Winter here in the PNW means rain. So. Much. Rain. And gloomy, rainy, gray cold days where it isn't all that fun to be outside. Unfortunately I have a busy three year old boy who needs space to work off his energy and engage in creative play when the walls of our home feel like they're closing in on the both of us and we just need some time out of the house. Indoor play spaces around here are nice, but get expensive and repetitive pretty quickly for he and I.
In comes the library to save the day! First off, story time for pre-schoolers with ever-changing themes, fun songs, and bins of toys for the kids every Thursday morning lends some structure to our week and exposes him to playmates, a classroom-like setting, and new stories brought to life. And, of course, rows and rows of new books for him to check out and read with me at home, along with tables set up with puzzles and games that he absolutely adores.
As for me, my spot on the holds shelf is my happy place. Each time we go, there is a new treasure waiting for me. I have never requested a book and not had the library deliver it in short order; from hot new releases to little known gems. I tend to not want to buy books unless they're favorites, or classics. In addition to having other financial priorities as a family, I just plainly do not want that much stuff in my house. A stuffed bookcase is a beautiful thing, but I don't have the space for six of them. Because space is at a premium, I have long committed to only keeping the best and most loved books, my favorites, my read and re-read again classics. My bookshelf is an honor society of distinguished members, not an aesthetic free for all.
The library allows me get my hands on all those titles I want to read, but probably just once, and when I DO want to own a book, I usually have a great time going out to hunt for it locally. The library is just endlessly inspiring for me, because I can discover new books and request ones I know I want to read without the pressure of having them on my shelf. I save space and money, and my TBR always stays under control because I manage the flow of books coming to me. I don't have four hundred titles staring at me from a bookshelf I've never touched, which stresses me out! Plus, my son is exposed to a wide variety of titles and we can easily swap them out when he gets bored, or go purchase ones he can't get enough of. He has a stuffed bookshelf in his room, and again, it is dedicated to favorites only, and is re-organized and cleared out as his interests and reading level changes! The library has been such a crucial tool for our life and I can't recommend it enough.
Do you use your local library? What's your favorite feature? Let me know!