Thursday, October 23, 2008

Library Card

Edited to add that I appreciate the kindness of the readers who did not point out the gross misspelling in the title and through out the post, which has now been fixed. Libary , indeed!

When I was 8 or so, I began riding my bike to the public library, which was housed in what was the original Troy State Teachers College building. When I was a child it was behind the building that housed City Hall, the fire department and the jail. Home was about 3/4 of a mile away, out Elm Street. It took a lot of googling, but I think this is the building as the college.

Nancy Drew, Misty of Chincoteague, The Black Stallion, the Phyllis Whitney books, Little House on the Prairie, all these and more sparked my imagination there. I must have read a room full of biographies - they were short, and written for children. I remember Edison, Babe Ruth, Abraham Lincoln and Tom Thumb just to name a few. There were no obvious moves to censor what I read, although in Troy I'm sure if I'd picked something inappropriate, either the librarian (whom I can see in my minds eye but can't recall her name) would have redirected me or called home to let them know.

The building itself was wonderful. Broad marble or granite steps led to double doors which opened onto oak hardwoods worn smooth from students and readers. The circulation desk was straight ahead, with the card catalog to the left I believe. Children's books on the right, adult books on the left.

I loved it there.

So when I started making my own money, I bought myself books. I forgot how lovely it was to walk into a library and feel like you had the whole world available to you in the card catalog files. And I'm one of those people who can read a book but it looks brand new when they finish. Yep, I'm one of those.

Over time, the books have taken over. Upstairs I have several 3 shelf bookshelves full of books and the built in shelves are full as well. Downstairs they are tucked in everywhere.

Enter the late economic turbulence. Bossy started this "Poverty Party" and I signed up. Now, after working at it, the only debt I have is my mortgage. But I do have some pretty self indulgent spending habits, so I think this is the time to adjust those.

So, I have decided to stop buying books. Well, let's be reasonable. This is me. I will stop buying the popular fiction books. Any books that I come across that I must have a personal copy of I will evaluate a purchase then. This should allow me to try new recommendations - I love to listen to Nancy Pearl podcasts and I have her books - without making either a capital outlay or find space for the book. There's no telling how much space or money I will save.

To that end, I got my library card today. It was empowering. Although the branch nearest my home is somewhat limited, a huge branch is located near my office, and only two blocks away. Getting out for a walk at lunch is another good thing.

Now to edit the books that have already taken up residence. But that's another day.

See you at the library!


  1. You are really wonderful at this...I was right there with you as a small child at the Dunedin Library. I remember the Dewey Decimal system and the area of children's books...I can't conjure up the visual of the building itself, but I'm certain it can't hold a candle to your library in Troy.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I just may have to get a library card myself!


  2. Bossy remembers these kind of libraries, much like the libraries of her youth that featured Cave Drawings instead of books.

    These days, Bossy loves "renting" her books from the library. It matches her sense of continuum when the book is able to march back out there in the world with another reader. Seems more romantic than being stuck on Bossy's dusty shelf.

  3. That is really cool. I love libraries as much as I love to read! My office building is next to a library that was constructed in the early 1900s!!!

    Congratulations and maybe you can have a give away for find a need for some of the books you no longer want hanging around!!!

    Have a wonderful evening Molly.


  4. You captured and expressed my love of the library and reading. Always nice to know others value books.



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