Library Time Pressure

Remember how I kept going on and on about how we don’t have good public libraries in the Philippines? Most followers of the blog know this about me. One of the things that I was looking forward to in moving to Singapore is having access to good public libraries. I tried to resist as long as I could because I told myself that I should finish reading the books that I brought with me first. Well, that didn’t last long. I signed up and have already borrowed several books from the library near our flat. I haven’t even gone to other branches because I always max out the borrowing limit (8 books). I hear the other branches are even a lot bigger. My friend Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile tells me that the library that I go to has a better selection of YA titles than the library near her home in the US. I would have to agree because I keep wanting to borrow more books whenever I drop by to visit.

Library books waiting to be read

So now I have this little problem of finishing the books that I excitedly grab off the library’s shelves. I’ve been a pretty slow reader the past couple of months because there’s always something that gets in the way of reading – chores, keeping in touch with friends and family (I spend HOURS on communication apps), sleep. As of now, I’ve only finished one book that I borrowed from the library and I’ve renewed the rest. I want to finish them in the next couple of weeks because we’re only allowed to renew books once, which I think is fair. No danger of readers hogging certain titles. The intention to read all of these books is there, I just can’t find the time to squeeze all of them within the three-week period. Which is why I’m curious, to those of you who have access to libraries, do you ever feel pressured to read faster because of the due date? Do you have more control that I do and you don’t feel the need to grab as many books as you can? Do you prioritize borrowed books over books that you own? Maybe it’s something that will come with time, I’m still a newbie borrower after all. Just thought I’d bring this up so I can get advice from all you expert library users. πŸ˜›

25 thoughts on “Library Time Pressure

    • Ha, I have a feeling I need to do that! I’ve been a super slow reader recently – like one book a week. Before, I could finish around two to four per week. Sigh, it’s hard to squeeze in reading time. Yeah, I just need to tell myself that I can always borrow them again later.

  1. In my library, I think there is a certain “limit” to borrowing books, but I think it has to be A LOT. By that, I mean, I checked out recently like 10 books..(keep in mind, most are children’s picture books that I review, plus my husband’s books on cooking that he picks out) and we get them for about two weeks before they are due back. However, you can renew them if they are not on hold for someone else.

    • Yeah, I think the limit is pretty high in other countries (just based on everyone else’s comments here). I can renew books once and then I have to return them after that. I can always just borrow them again after though. 10 books is still okay, I think.

  2. I am the wrong person to advise you. I have accounts with two libraries (one as a resident/staff person, the other as a staff person) and between the two I could get out 150 items. I don’t ever have that many, but 60-80? Umm….yeah. A lot of the time. In fact, I have a BOOKSHELF of library books. Basically I either read the ones I’m super excited about, or let them cycle through and read the ones on the top shelf first (that way they’re roughly in order by due date).

    • You have a BOOKSHELF of library books? I’m totally jealous! But how do you manage to keep track of the due dates then? Ahh but I just remembered that you can check that kind of thing online. Makes everything a lot easier. Still, I don’t think I can borrow that many books. I think 8 is a good limit so there isn’t too much pressure to read as fast as I can. If you have around 60-80 borrowed books, how many are the books that you own? Or do you mostly borrow from the library instead of buying books?

      • Yes, you can check accounts online.

        I’ve accumulated books over the years, but I do tend to get them out from the library first, unless they’re by particular authors (MWT, Robin McKinley, Sarah Rees Brennan).

      • Thanks for reminding me that I can check my account online as well! I still think that I’d have a hard time keeping track of everything if I borrow as many books as you do. πŸ˜› I do agree that MWT and Robin McKinley are auto-buy authors. Need to catch up on reading Sarah Rees Brennan’s novels, haven’t read Team Human and Demon’s Surrender yet.

  3. Hehehe, welcome to the STORY OF MY LIFE, Chachic. πŸ˜›

    I’m terrible about it, I compulsively get SO MANY books from the library. I tried to put myself on a library ban a couple of months ago so that I could get some books that I own read…yeah…that hasn’t worked out so well. I just can’t stop! Basically–I try to read an ARC for review every other book until I’m caught up (only like 11 NG books at this point), and then between I rotate between a library book and a book I own/have borrowed from a friend. Luckily, I can renew multiple times at my library, and each book is checked out for a month–so that gives me up to 3 months if need be.

    I’m not letting myself request the next book in a series from the library until I finish everything I have at home (aka…I have 5 books to get through before I can read Fate’s Edge).

