One of my coworkers wondered why I kept getting books from the library. When I answered because they were free, she explained that her question was different. She meant why didn’t I borrow the books electronically? I could have waxed lyrical about the tactile sensation of reading a book. I could have explained that I’ve always read paper books and that’s just who I am. These are arguments that I have used before and heard used by other people. I could have also explained that falling asleep and dropping a book doesn’t have the same consequences as dropping my Kobo. I didn’t.
Indeed, I have an eBook reader. I have used it to read more than 50 books. I have downloaded books from the library and had no trouble using the thing at all. It was very convenient–especially when the books had to be returned.
So, why do I go to the library? Since my librarian crush no longer works there, I might not have an answer that would be suitable for anyone.
However, yesterday, while gathering books for my next bunch of commutes, I may have come across a reason. Like all libraries, some books get withdrawn or discarded or whatever term your library uses. Mine calls them withdrawn and puts them out on a cart and asks you to pay what you can for them. Sometimes the cart is full, and sometimes the cart is anaemically empty. On this particular Saturday, I came across some travel guides. Granted two were from countries I visited last year (check out some of my posts from Cambodia and Thailand ), but one was from a country I may visit at the end of this year–I am thinking of doing a cycling trip in the lake district of Chile and Argentina.
Do I need these guidebooks, since I’ve already been there? No, of course not, but nothing makes me want to travel more than reading about it. Also, I consider this a sign that I should definitely take the trip.