Goodreads Blog

17 Reasons Goodreads Members Love Libraries and Librarians

Posted by Hayley on April 14, 2017


We asked on Facebook and Twitter for you to tell us why libraries and librarians hold such a special place in your bookish heart. Enjoy some of our favorite answers below—and then leave your response in the comments!


1. "Because when I didn't have friends in high school, I had the library—and I had librarians that cared about me (and what I was reading)." Drew Smith

2. "I can borrow to my heart's content and still never run out of things to read." Valerie Westmore

3. "I just love the atmosphere and feeling of being in a space dedicated to knowledge and learning and reading. The library has been such a special place since I was little." Rachel Montgomery


4. "I love libraries because they provide access to great books for free. So paying overdue fines (25 cents a day) is my favorite bill of the month." Marla Kirsch Dym

5. "I love cruising the stacks, pulling out books, and reading a few pages. I once spent an hour in the foreign language section of our library, imagining what adventures were in the books in languages I could not read." Nancy Blair

6. "I started going to the tiny town library with my father when I was very young. I always felt very small but very important when I was there." Lu Anne Fazio

7. "It's fun to know that the book you're reading has been read and probably loved by someone else…and that it will be loved again after you're done, too." Oda Renate Lyngstad Oltedal

8. "They are magical! So many stories contained inside their sacred walls." Karma Christine Salvator-Writer

9. "Libraries are a refuge from the utter chaos that is modern-day life." Josh Justin

10. "It's like an extension of your personal library!" Dirk Todd Pratt

11. "There's a sense of peace in a library." Michelle Boisseau

12. "The valuable resources that libraries offer are incredibly important, and they can help improve one's situation immensely." cHaOsPiRaTiOnS

13. "Because librarians share the same enthusiasm about books of all kinds that I have." Cindy Guilliams

14. "I love the sharing of books between library branches so a book can be put on hold to be picked up at my convenience." Diane Heath

15. "The library is often a community hub. I love that everyone has a place where they are welcome." Mandy

16. "The smell…especially of old books." Nerd Herd Book Club

17. "Librarians can be as amazing as fairy godmothers, and a library can be your own Secret Garden." Elizabeth Winick


Which of the above reasons do you relate to the most? Do you have a special local library or a favorite librarian? Let's share stories in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Goodreads Hack to Find a Book at Your Library
How a Hit Musical and an Obsessed Daughter Inspired Melissa de la Cruz's New Book
7 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week


(Top image credit: Librarian Evelyn Carnahan in The Mummy)

Comments (showing 1-50 of 148) (148 new)


message 1: by Lexie (new)

Lexie All of the above. I still volunteer at libraries because it's amazing to see little kids discovery of a new world. Though now everyone uses kindle.


message 2: by Alice (new)

Alice Number 7 is so true to me. I find loads of books and if I see the occasional accidental pen mark mid-way through the book, I always think how cool (in want of a better word) it is that another person has held up the exact same version of the book and read it, experiencing the emotions I do. Something so special.


Dellaknowsdobby All of them are so true! Especially 7, 8, 9, 11.


message 4: by Deb (new)

Deb Libraries were my safe place and definitely brought me peace when I was growing up, books were my retreat (still are) into every adventure I could imagine! It is so great to know that so many other people feel the same I do about libraries and librarians and the wonderful amazing books they allow us to know and love.


message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole I grew up loving to read. My parents couldn't afford to buy a lot of books. For me I felt like Belle. I felt like the libraries were my own personal library. But knowing that so many other people have enjoyed and read the same books made me feel closer to people. That's saying a lot coming from an introvert .


message 6: by Jolly (new)

Jolly Per This is all legit.


message 7: by Julia (new)

Julia I love browsing books and have even dreamed of browsing books. Libraries are literally a dream come true.


message 8: by Halima (new)

Halima Ever since I was a kid, going out appealed to me only if it was to the library. Libraries are the only places my lazy self is excited to go to. It's been my safe haven. I've always felt more like myself when surrounded by books ,the smell, the feel, et al. Back in school, I was one of those kids who was extremely disappointed if our library classes were missed . And besides libraries take me to places I've never been to. I really wish I could travel to ALL the libraries in the world.


message 9: by Ceejay (new)

