Go to the Library!

There are plenty of writers who like to write outside the home. Just looking around a Starbucks or a Barnes and Noble or an Independent bookstore/coffee shop (remember those?), you're bound to find at least one person writing/blogging or procrastinating when they'd like to be writing/blogging. Yet, I rarely see studious writing types at the one place that seems perfect for them: the library.

I go to the library regularly because I have young children, and libraries are awesome places that have story-time, indoor children's areas, and shelf after shelf of relatively sturdy board books. But after my children get a chance to play with books and puzzles and things, I take a few moments to check out the main part of the library. It's wonderful. There are tons of books, CDs, audiobooks, and plenty of quiet spaces to read or write. And unlike bookstores, all these things are FREE to check out.

What's more, the selection of books and audiobooks at the library is often more diverse than you find in bookstores. For example, while bookstores focus on newly-released and popular books, libraries often have older books that you rarely find in brick and mortar stores nowadays, though they might be available on Amazon. Our local library has an excellent collection of audiobooks as well, with far more selection than I've ever seen in a store. The largest public library near me even has its own adjoining coffee shop!

Most libraries have computers available which you can use to write on if you don't want to haul around your laptop, and WiFi if you prefer using your own computer. They have printers you can use for a small fee, which is a lifesaver to those of us with cranky printers we forever forget to fill with ink.

Since I've started going to the library regularly, I find myself reading more, and choosing "riskier" books or CDs, instead sticking with what's familiar. I think that helps to broaden my reading habits and improves my writing. And if you're like me, being around tons of books has a soothing, calming magic that's all its own. The library feels like a sanctuary--a quiet, gentle space that's welcoming to everyone, no matter what your financial situation. So like Hermione, go to the library!