Thursday, February 17, 2011

All the sweet serenity of books

my last actual book purchase
You know those Wish Lists everyone has on Amazon? I have one, too, and it's a loooooong one.
Only, my list isn't a list of things I'm ever going to actually buy online.
It's a cheat-sheet for my weekly (sometimes daily) jaunts to the Sacramento Public Library.
I have worked out a book selecting system in my hard little head that I find so rational and obvious that I cannot believe this hadn't occurred to me years ago.
First, I go to Amazon and click on books I've already read & loved. Then, see what other people who've bought said book are also reading. Then, if that book sparks my interest I read the reviews and add it to my wish list so that the next time I'm looking through the endless amounts of books as yet unknown to me on the library shelves, I have somewhat of a starting point.
Amazon is otherwise useless to me. I hardly ever feel the need to actually own a book. I'm more than happy to borrow one, especially when I go through an average of 300 pages a week, at the very least.
Besides, I'm not a possessor of "things". I don't enjoy having a lot of stuff to keep around.
It makes me feel claustrophobic if I am being honest.
There are the rare occasions when I check out a book that ends up changing my life in some way, large or small and then, yes, I must own the book. "On the Road" spoke to me more stylistically than in the spiritual way that it seems to affect others, but it touched my soul nonetheless. This is a book I will own.
Every book in the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon shall be mine as well.

I have always loved the library.
When I was a teenager I used to skip Summer school in order to visit the library and peruse books on Post-Impressionist painters. These days I don't seem to have much time to myself, but when I do have some time, I always spend it at the library.
It's peaceful there and waiting among the shelves are immeasurable opportunities for dreaming, and learning, and love, and history, and reflection. And all of these things are available to me with no price tag.
The library gives so much and asks for nothing more than a return visit.
If you haven't visited you local branch lately, please do so, you will not regret it.


  1. yep....i use the library like that too. but the reallyreallyreally good books/authors, i find good deals for so i can shelve 'em and share the love with my friends:)

    ah, libraries:) we love them.

  2. In case you don't have enough on your reading list already, you may be interested in Wowbrary (, a third party service that pairs the library's newest acquisitions with ratings and reviews from Amazon, and it's browsable by category!

    :) p.s. Thanks for supporting libraries!

  3. how funny are you!! I do the same with Barnes & Noble!! look up fav authors, see what books of theirs I have missed, go to the library site, request them.....I have a list at my desk right this very darn minute of the books I have requested!

    you did, however, fail to mention that feeling of being LOVED when the library sends you that beautiful message that they have a very special gift....just for YOU!! I get an even little bit giddier when it is an eBook because I love my Nook.

    and, so I can try to make my comment almost as long as your original blog post (tee hee!), when I absolutely can not wait for the library to get me a book I want, I buy it and then donate it to the library! I love knowing that the 343 people behind me on the wait list might get their book just a couple weeks earlier. and yes, there will be a place for me in Heaven's library! lol!!


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