This blog is basically about how good books are nice and bad books are the pits. And then I get grumpy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Am I missing something?

I found this interesting tidbit in a small story about the high quality of libraries in Wyoming that ran in the September 13 issue of The Economist magazine. The article was entitled Why Cowboys Read.

"Libraries are especially thriving in the conservative rural heartlands. The average Wyoming resident checked out nine books in 2005-06, compared with an average of five in California and two in Washington, DC."

I was struck by the statistics given here. Is it just me or does the amount of books annually borrowed from libraries seem awfully small in each of the three geographical areas the article mentions? Two books on average in DC? Nine in Wyoming?

I always see the library bustling. Where are these library-goers reflected in these statistics? I suspect that they're hidden - the numbers would probably be zero if it was not for a small, dedicated group who all but raid their libraries and utilize them for all their taxes are worth. It's likely these few borrow so very many books that it makes it appear as though the hundreds of thousands of residents in these places each take out a few books a year. That's quite a feat for this bit of the population.

But what about the others? Do they read? Do they actually have the cash to buy every book they want to enjoy or need to consult? Please tell me they realize there's a life beyond Barnes and Noble. Where else than a library can a person get just about any book they're looking for - either on the spot or through interlibrary loan - in any language and have it handed to them free of charge, entrusted to their caretaking for a period of weeks? This is an experience that ranks up there with the shopping high or even day-tripping fun.

If others do not wish to avail themselves of the resource and pleasure that is the library, dear fellow booklovers, all I can say is, well...more for us.

No comments:

©2007-2010 Aniko at