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Fully Utilize Your Public Library

Posted By Jim On 11/16/2005 @ 9:39 am In Personal Finance | 6 Comments

I live about three minutes walking distance from the local public library and usually visit it about once a week. Fully utilizing the library is critical when you think about how much money that can save you in the long run. Not only that, but think of all the magazines and books you never would’ve read if they weren’t made freely available to you. For those of you who own your home, part of your county taxes goes towards subsidizing the great public resource that is your county’s public library system… so use it to its full potential.



I usually scour the New York Times bestseller lists [3] to see what books are popular now and I’m a huge fan of the nonfiction section. Sometimes, I take a look at Amazon’s list of best selling books [4] and now their most wished for list for books [5] for more books to read. Whenever I see a book I’d like to read, I simply log onto my library’s reservation system, search for the book, and put a hold on it if its available.

Most libraries these days allow you to reserve books entirely online and usually the popular books have holds on them for several months so it’s good to get your reservations in early. Why buy a book and have it take up space on your shelf (you probably won’t re-read it) when you can borrow it for free and have someone else store it for you?

Another good resource of online reservation systems is the ability to renew books entirely online. At my library, you can renew it twice (as long as no one else has a hold on it) entirely online.

Finally, the library also has an extensive DVD collection that has mostly older titles but every so often you can find a new release gem waiting for a temporary home. The collection also has a lot of season sets for popular television shows and that’s usually what has captured my interest.

Take advantage of your local library… you already pay for it so you might as well take advantage of it.


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[3] New York Times bestseller lists: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/books/bestseller/index.html

[4] Amazon’s list of best selling books: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=easeoftravel-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=tg/new-for-you/top-sellers/-/books/all/ref=pd_dp_ts_b_1

[5] most wished for list for books: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=easeoftravel-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http://www.amazon.com/gp/gift-central/gift-guides/most-wished-for/283155/ref=cm_gift_gg_lp__283155?%5Fencoding=UTF8

Thank you for reading!