Ceejay I don't know what happened. I love my library, and the fact that it and two other cities share their inventory of books. I don't love that a lot of the librarians I deal with now, as an adult, don't seem to share my enthusiasm for reading. They punch in and out, and that's it. They don't seem to know any writers except for bestselling authors. If you name an author you love, they can't seem to name an author who is similar in style. Thank goodness for the internet and sites like GoodReads and Literature Map. And thank goodness that at least libraries are still "in business".


message 10: by Qukatheg (new)

Qukatheg Reading this just makes me sad. I used to go every week as a kid, but libraries are prohibitively expensive nowadays.


message 11: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Grabek There are many reasons why. Hence, why I became a librarian. Easiest to put it this way: It's my life, it's my love! I enjoy finding new books for others to read. I love discovery for all. I love teaching new methods, and helping the public with whatever they need. It just doesn't stop!


message 12: by Melanie (new)

Melanie God, #1....and #17. I am an English teacher, and I worship my school librarian!


message 13: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay I can relate to 1,2,3,11,14,15, & 16.
My personal experience goes back to how grown up I felt being allowed to pick out, check out, then take home and read through so many amazing stories...for FREE!
Books (and the library) became my drug - a form of escape from a tumultuous childhood. But the benefit is that I gained a lifelong love of reading!


message 14: by Russell (new)

Russell Loved this quote from a recent book: "Yes, it is somewhat vexing to thread through the stacks of a library, only to discover an absence rather than the sought-after volume, but once the ire subsides, doesn't one feel a sense of community? The gaps in a library are like footprints in the sand; they show us where others have gone before; they assure us we are not alone."Arm of the Sphinx


message 15: by Aiden (new)

Aiden Heavilin I like picking up big books, and just paging through all those hundreds of thousands of words.


message 16: by TheYALibrarian (new)

TheYALibrarian As a librarian this warms my heart so much.


message 17: by Iris (new)

Iris I love the reading circles and activities that they have for children. I loved going there as a child and I look forward to bringing my nephews there in the future.


message 18: by David (new)

David If the librarians at either of the two libraries close to me looked like Rachel Weisz in the mummy maybe I would go there more often =P


message 19: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine FREE books! Cost of living is very high and wages low where I live, and I cannot afford to buy books. I am thankful I can have access to all the books (and videos) for FREE. I couldn't afford to read without libraries.


message 20: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Qukatheg wrote: "Reading this just makes me sad. I used to go every week as a kid, but libraries are prohibitively expensive nowadays."

What do you mean that they are "prohibitively expensive nowadays"?


message 21: by Spottyblanket (new)

Spottyblanket They are free. They offer free ebooks too.


message 22: by Spottyblanket (new)

Spottyblanket Ceejay wrote: "I don't know what happened. I love my library, and the fact that it and two other cities share their inventory of books. I don't love that a lot of the librarians I deal with now, as an adult, don'..."

I'm a public and school librarian. I adore reading. My library ticket is full and well used.


message 23: by Electric (new)

Electric Bubbles I grew up walking to the library where all the librarians knew me and my siblings. When I got old enough, I started volunteering. After four years of volunteering, I got a job there. :) I just love the place.


message 24: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca #1, in elementary school I didn't have a lot of friends and the library was my playground for recess and lunch. The librarian befriended me and I became her little helper. I learned how to shelf and mend books. Also learned how to come up with programs with in the library. I carried this love for libraries and librarians through out my middle school and high school years.


message 25: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy I grew up in libraries because my father was a librarian. My first memories are of the university library where he worked when I was little, and then there were all the public libraries when I was older. For a while, he even drove a bookmobile to bring books to homebound seniors.

Needless to say, the house I grew up in had bookcases in every room, except the bathroom which had a little magazine rack--one must always have something to read, you see.

In retrospect I realize I should've become a librarian myself. Maybe when I retire, I will volunteer at one.


message 26: by Rida (new)

Rida This is all so true! Especially numbers 5 and 11. I've always loved the library; it's so easy to just forget about life and all its troubles when I'm there.


message 27: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl All true. I also go to libraries while on vacation. Don't need beach, or shopping, or dining, or nightlife... just let me go to a town with a budget hotel, a public park, and a community library, and I can be happy for days.


message 28: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Lane They're the keepers of books, so how could we not? lol


message 29: by Jana (new)

Jana Best job ever! I'm a school librarian and it's positively the best thing in the world when you connect a student with a book.


message 30: by Kristen (new)

Kristen I love how nowadays if there's something that you want, but they don't have it at your library, they can request it from a nearby library and you can still pick it up at the one closest to home. It's like having ten libraries in one.


message 31: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Jasmine wrote: "Qukatheg wrote: "Reading this just makes me sad. I used to go every week as a kid, but libraries are prohibitively expensive nowadays."

