Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Dear Jenny,

This post is basically a distraction from the fact that I haven't written about my April book. Or kept up-to-date with my TBP list. It'll happen. Just... in a bit.

Instead, look at these lovely photos of libraries from around the world, as seen on the Instagram blog last month (warning: clicking that link will take you down a rabbit hole of clicking to see more photos of beautiful libraries!)

The libraries pictured above are:

  • Stuttgart City Library, Stuttgart, Germany 
  • Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland 
  • Library of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt 
  • Real Gabinete Portugu√™s de Leitura, Rio de Janiero, Brazil 
  • The Royal Danish Library, Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 
  • Kanazawa Umimirai Library, Kanazawa City, Japan 
  • New York Public Library, New York City, NY
I have been using my own local library quite a bit recently (it's a nice walk from my house and it's got a really good selection) but I am remembering what I have had a problem with in the past with libraries: I end up getting out *too many* books when I go! I really have to remind myself to only get the books I can read in the next three weeks.

(Remember when we were kids and used to max out the library limit... I think it was 30! Ah... so much more free time for reading before we had bills to pay and chores to do...)

The other problem I have been having is that I have been trying out Overdrive by putting my name on waiting lists for books. But once my name comes up, I only have two weeks to read it! Which means that, when it's my turn, I need to suddenly re-arrange my reading queue to jam it in there. (Last week, I had two books come up, three days apart -- there's no way I was going to finish those, so I threw 'em back.)

So I've been having a bit of a "Lucy and the Chocolate Factory" time here with books recently (which may also explain my lack of writing on the blog! A-haaa!)

Oh... "Wah wah wah! Free books are haaaaard!" HA! It's not that! It's just been a bit of a learning curve to get back into the library swing of things. Basically, I don't read fast enough to polish off a book that comes in for me on Overdrive when I don't expect it, so I probably ought to just stay away from that service altogether (kind of a bummer, but not finishing books I've started is also a bummer!) *And* if I go to the library and see books I'm interested in, I just need to write them down for later. (So many books, so little time!)

One thing my library is particularly great for is craft books, cookbooks (I never even *thought* to get cookbooks at the library -- brilliant!), DIY books, and graphic novels. Basically, inspiration, reference, and/or quick-reading. This is the *best* library I've ever been to for these types of books (well, Berkeley had a great graphic novel section, but it was a little far for me -- I like an easily accessible library) so that's been great. As for novels... I just gotta remind myself not to bring home a big pile. (My back will thank me too...)


PS -  I just watched that "I Love Lucy" video -- it's still funny and one thing I never noticed before was that the actor playing the supervisor is trying not to laugh when she comes back into the room to see how they're doing! Hilarious!


  1. Right after I posted this, I walked to the library to pick up two books I had on hold (Graphic novels! I can't resist!) Two things:

    1. My town is awesome. There was a flash rainstorm on my way to the library. It happened while I was walking by one of our favorite little bar/restaurants and it was 10 min before the end of happy hour. Derailed on the way to the library by a little discounted drinky-poo to wait out the rain? Okay! (Bonus -- it really did just last the length of my drink and cooled everything off!)

    2. I had no idea how long these books were when I reserved them (one was a recommendation from a friend and the other is for a book group) (Awesome Town Fact #2: A book group that meets at a local brewery -- it's called "Books on Tap". Ha!) and I thought, "I hope they're not heavy..." Oh... they *were*. Hardbound, big, and at least an inch thick. Guess it was a good opportunity to burn the extra points I accumulated on the way *to* the library, right?

  2. I love the library so much. Walking to the library is awesome. By the way, did you know that our parents had to make *special arrangements* for us to check out as many books as we did? I doubt it was a big deal, but we definitely had extended borrowing privileges. In fact, Darius thinks this is totally hilarious. Last year, there was a crossword puzzle in the middle school newspaper, and it was all about little known facts about the teachers. Darius happened to be there, and he told them "My Mom had to get special permission to check out more books at the library!" My Mom had told him the whole story, and I had never known that before!

    In the meantime, I'm not clicking on those pictures until tomorrow. No falling into the rabbit hole tonight! Tomorrow would be better!

  3. Now that you mention this, I vaguely remember having to take home some form for our parents to sign... I guess I'm just remembering that as the actual library card form.

    I just looked up the limits on my local library (not that I will hit it, especially with my newly self-imposed restrictions!) and it's "none". Huh. You can get out as many books as you want at my library. I probably don't need to know that.

    Just for giggles, I looked up our childhood library to see what the limit is there. It's 50 now. So I guess today's kids don't need a special form. I think our limit was 30 and you, me and JP would basically max it out every time. Youth truly is wasted on the young -- we had time to read 30 books in 3 weeks. A-mazing. (I remember the librarian saying to us once, "Now, you only have three weeks. Are you girls going to be able to read all of those books in that time?" The scathing looks of self-superiority we must have given that woman would probably peel paint. I don't think we got asked again. Little brats.)

    I am reading a book right now called Among Others by Jo Walton (which is kind of a funny library story in itself... I was on the eBook list for it, got called up, realized I would not finish it in 2 weeks [side note: why is it 3 weeks for pBooks and 2 weeks for eBooks? I do not read eBooks any faster!] so I looked online, saw the pBook was available, reserved it, picked it up at the library just in time for the eBook to expire, and continued reading the pBook seamlessly.) (At this point, I will admit this: I should just *buy* the damned book. Yeah, yeah. But now it's a matter of principle!)

    At *any* rate, the main character of this book is a voracious reader. She's a teenager and her library limits her to *8* books, so she is frequently scrambling for more reading material to fill her hours. I am loving the quotes about books and reading: "There are some awful things in the world, it's true, but there are also some great books." [57] Her preferred genre is Science Fiction and I think SF buffs would get a kick out of this book -- when she goes into depth about them, I have to skim because I'm no SF expert. But her general love of books and reading definitely strikes a chord, especially while I am having my books-like-chocolate-on-a-conveyer-belt situation over here (have not yet resorted to stuffing them in my mouth, but I am close!)

  4. Did you ever wonder why we used the library system of the next county over? I do remember asking my Mom that once and she just said it had a way better library. But now that I think about it, it seems weird. I barely remember the library in our actual town.

    Of course, the obvious answer may well be that it was just closer to the mall. Hah!

    The conveyer belt imagery is awesome. It's cracking me up.

    1. I do know the answer to this one! Our town's library absolutely blew. It was on the bottom floor of that "Town Hall" building (where we were in that play!) I used to go there after school sometimes and their selection was awful.

      I actually think it was my Grandma who first went to the other library and suggested it to me (she lived close to it). After I went there once, I was like, "Ok. We need to go over here!" And so we did. :)

      There was another library not too far from us (down CR) that also sucked. It was a lovely building, but had a terrible selection. I have actually been there in recent years (to use the computer -- hot Travel Tip: libraries are awesome for free Internet access if you're in a pinch!) and it's really nice now.

      Also, our town's library has since moved to a new location and my mom says it's better, although I think she relies heavily on interlibrary loans. She recently went to a class there to learn how to use Overdrive! :)