Before I started my first no spend year in 2019, I swore that borrowing books from my local library wouldn’t work for me. I had this weird narrative in my mind that the library book had to stay home, couldn’t be read during breakfast, I could only check out old, dusty and dated books, and I would end up with lots of fees. Part of my no spend plan includes “non-essential” items that I cannot spend money on. For me, “non-essential” means something that I want to give up or stop spending money on.
Reading has become a huge part of my life as a way to relax. I read 40 books in 2018, 64 books in 2019, 62 books in 2020, and so far read 26 books in 2021. I read a good amount. But I also don’t read every book I pick up. And THAT was the problem for me. I would spend money on books I thought I would enjoy and then gave up reading after the first couple of chapters. Then I would have all of these books that I had to store or give away or try to sell for pennies on the dollar. The buyer’s remorse and guilt of not reading the book and even the physical clutter for the books I did read was a heavy weight. The reality for me is that buying books became a financial and mental burden I just had to give it.
How did I set myself up to succeed with my local library?
- First, I set up an online account. The online account allows me to reserve books I want to read and renew books to avoid late fees.
- Second, I keep all of my library books on one shelf at home. It is like a mini library right at home. I will carry around a book in my purse to read during lunch at work and occasionally I have a second book started for before bed. This helps me avoid my fear of losing books and paying fees.
- Third, I let go of the guilt of checking out a book and not reading it. It’s totally changed the game for me. I won’t finish a book if I don’t enjoy it by chapter 3 or around page 50. (It’s more like I need to get sucked in during chapter 1 to finish it).
- Lastly, greet all library employees with a smile. Working with the public is a challenge to say the least. A smile goes a long way. They feel better, you feel better, and everyone works together better. Plus my local librarians help me secure books outside my county whenever I come across some obscure book that peaks my interest. Now I’m sure this service is available to all patrons, but I’m still convinced that a smile and polite manners help.
Here are the books that I recently completed in March with a short review: