I love libraries.
I mean, anyone who loves to read probably has some fondness for libraries. But I love libraries. I visit my local library – the Hereford Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library – just about every day of my life.
The library is my safest avenue for binge shopping. It’s free – I can walk into a library, pick out a dozen books, and walk out with them, in a pile tucked under my chin, without paying a cent. (Except for the inevitable late fees I pay, which I consider a charitable donation to a worthy community service.)
Thanks to technology, my relationship with my local library is also digital. BCPL has an app! From my phone, I can search their catalog, and (best of all) I can request specific titles. I click “Place Request,” and then a copy of my book is shipped to my local branch and placed on a shelf for me to come pick up. Sometimes I take the book home and read it cover to cover. Sometimes I skim the book, decide it’s not for me, and return it the next day. I can do that; the library allows me to explore titles I’m not quite sure about, which sometimes leads to interesting surprises.
(Sidebar: I sometimes feel guilty when I bring the book back the next day without having read it. But recently, I came back to the library with Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, and when the librarian asked me how it was, I confessed to her, somewhat apologetically, that I’d read the first chapter and decided that it wasn’t for me. She totally understood. Librarians are the BEST.)
Tee and I both love to read, and we love having our house filled with books. I can’t imagine living in a house without books. When I first visit the home of a friend, the first thing I do, always, is check out their bookshelves. I feel oddly unnerved when I don’t find any bookshelves to peruse. (There’s a John Waters quote I’m dying to use here, but I need to paraphrase if I want to keep this a family-friendly blog: “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t [spend the night] with them.” Please feel free to google the actual quote; it has a much sharper landing.)
I’m currently in the middle of a major reading kick – the kind when I read while waiting in line, while walking, or while at red lights. (I mean, I don’t do that.) It started with Tee recommending the amazingly beautiful book My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante; I’m now on Book Three of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels series, which is good timing, because Book Four comes out on September 1! (Don’t worry – Tee and I already have copies reserved at the library. Like you do.)