When I was little one of my very favorite things was the library. I remember my mom taking us when we were really young, letting us check out as many books as we liked. We were lucky enough to live within bike riding distance when I was of the age to find that awesome, so I was constantly back and forth, picking up age appropriate books like 'Flowers in the Attic' or some nonsense. (Oh my, the updated cover of that book makes it look exceptionally creepy...assuming you know those two characters are BROTHER AND SISTER).
Anyway, back on topic here, which isn't that I was reading the disturbing writings of VC Andrews at the age of 11, but rather that I was in love with the library. I was a regular through elementary and middle school, but then... well, I guess I got rather distracted in high school (it happens). And then as I started college I used the University library all the time, but never got books for personal reading. I just....forgot.
It isn't that I didn't read for fun in college. Oh, I did. I read a lot, but I became intent on buying all my books. Intent isn't even the right word. It just never occurred to me to go to the library and get them. It might have been due to some rather large fines I had accrued in the late Middle School years. (They frown upon losing the 'S' volume of the encyclopedia.) So I bought books. A lot of them, actually. I got them on ebay, not caring if they were used. I wanted them all in hard back, I guess envisioning a day I would have a library in my home where I could build ladders to my books that would reach to the top of my 30 foot ceilings...something along the lines of Beauty and the Beast I think.
But since the addition of a personal library has yet to occur in our home, I started selling my books. Buying them, letting them lay around in the way, then selling them for much less than I paid. Then money got tight and I was like, "I want to read that... but I can't AFFORD to go buy another book right now!" And then, my friends, the light came on. THE LIBRARY!
Let me be the first (since your mother and grandmother) to tell you, the library is AWESOME. Did you know they have, like, ALL THE BOOKS! And did you know it's FREE? What in this day and age is free? Can you imagine a video store that was like, "Oh, you want to see 'Forest Gump'? Just go ahead and take it. Make sure to bring it back though, or we will charge you a dime a day!" A DIME A DAY. that's the late fee. And really there is never an excuse to have a late fee because you can now renew online. And you can put books on hold online, so they are just sitting there WAITING FOR YOU. And they send you emails to remind you your books are due. They have this thing down to a SCIENCE.
My life has changed, I tell you. Today Henry and I spend over an hour at the library. I picked up my two books on hold (Books four and five of the Outlander series...of course.) (SO. GOOD) and Henry picked out three books to check out for himself. Then we read a few more in the kids corner, just for fun. Played with the barn yard table for a little while, then headed home. Spending exactly zero dollars.
The library. Who knew?*
*My Aunt Jan , the librarian knew. She is shaking her head at me right now, I can feel it.