The money I have saved thanks to the public library

4 mins read


There was a book I placed on hold at the Saint Helena Island Library last week. It was the assigned book for my November Book Club meeting.

I was pleased when just a few days later, I received a text saying the book had arrived. As I was waiting for the librarian to retrieve the book from the back, I noticed a display that said, “New arrivals.” 

One of them caught my attention and the librarian checked out both the books.

As usual, she mentioned the date I was to return the books and printed out the name of the books with the due date. I do not normally look at those receipts because I am a fast reader and not worried about returning them on time.

But when I got home and placed the receipt on the counter, at the bottom of it was printed “You saved $54.95 today”. That caught my attention.

How could I have possibly saved money when I did not buy anything? Then I looked at the prices of the two hard back books. If I had bought those books, it would have cost me $54.95. I felt better right away knowing how much money the library had saved me.

Then I thought of some of the other free products our Beaufort County library offers.

When I was in the branch, I noticed the advertising flyer for Flipster and realized it was a way to read many of the latest magazines, free and online. There is also the app called Hoopla where you can download eBooks, audiobooks, movies, and music.

Oh, I still like to get certain magazines that I read or keep as references, like Smithsonian and Cooking magazines. And there are movies I purchase that I know I will watch again. But for the most part, the library is saving me lots of money. Those hardback new editions are expensive and, if you are a reader like me, the money can add it throughout the year.

But if you still want to buy your books, there is always the annual Friends of the Beaufort Library book sale. It is Nov. 1-3 this year, which is a later date than usual, but now held outside of the peak hurricane season.

I have volunteered for this fundraising event just about every year I have lived here, and it is amazing the number of titles, authors, and genre to choose from for so little money. 

So, if you still have that need to hold a hard-back book, this is your opportunity. 

You might not get the latest books on the National Bestseller list, but you will be saving money and supporting your local library.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.

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