Okay, not completely true. When I forget to turn in my daughter’s DVD of, let’s say, Barbie: A Fairy Secret (a cinematic tour de force-harrumph!) and am asked to fork over six bucks, my heart doesn’t sing. But then I remember that it is a forced donation to an organization that I have voluntarily given money to in the past and that I will willingly give to again.
Libraries have helped me shape my life, maybe even saved my life. I was a latch-key type of kid. My mother (rest in peace) was busy supporting three boys on a secretary’s wages and as the oldest, I was often on my own. One of the places I often wound up was the library. The library took me so many different places. At one point, in 5th grade, I started collecting autographs and wrote letters to famous people and got their autographs (or their secretary’s autographs.)
When it was time to think about going to college, I did research on colleges and financial aid and figured out that I could “afford” to go to a private college. My mom wanted me to go for the “affordable” and local University of Kentucky, a fine university actually but I wanted to get out of town.
I have to admit, I have had quite a hiatus from the library, but as my oldest daughter got old enough to enjoy books, I made a point of going there with her. Furthermore, my Japanese language learning project has reinforced the fact that I have a brain and I want to use it. I’m back!
One of the things that I am enjoying is how automated and convenient the library has become. I know I sound like a dinosaur, but I’m so glad whether you can go and check out whether a book is available online.
One of the things I love about reading library books is the “time pressure” of reading a book with a due date. No matter how many times, you can renew a book (yes, online), you eventually do have to return it. For me, that increases the chance that I will actually read the book and get something out of it, rather than letting it hang out on the shelf for years.
I am currently reading Annemarie Colbin’s Food and Healing and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPress by Susan Gunelius. These books are both on hold, so I am skimming through Food and Healing (due in three days) and speeding up my reading of the WordPress book. (Due in nine days.)
I can now afford to buy books and still do, but like the forced deadline of library books. For example, I recently bought two copies of 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler because I love his ideas and his voice and wanted to share with my brothers. But my I get my copy through the library because of the built in time pressure. Steve, if you are reading this now, are you laughing on the way to the bank? Well, I am laughing on the way to the library.