Friday, February 5, 2010

A library, how do I love thee, let me count the ways

By Lonnie Cruse

I love buying books, both print versions and e-books for my Kindle. I love holding and reading both. However, it gets expensive, and print versions take up room on my shelves. There is always the library for books I want to read but probably won't want to keep. Except, sigh, I FORGET to check the library. Until recently.

I'd been hearing about a book by an author I know and like on the DorothyL discussion list. Someone gave it a favorable review. I immediately went into Amazon to check out the price. The paperback was fairly cheap, which meant the Kindle version would be cheaper. NOT! Argh, I was so irritated by that. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. I want to read that book! What to do, what to do?

The light dawns and I click into my local library, do a search, and there are seven copies! Yea! I order one. They will call me when my copy is available. I'm in business!

You notice I'm not mentioning the author or the book title? That's because it is not the author's fault that the Kindle edition is higher than the paperback, nor is it Amazon's fault. Publishers determine the price of a book on Amazon. I don't want to embarrass the author by naming names. But the publisher lost a sale for the author. IF I bought the book cheaper as a paperback, I'd have to pay shipping. I could get it at a book store, but there aren't any close to me. I do a LOT of shopping for books and movies on Amazon. Sigh.

Point is, I do forget about my local library AND the library in Paducah. Shame on me. They have tons of great stuff to read, movies for check-out, etc. Because I'm not inside either city, I have to pay for my card each year. Therefore I need to give it a work-out. I need to get more book and movies from there. I need to support the libraries because libraries are struggling to stay alive.

Do you use your local library? If so, what is your favorite part? The print books? Audio books? DVDs? Computers? Etc? Please share with us.


The Cat Bastet said...

Hi Lonnie!

I just read Murder in Metropolis on my Kindle and really enjoyed it. I'll be looking for more of your books on Amazon!

I use my local library a lot, mostly for new for hardbacks and audio books. For authors I really love and want to re-read, I then buy the paperback. I've bought a few $9.99 "hardbacks" for my Kindle but, so far, it hasn't changed my library habits.

As much as I love Amazon (and my Kindle), my favorite book store is Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor, MI where I can buy new and used mysteries.

iasa said...

I seem to be at a point where I am chronically under/unemployed. I get all my books from the library. I use it for everything, books, DVDs, CDs, audio books. Without the library, my family have very little of those types of entertainment.

Sheila Connolly said...

I have a library card, contribute to their friends of the library, and have even given them copies of my books, but I blush to admit I seldom borrow anything. My daughter does, though, and she works in a bookstore! Maybe I raised her right?

Our town keeps trying to cut library funding, and each year a stalwart (and small) band of supporters votes to restore it. But a library is so much more than a repository of books--it's a community center, a safe haven for kids, a terrific resource. We should fight to keep them open.

signlady217 said...

I use my local library all the time! So much, in fact, that all the librarians know me by name when they see me in town! I have 9 books stacked by my couch right now that I just got from there a few days ago. They have added many computers in the last two years (I think they have about 30 now) and those are definitely being utilized, I've noticed. I've used them myself on occasion. I check out print books, videos, audios, use the genealogy department a lot,even used the conference room for some activities. Our library stays so busy that it's becoming harder and harder to find a parking spot when I go. They are doing some fund raising for building a new lot, but I don't know if that means buying the property next door or total relocation. Either way, they are working on the situation.

Susan D said...

Goodness! You forgot about your library card? I'm joined at the hip to the Toronto Public Library, where I handle all my searches and holds and renewals on line.

Always happy to pay an overdue fine to keep them going.

Dru said...

I use my library card every chance I get. Right now I can only put 10 books on hold and guess how many is on hold, yep 10.

When I walk in the library, the librarian knows my name and go immediately to the shelf to pass me my holds.

I still buy books of my favorite authors and now that I have the nook, I can buy even more book and have them on my virtual bookshelf which won't take up shelf space.

Jerry House said...

I have used interlibrary loans to obtain hard-to-find books for years. I have had the best service when living in Massachusetts; very good service in Virginia; and less good (but still pretty effective) service in Maryland. There's an absolute dearth of bookstores where I now live, so I buy mainly used books or directly from small publishers. I miss a local mystery bookstore when I could drop a hundred or two every visit. (I also miss having the income where I could drop a hundred or two at a time.)

Sandra Parshall said...

I'm usually in the library once a week.

BTW, everyone who loves libraries should make sure their local librarians know that Sisters in Crime is giving a $1,000 grant for book acquisition to a library every month this year. See the SinC website for details of the Library Lottery.

Bernadette in Australia said...

I use my local library a fair bit, though I buy a lot of books too. The library tends to be for new authors I'm not sure I'll like, bookclub choices that I'm wary of and that kind of thing. I also borrow a few audio books but their selection is not that great and I treated myself to an audible account last year instead.

Jerry House said...

Sandra, I notified my local library last month and they happily jumped right on it.

Marianne Arkins said...

I use the library constantly -- and frequently, the author actually gains sales from me because of it. I prefer to try "new to me" authors this way, but if they win me over? I'll typically buy that book and their entire backlist. I love to read good books again and again. But I don't love to waste money on books I DON'T love.

I also use it for hardbacks -- to read them while I wait for the paperback or for the eBook to come down in price.

Yes, yes, YES... I love my library.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Thanks everyone and forgive me for not responding before. We've been in Florida at a lectureship but I did check in via my eTouch to make sure my post showed up on time.

The Cat Bastet, thanks so much for reading my book on Kindle!

Lonnie/happy to be home, but buried under a mountain of laundry

kathy d. said...

I love the library! It is one system in New York that works.

I get books all of the time. Usually I have to put books on reserve and wait for the inter-branch transport which I do gladly.

Sometimes I looked up the location where particular books are available, and if they're in my vicinity, I'll go to another branch.

Most of the time, though, I wait.

I get dvd's and videos and wait for current films to be available. I don't mind waiting.

And I get cd's also. I've listened to jazz and other great musicians and renew the cd's if no one else has them on hold.

Wonderful library system in my city.

Wish that health care was this free and accessible.

Palm pre headphones said...

Very nice post. And much interesting comments. I really enjoyed reading it. As I got something of my interest.