Friday, March 7, 2008

Yet Another Trip to the Library

I took a trip to the library yesterday, after I dropped Lefty off at work. They don't open until nine so I sat in the parking garage and read for a few minutes before heading up to the doors because it was rainy and cold, and I am just insecure enough to not want to appear too eager to get in - with all the books - yes! At a few minutes until nine, I left the car and was heading toward the doors when I noticed there were a whole lot of people waiting for the doors to unlock. Me and one other very nervous looking guy and every homeless person in downtown San Antonio stood there waiting for the doors to open.

I have lived in a lot of largish cities and I am not shocked or upset by homeless people. I do not feel the need to freak out, or run away, or call the police when I find someone sleeping on a park bench. Although I learned the hard way that if I give a dollar to everyone who asks me for one that my wallet gets very light very quickly - I give a dollar when I can and say I'm sorry when I can't. I hope my response is a lot more compassion than revulsion. And of course, the library is a comfortable and warm place with bathrooms and books, who wouldn't want to spend time there?

This week, I was on a quest for gardening books because I know a very little bit about gardening and we are planning to garden with a capital G this spring and summer. Partly to at least give a little lip service to sustainability and consuming locally, and partly to have an ongoing summer project to work on while The Kid is out of school. Plus, home grown tomatoes, totally worth all the hassle. So I looked up some gardening books and man, there are a whole lot of books on gardening. Some folks are very serious about it. Then I wandered over to the knitting books, which I totally just pull off the shelf to look at the pictures. I made a couple more stops, juvenile literature, new arrivals and then checked out.

I spent the rest of the day on the couch, reading about gardening and hamsters (because The Kid really wants a hamster) surrounded by a pile of books that are mine to read for two weeks, for free! What could be better than that?! I think that public libraries are one of the greatest ideas in the whole world. It makes me feel happy (and almost patriotic) that I live in a country that does libraries so well.


  1. I just went to the library today, and I totally agree with you. I used to love to buy books (and still do sometimes), but I now love the quiet slowness of the library. It's one of my favorite places to hang out when the kids are in school.

  2. The library sounds lovely. As a working Mom wiyhout a library convenient to my house, I rarely go.

    A gal who works for me was just saying that they should sell hamster packages with everything you need in them at pet stores - hamster, cages, water bottle, coffin . . . unfortunately many hamsters do not live long. Her son's made it a month.

  3. The library has been one of my refuges since first grade. The still seem too good to be true.

  4. We have a new city library that just opened in january and though it is all new and shiney and, as they say in japanese "pikapika" still smells so good...or usually it does, when the smells from the restaurant on the first floor don't waft into the library!

  5. This makes me both sad and happy--sad because, we're a wealthy country. Why do we have so many homeless people? But happy that a least a few of them have somewhere to go during the day.

    Libraries, oh libraries--I so adore them! I just wish my own system would stop buying, say, three hundred copies of the latest bestseller, and devote some of that money to other titles. I would love to never have to buy another book again!

  6. Hi Laura :)

    Has The Kid read any Haffertee Hamster Diamond books? Sweet story books about a stuffed hamster. My boys loved the first one, which we still have. Owen named his hamster "Haffertee". The hamsters around here generally lived about 2 years. Ugh, I hated cleaning their cages with the boys' "help".

    I used to love spending time in our little town's library. We seem to be too busy these days. I'll have to give that some thought ...

  7. Hi Laura. We're keeping The Kid's class hamster over Spring Break to get a feel for what taking care of one would be like. Wish us luck!