Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Frugal February: Cheap thrills

The most glorious thing to save us money while we entertain ourselves?  The library.

I know I talk about my love of the library on here anyway, but I have to say one of the things I love about the library is that it's free.

It has books that are out of print for free.

It has books that I might not finish for free.

It has workout DVDs, documentaries, British television series on DVD, and music for free.

Never mind the children's events, knitting clubs, and gardening experts offering talks--let's just talk about the money we save using the resources at the library instead of having Netflix or buying books at Barnes &Noble.

Well, not counting our overdue fees*, it saves us all the money.  We don't spend a thing.  If I start reading a book and don't like it, I can return it without feeling like I've wasted my money.  Libraries have more books on art and history than bookstores typically do--at least in our area. Do you think Barnes has a book on the Flemish masters?  I don't know because I'm too lazy to check their website.  But I do know that the library has one because I saw it a few weeks ago.  I didn't check it out because Evelyn was fussy and I have very little time to read or enjoy entertainment because I have a baby.  Which brings me to my next-favorite thing about the library:

You can keep library items for a long time!  So what if Real Life interrupts your plans to sit on your rear?  You can keep books for a month before you ever have to think to renew them!  (2 weeks if it's a new item, but hey.)  You can keep DVDs and CDs for 2 weeks, whereas Blockbuster (heh, remember them?) would let you keep a movie for 5 days--at the very longest--until you had to start paying extra money if you wanted to keep it any longer.  Not at the library!  If it takes you an extra day or two, you still have time!  Free books for weeks on end! (But really, you should return things promptly if you're not going to enjoy them.  Share the fun.)  And on subjects you didn't even realize interested you!

However, if you're absolutely determined to spend money on books and music and movies then go to the library for the basement sale this weekend.  I don't think I'll be able to go this time, but I always enjoy myself when I do.  50¢ paperbacks and $1 novels.  Cheap records.  Old workout VHS tapes.  Once, Jessi and I found a movie on Beta.  It would have been an amazing gift. I love going and getting gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  And then I get to browse the library when I'm done!

I love the library.  I love the library sale.  I love the selection and I love the smell and I love that it's mine.  And yours.  And everybody's.


*$4.50 at the moment


Anonymous said...

Oh how I love the library. My financial goal this month was to get through it sans fines. Um, that didn't happen. I never feel too badly about it because it's still cheaper than buying all the books--unless we consider the time Steve left the bag of library books out in the rain. Yep, still a little mad about that. :)

Jen said...

I always think I'm pretty prompt with my renewals, and then NO. Fines. I'll never forget the time Cody kept a book so long they charged us for it. It was a shameful and horrifying time ($30ish dollars for a comic?!) and I still felt awkward about going to that branch even after he found it and returned it. I don't even want to think about a bag of books.