Hooray for libraries!

I have had public library cards in three out of the six cities in which I lived in my life. Not sure why I didn't bother with the other three; I think it had something to do with not having a car, although I'm quite sure I could have gotten to the library by other means. Also I suppose I found my university libraries, to which I am dangerously addicted, more than adequate for my reading needs.

Oh, but I love my local public library, despite how its collection is dwarfed by the academic library system down the street. Mostly because it has a much better selection of audiobooks.

I finally got my hands on the audio of Plan B after waiting long enough for the author to publish a whole 'nuther book. I don't expect to enjoy Plan B as much as I did Traveling Mercies, which is part of the reason I waited over a year for it to be available rather than break down and pay the genuinely nominal hold fee in order to reserve it. (Also, I'm a total tightwad.) This expectation is based on past experience with subsequent books by authors whose prose stylings and treatment of faith themes I absolutely fell in love with in earlier iterations, and also by reviews warning me that this volume is more angry and political than its predecessor. Maybe I'll like Grace (Eventually) better.

I did, however, shell out the cash to get on the waiting list for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, even though I'm buying it in hardcover the second it comes out. I plan to read it with my eyes the first weekend it's available, then re-read it with my ears whenever my name comes up on the waiting list. (The audio version is not in the library's computer system yet, so they couldn't tell me how many are ahead of me on the hold list.)

The line at the circulation desk got seriously backed up this afternoon, because there were two families with small children who appeared to be checking out their limit (40 items per card) at the front of the line. But we adults who were waiting to check out an item or two just smiled at the evidence of children engaging with books. I was reminded of summer trips to the library shortly after I became old enough for chapter books. I would extend my arms out straight and pile the books all the way up to my chin, hauling all I could possibly carry to the check out counter. And I would read them all by the next week's trip to the library. My father started bringing a box to make my book collecting more manageable.

Free public libraries are truly one of the wonders of the world.

P.S. I also got my hands on the audio of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, about which I complained last week. :)


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