I am out-of-control. My library card is like my maxed Visa (except no one’s taken away the library card yet). Today I had some books to return from my last trip—and still a bunch more to read at home—and yet I could not leave the building without browsing for more. Who knew what would be in the “New” shelves, shiny spine out just waiting for me to find it?

So I started cruising. I hit the A’s. Slow, pacing, marking my territory. The D’s had me down on the floor. The F’s, over to the next shelf. By the S’s I was cradling my finds tightly against my chest, and at the very last book (a Y) I knew I wasn’t done yet. I left the “New” shelves for the general fiction section. My eyes roved the spines, my fingers touching sometimes, pulling out a pretty number. I’d devour a paragraph, swallow a whole page. Many of the books I recognized by the color and type design on the spine. I’d had them already. Sometimes I wanted them again. I don’t have time to read all these books…what is wrong with me?

It was with great restraint that I left the building with just four new titles: Compression Scars, The Knife Thrower, The First Hurt, and This Book Will Save Your Life. I could have taken a whole shelf, had I brought a cart.


  1. Kellie Wells is my hero.

    I just got my library card, which I ordered after reading your other post. And I can’t decide where to go! But I love the idea of not spending any more money buying books, and reading and writing about libraries. Oh, where’s the time, indeed? Sigh.

  2. Let me know what the A.M Holmes is like. I was going to get it on the weekend, but left with another handful of books instead. 🙂 I think we share the same affliction.

  3. Ah, I can relate strongly to this post. OK, I admit that I got Kiko his own library card when he was three months old so that I would have a back-up card if mine gets maxed out (and I can borrow all those great children’s books like the Lauren Child ones for, ahem, him, without looking like a weirdo).

    Aren’t libraries great? I’m interested in the A.M. Holmes book too.

  4. W, I am so excited to read the Kellie Wells book. The lines I peeked at were gorgeous. And I hope you have a good first library experience! We’re pretty broke now so I can’t afford to buy books… without the library I don’t think life would be worth living. (That is only a slight exaggeration.)
    Niki, I’m looking forward to the A.M. Homes novel, but I am especially excited to read her memoir when it comes out I think this spring! Hope you got some great finds from your last book trip…
    Helen, that is so funny — and adorable — and beyond awesome — that you got Kiko a library card at three months! As for reading Lauren Child for yourself, I can relate to that. At work I have the delight of reading the Charlie and Lola books. Could they be any more precociously cuter? I LOVE Lola.

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