Loving the Library

July 29th, 2009 • Kate

librarybooksDid you guys see this?

An avid reader in south west Scotland is on the brink of borrowing her 25,000th book from her local libraries.

Louise Brown, 91, from Stranraer, took her first book on loan from Castle Douglas library in 1946.

Since then she has borrowed at least six books every week throughout each year and has recently increased that to about 12 volumes every seven days.

Library staff said they were amazed by the achievement, particularly since Mrs Brown has never had an overdue fine.

I’m amazed. Twenty-five THOUSAND books! Go Mrs. Brown!

I will admit my library use has tapered off in recent months, what with an influx of client reading and manuscript requests — not to mention the growing number of books shelved in my office yet to be read. But I love the idea of just grabbing six books from the library every week, reading them, and getting six more the next week. I used to do that — back when I was a kid, and the local library sponsored summer reading contests. Even when I was an assistant at my former agency, before I started representing my own titles and selling foreign rights, I’d head over to the nearest branch of the NYPL a couple of times a month and grab piles of books to read.

What about you? What are your library habits — present, past, or hoped-for future?

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12 Responses to “Loving the Library”

  1. Gwen Hayes Says:

    My eyes are always bigger than my reading time allowance. And I don't think I have ever, in the history of my life, turned my books in on time. So, I pretty much try to avoid the library.

    (on account of Dog the Bounty Hunter might be waiting at the door)

  2. Andrea Brokaw Says:

    I go through spells of using the library, then I'll space out, get slapped with ten bucks in late fees, and go back to buying my reads outright.

  3. Trish Says:

    I love libraries in theory, because I love walking out of there with a STACK of books to read. In reality, I end up spending more in fines than I do just buying the books. In fact, they could probably build a wing with the fines I paid to my library back home in Ohio.

  4. Susan Says:

    I love and depend on my library. In the future, I hope to be able to buy and buy books again (like I did in my carefree pre-kid days, sigh). But for now, the library is a lifesaver. Any fines I get (and they do happen), I consider a donation. If it's a large one ($2 a day late fees on the kids' DVDs!), I hope that at least they can buy a whole book because of me!

  5. B.E. Sanderson Says:

    I take my daughter to the library every day, but I rarely check out books myself. She's checking out enough to make up for me, though. At the rate she's going, I think someday she'll rival Mrs. Brown's number. Add in the new and used books we both buy, and the girl's a reading machine. With all the habits a teen could have, I'm glad that's one she picked up. =o)

  6. Michelle Says:

    Wow, 25,000 books! That's amazing.

    When I was in middle school, I'd bike to the library during summer break, check out 2 or 3, read them that night and bring 'em back the next day. Repeat. I really, really miss that.

  7. Leslie Ann Says:

    I just whet to the library yesterday for the second time this summer. Sad I know. I ususally go to the one five minutes from my house, but they're rebuliding it and it won't open for another week. I used to go every Monday but it closed near the end of the school year so I had to go to the one a half hour away. 🙁 When I go to the library I usually get between 10-20 books per visit. I read about 85% of them and returned them the day after they were due before the library opens. Or I renew them online if my fine wasn't too big. I have a very big fine. a two figure fine.

  8. Leslie Ann Says:

    oh yeah and I'm writing down every book I read this year and I'm a little over fifty. my goal is one hundred before the end of the year.

  9. Mandy Says:

    I have not visited a library for the reason of checking out a book since high school. I have had a vendetta against the library since I was five. First they wouldn't let me keep the books, and second they got angry if I wrote in them. I started purchasing books instead of using the library when I was eleven. When I read a book, I like to mark especially excellent pages, underline phenomenal phrases, and make notes in the margins.

    As a college student, I generally hate the library. It reminds me of long all-nighters spent trying to derive impossible equations and even longer group meetings where everyone argues.

    I have spent more money on books than gas this summer. Do I spend too much money on books? Maybe, but I'm a single gal. I don't have a lot of expenses (other than, you know, college tuition, but that's what loans are for).

  10. Amy Lynn Sonnichsen Says:

    We just got home from the library when I read this post. This was my first time to a public library in eight years because we lived in China where we only used our English-speaking school's library. It was so exciting to sign up for a library card and see the huge selection. We were a little overwhelmed, I have to say. The kids signed up for the summer reading program, and I checked out A Curse as Dark as Gold, which is on my list of books to read. Very fun experience, and I'm planning on making library visits a habit now that we've moved back to the States.

  11. Rebecca (Fie Eoin) Says:

    Ever since I realized there was a library right down the street (seriously, I lived here almost five years and no one ever told me about this library!) I have gotten at least one book out a week. I just took one back that I really really really wanted to keep, and am taking a break to read some Ovid before I move on to the next two that I got out when I returned the other. My library is awesome because they have an "on hold" feature – so you can go online, tell them what books you want, and be put on the waiting list. They email you when the books come in and keep them on hold for you for ten days. It's awesome. I love the library.

  12. dust Says:


    I'm keeping track of books on Facebook, using visual bookshelf. …except I'm not including rereads. That would be embarrassing; bad days = rereads. Also, sometimes I just get a bug up my bum about a series, and I'm mentally checked out until I can get it over with. God help me if I ever pick up the Wheel of Time, eh?

    I have a bookshelf with to-read books; the row is usually about a yard long. I try to read the library books first.