I've recently become fascinated with 17th century Russian history--an obscure interest, I know. I can't get my hands on enough of it; I want to understand religion, politics, society, serfdom...everything from high level movement to the daily life of the poor. Wikipedia got me started, but that only takes a few hours to exhaust on such a narrow topic. I started looking into books on Amazon and was appalled at the prices of the most interesting books: some of them were hundreds of dollars. One was $144 for the Kindle Edition. Bwah?
And then I had a very bizarre realization: my husband is a student. I work at a university. We live minutes from said university. They have a library. Actually, they have lots of libraries, and can order basically any book under the sun. The world is mine!
The strangest thing is that up until last week, I had not set foot in any one of the university libraries, and I've been here for, what, nearly 7 months? And I claim to be a lover of books. I guess one explanation is that most of my work and resources are digital, so I have no real academic need for hard copies of books. My association with university libraries is that their collections are academic in nature, which I'd imagine is fairly true, but even given that label, it just didn't dawn on me that they would still have interesting reads. It was a very strange feeling.