Frugal Fun

If I have one material weakness, it’s books.  I love books.  I love to read books, and I also love to own books.  Hence, I own hundreds, maybe even more than a thousand, many of which are still in boxes from our move last year.  I rarely, and by rarely I mean ALMOST NEVER, pay the full, new, price for a book.  Used bookshops are my idea of Disneyworld.  Library book sales are Universal Studios I suppose.  Probably a full 90% of books I’ve purchased myself have come from a used bookstore, library book sale, or thrift store.  I love books, and love to collect them, but I don’t love to pay a lot for them. (These are physical copies of books, of course.  I have some ebooks, most of which I have read from Kindle Unlimited or purchased for a dollar or two on Amazon.}

Still, as is commonly said in the frugal community… even if it’s cheap, it’s still spending money.  So I am setting out on a goal to break my terrible habit of buying books, even used ones.  I know I won’t ever stop altogether… I mean, I could I guess, but that would not be “Joyful Frugality” {what Mrs. Frugalwoods calls her frugality}, it would be miserable miserliness.  But there’s VAST difference between hitting up the used bookstore every week as a fun activity, and occasionally purchasing books that have some kind of meaning or significance.

Upper Arlington Public Library, Main Branch.  Photo stolen from here.
Inside of the Upper Arlington Public Library.  Photo stolen from here.

I found out I will get to go see 3 cozy mystery authors {I LOVE LOVE LOVE cozy mysteries and am an admin on this group on Facebook if you love them too and want to join.}  One of them is a favorite of mine, but I wasn’t familiar with the other two.

Normally I would’ve promptly ordered at least one full series {used on Amazon probably} from each of those authors, before seeing if I even really liked them.  But I decided to flex my frugal muscles instead, and see if I couldn’t find them from Disneyworld for frugal people… otherwise known as the library!

We are very lucky, as our area is rich in good libraries.  We have the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, which has dozens of branches all around us.  Then there is the Upper Arlington Library System {pictured} that, though independent, does interlibrary loans with the Columbus Metro system.  UAPL is the one we typically go to.  There’s also another independent library on the side of town we used to live on that’s pretty awesome, and we make nostalgic visits over there from time to time as well.  So we have no shortage of options, and it’s rare that we can’t get a book we want.  Worst case scenario is that sometimes we have to wait for it to be shipped from one branch or location to another.  The library systems here in the city are a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Pretty yellow placemat made my my Mama.

So I looked up the other two authors that will be coming in the UAPL system, and found this one was available at our branch right away.  I placed in on reserve, lest someone else who plans to go see him speak try to snatch it, and we went to pick it up this afternoon.  I have the next in the series requested, as well as the first two in the series by the other author I wasn’t familiar with.  So, without spending a penny, I can familiarize myself with these two authors before I go to see them.  And if it turns out I like them as much as I like the one I am familiar with, then I will probably buy one copy of one book by each of them {used} for the autograph.  I adore my collection of signed books I’ve accumulated over the years.  You can keep your rockstars and your movie stars… I’d rather fangirl over an author any day!

So anyway, the moral to this story is to say that utilizing the library is one of our favorite ways to save money. If you’re not a member of your local library, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you sign up.  Even if your local branch is small, most libraries now work with interlibrary loans from other, larger, libraries.  And they’re not just for books!  We cancelled our physical copy Netflix subscription because Hubs gets more movies than he could ever watch from the library for free.  There’s also music and audiobooks.  And many libraries host special events, such as craft classes and things, that are generally free.

Even if you DO already have a library card, if you haven’t visited your library webpage recently, check it out.  I’ve heard of libraries in different places offering things like passes to museums.  None of ours do that, but the one on the other side of town does have wall art you can check out.  I’m sure there’s a multitude of other things offered by libraries around the country {and world!} that I’ve never even thought of, so give it a look if you haven’t recently.

Hope everyone’s having a great Friday night!

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