Since I've been trying to save money (uhm, basically since I've been receiving a paycheck), I've tried to cut back on unnecessary luxuries. Cable is not necessary in life, and I've learned that living without it is pretty darn easy. I loved living at my parent's house and watching hour after hour of The Deadliest Catch and Mythbusters episodes.
But alas, when I moved into my own place, I knew I couldn't afford even the most basic service. So I didn't get it, and I learned to live with the 6 channels that my antennae pulled in. My love of movies and TV shows never stopped though, and I needed to fill my craving. But a $5 rental at Blockbuster for each? I don't think so. A $20 monthly payment for Netflix? Ugh - really?
Then I realized the wonder that is the Denver Public Library.
I don't think a lot of people know what their local library can provide. It's magical. Believe it or not, they are NOT ancient things of the past, they have grown and adapted to the needs of the public. They have an interactive website now! HOLY SHIT! Amazing. You can log in with your library card, search for movies, books, your favorite musician / band, TV shows - put a hold on the item you want, then have them sent to the branch that is closest to you. Then they send you an email to let you know it has arrived and is ready to be picked up - AND they'll email you when it's close to being due, or when it's overdue! It's really pretty darn awesome.
I haven't paid to rent a movie, or bought a book or CD in a very long time. Maybe that's wrong for me to not be supporting those industries, but you know what? I'm broke. Let the rich people buy stuff for now. Sometimes you have to wait a while for something to come in, that's true. But what a lovely surprise when you've waited 3 months for the latest movie release, or Adele's newest album - then suddenly BAM!! You receive an email saying it has arrived. It's like Christmas!
Do you think that's all? NOPE - you're WRONG!
They provide tons of other free stuff. Cooking demos where they give you recipes, and free samples. Local bands playing acoustic sessions. Classic movie nights. Social clubs. Dance classes. Craft classes. ALL. FOR. FREE. The Denver library does all of this through Fresh City Life. I love love love that they offer these things, and so many people don't even know it exists!
So if you don't have a library card, go and get one. Explore your local library, and their website. You'd be amazed what they can offer you!
They ain't just about books anymore! :)