Why I Can’t Relate to Library-related Posts

I love the library. Or at least the concept of it. Of course I do! A building full of books that you’re allowed to borrow? Who wouldn’t love that! Butttt I actually don’t love the library. And here’s why (why does this sound like a clickbait headline omg)

My library sucks

Yes, I said it. It didn’t always suck. It was paradise when I was younger, because it had a lot of books I wanted to read back then, but now? Not so much

Okay, first some context. When I say ‘the’ or ‘my’ library, I’m talking about the Central one in the center of the city, which as far as I know is the biggest one, because the other ones (especially the one nearest to me) are even worse when it comes to the selection of books.

Now maybe you’re thinking ‘wow Michelle aren’t you being a bit harsh so they don’t have that many books you want to read’. Yeah, but,,, You have to pay a yearly fee (and a pretty high one – at least for me) to even borrow books. When they barely have any books I want to read (and with that I mean English YA books) I’m not going to pay that fee, because I’ll barely use the library if at all.

I do have to admit that I also like owning books, but when I read all those posts about how great the library is and see how easily people borrow books from their libraries I do wish the library/libraries here were a bit better. Also apparently paying for your membership is not a thing in every country??

Seriously you guys with the awesome libraries, treasure them. Do it for us international book bloggers with the sucky libraries (and the books. Always do it for the books)

Do you have the same problem? Or are you one of those extremely lucky bookworms that I envy so much? Let me know in the comments!

55 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Relate to Library-related Posts

  1. I completely understand the concept of loving the library, but not using the library. While I don’t have to pay a membership fee. I have in the past had to deal with many late return fees. I’m a slow reader, and I don’t like to feel pressure when reading for pleasure. Happy reading!

  2. Fair enough! I’m sorry your library is so bad :(. Having a good English selection is always a problem when you don’t live in an English speaking country, and they often don’t have the latest books, so I have also stopped going. (I’m still a bit ashamed of it though, thank you for speaking up!)

    • Yeah exactly! Even when they do have a good section, they won’t have the latest books anyway. When I first started blogging I was so amazed to see so many bloggers find new releases at their libraries?? Like how?? Don’t be ashamed! I totally get it, since the library is often praised in the blogosphere and there are lots of ‘support your library!’ kind of posts, but there’s no point in supporting your library if there’s nothing there you want to read :P

  3. YES THANK YOU MICHELLE for this. I so want to relate to all of these library posts, I so want to support my local library and everything, but… well, they just don’t have the books I want to read. It’s SO hard because I can’t possibly afford to buy ALL my books – I’m lucky to be able to buy books already, but I can’t do an order every two days haha. There is also a membership fee in my country, it’s a yearly fee if I remember right – I haven’t renewed it for, like, four years now.

    • YOU’RE WELCOME MARIE. I totally get all the ‘support your library’ posts, because libraries are awesome and I don’t want them to close, but they don’t have the books I want to read? And it even sucks more when you have to pay a yearly fee :( I never paid it haha. The library here is free until you’re 18 or 19 (at least that’s good about the library here haha) Yeah I feel you! There are so many amazing books out there and that ammount will only increase, so a good library would be SO useful because MONEY. We need to become millionaires Marie haha

  4. You’re not alone! The library here sucks as well… Ok, I’m not living in a big city, but English books are hard to come by in general in Argentina and the one library in town has mainly Spanish books and not exactly ones I want to read either. xD

  5. What?!!!??? You have to pay to use the library?? I thought the very definition of a library is a place where you can borrow books for free! In that case, I can see why you don’t like using the library, since they don’t have the selection you’re looking for and since you have to pay for it…

    I’ve been buying books mostly but it really is making a dent in my wallet, so I am looking towards borrowing more from the library. There is a limited selection where I live, but it is at least free :)

    • Yeppp I do :( It’s free until you’re 18 or 19, but after that you have to pay. I know! I get that the library needs money to buy the books, keep the place running etc. but still. How do libraries in other countries do it haha

      Ohhh that’s good! :) Hope you’ll find some good ones!

      • Oh darn :( It is understandable that the library needs money to pay for land, electricity, maintenance, cleaning, staff, books… when you think about it, it would take a lot of money to keep it running! I suppose that the libraries in my province in Canada have government funding haha, that’s probably how they do it!

