Thursday, December 27, 2007

from Latin libraria 'bookshop'

When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.

~ Rita Mae Brown ~

Today I am feeling grateful for all of the good things in my life. I went to the the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose. It is the closest library to my new house and also the largest all-new library west of the Mississippi, according to the website. Yes, that's right, I live a mile and a half from the "largest all-new library west of the Mississippi" and it's taken me over 2 months to visit it- hey I must be depressed! I had managed to obtain a library card and visit the next closest branch since it's on my way to work but it was disappointing (sorry, Rose Garden branch, but a fancy new library of your physical size with so few actual books is hard for me to respect) I mean, there was only one P.G. Wodehouse book on the shelf; come on, peoples!!

I had been warned though, and told that I was a fool if I did not hie myself to the King branch forthwith. I finally made it on the day after Christmas.

How was it, you ask?

It was as if I had died and gone to heaven*. Yes, my heaven will be a giant library. Or at least contain one. The King library is eight stories high (and that doesn't include the basement). There is an entire floor just for reference materials. In addition to all the books, there are historical exhibits everywhere. When I left the library I felt like I'd had a free mini-museum visit in addition to my D&GTH* million-book experience. The only drawback to this nirvana? Parking is metered and we all know I can't be expected to keep track of time in a library. I rely on the my-arms-are-too-full-to-carry-anything-else method to remind me that it's time to leave. Why don't they have shopping carts at libraries? Oh, yes, so people like me will leave eventually. Right.

Sum total of my SJL visit: Two really terrible novels which I declined to finish- but that's what I love about the library, if a book's no good, you just bring it back and get another one!

A Morgan recommendation which I maintain that he recommends mostly because the hero is a dashing Han-Solo-ish space captain named.... Morgan. Actually it was quite good, once I got past the beginning and the introduction-of-new-alien-species slowed down from about once a page, to every chapter or so. I'm hoping the next one is as good.

A sad but wonderful movie: Wit. I am in awe of Emma Thompson, even more so than usual.

A BBCish adaptation of Sons and Lovers that was so depressing I stopped watching it before the really depressing part.

Into Thin Air which was (of course) not as good as the book and looked pretty low budget, but interesting nonetheless.

Is that ALL?

Well, yes, but my arms were full, remember? My shoulder is still hurting and it cuts into my book-carrying abilities. Don't worry, I'll be back soon.

In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~


wheelsonthebus said...

MY heaven is a library with a bakery built in...

l i s a said...

i get the part about library love (i'd like to give a shout out to the leaning tower of library books in my living room), but i don't get your asterisks.




l i s a said...

some computer somewhere translated " D>H* " into D>H*.

is itsome sort of computer code to make my quote look like a math equation? is it going to do it again when i hit "publish"?

guess it's time to get off the computer.

Christine said...

The Vancouver Public Library should also be in the hall of fame...looks like the Colosseum, full of bajillions of books, has a cafe at the entrance, many stories of many big windows, necessary in gloomy Northwest weather. I liked the place.

But Vancouver is also home to one of the best book bars ever opened to the public: Regent College Bookstore. Wow. Never mind that it has a coffee bar inside the store and no ban on carrying your nog amongst the shelves. When I went there this Christmas on my mini-pilgrimage, I saved room in my bags and in my budget and time in my schedule. In 2.5 hours I gorged to my heart's content on theology and european history and Lewisian analysis (that one for someone else) and walked away with 13 books for $110. Unbelievable deals and I am still reading.