April 15, 2009

Loving the Library, Pt. I

Dear Recession, think you have a hold on me? Think you can make me stop having fun just because I'm freaked out about my bank account? No way! Meet my friend, the Library.

No longer do libraries evoke images of dank, dusty rooms lined with neglected books and nasty ("shh!") librarians with slicked-back buns reminiscent of Mrs. Trunchbull from that 1996 classic, Matilda.

My local library is my Netflix subscription, my record store, my playgroup, my office, and ultimately, a source of sanity and pleasure.

I first escaped to the library when I was first starting my business, Mamarazzi VT. It was a great place to find quiet rooms, good resources and nice big tables for spreading out my books and magazines. Of course, I was no stranger to the library: I had always made visits with and on behalf of my son -- most local libraries (in cities and small towns alike) have a great children's section, full of great books, cds, and videos I'd never actually pay real money for (read: DVDs of Bob the Builder, Clifford the Big Red Dog, etc.)

Re-discovering it for my own uses was a pleasant surprise. I started grabbing a fun hardcover or myself on the way out, I started sticking around long after my work was done to browse their great selection of magazines (my library has subscriptions to People and US Weekly, a.k.a celebrity gossip heaven).

I started secretly devouring the Shopaholic series -- again, something I'd never actually buy, per se, but was so fun to have in my "posession" for a little while. Once I finished my strictly platonic love affair with Sophie Kinsella, I found the courage to ask the librarian if she had a recommendation for another book in that...genre. I imagine the genre would be dubbed "Silly Chick Lit" by many, but what can I say, I just love them. They're the big, fluffy, pink cotton candy of the book world. Slightly embarrassing to carry around, but nonetheless delicious.

To my delight, the librarian was not embarrassed by my question, nor did she seem to judge me at all. In fact, a woman in ear shot jumped forward and declared her love for Ms. Kinsella as well!

As I walked away from the counter that day, clutching my latest aquisition (Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes), I knew I was hooked on the library for good.

I've outlined a few great uses for the library here, but there are many more treasures, some expected, some very, very unexpected, a local library can offer. I plan on using my next few posts to highlight the best recession-proof source of fun I've found so far.

Do you use your local library? Tell us why in the comments below!

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