Monday, April 21, 2008

Libraries and nerd-ery

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is a chariot
That bears a human soul!

~ Emily Dickinson, Part One: Life XCIX

I am, without a doubt, the biggest nerd I know.  How else to describe someone who gets as much joy out of a library as I do.  When I moved out of Brooklyn in late February, it was with great sadness that I bid my local library (The Brooklyn Public Library's Central Branch) goodbye.  I was not ready to let it go, and on subsequent visits to the city, I've stopped by and checked more books and DVDs out.  I'm thankful for their online renewal service, and for my friend, Corrie, who has graciously volunteered to return my books for me if I mail them to her.

Having my nearest "local" library some three hours drive away was not ideal or practical for a self-avowed book lover such myself.  I was under the impression that I was banned from the New Castle County Public Library system because of a $100 fine that I somehow accrued  almost fifteen years ago.  I finally decided a few weeks ago that I would just pay the fine, but when I went in to talk to them, my fine had mysteriously disappeared, and I emerged from the library the triumphant owner of a bright yellow piece of plastic entitling me to borrow from any of the local libraries.  Yippee!

After my physical therapy session today (working on my knees), I drove to the nearest branch, and somehow managed a half hour later to have accumulated an armful of books on topics ranging from Eleanor of Aquitaine and Lady Jane Grey, to fashions of the 1940's, to sex and chastity.  What joy I had perusing those shelves; what regret in deciding to leave some books behind!  I didn't want to be too overzealous-- after all, I do only have them for three weeks at a time.

Perhaps I shall share some thoughts on my reading in future posts.  In the meanwhile though, I have a lot of reading to do!

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