life when I was younger, but now I see that time as a stepping stone to get where I am now. As much as I miss the place that allowed me to read The City of Bones and introduced me to manga, I feel distant from it now. But I take pride in knowing that I am at the start of building my own. My dream is to have a full-fledged library of my own, complete with the books that attract my attention and make my heart race. 

I know many of you do use the library and love it with a passion. I am sorry to say my own passion for libraries has somewhat dwindled in the way of pleasure reading as I’ve gotten older. This post is also not to say that libraries are not important, but rather explain why I, personally, do not use them much. I still have my own library card and I still hang out there on occasion, but checking out a book unrealated to research hasn’t happened in a very long time. 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you use the library? What are your thoughts on this post? Libraries are very special places, what makes them special to you?

-Till next time!

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74 thoughts on “I Don’t Use Libraries: A Discussion 

  1. I’m exactly like that. I think that if you read a book it’s part of you from then on. But if you have to return it, it’s just gone out of your life. I hate it and I love being able to keep the books I’ve read. So I’m also a pro bookbuyer! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting discussion! I used to be of a similar mind to you, but it’s gotten to the point where buying books is too damn expensive. I have become such a library aficionado over the past year, I’m there at least twice a week (I also live very close to one). I do, however, buy books from my absolute favourite authors, but I won’t buy a book I have only a vague interest in reading.
    As a side note, you mentioned that you felt like you weren’t supporting authors if you borrow their books. Actually, publishing companies pay authors a few thousand a year to compensate for loss of sales in regards to libraries. So you don’t have to worry anymore!
    Great post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this comment! It was really eye-opening. I didn’t realize publishers did that, that is amazing! That does elevate a lot of my worries. Also, I actually don’t pay as much for books as it might sound. I go to thrift stores a lot and the book there are so much cheaper. It’s just hard to find a specific book when I go. Buying at a thrift store is always random and fun. Thanks for this! Glad to hear about your obvious love of libraries!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! I only learnt that recently during a publishing class! Ah, I didn’t even think of thrift stores. Many second-hand bookstores have closed where I live (they don’t make enough money), so I really only have a proper bookstore or the library as my options. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m sorry to hear that. I have several thrift stores close by that I frequent, but I can understand that closing down is sometimes inevitable. It’s really cool that you took a publishing class! I’m definitely going to think about taking one myself.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s so disappointing! I have to go into the city now if I want to visit a secondhand store.
            Ah thanks! It’s part of my Master’s and I’m loving it so far. Learnt so much already 😀
            If you get the chance, do it! So informative 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I am both book buyer and library visitor. 🙂 I started going to the library since last year when I moved to France. There’s not much choices of English books from shops so I signed up to the library. But even there the choices are limited. 😀 But, because of that I discovered few good authors and books that I’m pretty sure I would not give a second look before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really cool! I’m glad that you found a place where you can discover so many great books and unique authors that you love! 😊 it is interesting when you live in a country where the supply of English books are limited. It’s great that it has made you discover things you would never have looked at before!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Through most of my twenties I never went to a library. I felt like I HAD to own the book, see it on my shelf, and maybe run my hand across their spines every now and again. The last few years I’ve had to make several long distance moves which led to me donating a large chunk of my collection. One day I realized I was okay with that. Now I only buy a book if it is part of a series I already am familiar with and love or if I’ve checked that particular book out from the library in the past and fell in love with it. I feel like I’m wasting less money on books I would never re-read again or be disappointed by. For me a library has become a comfort zone because no matter what city or town I find myself in, there is always a library there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great to hear! We all evolve as time goes on and I definitely know what it’s like to move and loose books from your collection. It’s great to here that libraries have been a place of solace for you. That’s a very wonderful thing.

