I read a tweet from someone recently who said they get emotional when leaving their library because the whole idea of free books is just so brilliant.
I’ve always loved libraries and books. As a child, in a home which valued books, but could only afford them for Christmas and birthday presents, I regularly used to walk a few miles to the library (uphill). I loved the smell of libraries and the whole thrill of looking at books to make a selection (in the ‘good’ old days when we had library tickets). They transported me to other worlds – and still do.
Now, I still regularly use the library. I looked at my reading list for 2021 and, despite having a lot of books at home, realised that 38 of those I have so far read came from the brilliant Bude Library.
It’s rare that I buy fiction but I do enjoy reading it, so the library comes in very useful. Most fiction (to me) is disposable, unless a classic or something just amazingly well-written like the Neapolitan Quartet of Elena Ferrante, so I tend to buy non-fiction, and use the library for fiction (not always the case, but usually).
So, a massive thank you to Bude Library/Cornwall Library Service who have enabled me to order books online and collect/return to the foyer in Bude (apart from lockdown 1, when anything deemed non-essential was closed). The service is so easy. I come across a book I like, order it online and wait my turn. I have numerous books in my list so I always have a stash of 3-4 at home to work my way through. Parking is easy, even in high summer, with designated parking for library users, and I don’t need face-to-face interaction with anyone.
Many areas have lost their libraries. I hope Bude’s never goes and that I can keep enjoying books from there well into my dotage. If anyone out there doesn’t use the library, then please do so – they always say use it or lose it, and libraries matter.