Are you someone who likes libraries?
Even though I have a lifelong obsession with books, I have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with libraries over the years...
While I love the fact that they're free and have such an enormous supply of books available, I have always been someone who loves to own books. I know I should borrow them from the library, but I just love owning a book, reading it, and then passing it along to someone else so that they can love it, too. Also, I don't like that there is a time limit on how long you can keep a book; I like reading at my own pace and not feeling as though I have to finish a book quickly just to avoid having a late fee.
Additionally, I have never been a big fan of studying in libraries. The public libraries in Helena and West Helena were not very conducive to studying [no tables and chairs, to my recollection, other than the one at the College]. Plus I was not independent and therefore had to rely on my parents or friends to shuttle me back and forth. I never really got much work accomplished at the Baylor library, because I would always get distracted talking to my friends. Those "study rooms" were rarely used for studying in my day - instead we would sit and gossip for the 2-hour evening study period. And don't even get me started on the Burrow library at Rhodes - it was like a dungeon, the study carrels didn't provide enough room for me to spread out all my stuff [I like a big workspace], and I always felt like I had to creep around in there, like even my footsteps were too loud for the serious kids. The Memphis Public Library, while nice, was just too inconvenient - my life was centered around the Rhodes campus, and I couldn't see the value, at the age of 19, of driving 15 minutes to sit quietly in the library and study.
While I was in college, I became a big fan of studying in bookstores. I would camp out in the cafes of the various Barnes & Nobles around Memphis for hours at a time. They were perfect for me - the cafe meant that I could snack while I studied [a big no-no in libraries at the time], I could wander around and look at books if I needed a break, and the music and customers provided just enough background noise to keep me focused on my work.
In fact, one of the things about my current living situation that appealed to me the most - beyond my awesome roommates, of course - was the fact that we live within walking distance of a Barnes & Noble. I figured I could utilize their cafe space during my free time to get some good studying done. And while I have done that a few times, I have actually spent more time downtown at the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System.
That's right, I said the library.
See, this isn't your typical library. Up here on the 5th floor [where I am currently sitting], there is a cafe, vending machines, and a fountain. What does that mean? It means I can bring my snacks along, I have some background noise, and - if I decide to get one of the private study rooms - I have a view of downtown Little Rock. Plus, the librarians don't give you death looks if you're being too loud. In fact, they've mostly gotten used to me, and just kind of give me a funny look if they think I need to be reminded to keep it down. And! It's right behind our River Market campus, so it is super convenient if I have a few hours to kill but want to stay in the downtown vicinity for anything happening in the evening / night.
So finally, I have become a fan of libraries.
It only took 28 years.