Why do we not go to libraries anymore?

If a local library closes, when the public are informed about it they instinctively say how disgusting it is for the council to steal something as essential as a library from them. The thing is, those same people who have so passionately shown their distaste for such a closure are unlikely to be book borrowers themselves.

I’m not saying that these people do not read, I am saying that these people do not borrow. Books are purchased on Amazon and Play and charity shops every day, yet no one seems to think of picking up a free library card and taking a plastic-wrapped novel from a dust ridden building (why do they all smell of dust?) instead of spending money on a book they will probably only read through once.

There seems to be a strange attachment to the idea of ownership with modern day readers…or even just modern day people come to think of it. You buy a book, you read it, you shrug your shoulders and you eventually give it to a charity shop or sell it online. Why not get it for free? Why go through all that hassle?

I have been extremely guilty of behaving this way, especially now that I have a Kindle. I bought a ridiculous amount of books online when I first got my e-reader because I realised that it was so much cheaper buying a digital copy than buying a physical copy, but why not find e-book libraries instead? Why didn’t I even check to see if my local library had free online resources?

It’s only now that I’m unemployed that I see the stupidity in buying everything. I have so many books that I haven’t read and so many more that I will never read again, yet I continue to trawl through the Internet looking for bestsellers that I want to get for Christmas.

But now this stops! I have decided to give all the books I won’t read ever again to charity, finish reading through the extensive collection of novels that are piled in my cupboard and assemble a list of book titles that I will one day borrow from a library. I will once again embrace the free service that I have neglected for so many years, and if it is taken away from me I will feel prepared to fight for it rather than make a few bitter remarks about the amazing institution I helped to shut down.

Unfortunately literature suffers from the same levels of evil consumerism that every other form of art is ailed with, but I will not be a part of it. Starting from…now.

Emily created Dystopic in July 2012 after requiring an outlet for her love of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. Her debut novel 'These Unnatural Men' was published in 2018.


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