I’m a book buyer. I have been for a long time. I take pride in my library, offering my favourites to friends, encouraging people to take a wander through the shelves in awe of my exquisite literary taste.
Before my first bout of funemployment in 2010 it had been a long time since I’d been to the library for pleasure. Let’s be honest here – I barely needed to go to the library for school either. Online subscription services meant that I could get all the ‘real’ source material I needed for papers without ever leaving my house.
But when I wasn’t working, the library was suddenly my only option for new books. All of a sudden, I was a library regular. I was surprised by how many awesome books they had at my disposal. And all of them were free! And I could take out as many as I wanted!
The months that I was looking for work were not nearly as bad as I thought they’d be because I never once was deprived of fresh reading material, a criteria in my world for happiness. I devoured biographies, discovered a love for Agatha Christie, PG Wodehouse and Maeve Binchy and delighted in finding books I’d never heard of.
But then I went back to working. And my library visits dropped off in favour of new book buying expeditions.
I’m still working (knock on wood) but I went to the library on my lunch break the other day. See, I’m getting married and it turns out weddings aren’t cheap so book buying at this point seems kind of extravagant. My office is right around the corner from a library and it would be wrong not to take advantage of that kind of proximity.
The library around the corner is magic. I’d never been to this branch but as soon as I walked in, I felt like I was at home. I meant to grab one or two titles but walked out with five (A Pocket Full of Rye, Sister Queens, Wives and Daughters, Heart & Soul, and Valley of the Dolls). A little overzealous on my part; I had a hard time getting them home!
If these titles turn out to be my new very favourites, I will be sad to give them back. But there’s also something so satisfying about knowing that someone else is going to come after me and discover their same magic
Libraries for the win.