My Library Experience: A Horror Story

 In Biographical / Reflective, Essay

We hear it everywhere… maybe as writers and lovers of literature, we hear it more. Print will soon be out! There will be no more book stores! Books and printing and publishing and libraries will soon be out of style, not needed, gone. This kind of exclamation makes me mad… does it make you mad too? I know that we all think the same thing – but the smell… how will it be without the smell of an old books pages? But the beauty… a library is the most beautiful thing (think “Beauty and the Beast”)… I try my best not to accept that this is the way of the future although I hear it from basically every person that I come in contact with… however, last week, I had an experience that made me believe them for the first time. I actually believed that one day, there would not be big buildings where you could go and love your books. This place was actually my local public library.

For living in Orange County, I live in one of the smaller towns. Our public library was recently remodeled. Millions and Millions of dollars were spent in order to get a new re-vamped library. I went into said library last week because I was out of book spending money for the month and HAD to get something. I figured that the library would be the best place. I had about 3 books titles in mind that I wanted to try.

First, NONE of the books that I was looking for was there… so that made me sad. These books weren’t exactly NEW books either. They had been released within the last 3-5 years. So I proceeded to meander over to the “NEW RELEASES” section. They had “Twilight”(released in 2005) … I’m not even kidding. Also- the last “Harry Potter” book (released in 2007) was standing next to Nicholas Sparks’ “Dear John” (2010). Seriously… this is depressing! The most recent books that they had was over 2 years old. What about all the new books that I was wanting to read? Well… it’s likely I’ll have to wait for YEARS to find it at our local library.

I finally found one book I thought I might be interested in. I checked it out and came home. Later that night, I sat on the couch and started laughing histarically. My husband asked what was wrong. When I turned the book around to show him, it was a LARGE PRINT novel. Now, this might not sound like a big deal… until you pick one up for yourself. Then you will see… there are only about 5 words on a line and although i tried to focus and read the book, I just couldn’t.

The library trip was a disaster. Though the city spent millions of dollars on revamping the library, they certainly did NOT spend millions of dollars on new books. If this is the future for book lovers, then I am really, truly sad. I hope that there are enough of us to stand together and demand print copies of books to just preserve what we love. If not, every Barnes in Noble and independent book store is going to end up like my public library- selling “New Released” books to our grandchildren that really came out in 2008.


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