Today’s musing post is brought to you by the stack of library books I currently have sitting next to the chair I do most of my reading in, as well as an email from the library reminding me to renew said books.
For the fourth time.
Let me preface this by stating the obvious: I adore the library. There’s a quote by T.S. Eliot that says, “The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.” I love this quote, because it really speaks to the importance of libraries in general, the fact that they can educate and provide sanctuary and support for anyone who seeks it out. It also speaks to the idea of hope: hope that things will get better, hope that people will take steps to improve themselves, hope that future generations will want to know about the past. Libraries are full of so much information – there’s something there that can speak to anyone – and I’m not sure there are many other places that can say the same. So thinking about libraries in general just makes me happy.
And while I’m all about “yay, education!” and “yay, information!” what I really love about libraries is that I can generally get my hands on any book I want, even if said library system doesn’t have the book I might want (inter-library loan, ftw!). But my overall feeling of “YAY, BOOKS!” usually tends to lead to me going overboard with my requests. Because I just want to read all the books, you know? After all, I subscribe to the thought shared by Roald Dahl when he said, “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” And the library certainly gives me a chance to read a lot of books.
And therein lies my problem: Libraries are bad for my self-control.
I have always had issues figuring out the balance between reading what I want (library books or books I own) and books I “need” to read (like arcs/galleys). Because my reading in general has been such a struggle the last nine months, I have kind of made a point to switch my mentality and really only read what I want to read, with the hope that this will just get me reading something. And for the most part it’s worked, although I am still definitely going through some reading slumps/lack of desire to actually pick a book up. But a while back I decided to go through my Goodreads to-read list and look at some titles I was initially really excited about, to see if they were available at my local library. They were, so I requested them. Hence the stack of library books currently staring at me.
So here’s my question. If you use your local library system, how many books do you usually check out at one time? Do you limit yourself to one, or do you get a whole stack at once? How do you balance out “your” books and the books you need to read for review?
Right now, the last book I read was a review book. I have another review book that I’m (slowly) working on as well. And I have two others that I need to read within the next few weeks, just so I can get them reviewed prior to their release. And yet, I have a giant, teetering stack of my own books to read, plus the four books from the library that I can only renew so many times. In fact, I feel like I’m so inundated with books, that I’m just generally avoiding them altogether. Which is ridiculous, right? I mean, just pick something up, Merin, seriously, right?
So. Do you read library books? If so, how do you structure them into your review schedule? And how do you keep yourself from generally requesting all the books? Am I just overthinking this? Am I just being generally ridiculous? (Feel free to say yes.)
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges
Agreed, sir. And maybe, if that’s true, I will finally get a chance to read all those books on my TBR List – without the fear of those dreaded overdue notices.