A surprising theme has gained prominence among libraries in the past few years: that all libraries -- specifically public libraries -- should turn away from books. There were also a few who said it was OK to keep circulating books, but libraries must start sending them directly to people's homes for free, or else they can't compete. If you believe various "everybody" claims, everybody gets their DVDs by mail, everybody uses cell phones all the time, everybody has premium cable television, and everybody has their daily coffee beverage at Starbucks. Those four indulgences alone add up to a pretty good chunk of change. Lifestyles are overrated. There's a difference between maintaining a lifestyle and living a good life. One is a matter of recognition, status, and consumption. The other is a matter of balance and inner peace. People who live within limits are more likely to make good use of shared assets. They're more likely to appreciate parks, to take walks, and to use their public libraries.
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