Discussion: Do You Return Books to the Library Unread?

Posted August 10th, 2017 by in Discussions / 11 comments

I always find other readers’ habits fascinating and I love to read about them. Mainly to see if there is anyway to make my reading/blogging time more efficient. I never really thought much about today’s question until I read a few posts and tweets about the topic. Now I’m burning with curiosity about other people’s library habits.

Do you return books to your library unread?

Confession: I use my library when I have the urge to blow a lot of cash on books. One click ordering has really sharpened that impulse buy and a lot of times when I’m feeling that, almost destructive, feeling I’ll do one of two things (or sometimes both): search out freebie Kindle books or go to the library and browse.

Browsing at the library always makes me feel better about life. If I’m having a particularly stressful time I’ll swing through the library on my lunch break and just browse. A lot of times I’ll pick up a book or two or six. I’ve always been overly optimistic about how much I can realistically read in three weeks (my library’s loan period). I average about a book read a week. I’m totally fine with this but that means when I walk out with six books the likelihood is that I’ll only read three before they’re due back. Of course there’s always renewing but that isn’t always guaranteed.

I used to feel bad about checking out books and not reading them before I send them back. There’s probably another soul out there who wants to read this book and I have it and won’t be able to read it. *hangs head in guilt* BUT you kind of know going in that there may be a wait for Book X and you’re willing to wait because that means not paying Amazon, B&N, or your local bookstore for the book. You’d rather just borrow it. I didn’t know this until I worked at a library so I’ll share it with you: grants can be secured based on the number of materials loaned out. Even if you didn’t read that book it may have helped to boost your libraries numbers.



11 Responses to “Discussion: Do You Return Books to the Library Unread?”

  1. Lover Of Romance

    Great post you have here. I just love going to the library and there have been times that I have grabbed a book but didn’t get to it, or forgot to read it and then its due and I am like “CRAPOLA” hehe Most of the time though I try to read what I get from the library. Although when I finish my group of books, I return them as quickly as I can. Because I worry that others are waiting on them. Good to know that when we check out books, it helps the library in the long run.

    • Stephanie

      I always feel bad when I have a new release and don’t read it right then and there! I feel even worse when I return it unread. BUT I think most people just understand that’s part of using a library. I know I don’t expect new releases immediately.

    • Stephanie

      I find sometimes in the 3 weeks that I have my mood changes and what I wanted to read a week ago isn’t what I want to read a week or two later. I just realized recently that I’m a mood reader and it’s changed my reading approach a LOT!

    • Stephanie

      This is true! I have to remember that life happens and it isn’t like I checked the book out with no intention whatsoever of reading it.

  2. Liz

    I haven’t used the library in forever, courtesy of paranoia regarding but allergies (all it took was once), but this is interesting info! I do contemplate trying out libraries again here and there, because I can’t always afford to buy books (especially the new ones), but I worried about checking out books and not actually getting around to reading them. I guess the library would at least benefit in some way even in that regard!

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