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  5. Well, I read primarily beacuse of libraries. My parents allow me to buy a book or two every three months and I have to be really chosey about the books I’m buying because what’s the use if you won’t like the book you purchased? Libraries are a wonderful place according to me, and at times, I feel that you can read a book and if you really LOVE it, then you can add it to your collection! That’s just what I feel! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s really awesome! I’m glad you have this love for libraries. That’s really how I felt a few years ago, but that got changed when I changed the way I bought books. I always go for second-hand and thrift stores for books and very rarely buying at full price. It made it so much easier for me to develop my collection. I’m happy to hear that the library is a place of happiness for you! That’s amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you have an interesting point of view. I’m a die hard library lover and get most of my books there. I purchase books – mostly by authors of color – when the library doesn’t have it, and then donate it when I’m done. I still think of it as supporting authors, as libraries buy multiple copies of books, and allow more people to be exposed to authors they might not have read otherwise. Also, authors don’t make money off used books – so unfortunately, buying books in thrift stores doesn’t (directly) contribute to an author being paid – but acts in the same way as libraries, allowing people to be introduced to new authors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s true. I think my view has changed on the support aspect of this. I definitely have learned a lot about that from the comments so far. It is especially warming to know that authors get payed a lot of money to compensate for their books being read in libraries. It makes me feel a whole lot better about everything. This has been such an awesome learning experience. I’m happy to know that you love libraries and use them so often. That relationship is an amazing one. Thanks for this great comment!

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  7. I quite frequently use the library but I also like to buy the books as well. If I’ve seen everybody raving about one and I’m pretty sure I’ll like it I’ll buy it but I do love spending time browsing the library and discovering books I’ve never even heard of before😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think it is important that we use the library. If no one is using it, its no point of having them, and I don’t want to live in a society where we don’t have libraries. Also libraries are there so that everyone can get information and read books, poor or rich.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true and I do believe that as well. I think libraries are a wonderful thing to have and I do agree that they are very necessary. This post isn’t to say that they are unnecessary or not useful rather then to explain why I don’t use them for pleasure reading. I still use them for research and learning purposes, but I simply prefer to own my books. Thank you for this passionate comment. I definitely don’t have a lot of money to purchase books or a lot of other things for that matter, which is why I buy a lot from thrift stores. Libraries are wonderful places I’m glad that you have such an obvious love for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have thought about libraries a lot in the past year, as some books I buy and don’t enjoy I just end up selling or giving away, when the best option would be to go to the library and borrow the book. If I end up loving it and want to read it again at some point, then I can buy it. However, I haven’t set foot in a library for about 2 years. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard when you buy a book and don’t end up loving it. Which is why I think libraries are great for discovering books, but for me when I would read a book from a library and really enjoy it I would not feel as compelled to buy that book to read later because I would feel like buying books I hadn’t read yet. It’s a weird conundrum that has also pushed me to be more of a book buyer.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Since I’ve been volunteering at a library, I have realized more now how important they really are. Not everyone is so privileged that they can buy countless books. Libraries are not just for research, subject knowledge or author discovery, they are there so people who can’t afford to buy countless books can be able to enjoy the newest/trendy releases. Also, publishing companies check the circulation of books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s awesome! I definitely understand that. There is no question on libraries importance or the need for libraries. It’s so true that a lot of people cannot afford to buy the latest books and read them. I often can’t myself. I wait a long time before I buy a book and a lot of times its way after the popularity has lessened somewhat. This has been such a lovely learning experience for me and I’m glad to know that publishing companies compensate authors for their books circulation in the library. That’s a really wonderful thing. I’m glad that you have such a love for libraries and that they have impacted your life so strongly.

