Library Love & Life

You guys, omgosh! I have a library card! It’s all shiny and new and pretty and has a neat and colorful logo with BOOKS on it! It’s probably the first one I’ve had ownership of in over ten years. Can you BELIEVE this?! I can’t either. Omgosh. I’m so excited… this is better than that winter holiday where you get all the presents, cause this one I get presents ALL YEAR LONG! And there is even a keychain one in case I forget my actual card and need it to get things (like BOOKS)!

librarycard

When I was little – in elementary and middle school – I would spend as many days a week as I could at the library until mom was off work to come pick me up. I usually had almost two hours between the time my day was done and when hers was… that’s a lot of book perusing to be had. Sometimes, especially when I was in the youngest years and was reading the shortest books, I could get one or two of them done by the time she came to get me. And then of course I would pick out an armful of unread ones to bring home with me, since I just couldn’t leave *all* of them behind.

In junior high and high school I would spend my “study hall” class in the library, if whatever teacher I had would allow it. It was a small space but absolutely jam-packed with books, higher than I could reach even on a step stool. (But of course I’ve always been pretty short.) Those walls contained a little something of everything my then-heart could wish for: unabridged versions of the dictionary, with Old English still firmly in place; encyclopedias under more than one company name; books of poetry; and my favorite – the magazine room. The magazine room was tucked into the furthest corner away from the entry door it could possibly get. No one ever went in there, as far as I could tell, other than myself and the librarian. It was about the size of a custodian’s closet, which is probably what it was before someone figured they needed a dark hideaway to keep periodicals away from children that would never spare them a glance. They had shelves of Time, and science publications, and probably some on business or other grown-up matters as well. Not exactly the kinds of things the generation of BOP & Tiger Magazine wanted to peruse. The real gems of this covert storage room, however, were the National Geographics. Shelves upon shelves of them, from years back. A veritable treasure trove bound in sunny, exotic yellow.

I had begun an obsession with National Geographic around the same time I started junior high, thanks to the slightly vintage stacks of them kept in a spare room at mawmaw’s house, where I went every day after school until mom got done at work. Sometimes I talked my way into being dropped off at the library, or being allowed to walk there since it was less than three city blocks away (see above). I was also in a super-safe town, and people that would have seen me walking knew who I was and who was taking care of me, the number to call in case of an emergency, etc. Small towns are nice like that.

Anyway. I would spend hours poring over these National Geographic magazines, dreaming about visiting all the far-away places with sights so utterly different from anything I had been exposed to. This is probably also where my from-then-on lifelong wanderlust kicked in. (It really hasn’t left me alone since and I keep collecting places I want to see/travel to/visit/experience.)

I’ve kinda gotten off the subject haven’t I?

Library card! Yes! Well basically what I wanted to convey with this rather wordy and existence-spanning little post is that I frequented libraries all my life. And then one day I didn’t. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but it was probably shortly after high school when I moved to New Orleans and started college there. I never did get a new library card for where I was living then, and I never got one for any of the places I moved around to after. It was way beyond time to remedy that, clearly.

Also, did you know you could check out e-books for free from a library now? WHAT?! (I just found out yesterday. I’m sooooo not news-stuff-inclined.) I’ve been kind of adamant against e-books for the longest time but I’m gonna have to rethink that now. There are too many books I want to experience and live in, and too little money to spread around for them. Thank you, library card, for fixing part of that situation for me. ❤

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9 thoughts on “Library Love & Life

  1. Your library card is so cute! When I first moved to the town where I live now I was in high school, and my choices for a library card were cute and childish or dull and boring, and apparently I decided cute was better. Now I’m slightly embarrassed by it almost ten years later, but ah well. I really wish I had a card that was cute but more adult like yours! And yes, the free e-books from the library are amazing. A lot of stuff I read is done that way since I’m too cheap to buy everything.

