I have fallen in love with the library, again. The library and I have had an on-again-off-again love affair since my childhood. Reading The Bridge to Terabithia curled up in a comfy old chair by the magazine rack, while my mom browsed, stopping by the Red Bridge library in the summer to pick up the Read-It forms and a huge stack of chapter books followed up by a scoop at Baskin Robbins around the corner, sitting in the hammock in our backyard and devouring Sweet Valley High in 7th grade, college days spent at the Spencer Library digging through old art periodicals and dusty French language books on Congolese statues. God, I love the library.
But somewhere in my twenties I stopped going to the library and started buying books. Borders, Barnes and Noble, the amazing Jackson Street used bookstore in Omaha, hours spent wandering. And I love owning books, passing books between friends and family, sharing books I love, but our heaving bookcase and the tighter economy did me a huge favor, it brought me back to the library. And the library (how many times am I going to use that word? another 20 probably) in the 21st Century is amazing. I log onto the library's website, search the books I want, put them on hold and check back to see if they are ready for pick up, drive the 5 minutes from my house to the closest branch and there they are waiting for me! I still wander around the library and look for new authors, new releases, and I still love a good used bookstore but my buying habits have changed. I resist buying a book if I'm pretty sure I can get it quickly at the library, especially if its a new author I haven't read before. The last books I bought were used and by Joyce Carol Oates and Joe Perrotta, authors I love and am pretty sure I will read again and again. Otherwise the library is my answer 90% of the time! Free, easy, helpful, and brings me back to my childhood, lemonade stands, stacks of chapter books and that good ole magazine rack at the library. I think I'll pick up a Baskins Robbins scoop in a sugar cone for old times sake.