Tuesday, January 21, 2003

As you can see from the left, I'm back in the reading business. Not that I ever should have been out of it, considering that every other room in our house is floor-to-ceiling books. But the thing is, I've read most of those I'm interested in, and I keep hearing about new books I just have to read..and the library's been closed for about a month now. So, after I read McEwan's Atonement, I was fresh out of luck.

Why did the library close? Because they moved it. Moved the whole thing - they're doing a massive, three-year renovation, and in order to accomodate the work, they had to move the whole downtown main library - to an empty office building a few blocks away.

Yeah, the branches were open, but most of them - especially those in our part of town - just don't have what the main library has. Last week, I went to the branch in Fabulous Waynedale while Katie was at her dance lesson in Fabulous Wayndale, and I swear the fiction ran all the way from Robin Cook to Belva Plain. It was impressive.

So they got the main library moved and opened yesterday. And the news is - the temporary digs are better than the old digs! Why? Because they have more space, and therefore more room to put more books on the shelves, rather than stashing them in storage. (It was quite a system to get them. You wrote the title and location of the book on a slip of paper and went to a dumb waiter in the main lobby. You put the paper in the dumb waiter, pushed a red button that rang a bell, closed the doors to the dumb waiter, then pushed another button to get thing moving. Believe it or not, once this was accomplished, the wait for the books wasn't more than five minutes or so in my experience. I always wondered what the storage area looked like, and more than that what the Storage Elves looked like.)

This will be especially good for Katie, since the childrens' section seemed to have every book published before 1985 in storage. All the Oz books except the first couple, for example. The All-of-a-Kind-Family books. The Children of Green Knowe books. Don't what I'm talking about? Get a kid. You will.

So I used precious babysitter time (having Joseph yelling to be let down in the library is bad enough. Having him yelling when I don't know where I'm going is worse) and fetched some books - those on the left, plus another by Marly Youmans, who wrote Catherwood, a book called The Wolf Pit, which won some award for best Civil War fiction last year.

I'm glad the library reopened. I was worried about what the homeless people were going to do in the cold - and no, that's not sarcastic. I was.

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