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What the world needs now, are loans, sweet loans…

June 22, 2009


(Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.)

There is a part of me, a very small girl, who still gets misty eyed when she thinks of Disney’s take on Beauty and the Beast. No, not the happy ending, not the social class connotation, not even that fantastic song and dance.

The part that I think back on most clearly is the moment Belle walks into the castle’s library.

Now, see, even in locating and rewatching that clip, I got choked up. There is something more romantic to me, in that scene, than in any other scene and any other movie. The idea of a massive home library is one that has always appealed to me. Is it because of that movie or other scenes like it? Or is it some inherent fascination with collecting a tangible record of where our minds have been?

Because human history has a bad track record of burning books with the best ideas, collections of books tend to hold an almost scandalous quality and if they are in our own house to show off, well, all the better. I have started to review my fascination with book hoarding, though, lately, given the economy and environment. Recently, on my way home from a morning out at my favorite indie book store, purchase in hand, I decided that it was time to dust off my dear dear library card and take it for a walk.

I stepped inside the door to my neighborhood library and lo and hold, I found books.

But that was not the whole picture. There were ten computers online, two book groups meeting, a story time in progress and a successful bake sale for the local garden club in full swing. I had not ever seen a building in my city so packed. It dawned on me that this was something that we, as readers and as community members, should be participating in and promoting. Not only will it keep our wallets and forests fat, but it will keep our communities happy and healthy as well.

Now, I know that I am going to have to dodge death glares from my librarian buddies. This revelation is not new but I think that it needs some refreshing. As we move into an era where nearly everyone can have their own computer, car and home library, it seems more important than ever to take the time out to stop by our local branches to connect with the community.

Doing my duty, today, I picked up three new books for the week:

Shop Indie Bookstores

Shop Indie Bookstores

Shop Indie Bookstores

What an incredible rush to pick up three books to read and not have spent a cent (of course, assuming that I make it back to the library without late fees)! While I will never stop buying books to add to my four-story, fairytale library (heavy emphasis on fairytale, here) I will, no doubt, now make a more concerted effort to support and use my local library. After all, my second favorite scene in the aforementioned Disney classic is Belle’s stroll through her “provincial” town book lending spot. Perhaps, the only thing more romantic than having a house full of books is sharing them with one’s community.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2009 6:32 pm

    I love that scene in Beauty and the Beast. I’ve always wanted my own library, but then… I guess there’s something about a community library and how it belongs to the community, not just one person. In a shared library, the wealth of knowledge being spread throughout is such a noble and important gesture. I worked in a public library in high school and was always surprised at how few people actually came in.

    When I was a young girl, all the librarians in the children’s section knew me by name because I was there every week or two with my mom. As I started to get older, I used it for research for school papers to find books our school library didn’t have. I loved the library we had in college because it not only had books, but such a huge wealth of information in peer-reviewed journals that were free to us as academics.

    While I love to keep books I know I’ll read more than once, I’ve gotten to the point where I need to start selling books, giving them away, or trading them. There’s a fantastic website called swaptree, which offers a great book exchange service – you list the books you have and don’t want or need anymore and can mark books that you want to read and the site comes up with matches for you so you can trade. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up or for the service – you just pay the shipping cost on your end and vice versa with the person you’re trading with. Pretty neat.

    In any case, it looks like you have an interesting selection of books and I’d love to know what you think of E.L. Doctorow’s The March because Ragtime is one of my all-time favourite books. 🙂

  2. Josh permalink
    June 22, 2009 6:37 pm

    Another guy with a famous book collection was named Jay Gatsby. And although his intentions were, indeed, romantic, Old Sport hadn’t actually read a single one. Think how much more he could have impressed Daisy had he actually gained some knowledge and sentiment from the books in that library, rather than just relying on the appearance of being well-read. The Beast had it right.

  3. iwriteinbooks permalink*
    June 22, 2009 6:48 pm

    Sara, I’ll definitely let you know what I think. I read Ragtime a long time ago and while I liked it a lot, it’s cataloged too far back in my memory to talk about it. I might have to do a reread!

    Josh, you’re so dead on. I think is another reason I’m resigning myself to the library instead of the bookstore, now. I think it’s better to be well read than to be well stocked!

  4. June 22, 2009 8:29 pm

    Welcome to Library Loot! This was an excellent first post. There are some pictures of libraries around that are just so gorgeous that it makes me drool!

  5. June 22, 2009 9:31 pm

    I love, love, love White Oleander! I hope you enjoy it!

  6. iwriteinbooks permalink*
    June 22, 2009 10:16 pm

    Thanks for the welcome, Marg! I’m very excited that I finally made it to the library. Phew!
    Charity, I’ve heard good things. I’m happy that it was checked in when I went looking.

  7. June 23, 2009 12:43 am

    Thanks for joining in!

    Love the title of your post, first of all. 😀

    I agree; that feeling of getting a huge stack of books for free is so thrilling! One day, when I own my own house, I’ll worry about buying books again. But for now this is a much better solution.

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