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  11. Really interesting discussion. I work in a library right now and am currently pursuing my school librarianship degree online while I work. The purpose a library serves definitely varies from person to person. You’re right in that the library can definitely be a research haven for students and other members of academia as well as a starting place for littles to nurture a life long appreciation for literature and learning as evident from all the story time programs. But the library can be so much more which is what makes it so wonderful. It’s definitely a community center – just this past weekend we had our own “comic con” in which we had artists, vendors, panels, and other presenters come in and the entire event was open to the public. We also have conference rooms for people to use, computers/guest passes for visitors, and loads of other cool things – we even have an American girl doll lending system! We’ve also had a wedding or two happen at the library 🙂 As someone who collects their own books too, I completely understand how the library can become obsolete to you as you get older and have the funds. But I’ve met so many parents who not only come to story time with their kids but check out tons and tons of books at a time because they love that they can do it for free and are even happy to pay their late fees because they see it as giving back to a service that is worth more to them and has done so much for them and their family. Sorry this was so long! Thanks for writing a post about this! Definitely something I’ll need to write up on my own blog and I’ll definitely link you as my inspiration!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This comment is so beautiful! I loved reading this and you definitely don’t have to apologize for it being long. I used to go to library events all the time when I was younger so I definitely have a soft spot for libraries in my heart. That’s amazing that you’ve even have a few weddings take place at the library you work at as well! Libraries are definitely super important and I’m looking forward to reading your post! This comment is definitely one that tugs at my heartstrings. 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank YOU for starting a discussion like this!! It’s easy to advocate librarianship when you’re the one studying and pursuing it, but it’s so important for other people like me to know what community members think of their libraries so we can figure out what we can do to better serve people who both need and want a library, regardless of what purpose it will serve them. I’m so touched that my comment became so meaningful to you! I’ll definitely be linking back when I get this post up. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Literally everything you said is my thoughts as well. I would check out 50+ books a month when I was a kid. But as I grew up and started finding books I liked I realized that if I borrowed them and loved them I would forget them. All of the books on my shelves; all I have to do is look at them and be reminded of their story. I look at my shelves multiple times a day just so I don’t forget a thing. Now that I’ve gotten so many books I started borrowing books I’m not so sure ill like. If I end up liking it I will go buy a copy. But I like to support the author and purchase!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear! How we use the library is different for everyone. It’s cool to know I’m not alone in my experience. It’s just something I started to notice as I got older. I love my books and they are all so important to me. I love being able to remind myself of their stories by looking at them everyday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. The older I got the more I realized how much I loved and appreciated books. I appreciate the journey and the feelings and each one has added to my life in different ways. When I returned a book to the library I felt like I was giving back a piece of myself. And like I was giving the whole experience back really. I LOVE libraries, don’t get me wrong. They are fantastic and I still do borrow from them. I just prefer to make my own library. Books are the only thing I have that’s all my own.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I work at a library, but I stoped checking out books for a different reason. I’m germaphobic, so working at a library has thought me just how disgusting the books really are, and what horrible condition people put these books in. I will occasionally check out the brand new books, but other than that all of the books I read are purchased by me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I hadn’t used the library in years because like you – I want to own my favorite books. But it honestly got too expensive and I’d get disappointed if I bought a book and didn’t like it. So now I borrow books I’m unsure about and buy them if I think I’d read it again. I do wanna point out libraries do contribute to sales and count towards the NYT list .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I’ve learned so much from this post. I’m glad to hear that authors are compensated by publishers for their library circulation. The way we all use libraries are different for everyone. It’s definitely sad when you buy a book that you end up not liking.

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  15. This was a fascinating post. I’ve always loved libraries. I’m not a fan of e-books – I prefer physical copies! Now, I have far more purchases than library loans. This past Friday, I went to my local library branch for the first time in several months, and I left with only one book. That’s a far cry from what I did throughout my childhood, and college.

    I think part of it is because I work full-time, and I’m still in school for my paralegal degree, so my pleasure reading time has been dramatically reduced. The only time that I normally read for pleasure is at night, before I go to sleep, which is usually less than an hour every night. I do bring books with me on vacations or other trips where I know I won’t be driving, but those instances are few and far between.

