Book Talk

5 Benefits of Borrowing Books

Hello, all! Instead of exactly following the Bookending Spring topic for today, I’m switching it up a bit and changing “5 Benefits of Buying Books” to share instead some benefits of borrowing books! The original post, however, is being hosted over at Michelle @ Michelle Likes Things, so still go and check it out! Really, there are good things about both options.

I have a confession—actually it’s not really a confession but anyway—that I don’t buy books. I am really lucky to have a library that, while small, is part of library system. That means I can request the books I want to read from other libraries, and then go to my nearest library each week to pick those up. Of course, there are still some books that I can’t find at any library, but this only happens occasionally.

It’s the only way I can read a lot without going broke or just… gazing longingly at books online.

Still, while I understand that I am very lucky (and some people need to buy books because they don’t have access to a good library) that doesn’t prevent me from wishing sometimes that I could buy all the books. Don’t a lot of us have those dreams of owning that fireproof mansion crammed with fireproof books?

So, I suppose, this is a way to remind myself that borrowing books also have their own benefits!

Instead of just the books you buy, you have free access to all the books

I think this tends to be the biggest argument for using libraries. You do have to get up and go to the library first, but once you get there, all the books are at your disposal! Say goodbye to the wailing of your wallet, and walk among the shelves to see your options. Or, as I mostly do, use the online catalog to find specific books faster or request them if needed.

Just don’t forget to return your books on time.

(It’s a good adulting exercise.)

If you don’t like a book, you don’t have to agonize over having already bought it

This is like… my nightmare. If I were to buy books, what if I don’t like it? Then the book would sit there, stare at me, and make me feel so guilty because I spent money on something I ended up not enjoying. If you borrow from a library, you can just bring the book right back and hope that someone else finds it a perfect match.

It makes it easier to expose yourself to new books

Somewhat related to my point above, I feel that having access to a library helps me try books that someone might hesitate to buy if it doesn’t immediately sound like their thing. While there are almost always reviews of the book online, everyone’s tastes vary. It’s easy to check out a book, read a bit, and see if you like it or not—instead of having already spent the money. This way, for I’m not afraid to check out a book I’m not sure I will like because I know I can return it afterwards.

Think about all the other people who have held the same book as you and experienced the story you know hold

I don’t know if this counts as a “benefit”, but think about it! When you check out a book from the library, you are very rarely the first. Think about all the ones who came before you—laughed, cried, shivered over its pages. Traced the same words. It’s this strange connection stretching across time… is this weird?

You are supporting your library, and because of this you help keep it open for others who also do not buy books/use other library services

Borrowing books helps show that libraries are remaining in use, and the more support you show, the more you help libraries as they have to sometimes fight for funding! I do see this as a benefit, because by just enjoying books, you are also part of something larger and kind of… contributing to something!

So those are some benefits to borrowing books! Do you prefer to borrow or buy? I feel like a mix of both is best, for I would love to buy my favorite books while borrowing the others!

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