Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I *heart* the library

When I was a child, going to a bookstore was my greatest joy. I still recall walking up to the little B.Dalton in my hometown. I adored the smell, the stacks of books, and the turnstile thingy that held the collection of Berenstain Bear Books. I could be sure that my parent's would let me get the latest one.

The next runner up to that, was going to the library. We went frequently, and I relished it. The children's section in my library had a huge coffee-table style bin, with chairs pulled up along the sides. It had hundred's of books just tossed in. I would dig in and sort through those for what felt like hours. A sea of delicious stories.

Fast forward. I'm still a reader. A huge reader, and now I'm a writer too. (I wrote as a child, but I'm not counting that.) My point is that, now I feel a responsibility to the publishing community. To authors, which I love. I want to buy their books, and support them. Keep them writing for as long as they're willing.

There's a catch. I read a LOT. My budget doesn't allow me to support every author with every book. Heck, sometimes the budget doesn't allow me to support any authors, or any books. (Or even eating out for heaven's sake.)

So I go to the library, and sometimes I feel a little guilty about it. Don't get me wrong, libraries are wonderful places. But when I sit for three hours pounding away at my laptop on a manuscript that I dream of becoming a NY Times bestseller (don't we all?), and then take my butt to the library and pick up 10 new books to read, I feel a little hypocritical. Why? I don't know. It's just my issue.

Here is how I deal with this feeling.

1. I remember that authors are readers, and more than likely LOVE libraries also. They get it. In fact, about four years ago, I loved a book so much that I felt compelled to email the author. My guilt must have been great, because like an idiot I revealed to her that I got her book from the library, but I would be sure to purchase subsequent books because I enjoyed it so much! (Idiot much??)  Do you know what she responded to me?? That she was a librarian, and LOVED libraries? Who'd have thought?? :) I remember laughing out loud at my stupidity.

2. Libraries PURCHASE books. I don't know the in's and outs of this, but I know they pay money for them. Does it count toward bestseller lists etc? Not sure, but it has to count for something. Please chime in if you know!

3. I talk a lot about the books I read. Everyone in my sphere knows this, for the most part. I know for a fact, that my constant book talk has sold a lot of books. If I check out a book and love it, I can almost guarantee that either my sister, my sister in law, my mother, a friend, or maybe someone on this blog might purchase it. In fact, I sat and book chatted with a fellow mom at a baseball game in the bleachers about some books I loved, and she literally bought them on her phone from amazon as we spoke. Powerful stuff, friends!

Now someday, I would love nothing more than to have a beautiful room like this. Or five.

And to be clear, I still have way more than the average person's share of purchased books. Boxes and shelves full. Stacks. But until I have the means, (and maybe I never will) I will be using the library. When my book comes out, you can feel good about checking it out at your library. But please tell everyone you know about it!! :)
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