Why Libraries Are The Best Places To Hang Out

by Julia Seales

As someone who grew up with a love of reading (and a mom who has a degree as a reading specialist), I naturally spent a lot of time in the library. I remember one summer when there was a contest at the library, and for every 10 books you read, you got your name entered to win a prize. I read more than 200 books, so you can bet I won a darn prize (it was tickets to a baseball game and I was out of town so I missed it, but I'm not bitter...). The library was a special place filled with books, and I could check out as many as I wanted, so naturally, it was one of my favorite spots in the world.

Fast-forward to college. The library was a little less fun and a little more “I have a paper due in two hours and I haven’t started it yet” (Just kidding, I never did that…). And now that I’ve graduated, I simply don’t spend as much time among the stacks of classics and bestsellers as I used to. This is TERRIBLY SAD, because the truth is that libraries are the absolute BEST. There are so many reasons to spend your time hanging out in the library, whether you’re 8 or 80, and it’s time to rediscover exactly what makes these book homes so perfect.

There Are Books There

Obviously, the number one best thing about libraries is that there are books there. And who wouldn't want to hang out where they keep all the books?

It's Quiet

Sometimes, you just need a bit of a respite from everyday life. One great thing about libraries is that they're peaceful and quiet (well, peaceful as long as you're not the one getting shushed by a librarian...).

Librarians Can Recommend Books

When they're not shushing you (if that actually even happens), librarians are truly very helpful. They can help you find the book you need, or even recommend a new one — because chances are, if they're working in a library, they like books, too. Unless your librarian is Tammy 2, in which case, EXIT THAT LIBRARY ASAP.

You Can Read For Free

Usually, when I walk into a bookstore, my wallet starts crying because it knows there's about to be dollars shed. But the great thing about a library is, you can read and check out as many books as you want, for no cost! Suddenly you'll have so much money that you might as well start calling yourself Chanel.

You'll Feel Productive

Something about a library just inspires feelings of productivity, whether it's your university's beautiful study spot or your town's local branch. For times when you need to crack down and get some things checked off your to-do list (or your TBR list...) the library is the place to go.

You're Surrounded By Other People Who Love Books

Just knowing that you're near fellow book-lovers is a good enough reason to hit up the library. After all, like books themselves, these people understand you.

You Might Have (Or You Can At Least Imagine Having) A Meet Cute

What better place to meet an attractive stranger, than surrounded by shelves of books? Imagine: you both reach for the same copy of The Hobbit, and suddenly it's love at first we-like-the-same-books.

If You Were A Young Book-Lover, It Will Remind You Of Your Childhood

If you, like me, spent many hours in the library as a kid, picking out stacks and stacks of books, you'll get a rush of nostalgia when you go back. If the library was one of your favorite places, too, why not relive those great memories?

You Can Pretend You're Belle

If you were a book-lover as a kid, and you love Disney, one of your favorite Disney princesses was most likely Belle. And you may or may not have rewound your VHS to watch the library scene a million times. Why not take this opportunity to relive that magic, and pretend you're Belle? Just keep the singing to a minimum. As stated before, the librarians might shush you.

They're Full Of History

Some libraries have been around a pretty long time, which you'll discover as you flip through some of the books... Bonus points if you check out aged hardcovers with yellowing pages and library stamp cards in the front. Doesn't it make you wonder exactly who checked out that book before you? Who thumbed through the pages, reading the very same words that you're now reading? Everything is a story, people!

There Are Some Super Amazing Libraries Out There

You should definitely go to this library. And this one. And these. And FOR SURE book some plane tickets, because these are all stunning.

Images: Flickr/Lydia Liu, Flickr/Michael D Beckwith, Flickr/waferboard, Walt Disney (1), Paramount (1), 20th Century Fox TV (1), NBC (1), Warner Bros TV (1), Warner Bros (1), TriStar (1), Buena Vista (1)