the methods and means of procrastination

"ook," she said.
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I got turned off of libraries some where around in college. I was neutral about in Ky, but kzoo really pushed me over the edge. I found kzoo's library could be described as snobby, standoffish, no loitering, etc. Plus, the rarely had anything I needed. I got in the mindset of "get in; get out" as fast as possible.

Once in PA, I felt kind of like an intruder in the two small branch libraries I visited as well as the bigmotherofthemallweareleigion-sized library. Like the staff had had one too many homeless folk wander in and stay for the whole day. Just a feeling I couldn't quite shake. Maybe it was the watchman guarding the entrance of the building with "for the public" etched into its mantle -- I don't know. The smaller branches were more cart before the horse. But at that point I didn't really need much encouragement to skip the library in favor of the bookstore.

It wasn't until recently that I rediscovered my love of skulking and digging through the stacks of the local library. I had forgotten how much I enjoy going on the prowl in rows upon rows of crappie novels and find that one odd ball thing I've been meaning to read for years.

There's a subtle difference between a library and a bookstore. The ability to read anything without paying money is commendable. Knowledge and access to anyone; great. But you don't get to chose what's on the selves that day. That is actually the big draw for me. I like that kind of limitation. It means I read things I would never pick up in a bookstore. I see a public library as a really large forest, which I can pick and choose where I will wander. I walk in there, often not knowing what I'll come back out with.

The last kicker is the ability to "order" titles I really want to track down from home. Interlibrary loan is a great thing. The only down side I'm seeing now, is that I'm exposing my netflix tendency of having a "queue" mindset. I can only take out 4 books at a time. :)

So I am totally sold on the public library. So much so, that I'm thinking about donating to them.

I never really know what way my life will turn. When I think about the far future, I realize that I will doubtfully ever be the artsy-craft watercolor painter lady. I will never be the old cat lady. But you should not be surprised to find me skulking in the library.

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