Saturday, January 30, 2010

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Yesterday, I ran across this Reuters News article. It's a short article on sacrifices consumers are willing to make during the present economic climate and it opens with these two sentences:

"NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – During tough economic times when U.S. consumers are trying to cut back the indulgence they can't seem to live without is books.

Three-quarters of adults questioned in an online poll said they would sacrifice holidays, dining out, going to the movies and even shopping sprees but they could not resist buying books."

My comment on this should be obvious. Folks, do have your cake and eat it too. Keep dining out or possibly go to a movie AND check out books from the library. Many libraries get all the best sellers and popular authors automatically.

Maybe, you have to wait a week or two on a "request list" while someone else reads the book. If people are willing to give up dinner and a movie for a good read then perhaps an equally beneficial trade off is a free book on loan from the library while giving up the instant gratification of buying the book on release day. Divert that saved money back into a few other luxuries or needs.

Never forget, our community libraries are your tax dollars at work, whether on a federal, state, or local level. Actually, in many libraries, it's all three levels rolled into one.

So, not to sound self-serving but KEEP ME IN MY JOB. Use your local library and help your politicians understand that libraries are still a vital part of our communities. Oh, and take your kids to storytime too. In fact, if you don't have children, why don't you just round up a few up off the street.

(A photo note: The above photo is one I had lying around from a newsletter article I wrote for the naturalist crowd. I realize, the titles photographed are possibly not the titles people are lining up for at the book store.)


  1. Well said- and it's true- I can't live without my books!!

  2. I truly do not understand why more people do not use the library. Buying books is a waste of money! (In my mind.) I love my library. I calculated that we get at least double the value of our property taxes in books and DVDs - so all our other city services are free. I might have to wait a few months for newer DVDs and books, but it's not as if there aren't other things to read or watch. And my librarians rock. I bake them cookies.

  3. Preach it, sistah! My friends in the Library Science department would make you a saint for speaking (writing?) out on this topic. Libraries are such a valuable community resource, it's beyond me why everybody can't understand their worth.

    If people absolutely MUST buy books, most libraries (around here, anyway) have book sales.

  4. Some books, like reference books, photo books and travel books are fun to own.

    But I am a big fan of libraries.

    And librarians.

  5. Wiz, me either.

    Gold Digger, the cookies (and cupcakes, and candy, and...) are one of the things I miss about working directly with the public. Librarians really like the patrons that bake them things. :)

    I don't understand why more folks don't use the library either.

    Intelliwench, I know, I know. And, the really crazy thing is that so many people think the library is still just full of books. Forget the dvds, cds, mp3 format books, ebooks, computers, wireless internet... It's crazy.

    Now especially, more and more people are using the library for job search. So many companies only accept applications online and as I'm sure you know the digital divide still looms and there are people that don't have internet at home.

    Ermmm... down from the soapbox now...

    Fin Darling, they are indeed and you have a very nice collection. I personally am quite glad you're a fan of this accidental librarian.

  6. Something tells me a single upper middle aged man rounding up children off the street to visit the library would be misunderstood and land one in another institution.
    However I now have my official library card from the land of fruits and nuts and I do like the little library out in the country not too far from here.
    It is one use of taxes which I do not resent.

  7. GREAT post. Love the photo of the wildlife books - now that's one section of the library I'd head straight to!

    I love libraries ... totally biased, I enjoyed 10 years of gainful employment in them!

    More recently, due to health issues I've been buying books rather than borrowing them - not always able to get into town and not sure there's a postal library in this area.

    However, as health improves, local library membership should go onto my "to-do" list - another excuse to get out of the house! :)

  8. John, I was kind of thinking that if preschoolers were roaming the streets alone, no one would notice if they were rounded up. :)

    Tea, I'm so glad you're health is improving and certainly hope you're able to regularly visit your library soon. Not sure how the postal library works in the UK, we do have a homebound service through the state.

  9. Spoken like a true librarian. (And a life long library patron as well!)

  10. Why thanks brother. Who would have thought I'd end up here??

  11. Your book collection photo is exactly why you have to buy books. You have to take that kind of book on holidays, and after they have made a few trips out bush, the library may, may be a little cross about the condition they are returned in.

    And photo books.. who can absorb all that new technical data in one borrowing period?

    But an even more pressing issue, one which drove me from a library-aholic to a staunch avoider, is children. Yes, children. Ever had to be responsible for 5 people borrowing the maximum number of books while living in a house that contains lots of books anyway? Nightmare.

    Now I haunt book fairs and library sales.

    Still, I'm sure librarians are nice people...

    p.s sorry if you receive this comment twice: I have a lot of trouble commenting on blogger sites.


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