    It’s really a balancing act that I completely fail at. I want to read every single one of those 8 books you have pictured!! I even own Amplified and Floating Islands, but we’ll see when that happens. Good luck! Remember, you can always check them out again. πŸ˜€

    • I haven’t been able to read the books that I own because I’ve been trying to focus on the library books that I borrowed! I only get three weeks whenever I borrow a book and I can renew it just once. I’ve already renewed the books that I have with me now so I need to return them unread tomorrow. 😦

      It’s nice that you try to rotate between a library book and something that you own. I should do that as well although maybe it would be better if I just borrow one or two books the next time I visit the library so I wouldn’t feel pressured. That’s one thing that I don’t have to worry about my own copies – time pressure!

      LOL you’re absolutely right, I can check them out again whenever I want to. It’s just that I have them already with me so I don’t want to let them go until after I’m done reading. It’s funny because right now, I’m trying to decide if I should start on either Amplified or Floating Islands – I can only finish one before the due date rolls around.

  4. As of right now, the library is my main source for getting books to read. I’m trying to save money and haven’t applied for ARCs and don’t live close to anyone from whom I can borrow books. I love how library books are free and I totally take advantage of the inter-library loans between all the branch libraries in my area. I always have a number of books on request. But yes, I do definitely feel the pressure to read library books first. I have general lists of books that I’d like to read, but those lists must get shuffled around to prioritize my library books. I said that I haven’t been much many books myself, but I have been buying a few. Right now I have the most unread books on my shelves than I have for a while now, because I need to keep putting them off for library books. But honestly it doesn’t bother me. I know I’ll get to them eventually. Libraries are awesome and I love the services they provide and of course I want to support them. I hope you enjoy and continue to borrow library books!

    • Amanda, I’m trying to save money as well and books are so much more expensive here in Singapore than in Manila. So I’m in the same boat as you are – the library is my main source of reading material right now. Inter-library loans aren’t free over here though. 😦 I have to pay a certain amount to have books transferred to the branch I go to. I can always visit other branches and borrow from there if I want to, haven’t tried it yet. Will definitely continue borrowing library books, need to make the most out of the membership fee as well. πŸ˜€

      How many unread books are in your pile right now? I don’t even know how many I have in my bookshelf back home. I’m pretty excited to go back for a visit and choose which ones I get to bring to Singapore with me.

  5. Oh yes, it’s so tempting to check out all the books. At least you are limited to 8. I can get 30, though I can only put 15 on hold at a time. So yes, I often have way more library books than I can read, plus purchased books, plus NetGalleys. It’s sort of ridiculous. For the most part I do what Heidi does-alternate. I do make it a rule that once I’m down to 1 week to go on a library due date that I will read nothing for that week but the books that are due. I have found this helps motivate me to turn them in faster.

    • You can put books on hold? I don’t think we can do that over here, or maybe we can but we have to pay a fee similar to when we have books transferred from one branch to another. I can’t remember the last time I’ve requested a book from NetGalley. I think I’ve given up on them for now because I keep getting rejected whenever I’m interested in something. I’ve been reading library books the past couple of weeks but still didn’t get to finish everything. Now I kind of miss reading on my Kindle. πŸ˜›

  6. 8 is small but great limit! My library’s limit is 99! I can get around that much from the other library near me, and both of my accounts are free. πŸ™‚ I, too, am the wrong person to advise you. Since I’m staff at the library nearest my house, I can accrue no fines or fees for overdue books. I could even be really bad and renew my books as many times as I want! (But I don’t. The *horror*.) I give priority to books I’ve borrowed from friends before the library. I know that I can always check them out from the library later. I’ve learned to check out only a few titles at once, which I usually don’t get to anyway, since an auto-buy or preorder arrives in the mail, or I borrow something highly-coveted from Angie, or I have NetGalley titles I want to get through. So yeah, I have absolutely no pressure from library due dates! Sorry I’m not more helpful. πŸ™‚ I’m still so happy to see you use a library. If that’s the only thing you like about Singapore, it’s a great one. πŸ™‚

    • Wowza, 99?! I’m sure jealous that you get to borrow so many. And you don’t have to pay overdue fines, lucky you. How many books do you usually have with you from the library? Membership in the library here is free if you’re a Singaporean citizen or a permanent resident. I just had to pay the fee because I’m a foreigner.

      I would probably do the same thing: prioritize books borrowed from friends before library books. It’s a different kind of pressure when you borrow books from someone you know. LOL love that you mentioned Angie, I have a feeling I’d keep borrowing books from her (or you!) if we lived in the same area.

