Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Borrower and a Lender Be.

My mother hid in barrels and read all day. She took apples in with her. I think my Grandma Vera practiced relaxed parenting. I loved to read just as much, but never had a barrel and never wanted one. I preferred caramel cubes to apples, but I was willing to mix it up. Gnawed cores or cellophane wrappers - reading always leaves a tell-tale sign.

I went to the library this week, kickin' it old-school. I slid up and down the aisles, judging books by their covers, not even knowing how many stars Amazon readers had given them. When I met Annie she read a lot, and every book was new off the bookstore shelves. That's its own thrill, and I feel it, too, but when I asked her about her library card I saw one, two, three blinks of incomprehension before we were on the same page and could turn it. I've lured her to the Frugal Side.

It has always seemed that I should have to work to borrow a book. Maybe sweat into the oak card catalog drawer for a while. Run my fingers over the softened cardboard file cards with one hole at the bottom as a security measure. A brazen reader, indeed, who would rip the card from its steel rod. Then the scrap of paper, a stubby pencil and the hunt was on. I got dizzy the first time I realized I could ask for a book online and it would come right to my library. Now I'm waiting for the day it comes to my mailbox. But, it's snowy today - could you walk it to my door? Just leave it wrapped outside - I'm in my bathrobe.


dirtyduck said...

lol i love to read also!!!! but i dont like borrowing because im a little rough on book. bring them into the bathtub, jacuzzi, beach...ha and my animals have cost me a lot in replacement chatges. so i stick mostly to my secondhand romances. i do splurge on suzzane somers(sp? books though. did i miss the kinds of things you like to read?? if you have not written about what you like, you should:)

¡Vizcacha! said...

Oh yeah, libraries frown on Jacuzzi reading. You'd totally get a disapproving over-the-spectacles look if you tried that very often.

I once borrowed a book that happened to be titled "Luck," and my cat ate it. First she tenderized it, then she toyed with it and attacked it over and over, then she ate it. I called the library and explained; the lady was very sympathetic, but no, it was still $24.95 to replace, and no, the irony of the title was not lost on her.

I'm on GoodReads as "chillyrodent" - you should come on over! I'm not sure how to categorize my book taste.