Throughout my youngest years and into college, I adored libraries. I loved browsing the shelves and picking out brand new books to read. I lived for the moments when I could plop down with a new book and begin reading with only a quiet murmur of activity around me. But after college, I lived two minutes away from the tiniest and most unimpressive library I’ve ever seen in my life. All other libraries were long drives away. So, for a time, I lost my interest in libraries.
Flash forward a few years, and I moved again to a new county. It took a year and a half, but I finally thought to apply for a library card. I got an oddly giddy sense of excitement when it came in the mail and I put the tiny version on my keychain. There was just one problem: I was in the same situation as before.
Since I live on the very southernmost tip of my county (the county line is 100 feet down the road), none of my library’s branches is nearby and most are in areas I wouldn’t venture to by myself. So far, I haven’t been able to relive the old days of hanging out in the library, but I have discovered something that allows me to read more than ever before.
Though digitally searching for books will never replace the feeling of being in a library, it does open up lots of possibilities. With Hoopla and OverDrive through my library, I’ve been able to find tons of books and audiobooks I probably would have never laid eyes on in a library. This especially helped during my fiction book fast this year, when I was looking for non-fiction but didn’t know where to start.
Do these digital options replace the library experience? Of course not, but they do make it easier to listen to and read a wider variety of books than ever before. I do hope I’ll get back to a library that feels like home someday, but for now, I’ll settle for the access I get on my phone.
So even if you don’t enjoy library trips, I encourage you to get a library card and just see all the amazing stuff you get access to. I’ll even give you even more incentive!
Next month, I’m starting a series of book reviews on under-appreciated classics. These are the unsung heroes of the classics, penned by famous authors but forgotten in the shadows of more highly praised works. You can read these books with me! Just about any library is bound to have a book and audiobook available. So read one or read them all; I invite you to take a chance on these incredible works I’ll be re-reading this year:
- Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- Hard Times by Charles Dickens
- Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
- Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
- Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
- The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
As you can gather, this series is going to last a long time. You won’t see one of these reviews every Tuesday, but I hope to read at least one of these books every month. If classics aren’t your thing, no worries! I’ve just started Mistborn Era 2, so there will be plenty more Sanderson reviews coming your way.
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