      Aww Holly, don’t worry, the library isn’t the only thing I like about Singapore. There’s plenty to like over here, I just have to get used to living away from family and friends. πŸ™‚

  7. Yeah, I think your blog readers are the wrong people to ask:) I am currently in the process of trying to get out all the Cybils nominees in my category and I use my card and my mom’s card and I currently have about 75 books out. (I can actually take up to 100 items at one time) I don’t have a shelf to put them on so they are just in piles on my windowseat. I don’t feel badly about keeping them out because of the holds system–do you have that? I can renew up to 2 extra loan periods but not if someone else has requested it. The only people I am keeping it from (potentially) are the ones from the branch where I got a particular book who don’t look at the catalog to see if they have it beforehand. Sometimes it is fun to just pick up random books but I don’t think I’d be sad if the one I randomly thought of wasn’t there.

    Also, I go to the busiest library system in the US so again, I don’t really feel bad if I am holding up one copy of something when there are 25+ copies in the system. Some books have up to 100+ copies! (the big bestsellers) There are over 1000 people on some of the hold lists, it is insane. I usually just buy those books because I’m not patient enough to wait.

    I’m excited that you have such a great library these days. Of the ones up there, I really want to hear how Floating Islands is. Ever since Heidi’s review of her newest book, I’ve been curious about that author.

    • 75 books?! I wonder how you’ll be able to go through all of that, Flann. That’s amazing! I’m already behind on my Goodreads reading challenge and my goal is only to read 85 books this year. Wonder how many books you’ll have to read for the Cybils. I think it’s awesome that you’re a panelist though.

      We don’t have a holds system. I’ve heard that I can have books reserved but there’s a certain fee that I have to pay for that so I haven’t tried it yet. There are still several books in the branch that I go that I’m interested in. I do want to visit the other branches though, especially the National Library. I just need to find the time for it (and hopefully someone willing to go with me).

      25+ copies of one book? That’s great, you don’t have to worry about the availability of the books that you want to borrow. I rarely see multiple copies in the library so that’s one of the reasons why I feel pressured to finish reading the ones that I borrow, they might not be there the next time I visit.

      I returned Floating Islands unread. 😦 I had to choose between that and Amplified because I can only finish one book before the due date and I was in the mood for contemporary YA. Don’t worry, will borrow it again and let you know what I think when I get to read it. I’m also hoping that the library would get copies of House of Shadow.

  8. Well, we don’t have libraries like that in my country -I mean, we have libraries but when I was little you practically had to swear a blood oath before they gave you a library card, now is simpler but Good luck trying to fin a book published before 1970!.

    But whenever I got books out of the library, I usually did read them first because I knew they had to go back. On the other hand, they were usually text books so I usually took them out to do homework anyhow.

    • Ha, Alex, love the blood oath description! I’ve never ever been to a public library in the Philippines so I can sympathize with you. I only had access to school libraries back when I was still a student and like you, I only borrowed books for my classes. I did get to read fiction books during grade school but there wasn’t a wide selection of books in my school. I think there was only one shelf of fiction books.

  9. hahaha~~ whenever I fee lazy to finish reading a certain book that I own.. I would borrow books from the library to give myself a little push. Well, it’s more like a “jump start”. I kinda like it in such a way that a little pressure to read faster and finish the book before due date works best on me.
    The only sad thing is that, I am allowed to borrow only up to 3 books T_T…
    and the worst part is that I’m having a hard time choosing which books to read first from hundreds of wonderful selections!
    keep on reading^^*

    • Hi leeshinyoung, where are you based? Just wondering since you mentioned that you can only borrow up to 3 books. Don’t worry, 3 is a good limit. You don’t have to feel too much pressure to finish everything. I’m fine with my library’s limit of 8 books as well. And yep, I agree that it’s so hard to decide which ones to borrow first. It’s like being inside a bookstore and you can’t decide what to buy. πŸ˜›

      • I’m here in Korea for almost 4 years now. I’ll be going home next year, so I’m a little hesitant to buy lots of books here because that would mean extra luggages T_T

        I have no idea why I could only borrow 3 for 2 weeks. Maybe because I’m a foreigner. Hehe^^*

        Btw, I’m planning to visit Singapore, for 2or 3 days on Dec., depending on my budget. It’ll be my xmas vacation.

  10. Pingback: Book Haul: Sunday Library Stash | Chachic's Book Nook

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