Growing up in a small town in the 90s, I remember when the only way to read a new book was from my school or local library. Not to say that I actually read a book! But I did look at the pictures.
I can’t tell you how many exams I took on books that were never open in my locker, only to sell them on the following school year to some other kid who would most likely do the same and so forth. Reading for me was the last on my list along with eating my vegetables.
Years passed and if it didn’t come on Beta/VHS and eventually DVD I would be none the wiser what was number one on the New York Times list or Goodreads.
Let’s put this a simpler way. For every ten videos I rented (yes rented, and full price at that) I got a free movie, I had so many free movies that the owner of the video store would ask me my advice on the top ten rated videos for his customers and if there were any issues with his videos that I rented, he would tell me to take another free one! ( I also never had to pay late fees).
My love of reading did eventually come to fruition when of course a movie came out about a boy who found out that he was a wizard. I never knew such books existed! “You mean to say that that there were books that had wizards in them!” And here’s me thinking that all the books were of the Withering heights standard thanks to my high school curriculum.
Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t that I was a naive kid. It was more like I really didn’t care. The school’s supplied reading list was so far off my own love for a specific genre that it went completely over my head. You have to remember that this was pre-internet times and the only reading my family ever did was the tv guide.
So, Where does this take me now?
Books can take you places you never can imagine. They let your mind wander into realms you wish you could live in for just a moment or scare you so bad that you can’t stop reading even though you hear every sound the house makes and you are ready to run and hide for your life. They are those to help or guide us and sometimes, truly, bore us as students.
My love for books started to take hold of my life, shelves, and even my wallet. I found that I would buy a series to never read again, and was taking precious space that I loved. Slowly I just gave away these books that meant nothing to me, and I did feel a little lighter inside and not so overwhelmed by my collection.
I have about five or six series that I’ve kept because I absolutely love them and without fail read at least twice a year. They are my much-loved books that are falling apart to do wear, dog eared, wrinkled from bathwater, stained from whatever I was eating at the time. But hold value to me.
I love books but I also love the cleanliness of my house not to buy any more than for me will never be read again. In 2021 times were hard due to the pandemic and money was light. My love of reading would have to change as money had to go elsewhere. So… I decided that I was going to once again open up my library account and “Give it a go” to see how it felt reading books that I can give back.
OMG! Why the hell didn’t I start sooner!!!! All that money I wasted on books that I didn’t actually like, only to put it the charity shop to sell for a dollar, to loaning a book from the library and if it stank…. Oh well, not my problem! Just bring it back and try again.
There have been one or two new authors that I would like to buy the series but for now, I’m ok with lending and not buying. Which in hindsight leaves my shelves open for more plants.
So my advice to you as a reader is to hoard what you love and borrow what you like.