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Better Than Netflix

A year ago I rediscovered and fell back in love with the public library. I, as many kids, loved the library as a youth. All those shelves of colorful books! But as a teen I discovered Borders and Amazon and left the library behind like a tattered teddy bear.

Now, at a point in my life where frugality is so very important, I have reacquainted myself with the wonders of the library. One of my new favorite features is inter-library loan. I just “shop” for the books I want in the online catalog, and no matter which library they are located at, I can request them to be sent to the library closest to my house. Then when I visit the library, they are all waiting for me on the reserve shelf. It is a beautiful thing.

Everyone thinks of books first when they think of the library. But many overlook the library’s great DVD and CD selection. They are a frugal person’s best friend. Don’t ever rent a movie or buy a CD again. You may have checked out the library’s selection of CD’s and DVD’s some years ago and not been impressed. But at least here in Tulsa, and I imagine elsewhere as well, the variety and quantity has significantly improved.

I used to think that the public library only had CD’s from Irish folk bands or classical music. But I have happily been proved wrong. I have found Dashboard Confessional, the Arcade Fire, John Mayer, Maroon 5, Indigo Girls, Kayne West, and Death Cab for Cutie, to name a few. Why plunk down $15 for a new CD when you can check one out for free?
Admittedly if you are into extremely indie music, you probably won’t find any at the library, and you’ll have to keep buying your CDs from the guy with dark rimmed glasses and skinny jeans at your local independent CD store.


There are only a couple of downsides to getting your media from the library. One is that with so many people renting the DVD’s, they often get scratched or broken. About 1 out of every 4 DVD’s I have rented have been unplayable or had glitches. But the biggest disadvantage of course is the wait on popular stuff. You can put a hold on it, but you might be 60 of 60 holds. But with patience and a little self-control, you can save big bucks while still staying on top of the cool music and movies that have come out. And the truth is, you just can’t beat FREE!

Make library use even easier by keeping track of due dates online.

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[tags]Netflix, library, CD,DVD[/tags]