Friday, 18 May 2012

Love the library

I love the library. As a kid I whipped through our small town's limited children's section in no-time and got special permission to take out adult books. Under the beady eyes of the librarians I never dared take out anything more scandalous than an Agatha Christie, but I loved the fact that I could wander in there and spend half an hour reading the backs of books. Examining the covers and reading the synopsis was almost as good as taking the books out themselves. It was kind of like watching endless movie trailers, almost better than reading the books themselves, because the teasers promised greatness and never disappointed.
From teenagehood until parenthood the library lost its allure. While I was at university and grad school rather than a place of magic and wonder, the library became the storage unit where my required readings were kept, a quiet place to study, or let's face it, boy watch.

It's only lately, with a toddler, and more time to read for pleasure, that I've rediscovered the joys of the library. Firstly, how amazing is it that you can take books out for free?! It's a completely cuckoo system. Totally socialist, too, by the way. I'm surprised that those nutty Republican presidential hopefuls didn't make an issue out of the infiltration of red Commie values into the hearts of American small towns through LIBRARIES, rather than all that palaver about ladies and their birth control.

Anyhoots. The library. Crazy system of free books. You know what else they have at the library? Free magazines. Rather than drop $7 to have Fitness or Self make me feel bad about myself, I can waltz into the library and learn about new body parts to loath, new cancer risks to fear and new exercises to torture myself with, all for free. My current favourite magazine is O -- I know that completely identifies me as a middle aged, middle class woman, but A. as much as I hate to admit it, I kind of am and B. it's really well-written. Seriously, O's got infinitely less bullshit than most magazines aimed at women, has tons of fascinating book reviews and some seriously fresh and interesting writing. The only downside about getting my O's from the library is that these days, I kind of feel bad for Oprah, and I don't like depriving her of the coin she might need to keep her sagging TV channel alive.

You know what else the library has? DVDs, CDs and ebooks! All of your entertainment in one spot, and all absolutely free. The place is totally amazing.

You can show up there with a whiny child on a rainy day, give the sproggins free rein over the kiddie books and immerse yourself in a trashy magazine for an hour. By the time your little angel has exhausted herself, you'll be all caught up on Kardashian related gossip, it won't have cost you a penny and instead of being branded a neglectful mother for reading trash rather than making papier mache, you'll get bonus points cuz you took your kid the library. Win. Win. Win.

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