Back at the beginning of the year I finally took the time to get a library card. As a Chicago resident, it was easier than I expected. I did it all online, at home, in about five minutes. Half of that time was checking out how the online service worked. Since then, I’ve spent a few random hours just digging through the library.
The online library gives me access to a huge resource that I previously wrote off. That means all the books, magazines, journals, and newspapers I’d get at the library, but also at home too, plus back issues. There’s also access to premium subscriptions that I wouldn’t normally pay for or don’t have to pay for anymore like Morningstar, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
Now, I’d much rather own a book – the physical book – to read, mark up, and take notes. But, if I can’t find one, or won’t buy it, I have one more option.
The real jewel is all the old publications, like the really old stuff you could only find on microfiche, that are now online. I’m sure a few of you are like – what the heck is microfiche? It was the best way to store the millions of pages published yearly, before computers came along. Think super small film you can only see using a reading device. Wikipedia has more.
It’s great for looking up old articles by specific authors, like articles or interviews referenced in books, or digging through old issues of the Times, the Journal, or a few thousand other publications. I’ve dug up articles by Graham, Klarman, Lynch, Buffett, Bogle, and others.
You can easily spend a few hours on a cold rainy weekend, search for a few random names, and see what you can dig up. Sometimes I only find old titles with a summary of the article (here’s a pro tip – search for the title on Google, but put the title in ” ” followed by pdf. You might get lucky.) Sometimes there’s a full article and/or pdf to download.
Anyways, if you’re a Chicago resident and haven’t signed up yet, do it now! It’s easy and free. If not, I’d bet your local library offers access to a similar online service or your state might. You can search on Google or check on Overdrive.
- I’ve Followed Warren Buffett For Decades And These 10 Quotes Are What I Keep Coming Back To – W. Green
- There are Many Ways to Be an Investor – Monevator
- This Was Never Easy – M. Housel
- The Remarkable Life and Lessons of the $8 Million Janitor – B. Ritholtz
- How to Invest for Your Kid’s Education – Clear Eyes Investing
- A Hierarchy for Retirement Savings – Morningstar
- Seeing the Future from the Past – Investor’s Field Guide
- Remembering How May Day Remade Wall Street – J. Zweig
- Michael Mauboussin on Intuition, Experts, Technology, and Making Better Decisions (Podcast) – Farnam Street
- Once Idealistic, Crowdfunding is Now an Unholy Hybrid of Retail, Investment, and Risk – Quartz