So now that we have a baby girl arriving in a few days, Kristen and I are looking for new and innovative ways to save money.
One of the best ways for me to personally save us a few dollars is to cut down on my book buying. Apparently there’s this facility in most towns known as a “library.” Now, you’ll have to ask a librarian for sure, but my understanding is they’ll let you take books home for free if you have proof of residency.
I decided to put this “library” to the test.
Today Kristen and I went to the Bloomington Public Library. We got our Normal Public Library cards yesterday, and we were told the BPL would honor our NPL card, and indeed they did.
You’ll need to know that I did my research on the contents of each library. I’ve got a few authors that I read regularly, but they’re not what really cost a lot of money. Depending on the size of the book, it usually takes me at least two weeks to get through a novel, sometimes longer. Couple that with the fact I bought most of my novels used through Amazon.com, well, we were talking about six bones a book, tops.
No, what really cost the dough were my graphic novel inclinations. (For those of you who are losing out, graphic novels are typically collected editions of ongoing comic book series or collections of limited series. Sometimes they’re one-shot releases.) Most graphic novels cost at least eight dollars used at Amazon, and when you couple that with shipping, well, you’re not really saving money by that point, are you? Plus, it’s hard to take a chance on anything new when you’re paying that amount.
So before we went to our local Bloomington-Normal libraries, I perused their catalogues to see if they have my favorite literary authors, but also to see if they have any graphic novels I’d like to check out. (Pun totally intended. Lame, I know, but I can’t help myself. It’s a sickness.)
Long story short, they had oodles of both. I have to admit, though, BPL beat out the Normal Library in terms of graphic novel selection. I saw several titles at the BPL I wanted to try out.
So today, we were registering with the BPL at their front desk and filling out simple paperwork.
As they were about to set us free, I asked, “How long can we keep a book?”
They replied, “Normally, you can keep a book for three weeks.”
“Awesome! And how many books can we check out at a time?”
I couldn’t believe my ears when they said, “We can’t let you take more than fifty at a time.”
I saw several novels I’ll check out over the coming months once I finish my Chabon book I just bought (favorite author, had to pay for my own copy), but I did walk out with several graphic novels such as Gaiman’s The Eternals, Ellis’ Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., Azzarellos’ 100 Bullets Volume I, and Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason. These are titles I always wanted to try but was never willing to buy.
In summation: Libraries rock! Go visit yours!*
*Unless, of course, you’re interested in one of my books. You’ll then want to BUY those, preferably directly from me using PayPal at http://www.myspace.com/scottwilliamfoley 🙂