    The other thing – My local library branch is only open on the weekdays and Saturdays. On the weekdays, they close at 5:00 p.m., so there’s no way I can make it there on a weekday unless I have the day off from work (like I did this past Friday). I typically go on Saturday mornings. I want to incorporate this into my regular routine, however – My wallet will thank me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a very interesting point of view. I feel like the way we all use libraries is very different and what works out best for us. I’m sad to hear you don’t get as much time to read anymore, but I am happy that you do make time for it as much as you can. It’s interesting how our needs and situations evolve as time goes on. It changes our perspective and what we used to do all the time changes. Great comment! I loved hearing your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is one of my favorite blog posts, like, ever. You brought up a really interesting point that I myself had not considered. And you have a waterfall of comments! The other thing, at least in my life, is I’m using technology all the time. I work on a computer at my job, and then at home, I’m usually watching TV, or on my phone, iPad, or laptop. I wrote a blog post a few years ago called “Slaves to Technology,” where I wrote about how smartphones and other gadgets have taken over our lives. There are days where I wish that I could give it all up, all technology, for a replica of the Beast’s library in Beauty and the Beast!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is so true, and thank you sincerely, for the kind words. I really didn’t expect for this to spark up so much conversation, or for me to learn so much from it. It was really cool to see everyone be so passionate with their thoughts. We all are slaves to our technology and it would be an amazing day if I could give it up for that gorgeous Beauty and the Beast library. That would be so cool!

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  16. I don’t use the library either. For me it’s mostly just out of convenience. It’s easier to go on Amazon and order a book than to make the time to go to a library. Plus I am very impatient and an impulse reader. When I see a book I want to read I don’t want to wait on a library wait list because I will probably lose interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Very interesting to read this! I get wanting to support authors for sure. And I agree libraries can be great for getting a taste for authors. But I do also find that it helps me when I just can’t afford to buy books (which sadly is all too often 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My perspective is this: libraries give people access to books if they can’t afford them or have very busy lives. Many libraries now have apps like OverDrive or One Click Digital that offers audio books and e-books through the library. That’s a great way to loan a book without going to the actual library branch. If you’re someone like me, I don’t go buy everything when it comes out. I have a budget to stay in, so I use Net Galley and the library to weed out what I like. Then, if I love it, I read it. However, there’s those rare occasions when I do buy something I haven’t read. But that’s after reading chunks of the writing style and seeing if it clicks with me.
    Buying books and buildilng your library is a goal we all want to achieve. But I hope this info helped 🙂 with the digital age now, it’s easy to get books and audio books through Audible and local libraries. Great discussion topic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It is such a great discussion point in your blog post and in the comment section as well. Like you, I used to go to the library when I was younger, but now I have limited opportunities for that and I like to own the books that I enjoy and revisit their stories randomly time-to-time. It is an expensive hobby to buy your own books, but only like a year ago, I am more considerate of what I buy. I try to be very careful to only buy books that I know that I will love, and rely on book reviews for those books that I am in two-minds about. Budgeting also helps me and making a list of upcoming books that I am definitely interested in and rationing money according to that. Also, ebooks and receiving ebooks from publishers for reviews, is also a great bonus, as I only need to buy the physical copy of the book if I really like it and would likely to reread it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your perspective. I’m glad that you have felt similarly to me about libraries it is awesome to have your own books. Your also right ebooks from publishers always make it a little easier. It is an expensive hobby to have, but there are so many ways to make it a little bit cheaper. It’s really great that you make sure to budget well and are careful of what books you want to spend your money on. Thank you for the awesome input!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting post! Growing up I bought or was given almost all my fiction books, or borrowed them from friends, so for me, libraries have always been a place where I go to hire academic books or classics, or sit and study, or go on tours (if it is an old/special library). As a consequence, I never really think about going to the library to hire a fiction book now, I always buy it. I guess, like you, I like the thought of being able to go back to a book or just to be reminded of it from seeing it on my shelf, and I also like to support authors (though I do believe reviewing a book is a form of support). So I can definitely understand your changed attitude toward them. I do love the atmosphere of libraries though – I visit them now more to enjoy the many shelves and find a nice space to work than anything else. But I like that other people are hiring books to keep the place running and filled with books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really cool that you call it hiring books. I’ve never heard it used that way before. Anyway, thank you for the awesome comment! I also really love the atmosphere of libraries and like you I usually only use it for academic purposes. I’d love to go visit some specialty and older libraries it’s really wonderful that you make the time to go do that. Thank you for your point of view!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I love the discussion this post is generating almost as much as your post itself! Like you, I love owning books that I love. I’m not even a year out of college and have moved a lot over the past five years, though, and it’s a huge hassle to bring books with me everywhere that I go. I buy physical or e-book copies of books that I absolutely love (preferably physical), but I hardly ever buy books new anymore, especially not ones that I don’t already know I’ll love.

