Our Reading Lives

I Love My Library. I HATE My Library.

Jessica Pryde

Contributing Editor

Jessica Pryde is a member of that (some might call) rare breed that grew up in Washington, DC, but is happily enjoying the warmer weather of the desert Southwest. While she is still working on what she wants to be when she grows up, she’s enjoying dabbling in librarianship and writing all the things. She can be found drowning in her ever-growing TBR and exclaiming about romance in the Book Riot podcast (When in Romance), as well as on social media. Find her exclamations about books and pho on twitter (JessIsReading) and instagram (jess_is_reading).

That is a bold statement, I know. Especially since I work at my library.

But it’s true. I have a severe love-hate relationship with the public library.

It’s not really hate. I swear. It’s just…dammit, library, why do you always have what I want?

I try to be really conservative about the number of books I put on hold, ofttimes when they first go on order and I know I’ll be waiting months to get them. And then they ALL COME AT ONCE. Because I wasn’t paying attention to their release dates. Ugh.

This is not how I planned to spend my year, reading new books from the library. I have a backstock of several hundred books in my house and on my ipad, and while I have been doing a slow purge (and after having another Come-To-Jesus talk with myself, will be doing another enormous one soon) there are still a lot of books I want to read on those shelves. Those are the books I should be reading right now.

And then I do things like…read the first book in a series, which I happen to own…and then immediately want to read the rest and put them on hold at the library. And then the third will come before the second, and I have to go buy the second one so I can read it before the third one is due again. (I know, I could have waited, but then it might have been taken! I can’t handle the waiting when I know I had it in my hand!)

Or maybe I’ll have seen something that was an absolute must when it was announced in October and I just have to read it immediately upon release, but it’s a hardcover so I shouldn’t buy it. If I have it on the Hold shelf already, I will be less inclined to pick it up when it comes out. So I am helping, by not adding more books to the collection. 

Or maybe I will randomly surf through the New and On Order Books pages in the library catalog and (while I have been better at marking things “For Later” instead of immediately putting them on hold) add one or two books to my Holds list because they already have 15 holds…or I am super proud of myself for being first in line for something everyone will be buzzing about in about a month.

But I could be reading the books I already have, dangit!

Library, I love you. Library, I hate you. You keep me from doing the things I should do and guide me straight to the things I just really really want.


Don’t ever change.