The time I nearly drowned in library books.


I love to read.  It’s an expensive habit.  My books of choice are usually the sort that I can breeze through quickly – a day or two if I have blocks of time to commit to the pages.  That means that I’m buying a lot of books.  And I usually don’t reread them, so it’s not like their price per read goes down.  {That’s how I justify buying clothes and shoes – I can easily get purchases down to pennies per wear on a bargain deal.}

So at the beginning of the summer I reintroduced myself to my library card and vowed to not buy any books this summer.  Easy solution!  I’ll save so much money!  I journeyed to the nearest library and began perusing the shelves.  And I ran into a problem.  All the choices, the lack of focus – I was completely overwhelmed.  Then I remembered.  “A-ha!,”  I thought, as the Goodreads lightbulb lit up.  These are books I want to read.  I’ll just find some of them.  With a goal, I walked the shelves again.

And wouldn’t you know it…not a single book on my Goodreads lists was in that particular library on that day.  Discouraged, I grabbed a couple of random books and left.

Days later, I remembered the marvelous system of holds.  I logged onto the public library system and, Goodreads list at my side, placed holds on three or four of my to-reads.  Some of them had long waits (I was 72 of 72 holds, etc.), so I added a few more.  Why not, right?

Within a couple of days, three books were available.  I picked them up.  A few days later, three more books were available.  By the time I picked them up, a fourth had been added to the mix.  So I returned a couple of the original three that I’d chosen and picked up those four.  Now there are two more on hold and I’m reading books as furiously fast as I can.  It has become a personal challenge of sorts.  READ ALL THE BOOKS.  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do not renew any check-outs.  Must read them all in the allotted three weeks.  I’m on it.

Do you utilize the local library?  Do you read books more than once?  What are you reading now? 



18 thoughts on “The time I nearly drowned in library books.

  1. Hahaha! Oh friend, this has happened to me as well! I very seldom take time to just browse at the library anymore. I’m nearly always using my Goodreads list in conjunction with the Memphis Library website in order to put books on hold. Usually it takes a while to get some of the newer releases because I’ll be lower on the hold list, but every now and then I’ll put too many on hold and end up with a huge stack of books just like you did. I want to read them all and just don’t have the hours to do it, haha! I definitely utilyze the “renew” items icon on my library account, though! With 6 weeks to read, I always get them finished. Especially if we’re traveling – I love reading a book or two in the car. :) Happy reading! :)

  2. Okay, so for real this happens to me all the time. My holds surprisingly are available super fast, and then I feel like I MUST READ ALL THE BOOKS. I have also had the unfortunate experience of going to the library armed with a reading list and having none of the books be available! So sad. I wish there were a way to schedule out holds or something so you didn’t get them all at once but they were still ready when you wanted them. But I guess that’s called buying books, which is what started this whole problem in the first place :)

  3. Ah, yes! I love the library so much. I usually only buy books if I know I will love them, so I use the library as my test-drive, of sorts. And plus, I just love the library. I usually head straight to the computer, pull up my to-read list on my goodreads iphone app, and go to town. And the hold system! Yes, it is amazing. So many books at our fingertips! It is so exciting.

  4. Haha I did the same thing! I haven’t been to the library in a while because I just had to take a break. #firstworldproblems being overwhelmed by choices :) I’ve got a few books still to read and then I will try to venture back!

  5. This is a very timely post for me. I love books and having them on my self. I do not, however, like to have to pack them up and move them and thinking about the money I’ve spent on them makes me a bit ill. Maybe I should try the library! Kristin does it all the time and loves it.

  6. You can do it! When I discovered library holds about a year ago, it was GAME ON. And they’ll even deliver them to your library of choice! I still have a bunch of books at home that I haven’t read, but I like the library for newer releases that sound exciting.

  7. I’m a library girl all the way! Also, the ABQ library has ebooks too that you can download to the kindle, etc. I love Goodreads and get the best recommendations from my friends. I’m always surprised how many books I read in a year given how much I have to read for my job…I like that Goodreads tracks what you’ve read. And for all those books you’ve already bought–try You can post your books for free and if someone requests it you send it in the mail media rate and then you can request a book (for every book you send you get a credit to request a book of your own). I’ve been able to replace old books of mine with newer copies or get a book that I read at the library that I might read again.

  8. That happens to me too! Why do all of the hold books always come in at the SAME TIME?! But I have a bad habit of buying books intending to read them later, and then reading library books instead. I’ve had the book If I Stay on my shelf for about a year now, and I keep meaning to read it, and now it’s being made into a movie! But I’ve read a million library books in the meantime. The library is really good at promoting that YOU MUST READ ALL THE BOOKS frenzy, I guess. :-P

  9. Ha, ha, ha! I’d totally be the same way! If the books started coming in, I’d have to read them quickly before I lost them!
    And I honestly don’t have a library card for the library in my area. I had one when I lived in the city after first getting married, but I never got one for this town. (And like you, I used to buy all my books. Now I just kind of beg books off of friends or borrow library books after my sister is done reading them. Ha, ha).
    Note to self: get a library card ASAP! :)

  10. I have the same theory with buying clothes (and purses…and like everything)–price per wear for the win! Since moving, I just visited the local library on Saturday! I was actually underwhelmed, but there’s a few in the area, so hopefully those ones are stellar.

    I rarely reread books, but I have actually been doing it lately! It’s usually informational-type books of just books I really super duper love, haha. Right now, Jimmy and I are reading The Love Dare! We’re on the second day/chapter, but so far so good. I’m also reading a Nora Roberts book…. because I like easy breezy reads sometimes :)

  11. I do this EVERY TIME I go to the library, and never end up reading them all!! I just can’t escape it though, it ALWAYS happens. I don’t buy books, so library is always my go to.

  12. haha. The same thing happened to me once! It’s a good problem to have, right?!

    I have been loyal to the library for years now. It helps that I can walk to one! I only buy a book if I think I’ll want to reference back to it, meaning I’m free to take notes in it and definitely do. Lots of them. Obviously they’re all nonfiction.

    By the way, I LOVED The Language of Flowers but initially thought I would hate it. Hope you enjoy!

  13. Isn’t that always how it goes?! I feel like every time I try and reserve books at the library they all come in at once!! It’s always chaos and I get overwhelmed with them all. Usually I end up not finishing any because I can’t decide which one to start first! :)

  14. ah! the ultimate conundrum – my love for reading new releases and bestsellers and my desire to do it all for free. i started using my library card about a year ago, and now i almost always have a book or two on hold, and sometimes i’m waiting months to get it– which means i have to cheat & buy if something is needed for book club. oh well, at least i cut my purchase rate down about 50%?

  15. This happens to me constantly. I always put way too much stuff on hold. I even got a card from a second library so that I could put more items on hold. And it all appears at once, so I don’t have any time to read all of the books I already downloaded to my kindle for free. I want to read every book ever written, but sometimes you just have to let it go. If you’re not into a book, just give it back. Trust me on this one. Not every book is for everyone.

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