Hello, my lovelies.
I saw this recently—
And it so perfectly sums up my…well, mostly my entire life that I thought I would share it, and talk about it a little.
During the course of my existence, I have had many different hobbies. I see a thing that looks interesting, I spend an inordinate amount of time and money getting passably good at the thing, and then that period of new relationship energy fades, and the thing just becomes something I can sort of do, but usually don’t. Knitting. Adult coloring books. Piano. Photography. Curling. Candle-making. Bread-baking. Writing.
Underlying every single one of these hobbies is the true passion of my life, the one that never really gets displaced for long, the thing I come back to again and again. Books.
Now, those six things up there are almost six completely different hobbies. I literally spend almost as much time researching books as I do reading them. I read every review I can find. I read all the lists—books to read before you die, books to read in October, books to read with your mom, books to read for your bookclub, books to read when you’ve read everything. If it’s a list, and there are books on it, I’m in.
I don’t really buy books anymore, but I do talk about them incessantly. The entire purpose of this blog is to talk about books in a way that will not lose me friends, since it’s really all I ever want to talk about.
Since I don’t deal in treeware, the rearranging has become something that I do online. I keep a list of sort-of currently reading stuff, and I rearrange it like there’s money in it. A new hold comes in, and vaults to the top of the list, or the book currently at the top is NOT the book I want to read right now, so I move it. I don’t know why I get so much calm out of dragging book titles around on a screen, but I do.
And, of course, I review them. Not often, really, because with all the researching and reading and talking and rearranging…well, there’s not much time left.
Because I don’t really buy books anymore, though, I am extra-needy when it comes to libraries…and this is another reading topic that I can—and honestly, do—talk about for days. Which brings us to—
Libraries and Kindle borrowing
Or how you, too, can accumulate thirteen library cards.
I have not always been all about the libraries. I mean, when I was a kid, I loved the trips that we would take into town (I grew up in Nowheresville, Appalachia…so going into town was a thing, y’all) to hit up the tiny library there. I remember getting that first library card, which had a metal plate with a raised number on it, which they ran through something that looked like a credit card embosser. It was very high-tech for rural Pennsylvania in the seventies.
In high school, I was the two-year president of the Library Club. Yes, I had no social life, but more than that, I just loved being in the library. I spent every free period I could hanging out in the back rooms, or in the stacks, or in the Librarian’s office. I made bulletin boards and got the best access to all the new releases. I was in heaven.
But, see, I was building very bad habits. Because I had direct access to the borrowing side of things, my books never really expired. And I certainly didn’t pay fines for books that might technically have been over due.
Which is how, in my twenties, I got a letter from the sheriff telling me that I *really* needed to return those books I’d had out for…well, years might not be an exaggeration.
So, I stopped using the library before I wound up on the wall of a post office somewhere. And for a while, Borders and later Amazon were my libraries. But it got to a point where every vertical surface in my house was covered in books, and most of the horizontal ones, too.
And then kindle. And then library borrowing.
In my area, libraries are complicated, and numerous. Pretty much every county in Virginia has their own library, and while most of Maryland libraries belong to the MD Library Consortium, well, there are two HUGE systems that don’t, and even the ones that do sometimes reserve copies for the members of their actual library. Plus, there’s DC.
And all the libraries have reciprocity agreements with all other libraries in the DMV. Get one library card, and you can get all the library cards.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I do nothing by half-measures. It’s my dad’s fault. So, when I do something, I DO it. Which is how I found myself driving a 60-mile loop one Saturday, picking up every library card I could find.
All told, I have 11 local library cards, four from MD (PG, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Enoch Pratt), one from DC and six from VA (Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince Wm, Falls Church, Loudoun).
I also have a card from the Free Library of Philadelphia, and I pay for a card from Brooklyn. Brooklyn is expensive at $50/year but it has 165,000 ebooks in its catalogue, so I think it’s worth it.
And this, boys and girls, is how you succeed at librarying. I library so hard, y’all.
