Thursday, December 17, 2009

Library Love

What is it about libraries? They are so fabulous. As I walked to my book club meeting this evening (oh, you should see this library lit up at night!), I was just flooded with memories of all the good NYC libraries I grew up with, the particular smell and feel that all library books seem to have, and the quiet energy that pervades these buildings and their patrons.

When my daughter was born, I got a packet in the mail from the Cambridge Library that included a cotton "Born to Read" tote bag, and four brand-new children's picture books, plus a coupon to hand in at my local branch for yet another new book. Is that not the most incredible thing? I didn't even write to them -- they must get birth record information from the city. Welcome, baby, here's a pile of amazing books just for you, and there's are a bunch of buildings where you can come borrow more any time you want. It's just so cool.

The book club was delightful (more on that another time), but even better was getting a stack of new releases, plus requesting two more. This is the first time in forever that I've gotten library books for myself instead of just for my daughter... what can I say, she's sometimes a little too enthusiastic to be kept on the non-children's floors for too long. She will happily unshelve an entire section in the firm belief that I will be able to read them all to her before we leave, and if I tell her to read quietly to herself, there's a high probability that she will interpret this to mean: (1) Remove book from shelf. (2) Turn book to last page. (3) Declare, "And they all lived happily ever after." (4) Repeat until Mom stops being busy.

I only have a week to read three novels, but I'm not worried. A stack of purchased books on the bedside table can sometimes feel like a "hafta"... ugh, I spent so much money on these, I hafta read them soon... whereas library books are always in the "wanna" pile. If you don't wanna read them, heck, just give them back! No pressure at all.

My "wanna" read pile as of tonight includes a Chuck Palahniuk, a Meg Cabot, and Peter Cameron's Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (what a great title). Do you guys have any library books in your pile? What are they? Tell me something you like about YOUR local branch.

AND... I have 100 followers!!! Squee! This makes me think that I should get my blog more organized, as writer Kiersten is on an epic quest to do. Wanna help? I am hereby taking nominations for Readers' Favorites of 2009. I think it would be a nice link to have available for those future readers who will be new to the blog.


  1. well.. I'm partial to either the John Irving video post.. or the post on the books on your bookshelves.

  2. Aren't libraries amazing? I think the whole idea is so noble, that we get to borrow books for free, and the library takes it on good faith the books will be returned.

    How lovely to get the bag of books for your daughter!

    Congrats on 100. I have a little something for you over at my place, too.

    You impress me, Carrie, with your hard work. All the best today!

  3. OMG I love libraries. The smell! The hushed solemnity!

    I have never been to the Cambridge Library but that building looks amazing.

  4. I believe I live in the city with the second highest number of library card holders in the country. (The first is Seattle.) We have an excellent library system here in Portland, and I usually have about 50 items checked out at a time. My daughter (age 3) has about the same number out on her card. My husband keeps cards in two counties and maintains a spreadsheet (!!!) to keep the stream of books flowing.

    I find that there's often MORE pressure to finish a book if it's from the library. If it's a popular item, it is usually due back in three weeks, so I have to arrange my reading accordingly. Of course, there are some low-demand items I've had checked out for over two years, so no pressure there!

  5. There are few things that relax me more than the library. I could live in one and be perfectly content. I followed the link from Caroline's, and I'm glad I did. :)

    Congrats on reaching 100 followers. I hit that number this morning. Feels great! ;-)

  6. I love my local library in Hoboken. It's got a stone owl on top and I think it's one of those old Carnegie buildings, or from that era anyway. I do have a library book right now--THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy (which I just finished--wow). I order my books online from libraries all across NJ and they let me know when they come in. Oh, and I went to library school and was a librarian for a while, so yes, I LOVE LIBRARIES!

  7. I've been getting audiobooks (I like to go to listen before sleep, just like a kid) from the library, because audiobooks are sooooo expensive to buy.
    My to read pile of purchased books is so huge that I've decided to ignore the coupons and other enticements--at least for the moment. In the pile, calling to me, are Jellicoe Road, What I Saw and How I Lied, Bovine, Feed, Oryx and Crake, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Sacred Scars--and so many more.
    Congrats on your 100, and I think the reorg is a great idea.

  8. I love libraries. The one near me has such interesting and random books in it. I currently have their copy of Emma, and have had it for about four months. I hope they forgive me when I give it back. ;)

  9. I go to my college library once a month or so. Currently there's one Hemingway book, two poetry books, and A Primer on the Novel waiting to be read or go back. I keep renewing them, though, 'cause, y'know, it's a busy time of year and all.

    But congrats on 100 followers! I'd squee for you, but men aren't supposed to do that, I've heard. :)

  10. I'm totally "overdue," pardon the pun, on going to a library. I used to go to one all the time that was in downtown Phoenix. It was one of my favorite memories about highschool.

  11. I'm more like Rebecca; I have more pressure to read a book with a deadline. (Plus, I guess about a third of my TBR pile was free—ARCs, comps, borrowed, contest wins.)

  12. I love libraries, too! Our local branch has a fabulous children's section and a separate glassed in YA section--so cool!

    My next three to-be-reads aren't library books, but two are borrowed from a friend. (I often prioritize my library or borrowed books because I know I have a limited time!)

    As for a blog recommendation...there are SO many great ones, it's hard to choose! I'll pick one that's full of craft tips and fun: Roni at Fiction Groupie.

    Congrats on the 100 followers! You're now at 101!