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A library full of books

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I have only been working at a Library for a very short time  – three days to be exact – but already I can see that it will most likely have an impact on my relationship with books and, therefore, on my reading. I am excited to see how these changes develop and if they do have the effect I am predicting.

The first, self-evident thing is that working at a Library, I have easy and free access to a lot of books. Of course, that’s the same for the patrons of libraries but being there all day and shelving means that I get to know the stock quite well, and I have already found things that have peaked my interest; things that I maybe wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Also, because the books are free, there is less pressure for me to be confident that I’ll like a book; they’re free and therefore nothing is really lost should I not like it. I am really hoping that this makes me less ‘boxed in’ with my choices of books. I love the books that I read, and the genres that make up the majority of my bookcase but sometimes I worry about missing out. For example, my sister bought All The Light We Cannot See home from the school library a few weeks ago. This is a book I had heard a lot of glowing reviews about but, because Anthony Dooer had very obviously produced a work of historical fiction, I had always passed it by (probably in favour of a YA book with a focus on mental health). Thankfully, as I passed it lying on the sofa, and with nothing pressing to do, I picked it up and started reading. It was brilliant, I loved it! I wouldn’t have read it if it hadn’t been for my sister, and my sister wouldn’t have bought it home if it hadn’t been in the library. To this end, there’s also more freedom to discover new formats as well as genres. I recently wrote a post about discovering Audiobooks, but there are also a lot of other formats of books that don’t involve technology, that I’ve been interested in exploring for a while; and already the library has helped me do this. As I say, I have only been at the library for three days but it seems to be that people read in their tea and lunch breaks, and it transpires that the  20-minute tea-breaks we get is the perfect amount of time needed to read ‘The Night Bookmobile’, a graphic novel by Audrey Niffenger. Being my first ever graphic novel experience, I can’t generalise to all, but I really enjoyed it. I loved the way the illustrations mean that the text could focus on the interactions between the characters. The illustrations provided the descriptions while the words were left to focus on the development. All this is really positive, and I am really excited, but it will also mean that I’ll need to readjust my relationship with books. I am a hoarder. I love walking into my room and seeing my books, the physical log of all the books I have read and the memories attached to them; the idea of giving them back after reading them is definitely going to be an adjustment. I am hoping that it’ll help me redevelop an attachment to books and reading; the books that I enjoy enough to then buy my own copy of will have extra importance.

Do any of you work in a library; has it changed the way you read? Do you use the library? What book would you recommend I read, what formats?



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