Rediscover the Library: 5 Reasons to Get a Library Card as an Adult

Updated on September 25, 2018
diyerfy profile image

I'm a mom who reads often with her two little children. Spending money on new books to read isn't very cost effective when you have a budget

Reason 1: It's Totally Free to Get a Library Card

You could go out and buy every single book you want to read and keep it as long as you want to or add it to your permanent collection. But how many books are you really going to collect? Sometimes I find myself in a pickle where I really can't decide to purchase a new book to read. The reviews may not be exactly what I hoped for or I just may not be sure I'd like the book. Sometimes I even find myself wondering if I'll like the writing style of the author, whose books I've never read before. Do you find yourself in this situation at times? I know I do and those books seem to pile up on a wish list of books that I soon forget about or start deleting because I just don't want to buy them.

Then there is the issue with costs. Do I really want to spend $10 - $20 on each new book? Hardcover tends to cost more than paperback, and I prefer hardcover. The way to get around this is to get a library card at your local library. A library card is free and you can check out a limited amount of books at a time, for a specific time frame. I recently obtained a library card and learned I can check out up to 75 books at once! Who the hell needs or reads that many books in a short time? That's a crazy amount of books you can check out but the library obviously felt that the number limit was appropriate. I should have asked the librarian why that number and not something like 10 or 20.

Pick a Book


Lets test your library skills?

What is the oldest library in the world?

What is the largest library in the world?

Which do most American readers prefer? Ebook or printed copy?

Reason #2: You Save Money

The obvious reason for having a library card is so you can read the books you want to read and save money at the same time. Having a library card can give you access to many of the bestseller books on your wish list. The catch (if you can call it that) is that the library will have a limited number of those books. Sometimes they may not even have the book you want. Other times, there could be a long wait list of other eager readers waiting for the same book. This can be a little frustrating and in this case, you may want to go out and buy it. But when you think about the tradeoff, how often are you going to have to run out and buy a book? In addition, while you wait for a book to become available, you can read other books you have yet to read.

Reason 3: Share the Wealth of Reading with your Family

This reason ties into reason #2 in that your family can benefit from you having a library card. Do you have kids? A spouse? When you obtain a library card, you can check out books that your whole family will love. You will have access to a library of books categorized and partitioned to account for reader interest, age appropriate reading, and more. Find great books you want to read, pick one up for your spouse and let your little one discover the love of reading by picking out their own book that meets their interests. Again, you save money by not having to buy a book or two or three.

How many times have you purchased a book for your child and didn't like it? I've purchased books before that I thought were age appropriate but weren't. I've purchased books that looked like something they would like, but then they didn't end up liking them at all. Then, there are times that you start reading the book and it isn't what you thought it would be. Yes, you read the reviews and the brief introduction but after your ordered it online, it still wasn't exactly what you thought you were getting. Having a library card can change all that because if you decide you don't like a book, you have no obligation to keep it.

Reading with Kids


1. The oldest library in operation is at St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, Egypt and was opened in the middle of the 6th century.

2.The largest library in the world is the Library of Congress, which houses over 158 million items, 838 miles of bookshelves and 36 million books and printed materials, just to name a few!

3. Even though ebooks are growing in popularity, 69 percent of Americans still prefer to have a book in hand!

Reason 4: You don't have to get a card from your home city

I always thought that since libraries are typically city-funded establishments, that you had to live in the city that the library resided in, in order to get a card from that library. This is not true and I recently learned this! I just obtained a library card from a library in another city and the only thing I needed was proof of residency, to fill out the application, and a valid driver's license. It was that easy and simple! In minutes I had a card and access to a library of books. Had I known this little known secret before, I'd have a library card all over the state of California! Just think about it.

Need a book that is at another library in another city? Just go apply for a card there and get the book! Want to check out what libraries in major US cities have to offer? Chances are, you can get a library card there and start browsing their extended catalogue of books. However, I do believe there may be some restrictions and the rules may vary from library to library. It is best to call ahead and see what the requirements are to get a library card. Where I live, I have to be a California resident and provide proof of residency such as a utility bill with my name on it.

Reason 5: It's More than Just Books

If you thought that you had to be a book worm to want a library card, think again! Your local libraries can offer so much more than just books to read. I recently discovered that some have play areas for small children. This is great for parents who are at home with the kid and want to find books to read but need to keep little ones occupied. Keep in mind this does not mean you get to wonder away from your children. You still need to keep an eye on them and you still need to be responsible for their wellbeing and what they are doing.

In addition to books and play centers, some libraries offer a selection of popular DVD's, audiobooks, and magazines. You may even find a library that has toddler story times, teen lounges, and private reading rooms. In addition to what a library offers as a regular incentive, they may even hold special events that are often free to attend and book clubs to join should you want to share your reading with friends. Indeed, libraries have come a long way since the days of just stocking and lending out books.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Alice V


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      • diyerfy profile imageAUTHOR

        Alice V 

        15 months ago from California

        thank you! I agree, libraries should be appreciated more because they have so much to offer.

      • SgtCecil profile image

        Cecil Kenmill 

        15 months ago from Osaka, Japan

        I think people take libraries for granted. That's too bad. Great list!


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