Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In Defense of Libararies

I was wandering Boston with a friend yesterday when she informed me that she'd never been inside the BPL. I was totally shocked. I practically lived there last year, and this year I alternate between there and the light-filled Cambridge library. A whole shelf of my bookshelf is library books, and I'd never be able to support my book habit otherwise.

My library love is come by honestly, Dad took me there all the time as a kid, but my love truly emerged in Oxford. There it was usual, expected even, for one to do all one's work in the library. You can't check books out of the Bodelian, so I spent many happy days there copying things out of books. It made things easier when any books I bought I wouldn't be able to take home anyway.

My friend's reaction made me realize not everyone feels like this. I guess people need to support bookstores (not that I don't) but to me it's like Netflixing a video. Half the time if I like a movie or tv show I buy it anyway, and multiple people who produced the things I love get rewarded.

But others may not see it this way. They may not want to read a book people have sneezed on before, or whatever.

How about you? Do you go to the library or prefer the bookstore?

And don't forget to go here to enter my September two-book contest!