Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Library Love

I have recently discovered a new way to curb my online shopping habit, and since I know a lot of you are trying to cut back, I thought I might share it with you, although I'm probably one of the last to catch on.

I don't know if anyone else does the same, I window shop online. I go on to Cath Kidston, Cox & Cox, or Amazon just to name a few, and add everything I would like into the shopping basket, only to never check it out, or delete most of it till I'm left with a bill a lot more affordable.

So it was on one of these imaginary shopping trips on Amazon, and with a rather long list of wishes, that I suddenly thought, why don't see if have any at the library, so I phoned.
My first request - did they have anything by Cath Kidston? The answer - no not here, but there is one due back soon at another library, and apparently could order it to arrive at my local library when it was available, for the cost of £1 per item, or, and this was the best bit - I could do it online for free! Yipee!

Previously, although I've been a member of the library since I was a child, and later renewed an interested when Ella was born, I have struggled with them. I used to go in and just browse, and although I generally came out with something, it usually wasn't what I was looking for, mainly because someone else had checked it out already or it wasn't where it should be, so my trips to the library were normally time consuming, and involved late fees too as I was pretty crap at remembering to take things back in time.

But all this has changed, I log into my county council's ELAN catalogue online using my card number and password, and I can search for a book, dvd, or cd that I'm after, and in one click I can reserve it, even if they don't have a copy at my own library, and have it sent to the library of my choice, and then they send me a text message (or phone call or email - so you need to let them know your number or address) when it's available for me to collect, I go in, and it is sitting on the reserved shelf with my name wrapped round it, and that's it. quick, simple, easy. I can also renew them online, review my reservations, and see when they are due back.

So now I have this lovely lot for three weeks, I have been adding to my iTunes library for £1 an album, and for another £1.50 I can keep dvd for a week, much better than one night from the video shop (which, incidently, I haven't used for a year due to a £7 late charge because I forgot to take two dvd's back the next day). Ok, I know you can't get the lastest releases as quick as the shops, but I managed to reserve the first copy of Sex And The City, the movie last month before it arrived at the library, so I was the first to get it.

I'm sure there are plenty of you that have been using the library online for years, so forgive me if I'm recounting old news, but I'm sure that there are still some of you, like me, that had forgotten to use this resource, and the excitement of recieving a text to say something has arrived for me is just as good as a new parcel from posty.

Yesterday morning in the garden, I couldn't resist getting the camera for this blue sky

the back door

newly planted window boxes to colour my winter months


  1. you know, I never really thought about those books being at the library..I ventured in to ours as 'a guest' not long back to send an email when the computer broke and I was amazed at the trendy coffee bar and beautiful indoor fountain there..certainly different to the libraries I remember from school. So often I have bought a book from Amazon and been really disappointed, maybe if I had checked it out at the library first I wouldn't have purchased it so hastily..the online part sounds really good too..thanks Jess..I think I may be joining the library in the not too distant future! x

    ps. I do exactly that adding and taking away from my online basket thing too!

  2. I've just broken off from reading this post to go and join my library! I've been meaning to do so for ages and you gave me the prompt I needed. And it was so easy! Took me about 5 minutes on line. I feel quite guilty that all but one of those books in your pile are already on my bookshelves. I definitely buy too many books. I'm on a major economy drive at the moment so it'll be the library from now on. Off now to check out which of my amazon wish list books are in the library catalogue. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. How funny Jessica...I do just the same...fill up my basket and never check out! it is still fun though.
    I really must not shop for any more on-line books, it is becomming an addition. I have just collected the whole set of Agatha Raisin books on ebay.
    Well I must get on with the curtains for my study...I spend far too much time in on-line shops and blogging!
    Carol xx

  4. SNAP!
    I do, however, admit to having two of those books on my bookshelf ;-)

  5. Hi Jess, what a great idea i have been searching on ebay for a book forever for one of the boys but didnt think of trying the library online, what a great idea!

