I love books. Like, LOVE books. I could spend hours in a bookstore without batting an eye. I love looking at them and reading them and most importantly, taking them home with me.
The problem with the taking them home part is a) they take up space and b) they cost money. Hmph. I'm really trying to make more of an effort on both fronts, but it's not like I'm going to give up reading or anything... and then it dawned on me. Way back when I didn't have the luxury of buying books whenever I darn well pleased, there was a place that I practically lived in.
I can honestly say up until a few weeks ago, I hadn't stepped foot in a public library in years. Probably since high school. Which is just odd seeing as how it was one of my absolute favorite places to visit when I was a kid. The local library was just a few minutes drive from my house and a quick visit was a real treat. Sometimes there was a school project that prompted the trip, but more often than not, it was just for fun.
Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club books were checked out in large stacks alongside National Geographics and reference books for school stuff. As I got older, we stopped going as much and I'm not completely sure why. I'm guessing it had something to do with buying more books from the local bookstore and having the high school library to use in a pinch.
Those warm memories from childhood have definitely stuck with me though and I made my first visit to our local library soon after we moved into the new house. It's much smaller than the one I used to visit as a kid, but it still felt familiar and it put a smile on my face right when I walked in the door. The purpose of the visit was to check out the 3rd book in the Twilight series and reserve the 4th book, but I've since been back several times. I still get that same kick out of bringing home a stack of books that I did back when I was in elementary school.
I've also discovered audiobooks. When I'm on my training walks, plain music starts to get old after awhile, but switching to audiobooks has helped immensely. I prefer books that I've already read once, but there are enough of them that I don't think I'll have problems finding new material. I'm almost done with Twilight (the series is so good that I'm not ready to give up that world quite yet) and figure I'll eventually move on to the HP series.
I have a feeling that the library is going to quickly become one of my favorite places again. :)