    • Yes, I think it’s the cutest one I’ve ever seen! I was pretty surprised when I picked it up at the library today, haha. Oh goodness now I’m interested in seeing what yours looks like, if it’s as embarrassing as you say. 😀

      It just doesn’t make sense for people to buy *everything* they read. What if you don’t like it, and don’t even finish it? What if you like it but are never going to read it again? Sure you can donate it somewhere, do a book swap, or take it to the secondhand bookstore. But it still ends up feeling like somewhat of a waste, to me, to pay for things I’m not keeping for more than a couple days. A lot of the books I want to read in the YA genre especially I’m still iffy on, and don’t want to pay $10+ to find out if I made a good decision. I’m so excited about the free e-books from the library I can’t even stand it! Taking all my willpower not to check out the max number of them and instead finish my current reads first.

      • It’s not terrible really, but I feel silly with it at the library. I know it’s somewhere on my desk but I’d have to unearth it, ha ha.

        Funnily enough, I seem to have a really good sense when it comes to what to borrow and what to buy. I tend to like the books I buy more than the ones I borrow, and I honestly don’t think it’s just me trying to talk myself into like something because I bought it. It’s kind of like how my husband and I decide if we’re going to see a movie in theater or wait to rent it later. We can generally get an idea beforehand if it’s something we’re really going to like or just kind of like. But the book I just reviewed today, for instance, was a library borrow that I didn’t finish. But the book I’m reading now, which I bought, I’m totally loving!

  2. That’s such a cute library card! So colourful! A keychain one? That is so convenient. 😀

    As for e-books, I was a bit iffy of them at first but after finding all these freebies and Netgalley, I’ve warmed up to them considerably!

    Enjoy your new library card! 😀

    • Thank you, I will! I’ve already bookmarked probably 20ish books I’d like to read, and that’s with having only gone through a quarter of the YA selection they have available. And oh goodness I haven’t even peeked at the food & cooking section yet!

      I just discovered NetGalley as well but have yet to request anything on there or look through the instant approval reads. I just know I will find tons more books I want to read but I’m already too excited to sit down and read my current books all the way through! Ah! 🙂

  3. Yay for a library card! It’s funny because I personally have never been attached to a library. I’m sure my parents would take me to one every once in a while when I was younger, but I have no real recollection of it. I mean, my mom goes every week and checks out like six books, so I’m sure I’ve gone. But nothing. I just never built a relationship with my local library.

    I know in high school I attempted to go to the library again to try and use it, but I never felt welcomed and I just wasn’t as excited about going there as I was to Barnes and Noble. I didn’t like the time limits, the signs that others had read the book, or the fact I couldn’t keep them! So that was it. Went like twice and never again.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a buy it new and keep it forever type of gal. Don’t get me wrong, my wallet would probably love me if I were library-oriented, but I’m not! Still, glad you got a card and I’m sure your wallet will love you!!

    And on the National Geographic note, I can understand! I’ve never been overly into them, but I always found it interesting in my art class that the teacher would have a bunch in the back room for us to use for inspiration. I would spend hours just looking at the pictures. So crazy what you find! But of course, then I’d paint on them or something crazy. Don’t hate me! 😛

    • Oh that’s terrible! Librarians and people in libraries have been pretty iffy as far as making people feel welcome for me. You would think they wouldn’t care who was in there and just mind their business and read their books. But noooo. I’m glad the ladies at the library here in New Orleans are really nice, not that I will probably go check out physical copies much. (Except they have an ENTIRE SHELF on Incan history that I’m kind of nerd-salivating over.) One of the older ladies that ran the one in my high school was nice also, and I just recently found out she used to ask after me all the time via my dad after I’d graduated and moved off. (Totally sweet old lady, huh?!) Other places the librarians and people in them have been kind of… looking at me like, “wtf is she doing in here?” Which is odd to me. Cause clearly I was there for the BOOKS.

      You know, I had forgotten all about the check out cards in those little pockets of library books. It’s funny you didn’t like them being there, because that was one of my favorite parts of checking out a new book – seeing who else was interested in something so much they wanted to take it home with them. I usually didn’t know anyone’s names on the cards but made up little stories about them in my head anyway. 😀

      Haha I don’t hate you for painting on the National Geographics. At least you got some enjoyment out of them! 🙂

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