If you live in Memphis, and you've yet to visit the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (the big one on Poplar Avenue), then you're missing out!
Since I can only live in one city at a time (though, trust me, if I could live in multiple cities at once, I would), I'm only speaking directly to the Memphis Library. But know that this post is for you, wherever you are, whatever the size of your library.
Just today, I returned 3 books, renewed 1, and kept 3 more, one of which I'm going nuts over (The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan)! I spent an hour inside using the Internet, on my own laptop, doing some work for an upcoming worship-leading commitment.
I love the library; I use the library. Here's why you should to:
- You pay for it. Don't ask me for the city's budget to see just how much, but trust me, your tax dollars in some way, shape or form are paying for the library.
- The books are free. Did you realize this? Have you been missing out on free books all this time?
- You can try out a book/author without dropping $20 on a book. That's right, you can stop buying books that you're never going to read.
- Free WiFi. Yep. Save your money and hit up the library instead of the coffee shop!
- It's got great bathrooms. Hey, how many times are you working at Starbucks (for the free WiFi, of course) and there's ONE BATHROOM? Not at Benjamin L. Hooks, no sir.
- Lots of tables and chairs. You can go to any floor of the library and find small tables, big tables, individual desks.
- The view. From the aforementioned tables and chairs, you can park it in front of the wall of windows.
- Outlets aplenty. There are tables with little "doors" you open, filled with outlets! Perfect for that laptop with 5% battery life. No more fighting for the outlet seat at Starbucks.
- People. It's a great way to see and meet the diverse population of Memphis.
- Used Bookstore. When you do get ready to buy books, check out the used bookstore on the 1st floor. I've purchased some of my favorite books from here, for $1.50-$3.00. A STEAL!
If I've not convinced you yet, go anyway! Prove me wrong.
There are [much smaller] library branches all over the city. They don't all have walls of windows, but they do have free books and Internet. You can even use the online catalog to look up books ahead of time to see if they have it before you go!