10 February 2009

surviving the recession in style- tip #2: check it out

So, I have blogged about my love of the local library before, but I was reluctant to share this tip here. Mainly because I don't want all of you local chicks stealing my fabulous finds. But, for better or worse, here is one of my favorite savvy saver tips.


I don't mean check out a book once or twice a year to research a paper for class, I mean pretend it is your own "free" bookstore and you just share your vast collection with the rest of the community. I use the library for just about any interest, project, curiosity, dilemma or pleasure that comes to my mind. The stack of above is just what I currently have laying around my house getting perused or gobbled up over the month or two (I renew) that they are in my possession. I just realized that there are 3 others in a bag that I forgot to pull out for the shot, I just returned about 5 others on Saturday. I have about 8 more on hold that are waiting for pick up and about 30 other holds that are waiting to come in. I love me some library!

One of my favorite benefits is all of the treasures that I have stumbled upon that I never would have bought (or probably even found) at a local book shop. Take the VHS stack of gardening videos from Jeff Ball. These things are the jackpot, a goldmine for a first time gardener with no idea what to do. (More about these in a later post) Never would these have come to my attention if it hadn't been for a search through my library catalog.

Another plus, trying out a book before you plunk down the cash to own it. This is a great bonus when you are looking at cook books, decorating books or craft how-tos. So many of those have looked great and glossy at first glance but have been a total disappointment when you get to the meat of things. Others have been a resource that I realized I couldn't live without, so I bought my own copy.

My newest obssesion with the library collection has got to be the children's CD collection. I am pretty picky about my kiddo music (no Barney or any of that crap) and this has been a great way to find music as well as children's story recordings that are some of my new favorites. I never would have believed that John Lithgow (yes, that guy) could make a very entertaining and clever kids album if I hadn't heard it for myself. This goes for the grow-up music too. Too many times have I purchased a CD based on one song and found that was the only song I liked. I know that we live in the days of iTunes and such, but this is just another way to try out some new music that may end up being your favorite.

Magazines are another resource that the library offers. I don't have a subscription to Real Simple any more and with my last move I forced myself to part with all of the dozens of back issues I had been holding on to. Now, one of my favorite things is to get the seasonal issues from the past 3-5 years and see all of the gardening, holiday, crafting etc that was prepped for the current season.

The best thing and the worst thing about the library is that once you are done, those books and videos, CD and magazines are not sitting on your shelves and desks and coffee tables, but safely reshelved at the library for the next person to enjoy.

So get thee to the library and discover all of the new hobbies, interests, projects you could take on, because we all need a few more of those...


Anonymous said...

i totally agree. I love our libraries here. Especially during a spending hiatus. ;) I also feel compelled more to donate to them to keep them running. You always here about funding being cut for libraries and people forget what a wonderful resource they are...erinn

Kendra said...

what a great tip. i've always had good intentions of taking the girls to the library...but I think this year might be the one where I actually follow through!

sallymandy said...

Yes, yes! And then there's Interlibrary loan, if you find a book online that our library doesn't have. I've used that a lot. I also get used books through Amazon used sellers, and sometimes they're like $1.00 plus shipping. These ideas are fun to read.