I don’t know about you, but I love libraries. In particular, I appreciate the public ones in my town. We are really lucky to have them. Yes, plural. In our small city, we are blessed with two. The newest one is quite close to me, which makes it the perfect place to pick up my requests and spend a few minutes browsing. It isn’t very big, but sometimes there is a gem sitting on the new book shelf that just has to come home with me. The big library downtown, with its big picture windows, is well-stocked. Not only are there books galore, but they carry music CDs, books on CD, and movies and provide computers, which are always busy. It’s also a great place to run into friends, by the way.
Beyond all of this antique stuff – paper books and CDs – our library has a lot of electronic options. I haven’t really explored a lot of these, but you can study about five different languages, download music and books on tape, and read newspapers. I search the collection from home and request things and renew items. It’s all pretty user-friendly. It isn’t like the old days, when you had to go to the physical location and look through card catalogs and renew books on site – am I betraying my age? Oh, well.
It seems that, at any given time, I have at least eight things checked out. Right now I have four novels, two books about writing, three books on disk that are floating around in my car, and five music CDs. I don’t usually empty the place into my house quite like this, but, now that I have declared myself a writer, it’s my job to read and to learn to write. It reminds of the days when my mother would take us to the library and we’d each come home with an armload of books. Oh, the joy! (I see those kids with the stacks of books and the big smiles checking out, and it brings it all back. The wonder and excitement of all of those unread picture books.)
One of the great things about a library is that it’s free, which means there isn’t any risk involved in bringing something home only to discover that I’m never going to get past the first five pages. And, lucky for me, I have to eventually return everything. This latter point is so important, because my office is already overflowing with the ‘must keeps’ that I’ve acquired over the years. Okay, the true confession is that I love books, music, and all that! Many thanks to our local library volunteers who help keep the place running.