We’re a family of readers. We used to spend serious money each year on new books and we amassed a lovely collection that was “worth” thousands of dollars. But you know what? They were just taking up a lot of space and they seemed like more of a museum than anything relevant to our lives. As we moved our older daughter into her own room, which was where our library was, we wound up just donating all the books to the Henrico County library system.
A Unique Public Benefit
And now we only use the library for our new books. I haven’t stepped foot in a Barnes & Noble in years. When you take into account all the children’s books we constantly rotate through the house, we probably have 15-20 books checked out at a time. We seriously save thousands of dollars each year just in books alone. Since the property taxes are so low here in Henrico, we almost certainly get enough value in books to cover the vast majority of our property taxes. So the roads, the schools, the police, etc. are all free!
In this day and age, you need to stop buying things that you can just as easily rent or borrow. This extends way past just books! The ownership society of hording random collections is very 1980s. Now people realize you don’t have to own 500 dvds that cost you $20 each ($10,000!!). Just have a suscription to Netflix for $8 a month and you have those 500 DVDs plus another 100,000. You can rent men’s neckties, women’s high fashion, power tools from Home Depot and just about anything else you can think of.
So please don’t buy books that just take up space in your house when you can go onto your public library’s website, order the books you want and have them waiting for you at your local branch for simple pickup.
Our Favorite Library Tips
Some tips based on how we use Henrico’s website:
- As soon as you hear about a hot new book you want to read, place a “hold” on it at your library’s website. We put a hold on Dan Brown’s latest novel months ago and we expect to get it the first week or two after publication.
- Another neat trick is to put a hold on the large print edition of the book. We’ve had a handful of books where we joined the hold list of hundreds for the regular version, but the large print came in just a few days since nobody requested it.
- You can even renew the books at the website, so the only time you ever need to go to the actual library is to just grab the books and drop them off.
Like everything we’re communicating on this site, you just need to change your thinking slightly and you’ll be vastly ahead of everyone else. It starts with stopping the incessant purchasing of needless things. Every day we’re trying to de-clutter our house and really think about every single item we buy and bring inside.
Things have a way of collecting and then you wind up spending so much mental energy dealing with the mess and the clutter and so much physical time “organizing” and “arranging” and all those other happy buzzwords for dealing with extra garbage that you don’t need, shouldn’t have bought in the first place, and will never use again.
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