I don’t spend enough time at the library. Today I have just about an hour while the kids are at their camps, so I decided to go to my local library.
I walked in, paid the fine for my overdue Guys and Dolls DVD (which the kids didn’t even watch yet… so we’ll have to take that out again. . . ) and then stopped and looked. I could go straight into the bright and cheery children’s section, or up the stairs to the adult section. I only paused for a moment, but it was a tough decision. Whenever we do venture to the library, it is always to the children’s section, and I often yearn for the quiet of the adult library. But, I want to write and all of my current works in progress are children’s books. I imagined myself with a stack of mentor texts and editing inspiration. But the quiet lure of the upstairs library won.
Upstairs, I was faced with another choice. To the left was the young adult section. That’s where my 6th-grade teacher heart wanted to go. But, all my kids are at camp, and I’m an adult so I turned right.
I used to work in a library. It was a quiet job, shelving books. I thought about those days as I walked through a few of the bookshelves, looking for the right table. When I was 15, working as a page, I longed to read the books I was shelving. Sometimes I’d sneak a few minutes behind a shelf and read a chapter or two. My biggest dream though was to check out patrons’ books at the circulation desk. Now they have scanners and self check-out computers so I will never get the satisfaction of putting the library card and checkout card in the machine and hearing that “ch-chunk.”
But, at least I can sit in the library, and listen to the quiet, the sound of my laptop keys as I type, and the intermittent sounds of people picking up books, flipping pages to decide if that will be their next read. I can open my works in progress and wonder if one day I’ll have a book on one of those shelves. I can risk a little hope that one day a young library page is shelving my book and decides to sneak behind the stacks to read a few pages.