Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Last Year, the Library Cost Me $7,048.36.

I just saw this post on LISNews about how last year the library saved someone over a thousand dollars by the lending of books. And I realized, with some amount of shock, that last year the library actually cost me several thousand dollars. This is money I would not have spent without access to books, library computers and the Internet.

Without library computers, I couldn't shop at Amazon. Or Overstock. Or buy all that cool crap I see on Gizmodo. Yes, the library made my shopping habits more wise by allowing me to compare products and prices, but without all that information, I might have just stayed put and bought nothing. If I didn't know which widescreen HD TV to buy, do you think I would have bought any of them? But I bought three! I bought 3 HD TVs last year! Because information I got using the library led me to conclude that they were great bargains and that I needed them. Damn you [shakes fist], library!

Without the Internet I get through the library, I would just stay at home formulating my own ideas about the world. I could imagine that some great war had occurred and that every human was either dead or a brain-feasting zombie. No, I don't get my news from television. Television is a box of lies. I use my HD TV to play video games, which totaled $374 in 2009. Each game reviewed and recommended through the free Internet at the public library.

Like many libraries, we don't have the money to buy every DVD release. So sometimes our library buys only one season of some TV show that ran for several years. Our library has just Season 2 of Alias. So after I watched it I had to buy the other four with my own money: on sale $67.37. We have Seasons 1 and 3 of 21 Jump Street, and I bought the rest, including the spin-off, Booker. Similarly with Dynasty, I Dream of Jeannie, All in the Family, and West Wing. Don't even get me started on M*A*S*H. And don't mention Netflix because getting each of those disks in proper seasonal order would take about 20 months at $18 per month.

I also booked last year's vacation trip at the library and downloaded 400 tunes to my mp3 player: $1,034.

And what about my self-diagnosed health issues that I only discovered from using the library's online medical databases? I could have been ignorantly, speedily, racing toward death without the library. And richer for it.

But no, what I read forced me to have an expensive "procedure."
Doc: Why look at these charts; you're fit as a fiddle.

Me: And ready for love? Huh, Doc? Am I ready for love?

Doc: No, I'm sorry. What we fixed means you can never make love again.
And everyone laughed. But no one laughed harder than my girlfriend.