Ten Reasons to Love Your Library
There is no better place to recharge your intellectual – and, sometimes, emotional –batteries than your nearest public library. Even in my home town, the library is one of my favorite places. And yet – my husband and grown children hardly ever go there. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Ten reasons to visit:
1. You’re surrounded by some of the greatest minds in history – at your fingertips. Walk in. The sheer amount of material is enough to inspire. Any subject, any question, and idea you may want to explore – it’s all right there. And not just the latest bestsellers; you’ll find volumes there that Barnes & Noble could never carry. Ages of wisdom! For instance, on the self-help shelves, you’ll find advice from great minds from years, decades, even centuries ago. All sounds remarkably the same as recent stuff, too. Hmmm.
2. Rules. No, it’s not your grandmother’s library. No severe “shushing” librarians. But people know the rules. It’s about respect, and nice manners. No cell phones ringing, either. Peace and quiet: Priceless.
3. Single focus is possible. The last time I was in a dentist’s waiting room, the TV was on, with a constant stream of chatter from one of the 24-hour news channels. And – believe it or not – the radio was also on. At the same time! Can you say “brain overload”? I couldn’t wait to get into the dentist’s chair, just to get out of that room. Your library may be the only place left in the world where there is no soundtrack, no ticker tape news in the background. You can hear yourself think.
4. You can take books home. For free. Uh. Yeah. You knew that, right? And not only books – CDs, back issues of magazines, DVDs (the educational ones are usually free), even artwork. For years, when my children were small, we had a special picture hook in the living room for a piece of art we’d choose together in the library, and enjoy until it was due back. Rotating art. Still free.
5. Deadlines. Okay, admit it. How many books are on your shelf, stacked by your bed, even still in the bag with the receipt? You’ll get around to reading them “someday.” But – if the book has a due date, you’ll usually read it – or at least make a decision about whether you really want to read it or not. There are only three reasons I usually finish a book – especially nonfiction. One, it’s too compelling to put down; two, my book club meets in two days; three, it’s due at the library tomorrow. Deadlines are inspiring.Continued on the next page