Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Loaning out the Library

I knew a girl once, who didn't own any books. She had a spotless room. Or rather, I suppose it really was spotted. There was a spot for everything. Clothes, toys, crafts, each in their place. But no bookshelf. Just the occasional check-out from the school library.

That girl was not me. Our house was full of shelves, and boxes and teetering piles of print. Still is, thankfully. When I grew up and went away to college, I was blessed to fall in love with a man who always kept a stack of books by his side of the bed, too (could I have fallen in love with any other sort of man?). Every room in our house has at least one bookshelf in it - as all proper houses should.

But we also have a little nook library. It's funny how over the last little while word's gotten out about our library. Friends call (adults and kids), or knock on the front door, or simply wander up the stairs if they're visiting. I suppose it's a little glimpse into someone's soul to see what they collect.

It's also been my privilege to be able to recommend and loan out many of these little glimpses of our family. And for some reason, it makes me most happy to be able to introduce a new generation to old books written long before they were ever born. Usually there's kind of a skeptical raise of an eyebrow like, 'how could anything so ancient be any good?' But if they're willing to give it a go, a few days later they often come back asking for more, and why haven't they ever heard of that author before? It makes me feel, in some ways, like I'm keeping something alive.

So, what kinds of things are on your bookshelves, and what are you most likely to share?



  1. When I was young, we had some books, but mostly we got our books from the public library. I would not have read nearly as many books (some of which I later purchased) if it hadn't been for libraries.

    I do enjoy having a personal library (I'd love to have a room dedicated to books), but public libraries will always be a special place for me because reading should not just be for the elite, those that have the money to buy books or for kids whose parents believe reading is important enough to buy books, reading should be for everyone.

    At least that is kind of world I want to live in. :)

  2. That's very cool, Susan. We have lots of books too, although I'm the kind of person who likes to keep weeding and weeding...they still grow exponentially. I love it when people fall in love with the books I love. I'm thinking of Howl's Moving Castle and Goose Girl as being the most recently shared. It's so much fun when people point me to blog posts or news about books I love. It's an important kind of connection to me.

  3. What a lovely piece to share. I always chuckle just a little when someone asks me to suggest a good book to read. One? You want me to suggest just one? I own upwards of 350 books and my collection grows weekly.

    I found your blog on the Celebrate the Small Things link up :)

    Brandy's Bustlings

  4. I grew up in a library. We had a few books, but most of the books I read I had to return...still do in fact. I love a book, and I love when you get to keep a book, and own it, and smell it, and read it in the bathroom without worrying about collecting fines. As I've grown older I get the more I collect neat old books, and fun shiny ebooks, and free books...oh the FREE BOOKS! I don't often loan out my books, because I've found I always end up not getting the book back when I do that. But I've started buying specific books in multiples, so I can give them away and still read them at 2 in the morning when the need strikes. I don't own a lot of multiples, but one in particular with my name on the cover I loan out to anyone who'd want it.

  5. I'm a lot like Sheena. I don't loan out often, as I never see the book again. Sigh. But if I loved a book, I buy it in multiples (usually at the library used book store) and give it to people I think will enjoy it.


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