Utilizing the Public Library for Books

Utilizing the Public Library for Books

Lynn Saving Money Leave a Comment

I think I am the only one out of all of my friends who utilizes the public library. I really don’t understand why more of my friends don’t use the public library because it’s free and really great. I have a login to the library site and can reserve up to 3 books at a time. Once my books are ready, I get an email alert and have a week to pick them up. I just go to the library and pull my book which is alphabetized by last name on a holds shelf. The best part is that all of the Chicago public libraries work together to share their inventory, transferring them to whatever library has a request.

I keep track of books that I want to read through my Amazon account. I add any book that I want to read to my cart then shift them to save for later. Once I am ready to reserve a book at the library I remove it from my Amazon list. Not all the books I want to read are available at the library, so I sometimes have to decide how badly I want to read the book and can make the call to purchase it if I really want to read it.

I am a traditionalist and prefer paper books to ebooks. I have heard that once you go to ebooks that you’ll never turn back but I am not ready to make that change. There is something about seeing the bookmark in your book and knowing how much you have read that I find fascinating. It has been something that I have done for my whole life which I think is the reason that I love it so much.

You get 3 weeks to finish the book, but if there is nobody else waiting for the book, you can extend the due date another 3 weeks online. There is nothing worse than being close to done and deciding if you are going to power through to finish it, finish it in your own time and paying the late fee to finish, or returning it unfinished.

I love that if I don’t like the book, I don’t have to feel bad and force myself to finish it. I think we’ve all been part way through a book and been torn on if we want to finish it or not. Since I didn’t pay anything for the book, I usually have no problem saying it wasn’t for me and returning it. The eco-friendly part of me loves that many people are reading the same book which helps save paper. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of travel novels. I really like reading about other people’s trips and daydream about the day when I’ll be able to take an extended trip.

If you prefer ebooks, the library also has those available as well. The ebook will be deleted from your ereader on your due date. One of my friend’s moms actually has a trick that extends the expiration date – she’ll turn off her wi-fi and it won’t delete on her. I haven’t tried this myself but it could be a good way to keep the book if you’re close but not quite done by the due date.

It can be inconvenient to go to the library to pick up or drop off your book, especially when Amazon will drop anything off at your front door, but I actually like going to the library. It helps that my library in Chicago is quite large and majestic, but it’s nice to go someplace that promotes reading and doesn’t discriminate against anyone, no matter their financial status. I like my tax dollars going to the library and figure that I should enjoy the benefits of the taxes that I am paying.

Many of my friends like buying books but I can’t imagine having shelves of books sitting around my apartment. I hate dusting and can’t imagine how heavy the boxes would be when I ultimately move. I don’t think in my entire life that I have read the same book more than once, so to me it is sad that they’re just sitting there, not getting read. Plus, even if you buy books used, over time they’ll still add up to be quite expensive. When Andy and I were selling some books that we didn’t need anymore, it took me right back to college. You spend all your money buying these books and when you go to sell them back they’re worth a fraction of the amount that you paid for them.

No matter where I move I’ll continue to support my local libraries. I love the idea that everyone can go there to get books, no matter if they are poor or a millionaire.

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About the Author


Bitten by the travel bug during a semester abroad in college, Lynn was able to travel around much of Europe on a shoestring budget. Her travel motto is "If I haven't been there yet, it's probably on my list". When she isn't daydreaming about her next trip, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, reading blogs on how to travel the world on points or spending time with her fluffy cat Gingerbread.