Thursday, May 13, 2010

using the library

I'm trying to embrace a more thrifty lifestyle with less stuff and clutter. One of the things I've been doing towards that end is using the library more. I've had my issues with the library before, but my main complaint has been that I can't get newer books there so am "forced" to buy new. Gradually I've been discovering that this just isn't so. The problem is with the library's search engine, and I'm figuring out that I just have to be persistent with my searches. On Amazon you can search for anything and the book you want just instantly comes up. But with the library it's trickier. For example, I wanted the book Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day from the library. I searched for "healthy breads," "healthy breads in 5 minutes a day," and "healthy breads in five minutes a day" and nothing came up. Finally I found the author's name on Amazon, clicked back over to the library's online catalog, searched for the author's name, and it immediately popped up. Same thing but in reverse for other books. With patience and persistence I've found that I can get a lot of books that are newer and not have to buy them at all.

{pretty image from Falling Cloudberries}
{falling cloudberries}
{falling cloudberries}
{last minute knited gifts}
{last minute knitted gifts}
{last minute knitted gifts}
{mollie katzen book}
I'm having so much fun now that I'm getting more of the books I want--and there is no guilt if a book turns out not to suit my taste--I just return it (which also means no clutter). I'm loving this new system.

21 comments:

Amy said...

It sounds silly to admit but a friend just turned me on to using our county library system. I had been going to a city library with 2 branches. Now I can get books from
22 libraries through out the county. A little fairy transports them to our library from remote locations : )
I love having a larger selection at my finger tips.

Sarah said...

love, love, love the library. My most favorite part is that we can renew them online...three times, means if the book is really a good one I can keep it for almost 3 months. Yeah, that might stink for others waiting for it but in three months I get most of what I want out of it or decide I really want it and then buy it.

Kyrie said...

Also, you can get very nearly ANYTHING (brand new books, out of print books) through interlibrary loan, and it's generally quite simple. If there is a library anywhere nationwide that has it, you can borrow it. Sometimes for a small fee, but usually for free. Ask your librarian! xo

Sooner Girl said...

I became a school librarian 8 years ago and did the exact same thing, using the library and saving money by not buying every book I wanted to read. I read mostly Young Adult literature. This year I have started to use our local public library to read adult literature. If your local library does not have a book you are looking for, you can Inter-Library Loan (ILL) it from other libraries. Just ask your librarian how. My daughters also love the library to check out children's literature.

http://soonerprincessdiaries.
blogspot.com

Marissa said...

Our town library is a block from our home & is really awesome. Best I've found in any (out of many) states I've lived in. I hear about a book, check the online catalog-if they don't have it, you can request that they purchase it. I've never been denied. It's a little lesson in patience (it usually takes a couple of weeks for it to get in) but it saves $$ & I just know someone else would like reading it, too.

Kelly and Kelly said...

I've had the same issues thought I still can't seem to find them, even with extensive searches. I will keep at it though. The library is definitely my first place to go for looking at books.

Rain said...

I LOVE inter-library loan. The books that I find myself borrowing more than once I purchase. But I have borrowed so many books that I thought I had to have only to discover they weren't all that great after all. It's saved a lot of money.
Falling Cloudberries is one of the books I knew I had to buy : )

Joy said...

I struggle with our library's search system too. I almost always use Amazon now to find the author's name (if I'm looking for something specific) too. It looks like your library has great selection!

Meg said...

I just love, love, love my library. I do occasionally have trouble searching for the titles, too--I've found that the author's name is usually the way to go. And I also know that I've saved so much money and reduced clutter since I've starting using the library heavily--no more of those impulse purchases at Costco, where I used to buy a couple of $9 books and finish them in a matter of days. Our library also has movies and cds, so we have also taken advantage of those as well.

I like your most recent picks--some of those have visited at my house too!

Lisa said...

My local library is really great, and I've found that most of the time they will even order new books if I put in a request. I love to get crafting books from them first before I spend the money on them for my collection.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Three cheers!!!!

Kristi said...

While living in the the States I used to purchase all my book from amazon, much like you. Now that I am living in Australia where books are soooooo expensive. I always use the library, so much better.

Nancy said...

I'm so with you! More than once I've been glad I only checked a book out of the library vs. buying it. Other times, I go out and buy a book right away b/c I can tell after checking it out it's a keeper.

P.S. I've been meaning to read Free Range Kids. I have Falling Cloudberries checked out right this minute. I own Love Soup (a library find) & Seams to Me! :) Great books~

melissa s. said...

I see some of my absolute favorite cookbooks in there! I also do this and if there are one or two recipes that I must have from a book (which is usually the case), I photocopy them. If I must have ALL the recipes then I feel like I've done my homework and can justify the expense of the book.

Have a great weekend!

Alicen said...

I am a huge library fan as well. I'm a book-a-holic who reads so fast that my bank account would not be able to keep up with buying new books. Our library system allows me to place a hold on a book from any other library in my province and it gets sent right to my local library. When it arrives I get an email and have a week to pick it up. Saves me oodles of money and prevents me from cluttering up my house with books I know I'll only read once.

Redbeet Mama said...

I have just started to use the library for me too - now that I just learned you can go online and reserve books- and yes I love that little fairy Amy!!! Her wings must be tired at night.

Great post.
Namaste.Nicole

vincent said...

Awww...that makes me sad about your library... I live in a very small town and our library is wonderful! If they do not have ANY book that I want, they borrow it for me from another library- sometimes from far away libraries in the state, or if no one has it they buy it for me! I guess we are really lucky! My 18 year old as a child almost lived at the library with me and now my 6 year old is the same. The childrens librarian also saves all new books that come in for MY daughter because she loves the smell of new books! We pick them up, read them quickly then take them back as quick as we read them... She is an awesome lady who has done this for us since my daughter was around 2 years old! Sweetness!

Mary Beth said...

Hi Vincent. Oh please don't feel sad for me. Our library is wonderful for the most part. It's the online search engine that I was complaining about--and even at that it just takes some getting used to. We are really lucky to have a very cute small town library that is open 7 days a week. Here in Southern California it is unusual for practically anything to be located in an attractive older building but our library is and I love it.

lisarenata said...

I really do need to take advantage of my library. I use to, then for some odd reason I've stopped. It is great for finding fun eclectic music CD's for kids, movies and yes books and more books. Thanks for the reminder, I need make it a bi-weekly trip, the kids will be happy about that. =)

Susan said...

I love our local county library! I will often check out cookbooks to preview them before buying. We can renew books online too which is quite handy. Ejoy!

Dayna said...

I am so amazed that the library is a place you can just walk in and use books for free. I wanted to share a couple resources that are my favorite for books.

of course paperbackswap.com is great site for swapping our books you are done with and getting new ones to read.

have you checked out goodreads.com? This is a cool site that lets you store and rate all the titles you have read and want to read in the future. I keep tons of lists here and take them with me when I head to the library or bookstore. It is also part social networking in that you can link with friends and see what they are reading and how they rate and review titles.

To help in your searching try Worldcat.org. It is the largest online library database. Type in your zip code and the books you are looking for and it will show you the nearest libraries carrying that book. I find searching by ISBN numbers to be the best. BUT THE REALLY COOL PART...is that this wordlcat links up with goodreads.com. So create a list of books you are interested in (searches similar to amazon). When your title appears look under the pic and description of the book for the FIND AT: section...from here you can see all sorts of online places selling that title and at what price...you can see if it is available on swap sites such as paperback swap...or you can click right on worldcat and it will search for nearby libraries.

HOPE THIS HELPS!! It has been a godsend for me.