Libraries – they can be great places. You can walk in, borrow as many books as you like for free, enjoy them and then return them weeks later. When I was younger I used to go the library where I lived, in Harwich, Essex a lot. I think that library help me learn to love books and reading. I remember borrowing books by authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl (who both became two of my most treasured authors), and loving being able to escape into an interesting and exciting story. I remember being amazed that I could do this all for free! There was also loads of activities aimed at kids, such as the six week reading challenge during the Summer Holidays. I did the challenge a few times and won.
As I got older and school, exams and then college started to happen, I didn’t visit the library as often, which was a shame. I did keep reading, but I often found myself buying books and sometimes not enjoying them. So I would feel like I’d wasted my money, which is never a good thing. When I started university, I visited the library there a lot, but it was mainly to get books out for academic reading related to my course, I also noticed that it didn’t actually have any fiction in its stocks. However, whenever I paid it a visit I would be reminded of my childhood spent in my local library. I loved seeing all the books and the shelves and walking around for what seemed like hours. It made me realise what I had been missing out on during my teenage years.
When I finished University in 2014, I had to move back home, which was now in a different town, Ipswich. I’d made a promise to myself to join the library there, and I didn’t go back on my word. I got myself a library card, and on my first visit I was so happy. The library itself was in an old, historical building which made it even more exciting. I was thrilled to be amongst so many books, of so many different genres. I honestly felt like Belle when she first saw the library that the Beast gave to her in Beauty and the Beast. I spent a rather long time wandering, searching and eventually finding books. I was finally in a place where I belonged, being a major bookworm and all. I tend to go to my local library every week, just to see if there is anything to interest me. I always say I won’t stay long, but I end up taking a rather long time.
Despite my love of libraries, I have noticed that people don’t use them as much as they did a few years ago. In this age of e-readers, online shopping etc. some people may not feel the need to venture to their local library to take out a physical copy of a book. Yes, I know some libraries offer a service to borrow books on an e-reader but it’s just not the same in my opinion. I personally, love being able to spend hours amongst books, searching for the right one, and being able to take as many as I want home for free. There’s something magical about it, believe it or not. With this in mind, I was intrigued about what other people thought of libraries, so I asked people on a facebook group I'm part of, who I know a large majority of them are bookworms and this is what I got:
“I don't use my local one, but I think libraries in larger cities can be an amazing thing, it's just a shame that ones in smaller areas are less cared for”
“I love libraries. I spend so much time in them!! LONG LIVELIBRARIES!!”
“I'm 22 and I love and I use my local library! I'd be broke without them! Thanks to I get access to a lot of different books without having to necessarily buy them. I also love the fact that there's entire buildings with just books”
“I love , if I lived nearer I would use it all the time, but I used to use it tons when I was younger. I like that you can try new books, that there is a range of choice, that you can read a book you're not sure about without buying it. I love the smell of a library and that fact there a building full of books I would love to live in a library”
“I'm 19 and love libraries. I use my university library all the time! I also used to use my local one back home but I think it's either closed or the opening hours were cut because hardly anyone goes in there. I love the feel of a real book in your hand and the smell of dusty bookshelves rather than reading stuff online. It's also much easier to write in textbooks (although you can't write in the ones you borrow from the library, obviously)”
It was so great to read these comments, and realise that despite technology, that the love of libraries is still alive within people’s hearts. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of visiting my local library, and I really hope it is around for years to come!
What do you think of libraries? Let me know!