The reason I’m talking about research and libraries this week, is that I am still suffering from my Daisy Jones and The Six book hangover. I managed to read 4 books this week, and I enjoyed them, but they were mostly fluff. Now, I say that with no judgment—I am an unapologetic lover of book fluff. But I do like to intersperse my fluff with more substantial reads, and I have struggled to make that happen for the last few weeks. It’s like I had dinner at The French Laundry, and now, knowing that nothing will ever be that good again, all I want to eat are Doritos.
I’m not saying that Daisy Jones was the best book I ever read. It wasn’t. It also will likely not be the best book I read this year, even. But it was so emotionally resonant for me that nothing…nothing…NOTHING seems like a really worthwhile successor. It’s left me spent, empty.
So, the research. I just keep looking for that thing, the thing that will restore order in my book universe.
I already reviewed State of Terror here on the blog, so nothing more to say there, really. The Love Hypothesis was a charming fake-dater, and Pick Me, wherein a young, gay tech genius moves to farm in Vermont to help them update their systems and promptly falls in love with the grumpy older brother of the owner, was adorbs . And as much as I want to rave about The Kiss Quotient, I’m pretty sure that review is coming on Wednesday. Spoiler: It was a delight.
Ok, that’s all from the 52 helipad, where I await a grocery drop. Stay safe, wear your masks, get your booster shots and if you can manage to kiss a golden retriever, I highly recommend it. You can’t kiss this one, though. This one’s mine. 💕
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6 thoughts on “Sunday Post: 11/7/21”
So how does DMV library card reciprocity work? Do you just enter in info for your one card to register for the other cards?
I am legit not sure how it works in the pandemic. I actually took a day and drove to every library I could, and when I went in, I told them that I had a PG County card, and they just gave me a card. I don’t know if you can email your info now, though…I do usually get to renew online, but I do send them emails requesting the renewal, along with a copy of any relevant identification.
When I went to get the Fairfax card, the librarian obviously wasn’t considering e-borrowing, because she asked if I had recently moved to Fairfax, and when I told her no, she followed up with ‘So, do you work here? Go to school here?’. Nope. Just want your e-books. 😆
@mmdozer Unfortunately even in the pandemic many DMV systems don’t seem to allow you to get (or renew) a library card online – so the Frederick County and Alexandria ones I picked up, and the PG County I renewed, I showed up in person for. Though in Frederick’s case that’s because I was doing something else and realized I’d literally parked in the garage next to one of their branches — so I took 5 minutes and picked up a card.
That lack of remote card issuing/renewal is why I’ve still got a few expired ones I haven’t bothered to trek out and renew — from distant systems that never seemed to have unique books I actually wanted. But I do use Overdrive’s check nearby libraries link so I should see if they ever do and that will motivate me to swing by and and renew.
But even so I currently have active ebook holds in 8 different reciprocal lending systems.
And in my experience they don’t care about your home library card, they just want to see your driver’s license/state ID to see that you live in a locality with reciprocal lending.
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I have had a fair amount of success renewing via email with Arlington and Prince William. Alexandria and Mary Riley Stiles don’t list expirations on their website, so I have no idea when they renew, but they haven’t restricted my borrowing at any point, so…
Loudoun doesn’t expire till 2037, and Fairfax till 2100, so they are great cards to get if you are someone that might not be in a position to renew in person.
Great post – it made me giggle! I wish I was as good at librarying as you are! In the UK you can only belong to the library of the county that you live in, so despite being close to the border of a couple of counties, I can only use Nottinghamshire, with it’s random and somewhat eclectic selection of e-books. I don’t miss physical books – particularly not the amount of space they take up around the house – so I really should make more use of them.
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Interesting thoughts! I’ve often thought too how so much of my free time revolves around books, so I can relate. Including all the tangential things around reading. The fact that I don’t actually write THAT many reviews even if I post all the time lol. Anyway… about libraries. They were the same for me in a lot of ways, as were the bookstores that just used to be around when I grew up (now it’s just B&N nearby, sadly).
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