I’ve never taken a book out of the library

Get this, I’m a third year

birmingham library students UoB

People are always asking “what is your greatest achievement at University” and the typical responses fall on a spectrum between becoming the social sec of a society or getting that first in a presentation.

Well, mine out beats them all. Imagine never having taken a book out of the library, in THREE YEARS. I am that marvelous anomaly. I can count the number of times I’ve entered the place on one hand. Not an achievement you say? I do a History and Literature course; two subjects that epitomise book-heavy, rolled into one.

For first years, this is to be expected but as third year, currently writing a) my dissertation and b) just two more 3,000 word essays due in on top of that. Yet I still find a bag full of books utterly unappealing. How can taking 100 books out of the library, that you can’t write in, and then have to return within a week, ever be a positive experience? And those angry fines just take the biscuit.

Amazon's finest selection

Amazon’s finest selection

In a world of Google books, Kindle’s and Jstor, why are libraries still a thing? You trek all the way across campus to sit in a cramped, silent, cold room filled with people who loathe their very own existence. Only to trek back with a 50kg bag filled with books you’ll never actually get around to reading. They just sit in a pile of shame in the corner of your room before you have to go all the way back to hand them in because someone in your seminar recalled T.S. Eliot. I’d hate to experience a re-caller.

My sort of library

My sort of library

This one time I did try to take a book out and gosh it was such a nightmare it put me off for life.

I searched and searched for the book I needed but it wasn’t at UoB’s main library. Where was this mysterious novel? Orchard Learning Centre! That confusing place by Sainsbury’s that no one knows about but for some reason has a billion computers.

Home sweet home

Even the library looks attractive compared to the ORCHARD LEARNING CENTRE

So after sweet-talking my housemate into a lift, off we went. Orchard Learning Centre was so confusing that I became eternally lost in a never ending line of bookshelves. After 25 minutes of searching, I went for help. Turned out the database had lied (it hadn’t been updated all morning) and my precious book had in fact been taken out half an hour before I even got there.

The whole thing ended with my angry housemate steaming in his car and me, book-less after three-quarters of an hour. This was my confirmation for why I don’t go to the library or take books out.

So pretty... so clean

So pretty… so clean

Maybe next year with a Masters degree on the way I’ll try again. Mind you, the pristine clean sheet of my library record looks too pretty to tarnish, so maybe not.