  6. So envious of people with amazing libraries, we have a super small one in my town but i’m so greatful it is still up and running. I don’t visit it as often as I should, it doesn’t have many new releases but alot of books that cater for the older senior citizen? But I do love visiting because sometimes you can find a gem.

  7. YES! I have the exact same problem. I think all international book worms experience this problem, at least as far as I know. I cannot understand why they don’t import more English books? I’m not even talking about YA (which would be amazing) but my libary doesn’t even have classics like War & Peace by Tolstoy in English. What’s up with that?

  8. Ahhh library woes! We don’t have to pay membership fees in the UK which is GREAT but our libraries are really underfunded so they keep closing down libraries 😭 my local library used to be great and although it only had a small ya section, I could order books in for free on the website and collect them a few days later – I could even get French books! But last month our local library got closed, so now I have to go to a different one and it is SO SMALL it literally has about two shleves of books and no ya section ugh. But I can still order books I want to read online and pick them up there, but it’s further to go than my old library :( I think if I had to pay a membership fee I wouldn’t bother but as it’s free here I usually get all my books from the library as buying them can be expensive and i dont tend to reread books anyway unless I really love them! Also my LD library used to do book sales and sometimes you could pick up books published in the last few years for 10p!

    • Ah no that sucks Em! :( Your old library sounds great, it’s such a shame it closed down. Only two shelves??!! That’s barely a library – though I guess it’s at least something and it’s good that you can still order books online!
      Yeah I totally get that! If the library were free here I’d go to. Books are so expensive ahhh Omg that sounds great! Only 10p that’s a bookworms dream haha

  9. I was so spoiled as a kid. We lived in a really small town that had no gas stations, no stores, but for whatever reason, a REALLY GOOD library. Then my high school, college, and current town libraries are amazing. I specifically picked the town I live in because it has a good library… because I never realized how small and bookless libraries could be until I lived in a town that only had picture books, and a handful of non-fiction books… such sadness.

    Mostly, all this has taught me to have my own home library, and I’m okay with that!

  10. As Sophie has said – you have to pay to use your library???? I only have to pay fees for any overdue items (which rarely happens :) ). My library has several branches, but my small one in turn has a small YA section, which means I put books on hold and have to wait a good while to read them. So, summary: in a similar situation, Michelle, but I completely feel for you!!!

  11. That’s just awful! When I moved from my former county (Chester) to my current one (Montgomery), I was overjoyed that the library system was similar as in you can go to the online catalogue, find a book, and they’ll send it to the library of your choice or hold it for you. I also discovered online lending so you can borrow a book on your Kindle, though just like physical copies, they can run out of those. There are some books you have to pay for like the more recently released, which you rent, and I believe there’s a fee to rent video games, but I don’t think it’s more than a dollar or two. I guess I’ve always taken the idea of a free library for granted. I was more angry at myself for waiting seven years before utilizing the service, and it’s pretty much right on my way home from work o.O

    • Ohhh that sounds like a great library system! You’re really lucky. I get taking it for granted; I never realised that libraries are actually free in other countries before joining the book blogging community haha. I just assumed everyone paid a yearly fee.

      • Yeah I guess you do pay in a way, but here it’s taxes plus membership 😅 I don’t know actually – it’s free until you’re 18 or 19 and I never considered paying because I knew it was quite a bit. It’s not like hundreds of euros or anything, but since I barely used the library anyway unless it was for school (once I grew out of children’s books anyway, cause they do have a lot of children’s books!) I figured it wouldn’t be worth it

      • If it’s not worth it then I think you made the right decision in not getting it! I’m so used to the whole free library concept that I never even considered there were places where that didn’t exist. Perspective is everything!

  12. I used to love the library as a kid and I think for children all libraries here in the Netherlands tend to have a great selection of books. I guess because at that age they really want to push on the fun of reading.

    But when I got older the library didn’t hold as much for me. I lived in a small town so our library was tiny too. When I moved I didn’t take a library membership. And I have thought about it, especially when I signed up Merijn for his card, but even my husband took one look around the library here and said they wouldn’t have anything for me to read there. Maybe a few but probably not enough for a membership at this time.

