In 2019, I borrowed and returned 146 books from my local library.
Some of these were reference books, some audio books, some travel guides, and most were fiction.
Normally I buy books used, but even if the average second hand book only cost £1, that’s still £146 saved in 12 months.
If I factor my children into the equation, the financial saving roughly triples.
That’s a saving of £438, give or take a few pounds.
Definitely not a saving to be sniffed at. Admittedly, we are a family of avid readers anyway, but the amount I read definitely took a sharp incline when I deleted my Facebook account, and when I signed up for the Do Nation ‘feed your noodle’ pledge.
Reading is an amazing, low impact hobby, and one of my great joys in life so it’s easy for me to prioritise it. That said, I understand that this isn’t the case for everyone – libraries everywhere are increasingly under pressure to cut costs, so opening times might be erratic. Ours, for example, only opens for three days a week and the hours aren’t exactly ideal for shift work. I’m lucky in that I can pop in on my way to school pick up, but this isn’t the case for everyone.
So, how can we utilise this resource if we’re short on time? Most libraries offer an e-book service which can be accessed at home at any time. If you don’t have a dedicated e-reader, there are loads of apps out there which allow you to use your phone or computer. This is great for cook books, or other reference books, but it’s not necessarily great for reading novels just before bed. This is where Freecycle, Gumtree and eBay come in – both my brother and I have sourced free e-readers from these sites and in our area, they seem to come up relatively frequently.
There are so many amazing environmental books available at this time – to me, it just seems right to borrow them from the library so that we can better share resources.
Do you know of any other easily accessible resource sharing schemes out there? I already rent my video games, but I’m keen to see what else is out there!