There are so many reasons to visit them! I enjoy going to the “main” branches in the towns I’ve lived in. There is almost always something majestic and special about them. Built back in the day when some money was spent on the aesthetics even of public buildings, they feel decadent somehow.

Now, the town I grew up in, the library was nothing much. We were too small to have more than one library, so it was what it was. An old musty dusty place that nevertheless was magical to me. I think the summer I lived in Portland, Oregon was the first time I saw how beautiful some of the old libraries are. I still remember walking in, in complete awe, gazing up at the sweeping staircases. The wood, the marble, the details. Fantastic.

Even the main branch of my current town’s library has some of that feel, though it looks sort of 70’s industrial on the outside. They went for a modern but airy look on the inside, and not only does it work well, there is something of an expectant hush there as well.

I love getting books and music from the library. I love the freely exchanged ideas, words, and notes. I tend to do this even with the books I do purchase, which I try to keep to a minimum. I pass them on to friends. So it isn’t just me with a pile of 30 books waiting to be read, it is my friends as well! I also feel better borrowing and lending books – resources are precious on this earth, after all.

And then there is that special anticipation when you have to put yourself on a waiting list for a book. I read some really heavy stuff when it comes to non-fiction, so the fiction I read has to offset that. Very light, generally. It is something to take my mind off, rather than make me think more. Very often it is vampire, werewolf, or fey type of worlds I wander into, as if the further from reality the better.

And then there is the world of Stephanie Plum. I admit it, I’m completely addicted. Big hair, burning cars, and crazy grandmothers. I love it. “Lean Mean Thirteen” came out a bit more than a month ago, and my number on the waiting list has finally come up. And what perfect timing! I am going to the library straight from therapy tomorrow, and I’m going to indulge myself the entire afternoon. (The downside to the Plum books is that they’re extremely quick reads!) I believe this is what is called a “beach read.” A mini-vacation, a calgon story. Maybe I’ll make those brownies and really indulge!

manhattan beach sunset