Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 30, 2009
Yes that is right, the library is just plain EVIL. They stock just about every movie I could ever want to watch and they have books on every conceivable topic. Then to top it off if they don’t have the book they will borrow it from another library for me or even just buy a copy. Then they don’t even charge you anything for all these services except a small fee on my property taxes or a tiny penalty if you return something late.
For a book lover and movie buff like me it’s like handing out free samples of drugs and as long as I keep coming back. No wonder my family always seems to be going there once a week. The boys get some books and a movie or two (which is great since you can’t get too sick of a movie that they want to watch over and over when you know it’s going back in one week). My wife and I pick up are holds for the week and return the finished pile of last weeks books and movies. The addiction is so bad that my wife recently has just recently finished reading the small pile of books she bought after last Christmas with gift cards. It took her so long because she kept finding other books to read at the library each time we went.
So if the library is just so damn EVIL, why isn’t everyone using it? I have a theory on that one, it’s one of two things:
- They don’t realize what the library can do. They somehow haven’t been in one in years and don’t get all the services and items you can use there. It’s not just old books, often the library is getting copies of books shortly after their publication and new DVD releases are in the system in a month or so.
- They can’t stand waiting for things. That is the major issue with the library system. After all it’s all about sharing the same book or DVD with the entire population of the city. So if there is a new DVD that everyone wants and there is only 10 copies in the system you will be waiting a month or two or even longer to get it.
Waiting strangely doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve just accepted that’s the trade of for being the low cost way to feed my book and movie habit. It’s actually sort of fun to stop in and see what came in this week. I just keep a list of holds in the system of items I would like to borrow and eventually they show up. It’s sort of like Netflix, but without fees or postage and you have return dates (typically a week for a DVD and three weeks for a book).
So how much is it really saving me? Well out of 52 weeks in a year we are likely there about 45 of them (give or take). They boys usually borrow at least one movie and I usually get one as well. Then my wife and I at least get a book a week on average (mostly hardcovers), then my wife borrows back issues of magazines.
A rough cost breakdown would be:
- 2 DVD rentals at $4 each (I have no idea the cost I haven’t paid for one in years) = $360
- 2 hardcover books per week at $25 each (I’ve averaging this down to cover the odd soft cover) = $2250
- 2 magazine subscriptions per year at $25 each = $50
Total savings are about $2660 annually. I would that amount is a minimum it’s likely much higher over the course of a year. Since that doesn’t include me pulling out a pile for reasearch once in a while or any of the boy’s books. So what does all this cost me on my property tax bill? $185. So the library is saving me over $55 a week that I use it and it feeds my book and movie habits. And people wonder why I think the library is EVIL?