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I heart the library

February 15, 2008

I love to read. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed curling up with a good book, a blanket, and a mug of hot cocoa on a regular basis. I have always loved the library.

When I was still in elementary school, in the summertime, my mom would take us to the library each week so that we could pick out books to read during our down time (TV was limited to 1-1/2 hours a day, 1 of which had to be educational, and the other 30 minutes earned only if chores were done), so we spent a lot of time reading. I didn’t mind; I loved the reading time we got.

Sometimes I would pick up a book that a teacher had read to the class during the year, and others, I would check out the latest Encyclopedia Brown mystery. I always prided myself on solving the puzzle before he did (it didn’t happen often). My sister and I even began our respective stamp collections (if you can call it that, although I still have all the folders and stamps in my hope chest) at the library one summer. I even remember the summer I turned 10 and was allowed to check out books from the adult library. It was one of the best days of my life.

I can’t tell you the last time that I checked out fiction from the library. I had a library card at the University library long before I was close to being a college student. I have written many research papers, done two documentaries, and just a general thirst for knowledge have left me confined to the stacks of non-fiction, microfische, and annuals for quite some time. Then, of course, the advent of the InternetS have caused libraries to lose their status in the society of researchers.

In the past decade and a half, I have purchased most of the books I have read for pleasure, or borrowed them from a friend or my mom. I really miss perusing the aisles of Half Price Books in Seattle (the Capitol Hill location is still my favorite), and finding gems like Me Talk Pretty One Day for a buck. I love to cruise the airport bookstore and uncover a new author, as I did with Sophie Kinsella. I also love a great deal on books at Costco. Don’t even get me started on the countless hours I spend at Barnes & Noble.

Budgetary restraints have limited my book spending recently, and I have re-discovered the library. We have a location directly across the street from where I work, so I have found myself in there before work in the mornings, just perusing the stacks. Two days ago, I checked out Everyone Worth Knowing, my first fiction book checked out in years. I sat in one of the armchairs by the window and enjoyed my read. I think this will be a part of my daily routine.

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