What do you mean that they are "prohibitively expensive nowa..."


Note, the member is from the Netherlands, and I did some research online, and it looks like maybe they do have lending fees there. How awful!


message 32: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald Hey, it's wonderful to have librarians as friends! The librarian at my local library is a historical fiction nut like me, so we have some really good discussions. Plus, she lets me pick out books from the "New Reads" cart BEFORE they hit the library shelves! Now that's a book buddy!


message 33: by LongShanks (new)

LongShanks Numbers 9 and 11 are my sentiments exactly.


message 34: by Olivia (new)

Olivia I absolutely love this list!

My love of libraries started at a young age when my mom would take me and my siblings to story-time at our local library. I soon learned that a library is many things - a place of learning, adventure, a refuge, a gateway to other worlds and so much more. I am truly grateful that these wonderful places exist and that I have gotten to spend time in various libraries, each unique in their own way.


message 35: by Teri (new)

Teri Huff Libraries were my refuge growing up, and now I get to work in one. I love connecting people to information and entertainment. I often remind them that they have already paid for the resources, they might as well use them :)


message 36: by Richard (new)

Richard Gray I am a librarian, and while I don't get to sit around reading all day (and I've never shushed a person in my life), cardigans may be owned.


message 37: by Ptaylor (new)

Ptaylor I am a librarian - last October 2016 I celebrated my 40th year in public libraries. My mother started taking me to the library in our small town when I was very small, and I loved it. I don't get to sit around and read all the time, but I do get to help people find the information they need or want, and I do get to talk about books with our book groups. I get to do what I love and someone pays me to do it. I am so grateful.


message 38: by Betsy (new)

Betsy #16 is my favorite because I remember the wonderful smell of the books in the public library where I grew up.


message 39: by Valentina (new)

Valentina They are all so true that I can't pick a favorite!


message 40: by Lynette (new)

Lynette  Lee (J.Kirby) I like the library smell of old books, newspapers, the click-click of computer keys, and the soft whispers of study groups. A library is a shelter from the fast world of technology, angry voices, and the white noise of city life. In all that it is, it represents comfortable silence.


message 41: by Lu (new)

Lu I use to love our library because it was nice and cozy and a place to lose your self in other worlds through a book, but now a new library was built and it is open and modern and gives me a cold feeling. Not enjoyable. I 'll stay to home and read books from on line.


message 42: by Kendall (new)

Kendall Moore Its the aroma of old paper that brings a smile to my face.


message 43: by Daisy (new)

Daisy Paquet My librarians are extremely kind to me- They save books that they would've thrown out to give to me, they save books that they know would catch my eye, and they provide comfort when a favorite character dies. They know exactly what to say about each time period I find myself fascinated with, and they laugh at the fact that I have memorized my card number.


message 44: by Gina (new)

Gina Arnone I wouldn't be able to afford my reading habit if it were not for libraries. It also saves me from having to dust.


message 45: by Angelique (new)

Angelique I work in a library (circulation clerk). The library makes me happy!! Even when I'm working!!
#'s 11, 13 and 15 are my favorite.


message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert Palmer The library is great place to discuss books which is almost as much fun as reading the books


message 47: by Tova (new)

Tova My favorite part of working at a library, is talking to people who love books as much as I do.


message 48: by Reading Faerie (last edited Apr 14, 2017 09:44PM) (new)

Reading Faerie All the answers here are great! I especially like #1 and #9.
I adore the smell of libraries. Every time I walk into my local one, I take a deep breath. It's like aromatherapy! I also like that I can try out so many books, without the fear I won't like them. If I hate the book, I just return it and check out a new one. Best system ever! :)


message 49: by Reading Faerie (new)

Reading Faerie Lynette wrote: "I like the library smell of old books, newspapers, the click-click of computer keys, and the soft whispers of study groups. A library is a shelter from the fast world of technology, angry voices, a..."

Said so well. :)


message 50: by Jo (last edited Apr 14, 2017 10:08PM) (new)

Jo I wasn't a poor kid in holey socks, picked on or unpopular, once I stepped through the doors of our local library. I could wander the shelves and disappear into another world.

ETA: Oops, to answer the question, #1, the library was my refuge


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