Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why I Don't Use the Library

I mentioned that I don't like using the library. In fact, I haven't read a library book in... well, it's been a while. I may have glanced over some of my mom's library books, but I haven't actually read a library book cover to cover in years. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The main one has to do with the disgust factor. Books that a) stink like cigarette smoke, wet dogs, or headache-inducing perfume; b) have unidentifiable brown smears on the pages (I call these "poo books"... not to be confused with "Pooh books", which I have no problem with); or c) have every second sentence underlined or highlighted are a complete turn-off. I have severe obsessive compulsive disorder, and having to touch those questionable books just gives me the willies. Plus, I'm rather chemically sensitive, so reading a book that smells like it was marinated in Chanel No. 5 will give me a headache... and no matter how interesting it is, I'll have to put it down. The lack of respect that people have for books (especially library books) makes me upset. I'd rather not see tattered, torn, stained, scribbled-on, smelly, water-warped, dog-eared books if I can help it.

The second reason is that our library does not make it easy to acquire the books I want. My reading tastes tend to be eclectic... which means our library system often doesn't have what I want. I could order the books from another library system (I have cards to five different ones!), but now they make you jump through hoops to do so. You used to be able to request books yourself online... but now you have to actually go to the librarian and ask her to do it for you. Then, since the book is coming from a different library system, you get put on the very bottom of the waiting list (under the people who actually have cards to that particular system). I've had books show up a full year after I requested them! By that time, I've often lost interest.

So, for now, I'll be buying my books at the bookstore or online (where you can get much better discounts). At least a new book just smells like a book... and not whatever the previous reader had for dinner last Thursday.


  1. I'm right there with you! I don't have those phobias but it's something to keep in mind when borrowing from the library. I haven't been to our local library in YEARS!

    I buy my books online usually exclusively. I hardly ever buy from brick and mortar stores any more. Although, I visit Borders at least once a week! :)

    It really comes down to time. I'd rather spend a few bucks to purchase the book online than waste 30 minutes in the library picking a choosing.

    That's another reason why I have my Kindle. If I can get the book on my Kindle all the better!

  2. I agree with you -- I'm very sensitive to smells and dust so I don't go to the library anymore. I used to but my nose would get snuffy and not all people treat the books well! I was just curious why you didn't.

  3. I'm a library fiend but I understand completely :)

  4. I loveeee the library (maybe because I live in NYC and the NYPL is really good/convenient) ....but I totally know what you mean about yucky-books. If a book looks all old and such I won't take it out, but usually I don't have any qualms about the conditions of the books.