As I’ve mentioned here before I am a (fairly average) college student. By definition this means I am broke. Every extra cent I have goes to buying books, and while that’s been a lot of cents in the past when faced with the number of books and e-books I own, my wallet is burning hotter and hotter these days thanks to my car which loves to give me grief. Anywho, tonight when I had a hankering for a book it came down to, do I shun responsibility and go to the bookstore or do I pay for my dentist visit this week? My sense of responsibility won out and I knew I had to forfeit my trip to the bookstore.
However! I have a fair drive home from school (about 50 miles one way). During the drive I began thinking of whats on my shelves that I can read that would stifle my new book craving. Then I thought of it, the little plastic card in my wallet. Its got my name and picture on it and it says Manchester Public Library. I got the library card early this summer in an attempt to curb my spending, but of course my pockets were a bit more flush this summer what with the not having car problems and not being in school and saving 400 miles worth of gas in a week (which is a huge savings, especially considering I drive a Jeep). Back to topic, I used the card once, and that was the day I got it. A few months later it’s still collecting dust in my wallet, so I went to the library on my way home.
Manchester actually has two libraries, I know some places have one and some have more, we have two – the main library and the branch library. Even though the branch library is closer to my house I decided to go to the main library instead. I have not been there in a long time, about six years if I’m not mistaken. Damn, I forgot what I was missing. The library is packed. There are actually plans for a new one in revision now, but the shelves are cramped and books are everywhere and I love it. The area where they keep the majority of the books is so tight that it felt like it was 90 degrees, quite a feat on a day with a high temperature in the 30s. I could see and smell the books, an assault to the senses. Two floors packed with thousands and thousands of volumes for me to browse at my leisure. Ahh, the joy. I will admit that I really need to brush up on my dewey decimal system though. It took me a while to figure out where everything was and get acclimated again.
The reason that I don’t go to the library, even though I love the atmosphere, is because I’m picky and I like to have my own copies of books. I’m one of those people who will need to reference something at three in the morning otherwise I won’t be able to sleep, and if I don’t have the book I need I get ancy. What am I going to do to combat this? Get over it. I figure this, if I go to the libary I can check out books for free see if they hold anything special for me and then spend the money on them if I still want to. While this might seem like common sense to you, for me this is big. This is me combating one of the manifestations of my OCD, irrational as it may seem. As it is, I usually take note of something I find important when I read. When I’m reading non-fiction you better believe I’ve got a notebook or a word document open for notes. So I figure with a little willpower I can have the best of both worlds doing things this way.
So, what did I take home with me? I went with three books for now. The semester is just winding down and ends officially next week so I’m taking it easy. When I fly down to Oklahoma though I’ll probably be stocking up on more than three books!
My library finds (I’m sharing them since I’m so proud of myself for excerising this self-restraint):
1. Stealing Lincoln’s Body by Thomas J. Craughwell – I originally spotted this book at B & N a while back, but I didn’t buy it that night because I was there strictly for psychology books for a project (I’m not totally without self-control). When I read the flap about a group of men who tried to steal and ransom the body of President Lincoln during the 1876 presidential election, well I couldn’t say no, I was interested. The book made its way onto the book memo on my cell phone so that I always know important books to keep an eye out for. When I found it tonight, I had to check it out.
2. Turning Angel by Greg Iles – Greg Iles is an author who was originally recommended to me through Goodreads, and I made note of his books but never got around to reading any of them. Recently I’ve seen reviews for other books of his and when the memory hit I figured why not look and see what was available. I remember seeing reviews for Turning Angel and they were everything from the book is fantastic to being found horribly offensive. I couldn’t help it. I’ve got to see for myself if he’s good author or just an offensive pen.
3. The Decline of Males by Lionel Tiger – I happened upon this book by accident. I was looking for something else entirely, but when I saw the title, well how does that not catch your attention? The social science researcher in me was thrilled when I learned this book looks at change in family and sexual norms over the last few decades. The author is an anthropologist who takes a biological perspective when looking at difference and changes between the sexes in the past and as he presents his ideas for our desired future.
All in all, a great turnout from the library. And to make my night even better, when I got home my copy of Last Sacrifice had been delivered! I’m pretty psyched with the literary outcome of my day!
Any books you’ve got that you’re excited to dig into?