Having piles of dusty volumes scattered about my abode is something I suspect I will always favor as a means of signaling my erudition to callers. This, coupled with the fact that I like really to possess books when I read them, to make them mine, has meant that as an adult I have always bought books rather than acquiring them via other means. But since I now live a five minute walk from a branch of the county library, I decided my reading habits needed altering and headed over to apply for a library card. I was startled, however, to see on the application that I needed to be a "property owner" in the county to obtain a card for no fee.
I always thought the public library was justified on the grounds that it served to educate all citizens for the better running of government and society, but apparently this resource is still a privilege reserved for the landed gentry, while the hapless remainder must pay a de facto tome tax! It would come as no surprise to this blogger if literacy tests--just to to check out a book, mind you-- were also a part of this despicable practice to suppress and disenfranchise the landless masses.
And let us also not forget the invaluable service libraries do us in providing a haven and bulwark against rogue tsunamis (4'30"):
Addendum: Seeing as I am, in fact, a member of the landed gentry, I went to the library after writing this post to check out some books. I was fascinated by a new-to-me ability to self-checkout, a process which required me merely to scan my library card and place my pile of books on a pad, where the books were somehow then individually and automatically scanned. The whole process took twenty seconds. What modern times in which we live.