(Free) Indulgences a Library Can Provide

I’m always (and I do mean always) looking for a great bargain. And fortunately, I needn’t look far to find one of the best: my local public library. If the words “public library” conjure up nothing but images of old, musty books and a stern, silent atmosphere for you, then you’re missing out! Today’s public libraries have far more to offer patrons. If you don’t believe me, just consider these wonderful indulgences that most any and every library offers. And, oh yeah, they’re completely, one hundred percent FREE!

Want free air conditioning? You got it! When it starts to get hot and sticky outside and air conditioning is starting to sound really good, there’s few places you can go without the temptation to spend money that will also help you cool down. But public libraries are the exception! They’re designed to encourage you to lounge, take it easy, relax and—oh yeah—enjoy the free air conditioning!


Enjoy the latest magazines and newspapers from all over the world without spending a dime. I enjoy reading a lot of magazines, but at four to six bucks a pop, they’re quite expensive. A trip to the library, however, enables me to indulge for a while without having to fork out cash to do so. Not only am I saving money, but I’m guaranteed to find the most recent issue on the shelf as they’re not put into checkout or circulation until the next edition is released. (Granted, I may have to wait until someone else is done enjoy it, but no bother. I’ll just sit back and enjoy the air conditioning!)

Got an e-reader or a tablet? Bet your public library has e-books you can enjoy for free too. I’ve got to hand it to public library systems who’ve managed to keep up with this technological advance. Many offer e-books you can virtually checkout, download and enjoy for a set amount of time. And often you can do this literally anywhere you’d like via their website and your library card.

Get new culinary, craft or other inspiration. Yeah, yeah, the Internet can provide all of this too with just a click or two. But if you’re anything like me, you appreciate “kicking it old school” once in a while also. And that means flipping through a magazine or book to find photographs that speak to and inspire you. And, if truth be told, I’ve met more than one great person over in the stacks looking in the same dewey decimal section I was. Oh, yeah, and there’s no advertising blink, moving or blocking my line of vision either. Definitely another plus!

And lastly, quiet, quiet, quiet. (Did I say “quiet”?) As a mom to two young boys, simple quiet is a luxury and an indulgence I don’t often get to appreciate. When I’m feeling at my wit’s end and my patience is low, I often pack up the kids and head for the library. They appreciate the new surroundings and the opportunity to work on small puzzles, look at books and play games on the kid-sized computer stations. I appreciate the opportunity to sit back and let my ears (and head) rest. And even better, the library gets to be the “bad guy” by imposing the rule of quiet voices instead of me! My sanity? You can’t put a price on that! But, thankfully, the library has rescued it more than once and even better, for completely free!

Photo credit: thejester100

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit ThrivingOnEmpty.com to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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