I have so many things I feel like I can't live without: chocolate, good friends, indoor plumbing, diaper wipes are just a few of the many. Then, there are other less tangible things, like regular sleep, some alone time and peace and quiet, that I imagine I couldn't live without, yet I manage to do so on a regular basis.
The one thing in my life that kept coming to mind as I thought about this topic was my library. My topic probably reveals, yet again, how completely geeky I am, because, seriously, I am addicted to my public library. Where else can I take home the Heroes complete first season DVD, a book on how to cut my kid's hair, the Baby Einstein videos my kids are addicted to, a book on cooking once a month, How to Get Your Picky Kid to Eat, and The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary all in the same day?
And let's not forget, it's all free, free, free!
Reading is one of my biggest pleasures in life. I would call it a hobby, but it is actually a bit of an addiction, to be honest. If I notice I don't have a book at hand, I get a little twitchy. Typically, I have a pile of books waiting to be read, and most of these I get from my library, because there is no way our finances could support my habit. I think I would need a part-time job just to pay for books, and then there would be the storage problem. The last time we moved, my sister said that she would never help me pack again if I bought any more books. And you know, she had a point.
The great thing about our library, though, is the librarians. They are super helpful and know my entire family by name. Granted, we visit them at least once a week, sometimes more, but still they are extremely friendly and seem delighted to see us on each of our visits.
Almost like the Cheers bar, only without the hangover or smell of hops.
Our library has great programs for the kids and adults and our interlibrary loan system is excellent. I can order almost any book or movie online and then they call me when it comes in. This is priceless when you have kids who never give you the time to browse properly!
My dad always says that the great thing about books is you can learn about anything when you read them. You can travel to other places and times in history, all without leaving the comfort of your armchair. I like reading for that reason and so many more: I love the escapism, but I also love that I can learn about any topic I want to. I can research a problem that is perplexing me (SPD and autism and potty training have been the big ones lately) or I can learn about topics that fascinate me (Oliver Sacks' books about neurological disorders have been popping up in our home a lot lately). And I love the beauty of the well-written word; I can't get enough of -beautifully crafted classics, like Pride and Prejudice, the suspense-filled The Moonstone or the achingly romantic Jane Eyre.
The children's group "Lunch Money" (whom I highly recommend!) sums it up best in their song "I Love My Library":
I'm going to the library to see my librarian
She'll send me home with 60 things
As if I could carry them
Passing out the picture books
Like my granny hands out food.....
And my brain's getting fat on stories and facts
And it feels like love
Oh, the librarians
They say, "Come, follow me!"
They're looking straight at me
They take me seriously
And all the things that I'd never read
Become my new favorites.
I show them to my friends at school
And they get addicted too.
Oh, my brain's getting fat on stories and facts
and it feels like love.....
All the things that I could ever wonder about
Are waiting here for me
And all the places I could ever wander to
I've got a ticket for free
And guess who tossed me the keys......
For more posts about what these fabulous bloggers can't live without, visit the Spin Cycle!