The Beauty of Library Books

I’ve avoided the library for years for a number of reasons. One, I used to work in publishing so got a lot of books for free or at a discounted price. Two, I love owning books and piling them on my bookcase. Libraries selfishly make you give the books back.

Now I have returned to the library with a reading vengeance. The thing I love most is if I borrow a book I can’t get into, then I can easily abandon it without feeling any guilt. Why? Because I didn’t pay for the book so am under no obligation to persevere if the story doesn’t grab me. Afterall, there’s plenty more books where that came from.

The only down-side is that I am finding it hard to focus on one book when there’s the next book to rush to and read. You may have noticed that my book reviews have been a little slim of late and that’s because I’ve started and stopped reading a few books. Not because they were bad books, they were all quite good, I just couldn’t get into them.

My abandoned books are:

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
  • The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman – This is a truly beautiful, literary read set in Ancient Israel. I abandoned it as my brain was bogged down by interviews and job applications and I needed a fluffier read.


Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth  – This tells the story of Rapunzel in a historical context. I was really looking forward to reading this and will hopefully try and read it again another time. It has gotten rave reviews on goodreads. I think the reason I didn’t get too far into this book was because it was so large I couldn’t fit it in my handbag. (I do a lot of my reading on public transport.)


Mr Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange
  • Mr Darcy, Vampyre  by Amanda Grange – This book imagines what happens next after the wedding in Pride and Prejudice and then goes off on a Twilight tangent. It was a little too slow for me. I ended up skipping ahead and reading, so ruined the ending for myself and thus abandoned it. I am making up for this by reading another book by the same author called Captain Wentworth’s Diary. It tells the story of Persuasion by Jane Austen from the perspective of Captain Wentworth. I am enjoying it a lot.

Do you borrow library books? Do you find being spoilt for choice ruins your ability to concentrate on one book at a time? Or is that just me?

12 thoughts on “The Beauty of Library Books

  1. jessicabookworm July 19, 2012 / 8:59 pm

    I used to borrow books from the library all the time, now I limit myself to taking out books mainly for reading challenges I’m taking part in. Because often challenge reads tend to be new things to me. Right now I have far too many books to choose from, and do find my mind wandering to what I’m going to read next rather than focusing on what I am actually reading!


    • janereads July 20, 2012 / 3:50 pm

      That’s a good idea to borrow books for reading challenges as you would then feel an obligation to finish the book.


  2. on thehomefrontandbeyond July 20, 2012 / 1:15 am

    I borrow too many at a time–hence the pressure – so I understand exactly what you are talking about.


    • janereads July 20, 2012 / 3:47 pm

      Good to know I’m not alone! I need to try to commit to one book at a time.


  3. woahmolly July 20, 2012 / 9:41 am

    I used to be an avid borrower, but I am really terrible at remembering to do important things, like return books on time and I was always getting fined. I like second-hand bookstores and buying books from the net, for hardcopies. I’ve now got a kindle and I’m busy getting a collection for that!

    I do miss my university’s library, though- it was amazing. Any book I could think of, it was there.


    • janereads July 20, 2012 / 3:46 pm

      I like second-hand bookstores too!


  4. easyondeyes July 20, 2012 / 3:23 pm

    It may sound a little weird that I haven’t been a member of any library. I love to buy books. I think I am just working towards making a library of my own 😉


    • janereads July 20, 2012 / 3:51 pm

      No, it’s not weird. You and your blog are probably helping to keep the book industry alive. And yes, you should open your own library 🙂


  5. northmum July 22, 2012 / 6:25 pm

    Glad you’re enjoying Captain Wentworth’s Diary 🙂 I love the library (I qualified as a librarian but gave it up to have kids) – my problem is that I use it for taking out candy floss when I should be reading more worthy material for book group or something! Until last week I was passing our local library on my way to work and it was very easy to drop in and emerge with a pile of easier reading which would put off Hilary Mantel for a few more days. Hopefully I’ll be more disciplined now I’ve finished that job.


    • janereads July 22, 2012 / 6:51 pm

      I like that you use the library to borrow “candy floss” books. Sometimes it’s nice to read those type of books. Don’t be too guilty about putting off reading Hilary Mantel – I’ve been doing that for months!


  6. poindextrix July 24, 2012 / 8:14 am

    I rediscovered the library once I realized that I was too poor to buy every book I wanted to read. Also, I would be very bitter if I ended up paying for books that turned out to be not-so-great, so libraries are a good no-guilt option. I do get distracted by library books and stray from other books that have been sitting on my shelves forever though, and that’s kind of a problem.


    • janereads July 24, 2012 / 7:11 pm

      You’re right – libraries are a great “no-guilt” option!


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