It has been weeks of boiling weather here, where walking around outside is like swimming through the muggy air and where the sun is so bright that my face is in a perpetual squint. We’ve abandoned our midday walks in favor of evening swims, and my knitting projects have shrunk from shawls and blankets to hats and mittens (less wool to carry around, you see).
On these hottest days of the year, I retreat to the public library for the cool stillness that accompanies thousands of books. Browsing the stacks carries with it a type of calm. Maybe it’s because in the library, I’m welcome to take as much time as I’d like with the expectation that I’m going to come away happy. A community service at its best.
Lately I’ve been working my way through the knitting shelves of the library’s collection, learning about yarn and pattern design. I also grab some fiction books to read during my lunch break as I knit, coming away with four and five books per week and a few movies. Mr. Savvy has his own stack, and between us, we have books everywhere: spread across the table, tucked in the corner, lying beside the bed. The books come and go. We’ve developed a home library in constant flux — just the way I like it.
Libraries deserve our love. In tough economic times, their number of customers goes up while their funding goes down as people realize it’s better to borrow than to buy. Even the late fees (of which I’ve paid quite a bit) are worth it if it means resources are available to everyone.
I wasn’t going to write a post about something as ordinary as borrowing books, but then I read Yes! Magazine’s excellent manifesto on public libraries. I realized that the library is one of the things we use in our community that makes me feel like a part of the community. I bring home a little bit of that common feeling every time I come home with new reading material without breaking the bank.
Going to the library was a special treat when I was a kid because reading was so much an everyday occurrence for me. I’ve carried that into my adult life, and I don’t think it will ever go away. So tell me: how do you love your library?
©2011 at Simple Savvy, the simple living blog where books are as much a part of my family as my family is. Er… does that make sense?