I’m Falling in Love with Libraries, Again
When I was younger, I used to frequent the local library. My mom, our neighbour, and her two kids would walk from our house to the library (back when people didn’t automatically own two cars), pick out some books, and if we were lucky, stop in at the McDonald’s afterwards. As I got older, I remember looking for specific novels in the library, excited to see what they had for me to check out, disappointed when it wasn’t there, but knowing when I came back in the following week or two it may have been returned.
The memory of heading into the library all by myself, brandishing my library card with nervous pride, is one that sticks in my head and is replayed whenever I drive past said library. I felt that nervousness, yet excitement, that accompanied everything ‘grown up’ you did as a child or a tween. I felt so much older and wiser when I handed the card over myself, checking out my own books, as my mom waited patiently in the car for me. When I came out with my books, not needing any help from my mother, I felt like such a grown adult — to be able to check out books whenever I wanted, what wonder!
I don’t know when, exactly, I stopped going to the library, I just know that one day…I stopped. Sure, I may have spent countless hours IN the library at university, but it wasn’t spent reading the books that lined the shelves with a hot coffee or tea. It was usually spent locked away in a corner with papers, a mini laptop (yep, the days of a mini laptop of yore), Starbucks coffee cups, and Dr. Pepper bottles littering the area around me. While books were used for research, they definitely weren’t used for pleasure.
I, essentially, ignored libraries for a good long time, looking to buying books at stores or charity drives, instead. Even when Little Libraries started to take over, I didn’t think about walking around perusing their selection to find something good like my friend does in her neighbourhood. I drove to the store, still feeling that excitement I did when visiting libraries years ago, except now it cost me a Starbucks coffee and $20–50 a visit. As someone who hates ordering books through Amazon, only stooping so low when I’ve exhausted local bookstores, conglomerate or not, you’d think I would’ve stuck around the…