Maybe I am the last one to hop on the library card train, but I am willing to bet there are many of you out there that have yet to sign up for one. I cannot stress enough how this simple decision changed my life in a variety of different ways and I bet it could change yours as well!

However, I feel as though I must explain myself first and detail why it has taken me 24 long library-cardless years before reaching this momentous realisation. I am a collector – always have been and always will be. I love collecting post cards, maps, brochures, and especially…books. I loved finishing a book and placing it in its new home on the shelf amongst the countless others. It was gratifying and filled me with immense joy as it still does! However, as I am sure many of you do, spend entirely way too much money at bookstores. Even secondhand bookstores take a large amount of hard-earned money out of my pocket on a monthly basis.

I needed a cheaper way to enjoy my favourite hobby – consuming copious amounts of literature.

That’s when it dawned on me – GO TO THE LIBRARY. I have lived in the same city most of my adult life and the library is right down the road. I pass it 4-5 times every week. However, I am the hole-in-the-wall coffee shop kind of guy. I usually frequent the same two coffee shops to read and study, and purchase any new novels from either Barnes & Noble or my local second-hand bookstore. But, like I said, I needed a cheaper way to read. So, yesterday, I visited my local library and a whole new world opened up to me. A world that not only consisted of books, but so much more than I could have imagined. Check out the 5 ways in which getting a library card changed my life.

Endless Audiobooks

For those of you who have not utilised this medium for reading, I assure you you’re missing out. Audiobooks are perfect for when you’re on the go whether it be driving, jogging, cooking, or simply relaxing. They allow you the chance to read whenever, wherever, and you might just stumble upon some that have different voiceovers for each character. The downside of audiobooks – they’re super expensive. A subscription to Audible will cost you around $14.95 a month alone! If only there were a service that allowed you to borrow audiobook titles for free…oh wait there is!

Most public libraries have a database full of audiobooks that you can borrow for free! I am currently listening to “We Were Liars” and I am in absolute love. I have listened to it on my commute to work, running in the park, and cooking dinner, which has made all those monotonous tasks far more enjoyable. This reason within itself is more than enough cause to get a library card RIGHT NOW!

More Appreciation For My Bookshelf

Like I stated before, I love to collect things and books are my golden ticket items. However, when I started inspecting my shelves stacked with books I haven’t glanced at in years, I thought to myself, “there are a lot of titles here that I will probably never pick up again”. And it’s true, many of those novels will never see daylight again because I simply have no interest in re-reading them.

Now I have committed to only buying books that have either made a dramatic impact on my life, or that I know I will pick up again someday. My library card has allowed me to be pickier about what I choose to put on my personal bookshelf and I know that whatever goes on it, means a great deal to me.

Saving Money

The most obvious reason for obtaining a library card – the amount of money you can save! During a good month, I was spending right around $25-30 USD on new and/or used books. Now, I expect that number to decrease dramatically, as I only plan to buy books that I fall absolutely in love with from here on out. Plus, I now have access to audiobooks, which saves me another $14.95 if I were to have an Audible subscription. And, it just keeps getting better! Most libraries a stocked full of TV shows and movies (see reason 4), so say goodbye to paying $3.00 for a movie on Amazon!

Say Goodbye To Streaming

For about 2 months now I have been contemplating whether to buy the Game of Thrones series for me and my family to binge watch together. On Amazon, you can usually find the first season used for about $20, while the following seasons get progressively more expensive. However, when I visited the library yesterday, they had the first 5 SEASONS available to check out! Not only that, but they had a vast array of movies and television series that you could checkout…for free! Of course, I went into this relationship with the library hoping to save some money on books, but now I am getting Game of Thrones out of it too!

New Hangout

I told you before that I was a coffee shop/local bookstore guy, and I am. I love the smell, the atmosphere, and the cosiness. It’s my home away from home. However, there are times when it’s all too much. Pretentious hipsters talking too loudly and baristas clattering coffee mugs trying to make the perfect espresso that will never be ‘just right’ for the customer. It can be distracting and hard to focus. The library – not so much.

It is eerily quiet all the time, allowing you to have peace and headspace while you are reading, studying, or browsing for your next book or movie (until the second-grade field trip arrives). There is always an open table or couch for you to create your own reading/study nook, and I promise you that you will not be interrupted by unwelcome noises. The library is definitely my new hangout.

So, there you have it, the five ways in which the library has changed my life for the better. I am sure more will present themselves as I spend more time within its magical walls, but getting a library card has had a positive impact thus far. I am look forward to all the doors that it will open!

Why are you still reading?! Go get your own library card!

What do you love about libraries? Tell us in the comments below!