All of my life the library has been one of my favorite places to go. When we were kids mom would take us and let us check out a certain number of books each visit. I can still remember some of the books I checked out over and over again. My grade school had a tiny library, but a bookmobile would come around once a month or so. A van filled with shelves of books was my dream car for a long time.
As an adult I’ve always had a library card and I go to the library pretty regularly. Rarely do I go for anything specific–it’s like walking down the candy aisle and seeing what looks particularly delicious today. I also go to a church with a small library and it’s wonderful to trade recommendations with other church members.
I love libraries for their books, their smell, their accessibility and their staff. But why do most people go to libraries? Turns out it’s for the cookbooks. Publishers Weekly recently ran an article saying that, “While health and medicine titles used to be the most popular nonfiction titles checked out of America’s libraries, cookbooks have lately overtaken them to hold the number-one spot. In a survey released by Library Journal February 15, 67% of respondents listed cookbooks (more than any other category) among the top seven categories of nonfiction circulation.”
The article goes on to theorize that the slow economy is pushing folks back into their kitchens to cook at home. I know I’ve taken quite a few cookbooks for a test drive by checking them out of the library (I also just like to read them). I love that libraries are meeting a common need this way. It’s as it should be.
Q4U- So why do you go to the library? And if you don’t go, why don’t you?