Thursday, August 14, 2008

What would I do without a public library?

Definitely one of my favorite places! I jumped for joy the first time I visited a public library in the US. They have extensive online catalogs that can be accessed from home, are kept as current as possible and have flexible lending policies. Books, magazines, newspapers, CD's and DVD's, audiobooks, e-books...everything a book-worm like me needs in a lifetime. Or several lifetimes. (what's so special, you might ask; but given the dusty, outdated, user-unfriendly libraries I have been used to, I can't stop gushing about this). Libraries are near the top of things I would miss most if I moved back to India.

I usually don't buy books that I have not read. My collection includes books that I have read and enjoyed in the past - like The Thornbirds and The Bean Trees.

At the risk of sounding dork-like, I must confess - when I'm at the library, I'm like a kid in a candy store. I cannot stop at 1 or 2 books - I pick out a whole collection. And I rarely spend less than an hour browsing; even if I already have a book in mind. DH shakes his head when I come home from the library swaying like a drunk under the weight of Barbara Kingsolvers, Tracy Chevaliers, Alexander McCall Smiths, Rosamunde Pilchers and Nathaniel Philbricks. Though my preference is fiction (I love to bury myself in the lives of fictitious people), I do dabble in non-fiction, particularly history.

Reading the last pages of a well-written book is sometimes accompanied by a sense of loss; the characters seem more real and familiar to me than people in real life.

No comments: