Public Library

When I was in elementary school; I used to get in trouble for talking to the other kids during class. Eventually, this got bad enough that the teacher called my Mom in for a parent-teacher conference to discuss the problem…

Teacher: Mark keeps talking during class and it’s very disruptive.
Mom: When is he doing all this talking?
Teacher: After he finishes his assignment.
Mom: Did you give him something to read?
Teacher: Yes, but he finished that book.
Mom: Did you try giving him another one?
Teacher: Yes, but he finished that one too.
Mom: *glare*
Teacher: In fact, he’s already read all the books in the room.
Mom: Why don’t you get him another one from the library then?
Teacher: I did but he finished it already.
Mom: *glare* Then why don’t you let him go to the library and get another one?
Teacher: Wha…. I can’t do that!?! He could get into all sorts of trouble walking down the hallway.
Mom: *glare* If you let him go to the library; he’ll stop talking in class.

Eventually, I was allowed to walk those halls, wander the shelves of the library and seek out new books to read. As Mom predicted, once I had something to read; I was quiet in class. This is a habit that has stuck with me over the years and I ended up spending much of my youth in school & public libraries. I bring this up today because for the first time in a long time; I went down to CPL and checked out some books. This sudden trip to my local public library was prompted by their advertising of an adult summer reading program. The basic idea is you have to read 6 books, turn in a log and then you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate to a book store. I never could turn down free books; so I decided to go sign up2.

As I wandered around the library looking for some books to read; I felt a sense of nostalgia and loss. There were entire summers in my youth were I barely went anywhere else besides the library. These days, the rarity is when I do go. I miss those fabled days of yesteryear when life was simple and I could relax with a book in my hand all summer long. *sigh*

So why haven’t I been going? Partly because I’m an ornery cuss who doesn’t like having to wait and if the library doesn’t have the next book in a series I’m reading; it irks me. Partly because I can afford to buy more books for myself than I could when I was younger. Having my own copy of a book means I can read it whenever I like 24/7/3653 and the copy of the book I’m reading is likely to be in better condition (plus it’ll stay that way). *shrug* Not sure what else I have to say, except that I hope to be making visits to my public library more often. It’ll let me relive parts of my past (and beat some of this summer heat).

1 For some reason, employers don’t like it when you read books all day instead of testing their software.
2 Besides, money has been a bit tighter of late and borrowing books from the library is cheap entertainment. 😀
3 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (366 in a leap year).

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