What to Do When You’re Waiting on Your Library Books

Here are ten tips on making the most of your library hold waiting period.

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

Holds at the Library: What to Do When You're Waiting on Books

Whether you’re an avid reader or a book club enthusiast, waiting on your library books can be one of the most frustrating parts of taking advantage of the public library. Waiting can be an antsy time for readers, especially when it’s a buzzy new release.  After all, we live in an age where anything is just a few clicks away – so why should getting our hands on those well-anticipated novels take longer than expected?  Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make the wait time more enjoyable and productive!  From fun activities to helpful strategies, this article will give you ten tips on making the most of your library hold waiting period and making waiting for your library books less painful and more filled with joy.

What to Do When You're Waiting on Library Books

Tips To Help You When You’re Waiting on Your Library Books

Tip One:  Check out available books from your library that you want to read.

One of the three things you can do to improve your reading life is to keep track of the books you want to read.  Use this time to look over your list and check out an available book or two. 

Tip Two:  Read books from your at-home unread shelf.

Reading books you already own is probably the most popular suggestion for what to do when waiting on library books.  However, if you have an unread stack of books at home, use this time to read from it.  Not only will you clear some space on that shelf, but you’ll also get to add a few more titles to your “read” list.

Tip Three:  Read a classic that you have never gotten around to reading.

There are so many great classic books that everyone should read at least once.  So why not use this time to read one of them finally?  Then, you’ll be able to cross it off your reading list and add a new title to your “read” shelf. 

Tip Four:  Use the library’s e-reader or audiobook service.

If you’re antsy while waiting for your library books, why not use the library’s e-reader or audiobook service?  This will allow you to read or listen to a book without having to pick it up or wait for it to arrive in the mail.

Tip Five:  Check out library books by local authors.

Many libraries have sections dedicated to their local writers’ work, so this could be an opportunity to discover some new authors.  Who knows, you might even find your next favorite read from a library book by a local author!

What to Do When You're Waiting on Library Holds

Tip Six:  Borrow books from friends or family.

If you don’t want to spend your time checking out resources or reading other books at the library, why not borrow some books from friends or family?  This can help you get through your hold waiting period.  

Tip Seven:  Do some online research for upcoming reads.

Be sure to request your favorite titles as soon as you know they’re coming out.  That way, you’ll be one of the first in line when they arrive.  

Tip Eight: Browse library book sales.

You can often find great reads at bargain prices during these events.  And, since you’re already waiting for your library books to arrive, it’s the perfect time to browse and pick up a few new titles from your library shop or sale.

Tip Nine: Get creative!

Why not get creative while waiting for your library books if all else fails?  This can be anything from puzzling or painting to writing your own short story or poem.  The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild.

Tip Ten: Relax and take it easy!

Sometimes the best thing to do when waiting on library books is to relax and take it easy.  After all, there’s nothing you can do to speed up the process.  So, why not spend your time doing something enjoyable instead?


Try one or all of these tips next time you’re waiting for library books.  But, no matter what you choose to do while waiting on library books, be sure to enjoy yourself!

P.S. One of my favorite books is The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Amazon or Bookshop)

What is your relationship with your library?

Are you an avid library user? What are some of your favorite things to do while waiting for library books?  Do you have any other suggestions for what to do when waiting for library books?  Please share them in the comments below!


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