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Friday, August 12, 2011

Books, happy places, and libraries

Yesterday I shared my happy place- the library.

One of my earliest happy place memories is of going to the library. I loved going to the library more than anyplace else. For me, that magical place was the town library in Fruita, CO, which has since been moved at least twice to less romantic buildings than the tiny bit of heaven I used to love. Even now, I can still remember the old building smell combined with the old book smell.

I get into debates with people about keeping books. I am a book keeper. Even as a kid, I would put numbered masking tape stickers on my books (and yes, I still have some of them. My mom made me get rid of some, though, and I am still bitter about that. NEVER separate a book lover from her books!). My dream always has been to have a ginormous library.

I can't tell you why, because I honestly don't know. Maybe it's because I love books so much. Maybe it's because I've had so many happy times in libraries. For me, there is no greater thrill than digging through stacks of books until you find the perfect story to spend an afternoon with.

I'm sure there are probably deeper psychological reasons, like books do not judge you, and they can take you to all sorts of places you can never go otherwise.

But there is also something else, something I see in my daughters, and I try so hard not to squelch that. It's this curiosity, of wanting to know more, and of wanting to dig beyond the surface. I can't take my 7yo anywhere without her asking questions like, "mom, why do you think that man is riding a pink bike? Doesn't he know pink is a girl color?" And then listening to her go on for thirty minutes about all the reasons why this man might choose to ride a pink bike. I like knowing those things too. I like learning about other civilizations, people who lived in different times, and just about anything I never knew until I picked up a book.

So for me, being in a library filled with books is the ultimate dream come true. I am happiest surrounded by books, who are the most comforting of friends. Of course, it is also wonderful when I am joined by fellow book lovers. Nerdy as it seems, some of my most perfect days with human friends have been when we're all in the same room, lost in our own worlds, enjoying good books.

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