Friday, 25 May 2012

A Love Letter to Libraries

Something different for this week's Friday Fiction -  I read a really delightful book called 'The Library Book' which is a collection of short stories, articles & pieces written by some of my very favourite authors & writers, about how blooming marvelous libraries are. My favourites were by Lucy Mangan, Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, Nicky Wire, Caitlin Moran & Stephen Fry, but there were lots that were enjoyable. The only one I thought was a bit rubbish was 'The Library of Babylon', but overall, it was really fantastic. There was lots of Tory-bashing too (I know I said I didn't enjoy the republican bashing in the Auster, but come on, the Tories want to shut down public libraries, what kind of monsters are these people??).

So basically it was amazing and you should definitely read it, and it inspired me to write a little love letter to the public library myself (I just joined my 4th county library, so I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything, but... Ha, obsessed is more like it.) Libraries are pretty much my spirit animal. Libraries have been the backdrop to my entire existence. I grew up going to the local library every weekend and maxing out my card with more books than I could possibly carry. I was your definitive bookworm growing up, I read everything and anything. I read the Hobbit when I was 10, just because I could (not because I understood a word of it). I amassed a pretty impressive personal library of my own over the years, but free books is not a notion that will ever not appeal to me.

As a teenager I literally used to hang out with my friends in Milton Keynes library. I know right, I was a lot of fun back then... *eye roll* We'd just sit in the Children's section and play on our Nintendo DS's (so cool), or read or do our homework, it was just our space to relax. Then we'd decamp to the reference library when exam time rolled around. Same with university, me & the JB Morrell library got pretty well acquainted over the years, to the point where, come third year, I was pretty much living there (I once accidentally blasted Sociology & Relgion with the Wicked soundtrack, and for that, I can only apologise), sneaking snacks from my bag and coming to depend on my thermos of tea more than was probably healthy.

I'm still a member of the York central library, even though I don't live there anymore (I may have er, forgotten to mention that I'd moved), which is a truly glorious system. Free requests meant that the amount of books available to you was effectively multiplied by about a million, and boy did I make use of it. North Yorkshire make you pay 75p per request, but I still manage to find about 5 new books to take out every time I return 3 (you're right, the math doesn't add up), and to top it off, I just joined the Leeds library so I can now have about 60 library books out at a time - it's possibly I already do.

My point is, free books. That's my point. How can you argue with free books? The day the Tories start privatising the libraries is the day I give up hope on humanity. Free books people. For children, for adults, for everyone, you even get free internet these days. Go support your local library & look out for The Library Book whilst you're there. Make the most of them whilst you still can!

1 comment:

  1. I desperately hope to any diety who will listen than books are available for free to read until the day I die!
    I'm going to add this to my to read list!


I love receiving comments - I read them all! Leave a link to your blog (if you have one) because I love checking them out too xx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...