I just found out about this amazing new service. It’s like Netflix but it also has books and music. It also compels you to get exercise and to meet your neighbors. And best of all, it’s totally free!
Ok, I lied about it being new and about just discovering it. The service is called the Seattle Public Library and it’s one of the most amazing parts of living in this city. Even if our neighborhood branch looks a little silly:
Making the switch from being a media buyer/renter, to a patron of the library isn’t going to save you huge bucks (when we canceled our netflix subscription, it was like $7 a month). The biggest change is accepting the idea that one need not own something to get full enjoyment out of it. Borrowing it for a few weeks is good enough.
In other words, you no longer need to stockpile media in your home. Our CD collection fits in a few CD booklets. Our movie collection fits in a drawer, with room to spare:
Our bookshelf is tucked in the corner of the bedroom, and mostly contains books that fall under the category of “stuff I’d like the kids to read when they’re a little older,” starting with The Hobbit, and working up to Cryptonomicon.
The exercise part comes from the fact that the library has no parking so I usually walk or ride my bike there. And getting to know your neighbors is just an effortless side-effect of being in a public place every so often.
You’re already paying for your local public library through taxes, so you might as well enjoy the benefits!