Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Libob

When my sister was little, she called the library "the libob," so now we all call it that. I love the libob, with all my heart and soul. Sometimes, when I'm depressed, I just go there. I don't even need to check out any books, or even read anything. I can just sit there, and start to feel better.

But of course I never leave empty-handed. I love the fact that the books are free. I am a greedy patron, and take home any book that looks remotely interesting. I judge books by their covers all the time.

I've been going to the same branch of my library for more than 20 years. I know the fiction collection intimately. Recently I've started playing this game where I stand in front of a section of shelves, and I have to find at least one book that I've read on every shelf. I almost never lose.

Almost all of the books I read I get from the library. I go to bookstores, but almost never buy books. Instead, I buy coffee, and then I wander around looking at all the latest releases, armed with a small pad of a paper and a pen. I write down the names of books that look interesting, and then request them from the library.

I know we should buy books so that authors can keep their publishing contracts and keep writing. I am grateful to the authors I read, and want them to keep writing, so I do buy their books, sometimes. Especially if they are not best sellers; some of those people don't need my help, so I save my dollars for those authors whose appeal seems narrower, but who nevertheless please me with their work. I recently purchased Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, but haven't read it yet. I also bought A Feast for Crows, but that was because it was the only way to get it without waiting for months for the library's copy, and I couldn't wait any longer than I had already waited.


Peter Patau said...

Nice blog. Found you on MADreads.

You've so precisely captured my feelings about the library (and yes, authors should be supported, too, at least those who really need it), but libraries represent human beings at their best. We should do all that we can to keep them healthy and vital. Madison has wonderful branches, and each branch collection has its own personality and spin. The librarians are such cool people. To be able to read their blog now and click to reserve the books they are talking about it is sheer bliss.

If I’d had my druthers, the money that was spent on the condo magnet would have been better spent on a remodel of the main library.

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