Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
Did you know that February is National Library Lovers’ Month?
Visiting the library every weekend is one of my most vivid childhood memories.
I loved the whole deal – having my very own library card, choosing brand new stories, watching the librarian scan and stamp the books… You name it, I was hooked. I would trot home and start reading.
My mum always said it didn’t matter too much what we read. It was all about cultivating a love of books and giving us confidence in our reading abilities.
Libraries are for all of us
The library is one of the only public spaces we can occupy without an expectation that we’ll buy something, without a timer on our table.
Libraries bring people together and offer crucial resources on wellbeing, mental health and finance, to name but a few.
When I take my children to the library, something magical happens. They explore the type of books they might not pick up at home. They’re overjoyed to find new books in a beloved series or to revisit a forgotten favourite from when they were younger.
It’s incredible to watch them fall under the unique spell of books and to be lost in a good story without the distraction of screens or time pressures.
And when they see adults browsing and enjoying books too, it shows them that this is something worthwhile, worth emulating.
But with new books one click away online, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of using the library.
Here are 5 reasons to fall back in love with libraries
- The free Libby app (UK) allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and magazines from your library. You can stream titles or download them to read offline. All you need is your library card and an internet connection.
- Many libraries have online collections, some of which are accessible from anywhere. You can find the British Library’s digital collections here.
- Author events are a fantastic way to learn more about your favourite books and authors. We recently had Elly Griffiths, author of the Dr Ruth Galloway series, at a sell-out event.
- Can’t find a new release? Many libraries will let you order newer titles online and then notify you when the book is ready for collection.
- The Public Lending Right (PLR) remunerates authors for books borrowed from public libraries. In many cases, this is comparable to book sales from the larger distributors. And every author I knew grew up in a library(!) and is delighted that their book can be borrowed and enjoyed.
Do you love your library? Do you think it’s time to renew your library card and head back through the magical doors? Let me know! You can find me talking books on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.