Monday, May 9, 2011


Growing up, I loved our local library.  I could bike there, check out entire bagfuls of paperbacks, and bring them home.  The librarians soon became used to an eight-year-old checking out thirty books or more--you could always tell new hires (which were rare) by their reaction to me.

New Librarian: Are you sure you need that stack of books that's taller than you?
First Grader Me: Yup.
New Librarian: Are you going to read them all in one month?
Me: I'll see you in a week.

This isn't me.  But she is cute.

Back then the library wasn't connected to other libraries in the area, so I did a lot of rereading as well.  I didn't discriminate, either: Goosebumps, Nancy Drew, E.B. White, Roald Dahl, Tamora Pierce, the Hardy Boys, Garfield, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman...all of them found a way into my plastic bags (those have handles!  For carrying on a bike!).  I wish I'd kept a journal of everything I read--I remember some books as a feeling, sort of, like the picture book about a cat with a witch's hat that I can't seem to find anywhere (I swear it was called Witch Cat).  But I'm glad I had that library.  I needed my book fix, and I could always go there to get it.

Now I live near many wonderful libraries.  The Salt Lake City Public Library is awesome--it has glass elevators (they're fun to go down in!), and playrooms downstairs that remind me of a tree house and Superman's Fortress of Solitude, respectively, a Half Life 2-esque parking garage, a garden on the ceiling...and lots of books, too!  Here's a picture:

And on the inside:

Trust me.  It's homier than it looks, and at this angle all the books are behind you--so you can't even see the best part!

I still check out thirty books at a time (I accrued quite a late fee after having Ninja last summer), but I've sort of grown into the stacks.  Someday, I'd love to travel and gather piles of books from a whole bunch of libraries.  In honor of that, here's my favorite picture of a library I've found:

This is the St. Abbey Library in Switzerland.  Don't the ghostly people look cool?  And those shelves, and those books...!
In conclusion, I pay my late fees with cheer and good humor, because libraries are amazing and I love them.

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