    It seems we both agree that libraries provide amazing and important services for communities, and they rock for me while I’m so transitory. All the same, I do look forward to finally living in one place for a good while and building up my own personal library again one day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Moving seems to be one of the biggest issues for everyone. It is a huge hassle to move books from one place to another. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this post! I had no idea that it was going to generate this kind of awesome discussion. This feels like the first real discussion I’ve ever posted and I’m so proud of it! Everyone has such good points and are full of information and I am so glad to have learned so much from this post! Libraries are truly amazing places and I love that it’s use is so different for everyone. Thank you for this awesome comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I am a teen librarian, and am pursuing a masters degree in library science, so I am a huge advocate of libraries! Libraries are so much more than books, they are community centers and provide many services to all ages of patrons. I understand wanting to buy books that are meaningful to you, but libraries can provide you the chance to browse genres and try books without the commitment of a purchase. Bookstores and libraries can coexist!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. If you’d rather buy a book than borrow from the library, I think that’s fantastic! Authors definitely need the support since, for many of them, it’s their job, and they all deserve to be paid for it. The reason I use libraries (well, I only borrow ebooks, but it’s still through my library) is because I can’t afford to pay for all the books I read, and the library is a way to legally read free books. And if I end up really loving a book, I might then decide it’s worth the money and buy it. But everyone can have their own reason for using or not using libraries!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. What an interesting discussion! I am a big library user, for many reasons. I seldom buy a book unless it is, ironically, for education and research — a book I know I will refer to over and over. I will also buy a copy of a book AFTER I have read it from the library if it made me happy and I know I will want to read it again. When I DO buy a book (other than for reference), it is usually because I need to read it for book club and the reserve list is too long. I then donate it to the library when I am finished so they can either add it to their collection or sell it at the book fair and buy more books.

    But I check out most books from the library because I know once is enough. I don’t like to re-read because there are SO many books I want to get to! And if I saved every book I ever read, I’d need to build an addition onto my house! I kind of think of the library as a repository of MY books so that I can go pick up a copy if I ever do want to read it again, but without taking up space in my house.

    BTW, did you know that in general, authors would prefer you check a book out of the library over buying a used copy of the book? That’s because once a copy is sold, they get nothing, no matter how many times a book is resold. However, libraries look at circulation numbers, and the more times an author’s books are checked out, the more copies of the author’s next book they are likely to buy. So unless you are buying a new copy of the book, the best way to help the author is to check that book out of the library and get those circulation numbers up!

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  25. I love libraries and worked in several over the years. Like you, I own enough books that visiting the library to borrow books has become unnecessary. That being said, the library has a lot to offer other than books these days. Also, as you get older you’ll realize you can’t possibly find room to house all the books you have accumulated over the years. I collect only ebooks these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do enjoy going to the library for other events when I can, and I also really enjoy them in general. It’s just lost some of it’s practicality these days, but it’s really wonderful that you’ve worked in them. I hear that a lot and it sounds lovely!

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  26. Libraries are the bomb. I am a librarian though, so i am extremely biased. I am not a big re-reader though. So, I can see how owning a copy of the book would be appealing if you often went back to the books you love.
    I personally, but an insane amount of books from the book sale. I end up giving most of them away because I seriously am obsessed with people having something good to read.
    But, I like what another commenter said. The biggest fear of mine in this digital age is for libraries to disappear. So, I LOVE it when people use the library.
    But, to each his own. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Libraries are a beautiful place of wonder and I’m so happy that so many people are dedicated to their libraries. It’s sadly not the place for me to read the books I read daily, but when I need to do research for a paper or a project I definitely go and check out a book. I think with all the love and passion that came out from this discussion that libraries will have a place for eons. For many it’s a matter of convince. For others it’s a second home. I love that it has a special use for everyone. So yes, when you say libraries are the bomb I would agree. It’s just sadly not a place I go to as often as I used to.

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