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For two hours, I was the DC Public Library's newest member.

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Oct. 7th, 2017 | 04:52 pm

I hope I get to choose the location of my commemorative brick.

I've always enjoyed owning physical books, so I can lend them to people, return to them anytime I want, and generally have good furniture. And for a few years, getting all the books I wanted for super cheap from online (mostly Amazon resellers, but other options too) was working well. Of late, many of the books I wanted were becoming quite expensive, and I had trouble stretching my annual book budget to the number that I really wanted to read.

So for the first time in six years, I have a public library card again. After going to the online sign up site intermittently all week and getting an error message every time, it worked on Thursday and I requested a permanent card plus my first book from them. By Friday it was ready to pickup, so I went to our lovely branch library yesterday to pick it up.

It is kind of fun to become a new member of something, as the person reaches into drawers for things and you don't know how much you will get. I received a physical card and a mini-card for my keychain from the lady at the checkout desk, plus instructions on how to pick up my holds. They are organized by last name and put on a shelf, which seemed reasonable enough until I turned the corner and it was an entire wall of shelves that I and another patron had to awkwardly sift through until we found our books. Still, it works and I need to avail myself of more books from there. They also offer all kinds of e-magazine subscriptions to members.

It all seems impossibly generous. Of course the District is run better than a lot of people give it credit for and our tax revenues are at record highs, so we can afford this stuff!

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Comments {6}

Chronic Multiplicity, Chronicled.

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from: spiral_meter
date: Oct. 8th, 2017 03:03 am (UTC)
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i have a history of buying books and either never reading them or not finishing them.

and congrats on your new affiliation/membership!

b

Edited at 2017-10-08 03:03 am (UTC)

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: Oct. 8th, 2017 07:02 pm (UTC)
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I too have half a shelf of those, silently mocking me each time I pass by.

Thank you!

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Hein

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from: fub
date: Oct. 8th, 2017 11:03 am (UTC)
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Most of the books I buy are RPG books, and there is no easy source of physical copies locally -- and postage kind of kills the enjoyment. I've switched to buying PDFs, and it's been working out well for me. Still, you can get my collection of physical RPG books when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

Also, I think the question to ask is: "Can any society afford not to have cheap and public places of learning and culture?"

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: Oct. 8th, 2017 07:02 pm (UTC)
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I am mostly reading wonky non-fiction and popular fiction these days, both of which are widely available in print ... for now.

Very true! I know our libraries are highly valued, especially by families with kids!

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M!ke

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from: rockingthemike
date: Oct. 9th, 2017 08:18 pm (UTC)
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the forty or so books on my shelf demonstrate to me that a library card is the last thing i need. i don't mind the financial hit of buying, but if i lent.... dammit, it would be insane.

Edited at 2017-10-09 08:19 pm (UTC)

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: Oct. 9th, 2017 11:42 pm (UTC)
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The possibilities of this giant system's catalog are indeed a bit daunting. Fortunately there is a limit to the number I can check out at one time.

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