Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Moving day, books as a refuge, and libraries that hold a grudge

This post should have been posted over a week ago, but I just discovered it in my drafts. Just more proof that technology does not like me.

I can't believe I have not blogged in almost two weeks. I can't believe I haven't finished a book this week. The truth is, I've barely even had time to read or write. Which is strange - normally, books are my refuge, so I make time to read. No, I don't think that my problems will go away while I have my head stuck in a book. But taking time out to read does help me to relax and clear my head. Problems don't seem so overwhelming when you allow yourself to step back from them for a bit.
Last week was one of the most difficult weeks that I have experienced in many years. We had just moved back to the Mobile area 6 months ago, and we loved it. I loved our house, our son loved his school, and things finally seemed to be looking up for us. I had not been able to find a job, so it was still hard, but we were doing fairly well anyway. But last week my husband lost his job. With very little savings and few options, we are at a loss s to what we should do. We both began making calls and exploring our options, and I took time out to lose myself in my reading. I finished Two for the Dough and The Dressmaker, and started The Summer We Read Gatsby audio and The Curse of the Spellmans print book. Then my mother-in-law called and said we should put our things in storage and move in with her until we could get back on our feet. After much thought, we decided to go ahead and do it. So we rented the truck, packed the boxes (including enough book boxes to make me wish I liked ebooks more than I actually do), and drove the 200 miles to Dothan. There have been many times in the past few years when we said that we would like to move back "home," but it just never seemed like a feasible option. At any rate, the decision, hard work, and more crowded atmosphere haven't been very conducive to reading. I have been feeling a wide range of emotions - happiness, sadness, anxiety... But I have been feeling increasingly down so it is time to get back to reading. I had to return The Curse of the Spellmans to the library without finishing it. Most of my books are in storage. But I did keep out The Sepulchre by Kate Moss. I received it as a Secret Santa gift this past Christmas and decided it would be the perfect time to read it. And I'm glad I did since the library here does no,t seem to have purchased any new books in the 10 years that we have been gone. Which brings me to my next topic -
Libraries hold grudges. It does not matter if you moved away 1 year, 3 years, or 10 years ago, they will still make you pay any late fees that you might have had and a $5 replacement fee for your library card. And it is not just this library. It seems to be an unspoken library rule. I should know - I have had the experience with more than one library. In think the lesson has finally sunk in - I'm much better now about either renewing my books or returning them on time, and I have vowed to never throw away another library card just in case I one day move back to that town and need it again. And while it may seem old-fashioned, I love libraries. I never feel like I am truly a citizen of a particular place until I have gotten my library card. It is even more important than updating my driver's license. There is just something about wandering aimlessly up and down the rows of shelves that is oddly relaxing and exciting at the same time. Breathing in the lovely, comforting smells of old and new books, running my fingers along the spines feeling the different textures. Foraging for that unexpected treasure.

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