Monday, November 14, 2011
Thanksgiving Thanks: Day Fourteen: The Library
I chose this picture because it is the library that I remember going to all through my childhood and coming out with a stack of books under my chin. Since I have never had a large amount of disposable income and a voracious love of books, the library has been my friend. I spent countless hours roaming the stacks looking for my next new literary treasure. My sisters never wanted to come on these outings, not because they necessarily didn't like the library, but because they never wanted to spend as much time there as I did. My mom understood, though, and was happy to take me when she could. I still remember the day I had two teeth pulled and I had a mouth full of cotton but I begged to be taken to the library because I didn't have a new book to read after I finished the one I was currently reading and I wanted a new book and a new movie to watch while I was in pain. Mom said OK because she knew what it meant to me and she knew I was about to be in not insignificant amounts of pain once the dental shots wore off. (yes I had other painkillers but they were to dull the pain, not get rid of it) I was so numb that I didn't realize that I was drooling blood in the middle of the teen fiction section, my sister had to point it out; so I went outside, changed the cotton and went back in. Such is my love for the library.
My family likes to joke that I have subsidized a wing of the library with all the fines I've paid, and they are exaggerating, but I bet I have bought a few shelves, but the late fees I've paid are not near the price of the books I have read or the value of what I have learned and experienced from those books.
When I discovered interlibrary loan, I was hooked. I can get any book I want, from anywhere. The classics of science fiction, the complete works of that new author I found, that random nonfiction book that sounds so interesting that I heard about on the internet, all at my fingertips. Heaven.
But let me say, the library hasn't kept me from having a significant library of my own at home, but knowing which books I want to keep and read again and again is part of my debt to the library that I can never repay. Which is why, today, I am thankful for the library and why I think I'll go over there later and pay off my newest collection of late fees.