A library meme

From Jaklumen's Vox.

1. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it?

I go to the public library once every couple of weeks, because that's how long new books are loaned for. How do I use it? I check out books. The few chairs and computer terminals are mostly occupied by young students. There are wrought iron benches outside the library, and a fountain edged by a cement seat where people sometimes lounge. Somehow, I don't find it inviting enough to linger.

2. Has the coffee shop/bookstore replaced the library?

Not in my world. I go to the coffee shop to buy coffee. If there is a bookstore attached, I will browse, but I haven't bought a book in a bookshop in a long time- isn't that what Amazon is for? Going to the library is the dearest tradition of all three, and one that I want to hold on to.

3. Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any memories of the library?

I grew up in a small town with no public library. ( Another reason I love these United States- public libraries! In every county! ) The memories I have are of the small grocery store in town, where the owner rented out comic books for a few cents each. I'd go through one grocery store's collection in a month and move on to the next one, until they all ran out.

Of course, there was the school library. It was full of fascinating, tempting books. Unfortunately, they had a silly rule about only allowing one book per student per week. I routinely begged friends to check books out for me. The librarian was a pretty young thing in her twenties, who hated the fact that I read books beyond my grade level. She thought I might be checking out books for an older sibling. I wasn't, and even if I was, why was it such a bad thing? Questions to which I never found an answer.

We did have a library in the city where I went to medschool. The owner had begun small, selling used books by the roadside. By the time I found him he had a respectable library with over 20,000 volumes. That was where I discovered Rushdie. And Freud. And Steinbeck.

4. Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or older, darker, quieter, cozy libraries?

Older, darker, quieter, cozier. My favorite memories in the US are of a library in Michigan, where they had a real fireplace and cozy sofas arranged around it. I would go to visit A, and spend the days in the library when he was at work. It was perfect. πŸ™‚

I tag you!

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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21 Responses to A library meme

  1. Oh, that fireplace library sounds WONDERFUL!!!!!!!You could take one book a week as a kid? Wow. I'm glad you found a way around that ghastly rule. Comic books! Neat! Amazon! I haven't done that. I'm reluctant to accept the tag since I left such a long-winded comment on jaklumen's interesting post. I can always yap more but I don't know that what I'd say would be of any use.Cement and wrought iron? Ick. Not good for comfy sitting!

  2. little miao says:

    What an interesting meme! I love libraries.One book a week would never have worked for me, either. I thought school libraries were there to encourage reading, not discourage it.

  3. jaklumen says:

    If you need permission, you have it. Our Neighborhoods are not mutually inclusive, so there would be others that would see it.Besides, who said the post must be useful? You are a natural for that which is whimsical, m'dear.

  4. jaklumen says:

    So… have you made up for lost library time in your childhood?Great responses! Very personable. Thank you for joining the Journal Jar group, by the way!

  5. homebody says:

    I loved reading this! The school policies and the librarian's trouble with your advanced reading abilities must have been frustrating.
    Starting to think about answering #3 brings back good memories.

  6. Morgat says:

    I really enjoyed this! (enjoyed it so much, I took your tag and ran with it, and posted my answers!)
    Our school library was nearly always locked. I guess they didn't have anyone willing to keep an eye on it or something. I found it incredibly frustrating not to be able to get at those books. I think it was available part of one year while I was at that school. Gah.

  7. Emjay says:

    I went to a bookstore in China which had a KFC in one corner. People were sitting on the floors and stairs throughout the bookstore with a book in one hand and food in the other. It was a very strange concept to me!

  8. bee says:

    i like all types of libraries, but the older darker ones draw me. my univ library in the uk has a building that's at least 500 years old. i used to go a lot earlier, but i am disappointed with the kind of books in my local library, so i don't go that often.

  9. Thanks!I think that being thought of as whimsical would be a super thing.

  10. Aubrey says:

    One library in particular held a mystery for me. I remember reading a book – I loved it, but never knew the author. I must have been 10 years old. I returned to that same library again and again, looking for that book. I searched for it by title, by color, by size, by shape. I read that book only once, and never found it again. Did I imagine it? Every time I went looking for that lost title, it was like a delicious adventure.

  11. Purplesque says:

    What use is anything? I like what Jak said..its always good to read your posts, and you do whimsy very well. πŸ™‚

  12. Purplesque says:

    Ha ha..yes, that was the most inane rule ever. The library wasn't understocked or understaffed- the librarian probably made up that rule just to keep things easy for her. (No computerized check-outs in those days- it was all about library cards.)

  13. Purplesque says:

    Ah, yes..I made up for all that time and more. I think I read at least 5 books per week in medschool- even during exams! Its only the internet that has slowed me down, finally..

  14. Purplesque says:

    πŸ™‚ I can't wait to see if you answered this..must go blog visiting!It was very frustrating, indeed. Both of my good friends checked books out for me, and I swapped books with other kids in my class, but there were never quite enough.

  15. Purplesque says:

    I'm glad to hear that! Can't wait to read your responses to the meme.A locked library..gah. That's even worse than a book-a-week library. I hope you found a way around it, too.

  16. Purplesque says:

    Ha ha..I picked up the habit of reading with my food, too. When my parents disapproved, I started hiding the books under the dining table. To this day, I need a book if I'm eating alone. I would be completely at home in that KFC bookshop.

  17. Purplesque says:

    Ah, a 500 year old library. That must be so cool..

  18. Purplesque says:

    Oh, that must have been such a ..restless feeling, in a good way.I've had that experience with music (thankfully, I found it- Orff's O Fortuna from Carmina Burana), but never with a book, thank God.

  19. jaklumen says:

    Greasy food and books don't sound like a great combination if you want to keep the pages clean……they must have had plenty of wet wipes and napkins, right? Right?

  20. Gosh that's so nice to hear. I think I'd rather be whimsical than nearly anything else.Thank you!!!!

  21. Emjay says:

    LOL …. I got the impression that people just sat and read an entire book and then put it back on the shelf. I was looking for "english" books which were in the foreign section (of course) and they were locked up in a little glass case. When I found someone to unlock it they then escorted me with my purchases to the cash register. There were about 30 english language books in the case – some quite old – but none of them had greasy fingerprints! πŸ™‚

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