I am a bibliophile, a person who loves or collects books. I love the paper, I love the kinetic sense that I am educating myself.
One of my first memories of “being big” was on a trip to the library. My dad would bring me to the downtown Santa Rosa Library and lead me to the children’s section. Safely esconced among the kid stacks and watched over by a librarian, he would head over to the magazine section. He was such an avid reader that going to the library was a smart way to read as many of them as possible without having to pay the astronomical subscription price should they have been mailed to our house. After doing this many times, I finally decided to go find him when I was ready rather than wait for him to fetch me. I ventured into the cavernous main library room and took the long walk to the other side of the building. Since I couldn’t have been more than 6, that’s like hiking multiple football fields. As an adult, it only takes me 2 minutes to cross from corner to corner but it was the longest trek of my life up until that point. The pride I felt in overcoming my fear of that journey will forever stay with me. As well as the relief that my dad really was at the other end of that scary walk.
I’m passionate about books and I feel the same for the library. I love to get excited about a random subject, be it quantum physics, photography, organization or science fiction, and being able to read to my heart’s content. Try to do that at a bookstore or even Amazon.com. Would you be willing to completely go out on a limb and research how to shoe a horse if it would cost you a lot of money to do so? I think not. I want to absorb information like oxygen, I’m greedy about it. I have visions of entering the Library of Congress and seeing endless stacks of knowledge spread before me. I have to remind myself that I can’t read them all and that they are constantly being written. I will simply not get to them all. Call me obsessive.
When I had a baby, my daughter seems to relish the open air space. She would tune up her little lungs and let loose just to hear the echo. No wandering stacks for me with a newborn. I learned that you could reserve books and have an alert email sent to you when it was ready. My daugher is almost 5 yet I still use this feature all the time. I regularly get recommendations for books from many sources and I can simply drop them into my queue. Whether I am number 1 on the list or 453 (as was the case with the “Twilight” books), I don’t have to do anything but pick them up when they tell me they are ready.
Join me at the Friends of the Library Book Faire at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds April 16-19.
Friday from 3 – 7:30 p.m. – Preview sale – $5 admission
Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Half Price day
Monday from 2 – 7 p.m. – Bag Day – all books $4 a bag
Help support your local library. Research subjects you are passionate about.
Learn and never stop.