Lates Fees and Library Loot

I have a confession to make. I’ve been avoiding the library like an over-hyped book. It all started a couple of months ago when I forgot to return my selection of five books for…about a week. It’s not like I had a good excuse to not return the books. It was wintertime, but the roads were not snowy. Nor did I have any weekend plans; I may have tried to convince myself that I needed to clean the apartment, but I’m pretty sure I was playing the video game, Fallout 4, and racking up late fees instead. This happened once before at my old library. I kept books for so long that I ended up racking up THIRTY DOLLARS in late fees. And then I kept avoiding all of the late fee notices for so long that eventually the library threatened to turn me over to collections, and my mom ended up paying the balance. Those were some pretty dark financial times in my life, and I hope to never revisit them again. Also, yes mom, I know I still owe you thirty dollars from like seven years ago. Do you want to just write it off to bad debt? (LOL! ACCOUNTING JOKE!) Seriously though, do you?

Continue reading Lates Fees and Library Loot

Going to the Library with a Theme in Mind is Like Going on a Scavenger Hunt

I had better success reading through my last batch of library loot. I only returned one book unread– Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton. I think I knew the day I pulled the book from the library stacks that I probably wasn’t going to read it. The premise of the book sounded interesting enough– a boy enters a house he thought to be abandoned only to find twelve people sitting about, and they end up exchanging ghost stories– but honestly I only picked it because there were not that many YA novels that fell in to the horror genre.

Continue reading Going to the Library with a Theme in Mind is Like Going on a Scavenger Hunt

A Saturday Morning Particular

My library days are turning in to quite a delightful routine. I wake up on Saturdays, shortly before my alarm goes off and usually to the sound of Jon getting ready for work. I always contemplate rolling back over and going to bed, but I manage to talk myself out of it, peel myself from the bed, and brew myself a cup of coffee. On this particular morning, I stood out on the balcony and enjoyed unseasonably crisp, morning air with my Maple-Walnut blend coffee, planning out the chores I needed to do for the day and then promptly tossing the idea away favoring a few hours with the blogosphere and a good book before the library opened instead.

I usually get to the library shortly after it opens, but the parking lot is already getting full by then. This surprises me for some reason, but it also makes me happy. Today’s patrons were the usual library gamers who gab at each other while mowing down enemies and taking advantage of the library’s wi-fi and mothers with fussy children (who I discover do not annoy me in libraries like they do in restaurants– the children, not their mothers).

This week, I chose 4 books with nothing in common:

  • Gotham Academy #1: Welcome to Gotham Academy, a graphic novel, by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl
  • New York: the Novel, a historical fiction…tome by Edward Rutherfurd. Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking when I pulled this one from the stacks.
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God, a non-fiction book about…you guessed it– God– by Rob Bell.
  • Kissing in America, a contemporary YA novel complete with a road trip (or so says the book cover) by Margo Rabb

My next stop is the grocery store where I pick up soup, a pre-made chicken salad sandwich (because I think I’ve bought a loaf of bread once while at my new apartment, and all but six slices went to waste), and a bag of bon-bons. Then I return home and relish in good books and good soup.

I intended to finish Bran New Death, a cozy mystery novel about murder and baked goods, which I picked up during my last library visit, but I was distracted by the new and shiny. Instead, I read Gotham Academy, which was fun in a novelty sort of way, and What We Talk about When We Talk About God, which I devoured in one sitting. How much I appreciated that book caught me by surprise.

For not accomplishing much, this day was well-spent. I just wish I could stretch the afternoon out for 3 or 4 more hours more. On my library days I just feel so…at peace.

I Got a Library Card!

I used to walk into book stores without an agenda, spend hours perusing bookshelves, and walking out happily with $70.00 worth of books. When I walk into book stores now, I am overcome with anxiety. It’s this weird pressure that developed once I entered the book blogosphere, and it makes book shopping an awful experience. Seriously. The new releases offend my pocketbook and I’m still waiting for the hype for last years books to fizzle out and how do I find a book that hasn’t made its rounds on blogs yet anyway? And when I’m spending money, I become reluctant to venture outside my comfort zone because what if I don’t like the book? Most of the time I walk out of the bookstore with empty hands and a heavy heart.

So on Saturday I decided to go to the library instead.

I had been meaning to for the past five months, but I kept coming up with excuses for why I couldn’t go. Mostly I was afraid to go there by myself, but this Saturday was perfect library-going weather– chilly and rainy. The library staff wasn’t nearly as warm and welcoming as I expected them to be, but the atmosphere was still delightful. My library is open and spacious, and large windows line the walls letting in plenty of natural light. Perhaps the shelves aren’t stocked to the brim, but there are more than enough books to choose from. The library also has a fireplace, so I already know I will want to spend cold, winter afternoons here. And perhaps, once I pluck up enough courage, I’ll attend the writers group that meets twice a month. We’ll see…

I spent two hours studying the stacks trying to decide which books to bring home with me. My goal was to bring home books I would never pick out at a book store, books I’ve never heard of, genres I’ve never read. I’d say I was pretty successful, too. I feel like this has rejuvenated my desire to read because as soon as I got home, I brewed myself a cup of coffee, I snuggled in to my armchair, I cracked open Sleight of Paw, and devoured the first half of the book in one sitting.

Have you experienced a reading slump recently? How did you reignite your passion for books?