Visit the library!

The public library is one of my favorite places to spend my spare time. As a cheap guy, I revel in the free entertainment offered by the library. There are so many different things to do there, and none of it costs a dime!

The library is a source of information for so many different topics. You can find out about upcoming community events and free things to do in your area. It’s also a good place to read or study, whether you are in school or not. I’ve found myself visiting the library on more than one occasion to read for pleasure. The quiet oasis provided by the library is perfect if you can’t seem to find a peaceful place to read.

Most libraries have events each day catering to different crowds. For example, my local library has introductory computer classes for adults, read-alouds for children, and arts and crafts activities for all. Most of these events are free to the public. Search your library’s calendar for upcoming events and activities.

If it seems to take you only a few days to get through a book, the library is certainly for you. Books by the armful can be checked out, and you don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t have time to read them all. If you choose, you can renew them for another month as long as they’re not on hold.

My favorite offering of libraries is the collection of newspapers and magazines. In one visit, I can read the local paper, a few national papers, the latest issues of Consumer Reports and Kiplinger magazines, and anything else that catches my eye. And if I’m feeling bold, I can pick up a cookbook and try out a new recipe or two. My wife likes to read some of the nursing publications, which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to read.

Many libraries have a nice collection of movies and CDs that you can check out. Free internet is normally available to library members. E-books are a growing area with the increasing popularity of tablets and e-readers. These are only a few of the many offerings of public libraries.

Conveniently, my county library system has an online portal that lets you search for a book you’re looking for and place it on hold. You then have 3 business days to pick it up at your closest library before it’s released. You can also renew your books online, which saves a trip. When you log into your account, you can see a list of books currently checked out and their due dates. I can see all of my account information in one place, without making a trip to the library.

Libraries are often overlooked as a source of information and entertainment in the community. The wealth of resources there is truly astounding. Since you already pay for them with your tax dollars, why not visit one next time you’re bored?

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