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.