My love of the library began at a young age. I remember shuffling into the school library with my kindergarten class. I was wearing pig tails and bell bottoms and I was looking forward to the upcoming recess where I just knew I was going to win at kick-ball. They sat us down on the carpet and began to explain the Dewey decimal system and the fact that I could take any book I wanted, home with me. My eyes got huge as I realized the treasure of all these books at my disposal. I forgot all about recess and loaded up my bag with as many books as it would hold. From that moment on I was hooked.
I devoured every Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book I could find. I moved on to mysteries and adventures, dramas and history and secret Judy Blume books that I had to hide from my Mother. In my teen years I went through a romance novel phase. My 20’s were filled with books on parenting, marriage and cooking. When I needed a break from the monotony of changing diapers and wiping chins I’d leave the kids with my husband and head to the quiet library to soak up the peace and solitude with my favorite magazine. My 30’s were filled with books about personal growth, gardening, cooking and more parenting. I spent hours researching new projects. And as I enter my next decade I’m sure the books I read will reflect whatever is going on in my life.
As a frugalist, the library is my number one money saving resource. Not only can you check out books but most libraries offer a host of other resources, all with my favorite price tag… Free. When I hear about a new book on the New York Times List I go directly to my library and reserve it. No more spending money on books unless it’s something I want in my home library. Need a movie? I go get one for free at the library. Libraries across the country offer free kids programs and entertainment all year round. There is free internet access, free computer usage, free tax help, free seminars, free art shows. You can find newspapers from across the country, magazines that save you from spending their $4 to $5 price in the grocery store line, and free genealogy resources. When I decide I want to try my hand at making homemade soap, instead of purchasing the book I borrow it from the library. If I want to garden without pesticides or go Vegan, I research it for free at the library. When we took a vacation that had lots of driving we checked out free audiobooks to listen to on the way. They even have kids buckets full of toys and projects that you can check out. When my kids were curious about the Beatles and I didn’t own even one CD, we got them at the library and listened to them for weeks…for free. The freebies are endless.
If you don’t already have a library card at your local library, now is the time to get one. Even if you have to pay a small price for the use of your library you’ll more than recover it each year in the money you’ll be saving. And it’s always fun going home with a bag full of entertainment for you and the kids, all without making a dent in your checking account.