Confessions of a Teenage Reader: The Library Loathing

I hate libraries. The uncanny way the book I want never seems to be on the shelves. The stagnant air in which every little sound echoes like a firework. The lifeless looking people mindlessly working on the ancient computers provided. The shabby furniture that looks anything but inviting. It just makes me all-around sad.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Libraries are wonderful resources, and I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if they weren’t here. It’s just the little things I wish I didn’t have to deal with.

quiet pleaseLet’s start at the beginning. As soon as you walk through the doors, the silence is deafening. While it may be good for concentration, it isn’t welcoming. Every sneeze is projected throughout the whole building. I feel like I’m frowned upon for whispering or opening books with particularly loud spines– anything that makes noise, I hesitate to do.

Once you settle down into an outdated armchair, you start to think about that chair. The chair that leaves a little dark rectangle in the carpet because it’s been there for so long. The chair with a coffee (hopefully coffee) stain on it and a rip in the side. The chair person after person occupies with no respect for it. I’m anything but a germaphobe (5 second rule always counts!), but the sheer wear and tear on the chair grosses me out a little.

Next, you look around. Some people are slowly clicking away on one of the many ancient desktops, scrolling through Facebook and doing some harmless web searches. Others sit at their fancy laptops with papers strewn across the table, insistently working on some sort of important project. Completely silent. Completely engulfed in their activities. Completely expressionless. Maybe it’s because I’m such an avid people-watcher that this freaks me out. Whatever the case, I’m always mildly uncomfortable being in libraries for long periods of time.silence

booksNow, you head over to the YA section. Oh, so many glorious books! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for- the reason you came. You even brought a list. This list has 100 books that you’re dying to read. 100. You start at the top. They don’t have the first one. Or the second. Or the third… Finally, 57 books later, you have success! And the tedious search begins again for another book.

Maybe this problem only exists in my library, because there is one farther away that always has all the books I want. There are absolutely no books I need here! The YA section is a miniature version of what it should be. It’s just my lucky that whenever I come, the book is hardly ever there. Sometimes, they just don’t carry the books. Other times, there is only one book in the whole library system, and the hold wait is months. Craziness. At least I know people still read; I just wish they wouldn’t take all my books!

Thus, my hatred for libraries festered. I get funding is always a problem. I get libraries are supposed to be quiet. Libraries and I have a love-hate relationship.

Alright. Enough hating on libraries. Let me tell you all the reasons I love them:

  • While the silence is unnerving, it is a good working atmosphere. If I’m in a tight spot and can’t focus at home, I’m heading to
  • the library.
  • My library has this cute little cafe in the front. It has doors and everything, so you can be as loud as you want. This is a perfect
  •  place to have a study group without disturbing the silence, and munch on a snack without getting death stares from library books
  • the librarians.
  • Also, my library has sooo many places to work. There are desks, armchairs (though worn), and tables. You will never be short of a place to sit.

It’s not that I hate going to libraries. I, in fact, love it. When I first moved here, I instantly knew my way to the library. I have friends who’ve lived here all their life and don’t know how to get to the library. These problems came to me after hours and hours spent checking out books and studying here. I love the library; I just don’t love all the aspects of the library.


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