L is for library.
I love the library. I was going to try to type out all the reasons I love the library, but then I remembered that I already did that once before. In fact, if I type "library" into the search box on my blog, no fewer than 20 entries come up. And that's just using Blogger's less-than-stellar, unreliable search system. Surely there are a few more.
About a year ago, I did a meme requiring me to list ten "L" things that I love. I still cannot believe that I damn-near completely forgot to include libraries in that post. I have so many fond memories of the library. I could tell you about all sorts of them... about my mom taking me to evening story hour in my pajamas, about collecting stamps on my card for the Summer Reading Program every year, about how every kid in my hometown remembers climbing on the giant rock in front of our public library (and how every one of us has likely had a moment when we returned to that spot as a grown up and thought, "didn't that rock used to be a whole lot bigger??").
I remember being fascinated and overwhelmed by the amazing size of my college library (which likely really isn't so big as far as university libraries go, but was large enough to fit at least 23 of my hometown libraries inside and therefore was astounding to my 18-year-old self).
I remember walking past a library with some friends on a weekend trip several years ago and watching as my friend Dale opened the book depository and stuck his head inside. "It smells like books!" he said. And it did. I never realized libraries have a unique and distinctive smell, much less a smell that involuntarily makes me smile. Sniff a book depository next time you get a chance and I think you'll see what I mean.
Bad things never happen at the library. Or, they almost never do, anyway. Libraries are a sacred place, a perfect democracy, a free pass to a workshop on any topic you choose.
I just Googled the quote in my subject line to remind myself who said it (Jorge Luis Borges), and I found a long list of other excellent quotes that prove I'm not the only one with lofty opinions about libraries. It includes one of my favorites, from one of my favorite books (Hallie in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams saying "Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off"). But they left out another of my favorites, from a book I've read more recently:
"I have sort of a Christmas-morning sense of the library as a big box full of beautiful books."
- Clare, in The Time Traveler's Wife
I know what she means.
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On a completely different note, how about one last round of applause for -R- and the fantastic Blog Share she organized? Seriously, people, that was so much fun. I know I am not supposed to tell you which "anonypost" (TM 3Carnations) was mine, but the truth is I don't even care if anyone in Blogland figures it out. It was just fun to tell a story that was so screaming to be blogged about but which I could not in good conscious put on my own site. In fact, I almost wish I could put my name on my post on its host site, because when you read a comment like "I wish I knew who this was so I could read their blog" or "Tell us who you are so we can come over," I want to say, "Me! It's me! And I'd love if you come over!"
But then again, not every day is candid Blog Share Day, so maybe it's best those commenters don't know who I am after all. I'd hate to disappoint anyone who comes here looking for absurdity and scandal only to find a mundane post about the library or my grandma or the inappropriate things I tell my doctor.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next Blog Share Day, though. Start saving up your secret stories now, folks.