Why I Love... Library Books

I might be a bit biased (ahem), but I love library books. Right now, I am reading a YA book that I checked out from my local branch and I love picking it up every night. My love has nothing to do with the writing in the book (although I am enjoying that). Instead, I love the physical nature of library books.

I love the way the dust jacket is cloaked in plastic and glued on. When I open the book to read, it has a distinct crackle-crinkle noise that's absent when I read my own books. It's like a signal to my brain that I'm about to settle in for some good reading time. I love that I can use my check-out receipt as a bookmark. It's a reminder in more way then one. I love that library books always have a sense of newness - even when they look well-loved. A library book is not something I see everyday, so it feels special.

What I love best is knowing that I've shared this book with others. No matter how gently they handle the books, previous readers always leave a sign behind. I've seen dog-eared and creased pages, the occasional coffee stain, or, best of all, the previous readers' bookmarks left forgotten between the pages. These are little treasures that let me know I'm one of many readers. They let me know that what I read is shared with others.

Library books are more than free entertainment. They remind me that I am a part of a great community - and I like it.