LOVE A LIBRARY by Joy Margetts


Recently I rediscovered a long- lost love. No it wasn’t via Social Media, but it was unexpected and heart warming nonetheless. Life changing? Not exactly -  but it has definitely enriched my life in ways I am very grateful for... I recently rediscovered our small, one room, local book Library, with it’s bookshelf lined walls and it’s part-time hours.

It was my grandson’s fault. Well as he is only 15 months old, I can’t really place the blame on him. But his mother was the catalyst. She wanted her son to find some new books to look at. It was sparked by her happy memories of visiting the library herself. Of finding an Aladdin’s cave of books, and sitting and enjoying the treasure there, and then gathering more books to take home. I must have started taking her and her brother when they were quite small, as we progressed from the brightly coloured picture books to ones that were more words than pictures. I remembered the time fondly too -  and wondered why, and when, we had stopped going.

So I went with her. She found some ‘lift- the -flap’ and ‘push the button to make sounds’ books. I stepped into my very own Aladdin’s cave. Row upon row of books. Lovely books of all shapes and sizes, all with their library issue clear plastic covers. There were hardbacks and paperbacks, high fantasy and sloppy romance, fiction and non-fiction, and wonder of wonders – historical fiction – lots of it. I was like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop.

Now I love book shops for the exact same reasons – the sight and smell of a multitude of books gives me great joy. But the added factor here was that the sweets were all free! I could take home any of these books that I wanted to, pay nothing to read them, and then just bring them back for someone else to enjoy. I love owning books, but lately there has not been spare money to indulge in buying as many of them as I would like to. I have Kindle Unlimited and have read many good books that way (and some truly awful ones too) but I am a traditionalist. I love the feel of a solid book in my hands, especially when the weather is good enough to sit outside to read. And here, in the library, I had too many to choose from.


I restricted myself to four, and them picked up a fifth that shouted to me on the way out. The lovely librarian smiled when I asked if I could take all five. ‘Oh you can have up to 27 books out at any one time!’ she laughed.  Things had definitely changed since I last used the library! No little paper tickets in the front pocket for the librarian to file in a little box, no magic date stamper. ‘It’s all done electronically now,’ she explained. ‘Download the app and you can renew the books yourself, as many times as you need to. And you can order any book that we haven’t got here, and we will find it for you.’ Wonderful.

Since that first visit I have been back several times. I have indeed downloaded the app, and renewed books, and ordered books in. All very successfully. It has enabled me to read books that have been on my wish list for a long time, to rediscover old favourite authors, and to discover some amazing new authors. My husband and our bank account are much happier. We both now have piles of real books by our bedsides. If we do want to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks, they are also free to borrow.

But there have been other unexpected benefits from rediscovering the library. The aforementioned lovely librarian has become a champion of my own writing too. She took a copy of ‘The Healing’ and then paid for three more copies to be circulated in other libraries in the area. Last time I looked (on the app) all four copies had been borrowed! When she heard that ‘The Pilgrim’ was coming out, she offered to host a live book launch event for me. This we did, and I am so grateful for the way the library service has supported me as a local author.

What can I say? Only that as a writer who reads, and as a reader who writes, I have fallen back in love with my library! So if you haven’t visited one for a while, why not go? Why not ask if they would support your books? You will never know if you don’t ask!

Joy Margetts has loved writing for as long as she can remember. A retired nurse, mother of two, and a new grandparent, she also has a lifelong interest in history. She makes her home on the beautiful North Wales coast.

Her debut novel 'The Healing', a work of historic fiction, was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self published a short novella, 'The Beloved' as both a companion to 'The Healing', and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available on Amazon Kindle. Her second full - length novel, 'The Pilgrim', was published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and her personal blog, can be found here




Umberto Tosi said…
Here's to lending libraries and those of us who love them - updated for the digital age, but ever true to their mission. Thank you for this post.
Ruth Leigh said…
I LOVE this blog, Joy! I was smiling throughout. I have a similar relationship with my local library. I staggered out of there pre-holiday with a huge stack of books, all of which I read and enjoyed while away. It is indeed a treasure trove and I'm so happy to hear that your library has engaged with you as a writer. Mine is equally fab.
Sarah said…
I too have recently up dated my library card and enjoy the online benefits of audio books through Borrow Box.
Still gave a huge pile of books I own on my TBR pile but a lot of them are charity shop bargains, with a few signed copies of books where I have met the author!
It's great to have the choice.
Joy Margetts said…
Thank you for your comments. I know I'm not alone in being in love with my library!

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