Friday 2 April 2021

What I Miss About Libraries


As the UK has been in lockdown for a while I’m sure we all can agree we’re missing certain things we used to take for granted. I’m personally missing visiting my best friend, going to concerts, going round museums and of course, the library. My library will soon be opening its click and collect service again, but it’s just not the same as being able to go in, so I thought I’d go on a rant about what I miss about libraries!

 Browsing the shelves

As much as I appreciate click and collect, it just isn’t the same as going inside to browse. Sometimes I have no idea what book I want until I see it on the shelf, so the click and collect service doesn’t really work for me unless I already know what I want to read. Nothing really beats picking up a book you’ve never heard of before and taking it home to read! My library hasn’t been open to do this since the first lockdown over a year ago, so I’m really missing this.

 Writing in the library

One of the reasons I decided not to participate in nanowrimo last year was not being able to write in the library. I often get too distracted writing at home, and the library was a brilliant environment for sitting down to write with few distractions. Every time I’ve participated in nano I’ve written at least half of it in the library, and I just felt like I wouldn’t have the motivation to write a whole novel in my house. As much as I love staying at home, I tend to focus better in a less distracting environment. My local library is great for this, as it’s usually quiet and has tables set up for people to work at. It even has little rooms you can use away from others!

New books!

For some reason my library has stopped ordering in new books. It used to be pretty good with this, and you could even request books for free if the library didn’t have it. Now new books are never added and there doesn’t seem to be a way to request books. This is pretty disappointing as it’ll mean less people use the library. The library was how I used to read new releases, but as they’re not available now and I can’t afford to buy every book I want to read, I’m missing out on a lot of new releases. I’m trying not to let this bother me and just focus on reading books on my shelves, but I do feel like I’m missing out when I can’t afford the latest book everyone is talking about. I really want to read more diverse books, but unfortunately that isn’t possible when they just aren’t available at the library.

 Due dates 

 Okay this seems a little weird but hear me out. Since the first lockdown, my library has stopped having due dates, which makes sense as many people are shielding, but it has made me lose motivation to actually read the books I check out. Usually, I’ll make sure to read the books before returning them, but not having a date to return them by has meant I’ve kept books for months just because I could. As everyone seems to be doing the same thing, most books I want to read aren’t available as people aren’t returning them. I also just miss the process of handing over my library card and having the librarian stamp the book with the due date. It was nice to have a goal to finish the books I’d checked out before they had to go back!

 I think once everything gets back to normal I’m going to start using and appreciating the library more. I really miss being able to read books for free, and I hope that the library will once again start to stock new books so I can catch up with all the amazing new releases I can’t afford to buy. I’d love to know what things you took for granted before the pandemic that you miss now! Feel free to let me know in the comments or tweet me so we can think wistfully of times gone by.

1 comment:

  1. It is so refreshing to hear a young person pine away about the library. Your generation is usually more prone to online articles or ebooks that I feared the library might become obsolete. Please keep writing and reading. God Bless You and Yours.