Library Membership

While on a long lonely walk today (ironically, immediately after watching Liverpool play) I saw this library not too far from my house. It was called Just Books, I think, but I’m not sure of the name. With my British Council Library membership due for renewal in a couple of months, and doubts about whether I want to renew it (the library is too far, and I’ve stopped getting excited by the collection there), I’m considering membership to this library.

I took a look at the books today, and there were two major turnoffs. One was a section labeled “non-fiction” (whatever that is supposed to mean!). I don’t remember the other one right now – but I do remember having one other turn off while I was there. Apart from that, though, the collection seems good, which makes me think I should take membership there.

I found a lot of books there that I’ve read, or want to read, but wouldn’t borrow because I already own them. Now, I don’t know how to interpret this. The positive way of looking at it is that given that I like a lot of books that are there, they’re more likely to get other books of “my kind”, too. The negative way of looking at it is that I already own all the interesting books there that I want to read, so the membership wouldn’t add much value to me. The clincher, I guess, is about the frequency with which they update their collection. If they are going to buy new books on a regular basis, then I guess this will work out for me.

The other thing I liked about the library is that it has multiple copies of a lot of books. I think that is always a good thing, for you wouldn’t want to wait forever for someone to read that book that you want to read. They follow the netflix pricing model, where you pay a fixed fee (Rs 150) per month and there are no late fees. So by taking longer with a book, you are essentially denying yourself bang for the buck that you’re going to be paying them regularly (In the past I’ve “bailed out” of a library membership that followed this model. I didn’t go for a while, and then realized that the amount due was so high that I didn’t mind losing the deposit I’d placed there and I never bothered returning the books I’d “borrowed” from there).

And do any of you use Justbooks already? Do you like it? What are the odds that you go to the library and find nothing that you want to read?

2 thoughts on “Library Membership”

  1. I became a member of this library 8 months back. It has a good collection overall. But not all their branches hold good books. They do have the option of “placing request” for a book. What that means is that once the request is placed, the book from any available branch is brought to this branch and then you can pick it up. Unfortunately , this has NEVER worked for me. I’ve placed quite a few requests and never got a book that I wanted.

    Since the library offers enough variety, I’ve been able to select some interesting book during each visit.

    Their pricing is not continuous. And I can only fanthom why that is so. A membership for 6 months works out to be cost of paying 5 monthly membership plan. And for yearly membership too – they offer just one month discount (I can renew every six months and get better discounts !!!).

    You can trial it out for the first 6 months and then see how you are making use of it.

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