Sunday, May 28, 2006

Browsing

I went to the library today. It reminded me of the times that Mom and I would pile into the car and go spend a couple of hours in the library. I was fortunate enough to come from a family that loved to read. At an early age, my grandma had me reading the local paper to her as she cooked dinner.That was how I learned to read. Screw those primary readers, or Dick and Jane books, I cut my teeth on road signs and newspapers!

I remember how excited I was to get my first library card. Mom helped me fill out the information that was needed and when they handed me that card, I thought it was the coolest thing! It was orange, not my favorite color, but who the hell cared, I had a library card! The librarian explained to me that when I got older I could get an "adult" card. That sounded good to me!

The picture above is of a library in my hometown, (Spokane). Mom and I didn't always frequent just one library, she would check out different ones on occasion. Each one had just a little different selection. I loved those old libraries. Nothing like the modern, metal shelved, teched out libraries that we have today. These libraries had wooden shelves and wooden floors that sometimes creaked. It was back when people had manners and knew that you used your "quiet voice" because others were reading. Not like now, when you walk into a library and you think you are in some daycare center with kids running around and screaming, or a bar, where everyone smells like stale cigarette smoke and talk loudly with each other.
It never fails, nearly every time I am in a library I want to go around and slap the crap out of half the people that are in there. (The rudeness and complete disregard of a lot of people today is a completely different story that I may have to save for a later date.)

I would often times finish picking out my books before Mom, so I would find some place to sit while she still browsed. I would sometimes watch her. She would walk quietly up and down the isles, looking at the spines of each book. Occasionally one would catch her eye and she would pull it slowly and carefully off the shelf, look at it more closely, if it appealed to her she would add it to the stack in her arms, if not, she would always carefully put it back where she found it. (Another thing that I was thankfully taught... you put things back where you found them, as you found them.) She likes to read stories from the 1800's. She feels that she was born too late. She loves to read about life back then. To her it seems like such a simple time. I have to agree to a point. But DAMN, life was hard back then. Sometimes Mom's life was rough enough, she didn't need 1800's living, at least that was my thought. However, from the resilience stand point, Mom would've faired well back in those days too. She's a tough old broad... and don't let her tell you any different.

On some trips to the library it seemed that neither one of us could get enough books. We would walk out to the car, our arms full of books, anxious to get started on immersing ourselves in the stories. I am sure she had just as hard of a time trying to decide which one to read first, as I did.

So, yeah, when I was wandering around the library today, I was thinking about "back in the old days" when the libraries had more personality, (well, a warmer kind of personality, anyway) and I said a little thank you to you, Mom for introducing me to the wonders of a library.

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