Today, the boy and I went to the library.
This may not sound like an adventure to you, but ours is a family that thrives on books and money is tight. Add to this the fact that over the past decade HRH and I have lived near only one excellent library for three years (during which my reading time was otherwise occupied), and that in the past I’ve repeatedly had the irritating experience of being interested in reading the type of books that libraries rarely carry, so while having a library card is a Good Idea joining this one was never a must-do thing. I’ve wondered about our local library a few times over the past three years but for whatever reason never got around to checking it out (no pun intended). Today, however, I planned the outing for us as a diversion for the boy and a book run for new reading material for me.
The first thing we did was get library cards, which involved having our pictures taken and printed on hard plastic passes. The boy has one of his very own, which he insisted on carrying around in his hand until I persuaded him to put it in his back pocket, just like Mama. That lasted all of ten minutes before he pulled it out and dropped it into the basket he was carrying around for my books. He was very helpful once he had darted around the adult section as his whim took him, exploring everywhere. I had a list of books to pull (hurrah for on-line catalogues!) that I filled before taking him by the hand and leading him into the children’s section. He was thrilled with the ladybug stools and the low tables with paintings on them, the kid-made dollhouses displayed on top of the stacks, and the bins of picture books that he rifled through enthusiastically. Then I took him to the stacks and we talked about how libraries shelved their books by subject, stopping at the transportation section. He pulled several books on cars and trains out and sat on the floor going through them, eventually choosing one to bring home. He placed it very proudly in the basket on top of the Leo Lionni omnibus, an orchestra book, and a Tonka trucks book. I sat him on the check-out counter so he could see the woman scan his card and then each book, and print out the slip identifying the books and their due date. It was all very, very exciting. I wish I could find the kid-sized I Can Read bookbag I used to have so he can carry his own books next time. I’ll sew him one for his birthday, one with a pocket for his card.
Personally, I was impressed at the selection of English books in both the adult and children’s sections. I didn’t get a chance to see the adult non-fiction sections but I’ve already searched a handful of non-fic titles I want and found about three of the five. I took out six books, two of them Laurie R. King mysteries that I haven’t yet found in stock in a bookstore (why does no one carry backlist?), two of them novels that I know I’ll read once and never again, one a YA fantasy, and I can’t remember the other one. Maybe there were only five. I intend to put holds on the others I want too. So all in all I think I saved myself about eighty dollars today, and I have reading material for the next week.
I am smug, and very satisfied. And I am now going to return to reading Austenland by Shannon Hale.