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Back to the library

November 16, 2021

This fall I accumulated a small pile of books on my desk, waiting to be reviewed, and this week I knocked one off the stack and decided that while I’m glad I read them, I don’t really have anything to say about them. Sometimes a book finds you at the right time. But for these books, the circumstances weren’t right for relating to something or tugging on a thread or even recommending them to anyone in particular.

They are: A Secret Woman by Rose Solari, The Break by Katherena Vermette, We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker, Unless by Carol Shields, and Walking the Tree by Kaaron Warren.

These books are going back to the library or the shelf. Actually, I’m just now starting to go back to the public library. It took me a long time because I live in an area where a lot of people feel that “the virus is a hoax” and I haven’t wanted to be inside with them unless there was no choice. Now, though, vaccinated and boostered, I feel like I can have a few more choices, and the public library is one.

It’s nice to read something without having to find a place for it afterwards, and it’s good to get back to sampling new books to see if I might like them. How about you–do you read a wider variety of books when you’re able to get them from the library?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2021 8:25 am

    Hooray for going to the library! I’m sure they’re glad to see you again. Yes, there is great freedom in being able to choose at whim without the financial commitment of buying. And the storage aspect. It also makes me happy to see another blogger who doesn’t write about every book you read. Sometimes I feel like an outlier in that way. Happy exploring!

    • November 20, 2021 7:59 am

      I don’t know how anybody can write about every book they read, much less every book they reread. But sometimes I’m surprised when I think I’ve written about a favorite book and don’t find a post about it on the blog. Occasionally that’s just a search engine not finding it, but often it’s because I know the book so well I’ve never thought about writing anything on it.

  2. PAJ permalink
    November 16, 2021 11:14 am

    I don’t get to the library as often as I’d like, but I take advantage of e-books borrowed through the system. I also am a member of a regional library system that provides access to more material than I could read in several lifetimes. It also provides access to Kanopy, which allows us to view lots of indie films for free. I love the public library!

  3. lemming permalink
    November 16, 2021 12:40 pm

    There are a couple of authors I’ve binged because of the library – I don’t feel the need to reread them, but I’ve absolutely loved the journey. One of them is the mother & son team who go by Charles Todd. When we knew that the shut-down was coming, I anticipated how many of their books i would need to get through that time… wildly underestimating 1) how much reading I would get done and 2) how long the shutdown would last. I was one of the first people to sign up to have books brought to the car – I needed to know what would happen next!

    • November 20, 2021 8:01 am

      It’s great to find authors who are prolific and whose books are in the local public library. I read all of Ruth Rendell that way, although I see she’s continued to write and I could catch up again now.

  4. Rohan Maitzen permalink
    November 16, 2021 1:30 pm

    There are two in your stack that I admire greatly (Unless and The Break) – but I definitely know what you mean about not finding it the right moment to make something of a book. I do sample more recklessly with library books because the stakes are so low.

    • November 20, 2021 8:03 am

      I read The Break because you mentioned it! I did admire things about it and about Unless, which I hadn’t read before when I discovered Carol Shields.

  5. November 16, 2021 4:26 pm

    I have so many books on my shelves that I have essentially stopped buying new books I want to read and borrowing everything from the library. Sometimes this means I have to wait a long time, but that’s ok. The only books I buy these days are ones I know will be personally meaningful in some way or practically useful. And if I borrow a book from the library I feel no obligation to read it, or if I start reading it, to finish it if I don’t like it, or it is the wrong time to read it. It’s very freeing 🙂

    • November 20, 2021 8:04 am

      Yes, it’s freeing to be able to sample and not feel committed! I’d like to go back to checking out books and then buying only the ones I know I’ll want to reread.

  6. November 17, 2021 6:55 am

    I definitely read a wider variety of books when I’m able to browse. It feels like browsing is less and less available in this world of online shopping, but it’s something I love so much. It’s fun to be able to pick books up on a whim at no cost. LIBRARIES.

    • November 20, 2021 8:06 am

      I’m less a fan of browsing than you are but I do love being able to pick a book up on a whim and then fling it away (at least symbolically) if it doesn’t suit me at that moment.

  7. November 21, 2021 1:36 pm

    The library’s been everything to me during the pandemic, though accessed primarily via curbside pickup and, even since things have opened, I’ve not browsed. The Break and Unless are favourites of mine (did you know Vermette’s new fall novel is a companion volume?). Glad to hear you’re feeling like you can resume browsing once more.

    • November 21, 2021 2:38 pm

      I’m glad to hear about the curbside pickup at other libraries working so well.
      I did not know that Vermette’s new fall novel is a companion volume; thanks!

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