Reading is fundamental, and can help spur on your learning and your career. Where's the best place to read and save money? Your public library, of course. Why go to the library? Well . . .
Elon Musk is a billionaire. If you haven’t heard the name, he’s the real-life Iron Man. Musk owns both a rocket launching business and a revolutionary car company. He also co-founded several other companies, such as PayPal. He will also likely be the person who makes the human race multi-planetary by colonizing Mars. Yeah. He’s smart.
I watched a recent interview in which he was asked how he got so smart. His reply? “I read a lot.”
In the interview, he even goes on to say that reading is more efficient than going to school. He reminds us that with reading, you can absorb information much faster than in lectures. Good point.
Using Elon’s logic, we may be better off checking out the public library than enrolling in college courses.
And you know what else? A public library is free. What better reason to learn how to use the library and start reading?
I’m a bit of a librophile. And a bit of an Elon Musk fanboy, if you couldn’t tell. As a result, I’ve come to appreciate the value of public libraries.
How to Use the Library
Since I work from home, I use the library almost like a second office. When I want a change of environment, I simply head over to my local public library. I do this a few days a week. It keeps me from having to either rent an office space or hang out with the hipsters at Starbucks.
The public library is an oasis for me. I go there to work. And I can even get eBooks there. I read about a book a week, so this is important. I also use the public library as a meet-up location. Sometimes, I even go there just to chill and wander the shelves for a bit.
You can even save money and become more productive by using a public library. Here's how.
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1. No Overpriced Coffee Needed
Need to get some work done? Head to the library. At a public library, no one cares when you leave.
When you go to a place like Starbucks, there’s always that awkwardness: “Should I keep nursing this coffee or buy another? How much coffee do I have to buy to stay in this seat for a few more hours? Do they want me to leave? If it gets crowded, I’ll definitely leave. Is it strange that I know the names of all the employees? Where’s Angela today? I know she wasn’t getting along with Jeremy. I hope she didn’t quit.”
If I had to go to Starbucks every time I wanted to work outside my home, I’d probably have to spend $40 per week on coffee and quiche. That’s over $2,000 per year! I save money each time I walk through the library doors.
2. Free (Even New) Books
Librarians are super helpful. No matter what library I go to, they always bend over backwards to help. I can even ask them to order new books when they come out. Then they order them, let me know when they come in, and I’m the first to check them out. It’s almost like they’re buying books for me — no need for Barnes & Noble. And yes, I did have to Google that store to make sure it’s still in business.
3. A Free Place to Meet
A public library is also a great place to meet up for free. Not everyone is game to meet at a restaurant or somewhere else that’s potentially expensive. Plus, libraries don’t usually don’t have a problem with you leaving your car there while you’re out on the town. Gotta love free parking!
4. Save Big on Your Data Plan
I’m as digital as possible. I love checking out ebooks and audiobooks and then using the library’s internet. Furthermore, I’ve read about libraries that are now checking out 4G mobile routers. And your bank account will thank you, too!
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5. Free Classes
I’ve heard of some libraries even giving free yoga sessions. And I know a few libraries near me that offer free language and computer courses. Maybe you can refer your grandparents the next time they ask you how to use their email machine. Between your yoga classes and your grandparents’ computer classes, your family can save a ton.
6. Cheap Printing
I’m sort of a minimalist. That, and I try to be forward-thinking with technology. Combine those two things, and there’s no room for a printer in my life. But once in a blue moon, I need to print something out. I’ll gladly pay 10 cents at a library every few months, rather than buy my own printer.
A Final Thought on Why and How to Use the Library
If you want to succeed in life, read. Or rather, keep reading, since you’re already reading this blog post. Perhaps a library can be your frugal oasis for getting smart, and set you off on a space vacation someday. You never know, right?