    • Yeah that’s very true! I used to borrow sooo many books from the library as a kid. There really are so many great ones – guess it also really helped that I still read in Dutch back then haha

      Ohh yeah if they don’t have that many books that you’re interested in then a membership is probably not worth it :/ At least you’ll be able to get lots of great books for Merijn though! :)

  13. I think that a lot of people overestimate the libraries in non-English speaking countries. Some are getting better, but most are quite pricey in terms of their membership fee and they really don’t have that great of a selection.
    I remember adoring the school library when I was little, but it got old real fast hahaha

    • Yeah exactly! I really get all the posts about supporting your library, but I don’t have the money to support a library I would rarely use anyway. Ohh yes same here haha, though at some point you’ve read all the good ones at the school library lol

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  15. I feel terrible that your library experience isn’t a great one TT-TT. I so can’t believe that you have to pay membership fees to make use of the library!! Like geez the selling factor of a library is you don’t have to pay for the books! Where I live the only kind of fee you have to pay is if you lost whatever you checked out or you were late returning it. What kind of nonsense is paying to take a book out even if its a once a year fee?!?!?! I promise to enjoy the library for everyone’s sake cause wow that’s ridiculous.

    On another note you are the cutest blog I have found in so long. I am dying you just have this sweet personality I am really enjoying reading your posts. You can expect me hanging around quietly in your comments section more often~ I hope we can get to know each other

    PS. I’m Slytherin!

    • Thank you! Happy to hear that your library is free though. Exactly, it’s so weird! Libraries are meant for people who can’t afford to buy books?? It’s free until you’re 18 or 19 though, so thankfully I could enjoy the library as a kid since they do have a great children’s books selection :) Haha yes love and support your library for all of us with sucky ones!

      Oh my gosh thank you so much that is so sweet of you 😭 I hope we can get to know each other too 💕

  16. Awe, I’m sorry to hear that your library sucks! I love my library and you’re right, as long as we live within city limits a card is free. Obviously I don’t know about your library but at mine we can actually order books from OTHER libraries with better selections, so maybe give that a go? It’s definitely a huge money saver for me, and I’m super lucky to have it.
    I also have access to an online library system (ebooks and audiobooks) thanks to my card, so maybe yours has one? If so, that would really broaden your possibilities. Good luck!

    • I’m glad to hear you love your library! Well the thing is, we have a library organisation I guess you would call it? So we have several libraries in the city all part of the same organisation, so the card gives you access to all of them. The biggest one doesn’t have that great of a selection, and all the other ones are smaller with a smaller selection, so I’d have to be really lucky. Your system sounds great though!

      • Thanks! Ah, that makes sense. I live in a small town so my library is connected to the two libraries of the towns right next to ours, and I actually get most of my books from a different library about 20 minutes away. I know we can go in and write out a slip to get books from other libraries as well though.

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  19. That’s so interesting! Where I’m at (USA) the libraries are funded through taxes; so I’m not /directly/ paying a membership fee. Also, if there are any books that my library doesn’t have, I can submit a interlibrary loan which ships the book from a different library to my library and all it costs me is 50 cents! Which still blows my mind.

  20. I live in the US and we have free public libraries. Our main library in the city is really cool. They have a gift shop and a snack room with vending machines, a makers room with craft supplies and sewing machines, a local history and genealogy room with a full tine staff and a computer lab. They have all kinds of social groups (knitting, adult coloring, scrapbooking, collage making, Lego robot making for the kids, manga drawing), book clubs, a poetry group, a writer’s group and a play reading group. They have a reading with dogs program for kids and one of the branch libraries has it for adults, and yoga classes.

    If they don’t have the book you want they can get it from any library in a 50 mile radius. They also have a lot of ebooks that you don’t even have to keave the house to borrow. They also have dvds of up to date movies and tv programs, a music CD lending department, and children’s educational toy lending. My sister basically lives there. Ha ha. :)

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    My library is completely awesome and you can request books from other libraries so I’m usually able to borrow new releases within a week of their release date?? I’M SO LUCKY I KNOW I’M THE WORST.

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