Want to know a secret? A borrowed library book or e-book is cheaper than a book purchased at an upscale book-coffee shop or online. It’s even less expensive than the bargains you find on the half-price shelf and at second hand book stores.
During these tough economic times, I have cut back on my discretionary spending, which unfortunately includes weekly trips to that up-scale bookstore and impulsive downloads to my e-tablet. Instead of looking for new retail book purchasing experiences, I am in search of new places which will loan me reading material for the price of that nominal fine I usually have to pay because I have trouble getting the book back on time. (Let’s leave the tardy return topic for another day, shall we?)
Virginia residents have access to many fine municipal libraries. Added to these, the Commonwealth offers its citizens access to book repositories such as the Library of Virginia and the cannons of state colleges and universities. Typically, the bibliothecas of higher learning institutions support the schools’ curricula. An example is the library at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College-Goochland Campus. Tucked away in the pastoral setting of Goochland County, this library has an extensive collection of books and periodicals supporting the school’s primary curriculum – Horticulture. This library is home to approximately thirty-five hundred titles with topics ranging from landscaping to cooking to sustainable farming economics. It is open to the public and the school encourages patrons to visit and check out a book or two. Show a picture ID and you can borrow from the extensive collection of printed and audio material.
If you are looking for a book on how to turn your urban backyard into an English garden but don’t want to spend an English pound for it, take a drive through the bucolic farmland which boasts the title of Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home. You may discover that it is a much more pleasurable experience than standing in the long queue at the big-box book store to pay for a book which will probably end up at the second hand book store next winter.