Mrs. Bedlow, the boardinghouse keeper, is very nice. Lyddie likes the stove, and wants to sit next to it on her first night there because it is very warm. Lyddie enjoys the girls in the boardinghouse, though she doesn’t like the fact that they spend almost all of her money buying Lyddie new clothes appropriate for the factory.
In addition to the nice people, Lyddie loves reading with Betsy. She has a copy of Oliver Twist, and the story just captivates Lyddie. She hasn’t had much education, and she wants to learn to read and write more proficiently. Reading with Betsy in their limited spare time becomes her favorite thing to do.
Lyddie finds the boardinghouse a little crowded. At first she is in the attic alone, but then they move her to a bedroom. She has to share a bed, and there are four girls to a room.
Four to a room was in itself a luxury, as most of the rooms held six. But even so, there was hardly any space to walk around the two double beds, the two tiny nightstands, and the various trunks and bandboxes of the inhabitants. (Ch. 8)
Lyddie doesn’t like that the boardinghouse and factory corporation require her to attend church. She lived outside of town on the farm and her family could never afford pew rent, so they did not go. Lyddie doesn’t want to spend her hard-earned money on church, because she is saving it to get back her farm. Betsy advises her on a cheaper way to do it.
“…They'll probably make you put in an appearance from time to time somewhere. The Methodists don't press girls for pew rent, so if you're short on money, best go there. You have to pay for it in longer sermons, but nonetheless I always recommend the Methodists to new girls with no particular desire to go anywhere." (Ch. 8)
Lyddie doesn't like that the corporation makes decisions like this for her, from having to buy new clothes to paying for church. She worries that she can't read well enough to understand all of the rules and regulations. One of these is that she has to get vaccinations, which she finds unpleasant.