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Library Books



In the twenty-first century, a library book may be several different things and be used for several different reasons. This article provides an overview of library books. Learn what a library book is and some of the benefits of using library books.

Standard Meaning of the Term Library Books

In the usual sense of the word, a library book is a book you find at a public, private or school library. Although people may have a library in their home, the term is usually not used of books in a home library. And although reference books are often found in public, private, and school libraries, they are usually not referred to as library books, being considered as a separate collection. Library books, it seems, are conceived of as the circulating collection of hardback and paperback publications from an institutional library.

How Library Books May Differ From Other Books

There are several ways in which library books may be distinguished from other types of books. First, while there are undoubtedly paperback library books in circulation these days, many library books have a special binding called a library binding.

A library binding is a way of re-binding hardback or paperback books for use in library settings. Applying a library binding makes the book more durable, and - in the case of a paperback - may also increase ease of use. There are several notable results. First, the collection may last longer. Second, volumes in the libraries holdings are less likely to have unexpected missing pages. Third, the application of a library binding makes it easier to photocopy a volume and to do so without damaging it.

Library books that become damaged despite best efforts can be rebound. But some binders offer a lifetime guarantee on their bindings. This kind of a promise may be particularly valuable for items that circulate a lot.

Alternative Types of Library Books

There are new types of products that may now deserve the name of library book. This includes both photocopies of books that are used to allow circulation of special collections and, in some cases, are used in interlibrary loans. There are also scanned versions of books that have become digital editions. Whether these editions are available through a library itself, through an online agent such as Google Scholar, or through another source, these books still are, in a sense, library books.

Benefits of Library Books

There are a number of reasons that people find the use of library books beneficial:

  • Efficiency: If you are working of a project of a limited duration and need a book only for the project and not afterwards, it makes sense to borrow a library book.
  • No Waste: If your need is of such short duration that you don’t even need to leave the building with the volume, you may choose to use a library book or a book in a bookstore, depending on which is handier and where you happen to be.
  • Breadth of Material: If you want to read your preschooler a different picture book every day, using library books is a great way to have a never-ending collection.
  • Frugality: If you read voraciously, but don’t want to own every book you read or can’t afford to buy books for whatever reason or like to read hardbound editions but don’t want to pay hardbound edition prices, library books fit the bill.
  • Conservation of Resources: If you have a strong belief in the benefits of sharing resources as a community, this is a good reason to borrow a library book.
  • Convenience: If you’re going to the library to rent a DVD, attend a book sale, hear a speaker, collect some tax forms, use a free computer, meet a friend, or see the latest art exhibit, you might also want to borrow a library book while you’re there.