Five minutes to spare on my lunch hour, I decide I can return the two library books that have been riding shotgun in my car for a week. I pull up and park, and in that split second, I decide that I cannot leave the library empty handed. It just wouldn’t be right. Right?
I grab the books and my over-sized tote, jump out of the car and make a beeline for the door. The young librarian greets me with a smile, and I hand her the books along with a few book suggestion slips that I had filled out. I had been scouting http://www.goodreads.com/ and found some books that I had thought would be good, but was disappointed to find that my local library did not have. Hopefully, they will get them!
I rush over to the New Book Section. It is my favorite part of the library. I am not sure why. I guess it reminds me of a scrap quilt. Or a sampler platter. There’s a very, large, colorful variety – various authors and different genres, all in small doses. A little bit of everything.
With the short bit of time I had, I “tasted a few,” scanning the inside cover to see if the book sounded appealing. With time running short, I decided to use the “good title” method and grabbed the catchiest one. My eyes grazed a book on crazy quilting, which appealed to my underlying desire to someday make a crazy quilt, so I grabbed it and headed to the counter.
Rummaging through my zipper wallet, I gave up on finding my library card and asked the young lady if she could just find me in the system by my name. She nodded and smiled pleasantly, and pulled up my account. While scanning the barcodes, she mentioned that she thought the crazy quilting book looked fun, and shared that she had just started her first quilt. At that moment, the time clock at work dropped out of my pocket. I found myself talking about quilting.
The young librarian shared that she belonged to a Baptist Church quilting circle. They had recently, as a group, sewn a quilt for a family whom had lost their house in a fire. Oh, how I wanted to hear more. I have always wanted to be part of a quilting group or club or circle, but I am too picky. I have too many stipulations for sharing my time with others. It can’t be religion based. It can’t be a bunch of round, old ladies with their old, traditional quilt styles. It would have to be something modern and youthful. I’ve thought it through many times.
I decided once that if I couldn’t find the group for me, I would just make my own group. The biggest question I had would be how to start the group – advertise? I imagined the ad reading, “Please come join our modern quilting club, but don’t bring your religion or politics, and maybe stick in an age requirement, or something about if you think quilts are for keeping people warm, no need to attend.
Yet how could I be so judgmental. Right? I need to be open to the difference that others might bring, even if it doesn’t seem appealing. I might learn something from them. Maybe that’s what I am afraid of!
Many thoughts were going through my head, and there was so much I wanted to share with this new quilter, but I quickly reminded myself that I didn’t have time for a heart to heart bonding over shared interests. I was running late! I would be back, and hopefully, this young quilter librarian would be working.
Cutting it short, I gathered my books, told the girl, “Good luck!”, and headed out the door.
The sun was shining; the temperature a blissfully moderate seventy-four degrees. I cringed at the thought of not being able to take advantage of my favorite kind of weather and put my car in gear.
I managed to make it back to the office only four minutes late. I breathed a sigh of relief, and in the back of my mind, I justified my tardiness with the fact that I had been ten minutes early every day that week.
After settling into my desk – I pulled out the borrowed books to give them a better evaluation. I was a bit disappointed that the “good title” book with the most appealing cover was a self-help with a very Christian base. I prefer something a bit more Buddhist or New Age. This one might work for some, but it wasn’t my style. I read a few pages and made a mental note to tell my younger sister about it. It seemed like something she might enjoy, as it spoke a lot about parenting. She is right in the midst of teens and tweens, and she loves her Christian religion.
Next I pulled out the crazy quilting book, eager to see some good instructions on just how to make a crazy quilt block. The images were very satisfying and intriguing, but as I went page to page, caressing each surface, as if I might feel the thread and beautiful embellishments photographed there, I realized that it wasn’t what I was hoping for. I had wanted more of a step by step – start to finish – type of book.
I tossed both books back into my tote and consoled myself with the fact that the library is literally one minute from my work and ten minutes from my house (if that.) I can go back. Make a return and exchange. And the beauty? I don’t need a receipt and it costs me nothing.
I love the library. It’s like going to a bakery where everything is free, and you can eat as many chocolate eclairs as your stomach can hold, not gain a pound and have absolutely no guilt.
I also love the reading resources available these days. One of my favorite things to do is to look up book suggestions on www.goodreads.com, then I go to www.amazon.com and find that book. There, I read inside the book to see if I like the writing style. Then I go to the library and find the book – if they have it. If they don’t, and I am determined to read it, I put it in the suggestion box. My library is great. They either get it for me through interlibrary loan, or they order it in.
You may wonder why I don’t just by the books. The truth is, I am a frugal person. I pay to have a library card. I live in a district that does not pay library tax, so it costs me to have a library card. So since I splurged on the library card, I feel like I should take advantage of it and not spend money on books.
Many people I know read the e-books. I think that would be convenient, sometimes, but there is something about holding a book in my hands that I love. I love the smell and the feel, not to mention that I get tired of staring at computer screens and iPhone screens. Paper seems softer to my eyes.
I guess I don’t know where I was going with all this. Just sharing – again! I’ll leave you with that, as I just started a new book, and I am excited to get to it.