  6. Oh what smashing pictures! I so, so, so need an ELAN card. Our library is in a beautiful old building and has been wonderfully revamped. But I am terrible at returning books, in fact there are three right next to me which I haven't read yet and are hugely overdue. Ooops!
    Enjoy your new habit!

  7. Love your stack of books. Those are the kind I like to sit down and have a cup of tea with.

  8. Hello
    I have been secretly admiring your blog for months and months now,just wanted to ask you what are the plants you planted in your window boxes and can they survive harsh cold and wind and maybe even snow ?
    I wanted to plant my own but was not sure which plants to go for.
    Thank you in advance

  9. Hi Zeljka,
    The flowers in my window boxes are Hardy Cyclamen (these are the smaller version of the larger Cyclamen that is generally used as a house plant. They are suprisingly hardy and mine survived the british winter last year and went right into spring, they can generally survive a hard frost, as long as they are in a sheltered spot. One did wilt on me after a recent cold snap, but it seems to have perked back up again. I would suggest that if you did know you were going to have some particularly harsh weather, then to put some horticultural fleece over them the night before, to keep them cosy!

  10. I never knew you could order books online from the library but I am off to check it out right now! Thanks for the tip! Lovely photos too.
    Cathy X

  11. I am a huge fan of my local library and their reservation policy is similar to yours ~ I reserve online and I get a phone call when the items come in ~ it's great!

    I borrowed Sex & The City a couple of days ago, but haven't had time to watch it yet. We get to keep movies for a week and they are free to borrow.

    I'm going to have a look for some of those book titles, as I can't afford to keep buying books on Amazon...

    Marie x

  12. They seem to have what I'm looking for at my library so that's good to know going to check it out online thanks for the tip!

  13. You're definitely not the only one who does the online window shopping bit...do it all the time! Your photos are very lovely - great colors!

  14. Fab tip, thanks so much for that. I'm the same as you, re-newed my membership when my daughter was born but whenever we're there I try and get her in and out as quickly as possible before she disturbs too many other people!! Why is it that whenever they're in a library, they feel the need to turn 'up' the volume rather than 'down'?!!
    I shall now be checking out the online library. Brilliant!
    Jane. x

  15. It is a really good for trying out a book before you buy I think.
    So many craft books are very disappointing so finding them in your local library is fantastic then you can ask for the ones that you know will be a great resource or inspiration.
    Plus we all need to use our libraries otherwise they will disappear.

  16. As a librarian of 27 years, I am always amazed at how many people do not use the library and have such low expectations of what might be housed in it. I am also really interested to know what we can do better to get women like yourself who love books and all the gorgeous things that are there in to the library? What could we do better? Love your blog by the way...am a regualr visitor. Check out our libraries www.christchurchcitylibraries.com

  17. I can so identify with this post - I too rediscovered our local library after having my little boy. Such a great resource, and I was amazed at the range of "crafty" books on offer. Great to meet someone else who fantasy shops too! Same buzz without the damage.

  18. I have gone to the library to find books ( which they usually dont have) but I never realised i could do it online. i will check that out. Thanks for the tip!

  19. I work at a library and you can order any book and we will either try to get it for you from another library system or we would purchase it for our collection. And there is no charge!

  20. I didn't know about the online thing but will check it out in my area. I buy far too many books and then have too much to read, perhaps I shall make a New Year Resolution to use the library and not buy any books next year or read what I already have!

  21. It gets better - if you get ahead of the library in your awareness of superb books about to be published (and this often happens if you're out and about in blogland) you can request a purchase so you're actually influencing the books they buy! Hurrah! Sadly in Norfolk you have to pay 55p per online reservation, which, since my library is a static van in a nearby village, I often have to do and it soon adds up! Still cheaper than Amazon though! GREAT pictures. Thanks for stopping by so I could find you! t.x


Thank you so much for making the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate every one (even if I don't manage to reply to them all - I tend to get sidetracked quite easily) and it always brings a little smile to my face when I discover one in my inbox.