Forgotten Love: The Library

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I don’t know why it took me so long to get back into a public library, but here we are.

My family didn’t have much money when I was younger, so I pretty much grew up in libraries, spending hours of my youth pouring over shelves of musty books, thumbing through the card catalog (Remember how big of a pain that was?), and coming home with a pile of new reads I’d burn through long before they were due back. My parents often begged me to slow down with reading, not because they didn’t want me to read, but because they didn’t have time to go more than once a week.

By my teenage years, I used to walk across town to our local coffee shop after school to hang out with friends, but on the way back I’d often make a quick (or not so quick) trip alone to the library to check out what was new. I don’t know why I always went alone – probably my strange need for quiet time after a long day, which I still have. I also loved sitting in the cozy chairs in front of the library windows, basking in the sun while reading magazines (which you can’t take home with you…boo).

By the time I got to college, and after that as a college teacher, I started using the university libraries over local ones. I also stopped reading for fun as much, so even though I had the world at my fingertips, I usually only set foot in the library for school or work-related reading. Once I got my first real job, I also went a bit nuts buying books – lots and lots of books.

Now that I’m in a new (and expensive) city, I wanted to find ways to enjoy myself that didn’t involve spending money – and the library is an easy place to start. Seattle has one of the best library systems in the country, and I’m quickly realizing why – they have damn near anything you’d ever want or need.

The library is also perfect for people like me who don’t re-read books. After getting rid of so many books before I moved, I realized how much money I dumped into something I used once, and left sitting around for years afterwards. Giving them back means I can wrangle in the clutter and reduce the amount of money I’m spending on something I don’t really need.

One type of book I buy way too often and never use are cookbooks. I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for a new cookbook – and most times, I’ll only use 2-3 recipes out of it! So during my first trip to my local library, I picked up a few cookbooks I’ve always wanted to try out:

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I can’t wait to start cooking up some new recipes, and these 3 books are a great place to start! I’ve been a big fan of Ina Garten’s for years, and the Lidia’s Italy book I’ve wanted to read for a long time now. It’s a great excuse for me to get out of the house, and take a break from job hunting (which is reaching stress level code red).

Their library system also has e-books to check out, but I’m still on the waiting list for those. Hopefully I’ll soon be cracking into Amy Poehler’s new book, or the infamous #Girlboss book everyone has been talking about!

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The last feature I was surprised to find on their library’s website is that they offer online magazines…for FREE. I’m a huge fan of reading magazines on my iPad, but the cost of it can get out of hand pretty quickly (damn click and buy). This gives me the chance to read magazines I’d normally never buy, and enjoy some of my favorites without the $5/each price tag.

Now that I’ve gotten back into the habit of going to my local library, I hope it’s something I can continue to do for years to come. It’s a great way to meet new people, enjoy new spaces, and save a crap-ton of money on cookbooks. These cookbooks aren’t due back for a couple weeks…but I might head back again much sooner!

(If you live in the Seattle area, I seriously hope you consider joining the King County Library System! It’s free, and offers so many different ways to get your favorite reads!)

*Update*

Another website to check out if you live in the Seattle area is City of Seattle Library System at spl.org! Thank you Valarie!

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