My local library has become my budget friendly, time stealing lover. I love it, it costs me nothing to borrow, browse, and read. In fact I can take out up to 100 items for a three week period, not that I would, but maybe this would pose an interesting challenge one day?
I digress, as usual. So, my local library, is terrific, it isn’t your big city library with the variety and different building levels with historic paintings hanging. There isn’t a floor dedicated to children’s literature or enclosed cubbies to study or read in. It’s small, in deep need of renovations (which is why the city is building a new one), the children’s section is a dozen shelves and some modestly painted fairytales on the wall with a miniature version of a stadium for those memorable group readings. There are plenty of books, as there are videos, music and audio books.
I still can’t believe it took me almost 1o years to rediscover the library. Really, the last time I ventured was when I was studying Journalism in Edmonton…..10 years ago! And for years and years I used to use the library as my get away place, there was a world waiting for me there, I loved it. It’s the great smell of old books, glossy magazine pages or the feel of the typeface in old texts. I love the way the jackets of the books are recovered in thick clear plastic, making the book have a certain squeak when it’s opened. I love finding texts with a former student’s neat handwriting scrawling the margins with notes, thoughts or ideas. I read them all, and sometimes I add a couple of my own annotations. My favourite thing has to be the feeling when I find a book, sitting among the thousands, and I know it’s going to be incredible to read. When I get it home, my excitement overtakes me, I read a quick chapter before I start cleaning something or cooking something for the someones who are always waiting for me. The chapter takes me through dinner, clean up and until bed.
I worry about the library. I worry about the book, the tangible book. You know, the one you can hold in your two hands. The ones you think about dog-earring the pages, but slip in a piece of paper instead. I worry that one day, the kindle, the e-books, blogs and all the other wonderful social media and publishing platforms will suppress the need for the physical book, for the library, for the curious to wander throughout the shelves.
I won’t buy a kindle, I won’t. It’s just me, I love my books and I don’t care that I have so many that they make small spaces look like miniature libraries. I don’t care that some think they clutter my house, I say character my house. I like books, and I like book places too. I even like those commercial book stores (as well as the small family run ones), I like the variety and the prices and I like to see what Oprah thinks is a good pick, primarily because I doubt that this woman who is incredibly busy has the time to read all these books, if she really does, kudos Oprah.
I think, if you think, that if you love books as much as I do, even if you own a kindle, go to the bookstore and buy a REAL, physical book every once in a while, and read it there with a coffee.