The Euphoria of Libraries


You know the feeling when you see a famous monument or a landmark for which a country is known? Or that feeling when you look at the love of your life? The overwhelming joy and awe that comes with that wave of euphoria? That’s the feeling I get every time I walk into a library. I look at the shelves upon shelves of books and am absolutely certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am in love. I love the written word, that dusty smell that comes with every turning of the page, the illustrations in some, the absolute lack of any visual representation in others. It is such a wonderful thing for me. I have spent a lot of time in libraries, particularly when I was little.

Unfortunately, the love is a little worn for me. Two words: library fines. They kill me! Each library is has different due dates for their books and different ways of handling fines. Most libraries have a limit: like you can’t check anything out if you owe more than five dollars. That’s pretty standard. The Chicago Public Library, however, allows NO fines. If you have a fine of a quarter, they won’t let you check a single thing out. It infuriates me. Deadlines vex and frustrate me. Who are they to tell me when I should finish reading a book? Who are they to dictate to me when I have to return something half-finished? I get annoyed.

However, due to my rebellion against the laws of the library I owed the Pikes Peak Library District $20.50. That’s a lot of money for some late library books. The fine is equal at my school, though that also includes printing charges.

I paid the PPLD and it hurt so much that I decided to turn a new leaf. No longer will I ignore the demands of the library system and keep my books to finish them! I will return, renew, and reclaim my right in the library! My love overcomes my passionate distaste for due dates. And to that end I bought an app for my computer that tells me when my library books are due. It will only connect to the CPL, but that works for me. It tells me when books are due, if my holds have come in, and connects to my iCal so I have alarmed notifications urging me to make a trip to the library to turn in my materials.

Recently, after paying my exorbitant fine, I visited the PPLD and got five books, and I’m already halfway through. I will be posting reviews of what I’ve read soon and some of them count for my Historical Fiction Challenge. (YAY!)

That’s all I really have to say, except perhaps to encourage you, dear reader, to visit your library and borrow some books, and read. Read as much as you can.

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