5 Reasons To Renew Your Library Membership

Remember back in the day when you used to go to the library after school, pick up your books like it was the most exciting thing in the world, and head home to your juice box and teddy bears to read (if you weren’t born in the 80s, you probably don’t)? Unsurprisingly, I had pretty high library attendance rates when I was a kid. I went through books like a pack-a-day smoker goes through cigarettes, and it wasn’t cheap for mum and dad to keep up with my habit. So I went to the library.

Many years later, not much has changed. I don’t smoke. I don’t really drink, other than the odd glass of wine. I don’t buy myself nice clothes, fancy shoes, new handbags or jewellery – my money goes towards books. That’s my guilty pleasure. But with my travel habit getting more and more expensive, something’s had to give. So I recently toddled on down to the local library, and signed myself up, expecting a half-decent collection of old books, at best. What I found instead, I was not expecting.

Libraries have seriously upped their game since I was last a member back in the 1990s. They’ve got new books, old books, and so much more than books. I’m kicking myself for not having signed up earlier, because the easy access to books has meant I’ve been able to tear through 24 of them so far this year already! My habit is satisfied, and I’ve found a whole new world I didn’t know existed a few months ago. I’m really glad I went back to the library, and here’s why you should, too…

 

1. It’s not just access to your local library – it’s your whole council.
Say you live in the confines of the Whitehorse City Council. Say you live in the suburb of Blackburn. It’s not just Blackburn’s library you can borrow from; you can use your library card to borrow from Box Hill. Or Doncaster. Or Nunawading, Vermont, Bulleen or Warrandyte. You have no idea how nifty this is until you want to borrow a book on your way home and it’s way easier to drop into a different branch!

2. Easy reservations online or with apps.
You know how frustrating it is when you finally get to the library and they don’t have the book you want? Well that’s a thing of the past, now. Councils like Darebin have introduced an app you can download; from there, you can search the library catalogue and make a reservation! And, to prove step one really is efficient, it doesn’t matter which library the book is currently residing in – they can bring it to your library of choice for collection! AND you’ll get a handy sms to let you know when it’s ready for you, so you don’t have to make the trip down for nothing. Amazing!

3. They look after the kids.
Libraries have seriously upped their game when it comes to activities for the small ones. The City of Moonee Valley are outstanding, providing not only sessions for kids of all ages (rhyme time for babies, a mix of singing and stories for the toddlers, a story time program for pre-schoolers, and even an after school program for the older kids), they also have a gorgeous initiative called “Begin With Books” that gives a free book bag to all babies born within their council 🙂

4. Free community events.
Did you know that most libraries actually hold a ton of free events?! Libraries like those in the City of Yarra host regular events, ranging from social (crafternoons, Lego clubs and kids’ reading clubs) to educational (digital coaching and how to create your own food gardens), and all you have to do is register online and turn up!

5. Free books – duh!
Sooooo many books! All yours! For free! For a time, anyway. Oh, and it’s not just physical books that libraries lend out anymore; you can also get eBooks to download to your favourite electronic reading device! And as you can see on Moreland City Council’s library page, you can also get eAudiobooks, And eMovies. And eMagazines. Libraries are keeping up with technology to stay relevant and accessible, and that can only come in handy!

Shop here: Faulkner House Books, New Orleans

Faulkner House Books
624 Pirates Alley, New Orleans
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faulkner-House-Books/213477855446762

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How incredible, to be standing in the former home of literary giant William Faulkner in the middle of New Orleans’ French Quarter… The winner of a Nobel Prize for Literature, as well as two Pulitzers, is one of America’s most celebrated writers, and his former home in the French Quarter, lovingly and carefully restored by Rosemary James and Joe DeSalvo (who also live on the floor above the book store) is one of the most beautiful tributes a writer could hope to have.

It’s tucked well away and easy to miss, but if you have the address, just follow the map (or ask for directions!) and enter wonderland. It’s tightly packed with as many books as the little room can hold, with an unsurprisingly great section on Mr Faulkner himself and poetic works from a range of writers. I was pretty happy to pick up a copy of Gumbo Ya-Ya there, and spent a solid 30 minutes browsing the books, lost in the perfectly chandelier-lit happy place.

Faulkner House Books embodied everything I love – old houses with soul, creaky floorboards that tell a story, floor to ceiling shelves of books, history, and the smell of gumbo wafting from down the street. When you’re in New Orleans, make sure you drop in and pick yourself up some new reading material, and enjoy walking into a gorgeous little world away from the mayhem of Bourbon Street for a while.

10 Books Every Traveller Must Read (as published on ThoughtCatalog)

Well this was an exciting email to wake up to – my first ThoughtCatalog article has been published! Hehe yay for small wins  : )

If you’d like to read the full article, please make your way on over to the ThoughtCatalog page, which you’ll find right here. Otherwise, enjoy the slightly quicker version below!

 

With travel being more accessible than ever, more of us are packing our bags and taking off on our own little adventures. Airlines are offering new routes, we’re able to organize every part of our trip on our smart phone, we’re increasingly using travel as an opportunity to connect and learn, and we have the ability to travel faster than ever.

At the same time, though, there’s a push to move back to the travel of yesteryear; moving slowly, spending time getting to know the locals, street food over exclusive restaurants, keeping travel journals and getting off the beaten path.

Whatever your style, it seems most travelers do have at least one thing in common; most enjoy reading about the adventures of other like-minded souls. There are an infinite number of travel tomes out there, running the full gamut from informative and clinical to the imaginative, story-telling styles. The following books are ten of my favorites (so far), and I think worthy of a place on the reading list of anyone else suffering from that incurable case of wanderlust.

1. “Nine Lives” – Dan Baum

2. “Away From It All: An Escapologist’s Notebook” – Cedric Belfrage

3. “Wanderlust: An Affair with Five Continents” – Elisabeth Eaves

4. “The Snow Leopard” – Peter Matthiessen

5. “A Fortune Teller Told Me” – Tiziano Terzani

6. “Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place At The New Orleans Table” – Sara Roahen

7. “The Tao of Travel” – Paul Theroux

8. “On The Road” – Jack Kerouac

9. “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel” – Rolf Potts

10. “The Idle Traveller: The Art of Slow Travel” – Dan Kieran