Saturday, September 23, 2006
take me to the library
quote from juan ramon jimenez at the beginning of blue shoe by anne lamott:
I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives, gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing when I die.
i like this quote.
i finally went to the local public library branch recently. i don't know why i'd never been there before. actually, i do know. it's cuz i like to own books i read. but in an effort not to spend so much money, i decided to do the library thing. i had forgotten how fabulous libraries are. a warm place for people to come in and read/relax/get information/borrow books! for free. what a concept. i think there should be libraries for borrowing other things for free as well. power tools, sewing machines, hula hoops, etc.
i love the crinkly noise the plastic cover makes when you open and close a library book.
i like finding notes scribbled in the book or tucked inside. i like the coffee stains.
i was in my library reverie until i realized, library books no longer have the sheath with the card inside that shows the names and dates of who has borrowed the book and when! that's so much of the magic of checking out books at the library lost. i loved seeing a bit of the path of the book. and in a small town, i bet you could learn a bit about your neighbors from this little card. i guess it might be nice not to have the card there if you are checking out something risque or private. i can see an upside. but it still makes me sad. even just the act of checking out the library book and having the librarian stamp the card. i don't know why that was so satisfying. i think stamping things is just satisfying for some reason.
that card was similar to mail art or citycarshare art. the passing on of something from one stranger to the next. a record of something shared, but in absence. (my housemate erica was in a citycarshare car the other day that had a little handmade book in it. some other carshare user had created this book for carshare users to fill. what a rad idea!)
i'm pretty sad about banishment of card catalogues from libraries too. but that's another rant.
ps. i just read alica's post, the tiny bit, that also is a library-loving one. for other novel readers especially, this is an interesting post.