Going to the Library Makes You $2,282 Happier Per Year

Via Annalise Quinn’s Book News report for NPR, The UK government’s “Department for Media, Culture & Sport” — sounds like a fun department! — has conducted a study to see just how much perceived value we get from participating in sports, the arts, and the library.

Just how happy DOES the library make us, in dollars? Money being the metric system’s preferred unit of measurement for happiness.

The numbers were derived by comparing how much of an increase in income a participant would need to get the same boost in “well-being” they get from going to the library. Turns out going to the library regularly made participants feel, on average, £113, or $190 a month richer. Or more accurately, libraries gave them $190/month in “perceived value,” which amounts to $2,282/year.

In conclusion: ask for a raise! And if that doesn’t work, get thee to a library.

Photo: Reading Tom


10 Comments / Post A Comment

Kthompson (#1,858)

Totally agree. My library has saved me so much money in books. And I get to socialize with like-minded people. Who isn’t happy going to the library?

Stina (#686)

@Kthompson The library is the perfect place to indulge the desire to have a “shopping spree” (minus the having to pay for and getting to keep things part of course). Because I can pretty much grab whatever I want and bring a huge stack of things to the counter. Actually there have been times where if they could provide the little mini shopping carts for me to use it would have come in handy. Just a cart for me though. No one else.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@Stina So true. Even in high school (I SWEAR I’M COOL) my favorite way to kick off a weekend was with a stack of every single book I hadn’t read yet in the “New Releases” section…

Stina (#686)

@Heather Funk@facebook My library growing up offered a gift certificate for a free ice cream cone or dilly bar at Dairy Queen for kids if you read a certain number of books over the summer. I can’t remember the exact amount but it was meant to be a high bar and that maybe you could earn one a summer. I routinely won 2-3 free treats a summer. I am not even pretending to be cool.

Plus how you proved that you read each book is that before returning them, you’d go to a librarian and have to say what the book was about. My Mom would have to stop me from going on lest I poop out a poor librarian because dammit! I WILL give a play by play on each book to prove I read it.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@Stina Those were the best! Mine did a form thing where you read 10 books and got a backpack full of prizes and vouchers for free things–I would always get mine, like, June 1, and then turn it in June 2 with the titles of the last 10 things I read and commence ICE CREAM PARTY. I think we got Frostys (Frosties?) though.

@Heather Funk@facebook Are you me?! Going to the library as a kid was the best thing ever. I loved bringing a huge stack of books to the counter

Heather F G (#6,074)

@TheDoctorsCompanion Maybe I am! Creepy, huh? Sounds like a GOOD PLOT FOR A BOOK.

(by Lois Duncan)

andnowlights (#2,902)

Oh I completely agree with this! I’d be willing to up my amount, even. I’ve been moving some the last few years and the library has kind of been my constant in all those cities- there are always books, there are always library cards and lists of books that will never be finished. It’s a nice constant because even though library systems vary in quality, they mostly have the same general feel.

cawcawphony (#2,990)

My takeaway is that we librarians should get actual raises of $2282/year.

shannowhamo (#845)

@cawcawphony I came here to say I’m a librarian and so I spend alot of time in libraries AND would like a raise!

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