Thursday, September 8, 2011

Volumes of Happiness

My name is Karen, and I decided to begin writing about two things that have profound meaning for me: libraries and love.  Oh yes, and when the two overlap.  Because I love libraries.  And my love loves libraries.  . . .Yeah.  So here’s how it all started.  I am fresh out of college, got myself a new job, and am doing the typical “what shall I do next” dance.  I live with my parents (surprise suprise) and I spend most of my time planning.  But in between planning, I read.  See, I work at a library.  I am a “page assistant,” so I am the person who does all the varieties of little jobs that help the library run smoothly.   I check books in, I put them away on the shelf, I go pull books for customers, and I help small children find the Olivia books.  I have a pretty great job.  The only problem is I love to read.  And I am easily interested in a book, even if I won’t ever actually get to the end of it.  My hopes are high, possibilities are endless, and I want it.  Now, where the real sticky part comes into play, is that about four hundred books cross my path every day.  And while a large portion of those are picture books (which if I really, really want to I can read right there in about 90 seconds) or books I’ve already read or have no lasting interest in, there is that other portion that looks intriguing.  Beguiling.  A book with an unusual cover or title and a snappy jacket synopsis is like a siren call.  I dutifully put it back on my cart and shelve it so the regular customers can have a chance to see it, then the first opportunity I get, I swing back, snag it skillfully from it’s proper place, and slide it through our self-check out machine.
As it stands, I only have five books out right now.  Three of which are biographies, oddly enough, but that’s for another post.  I just cleaned off my shelf, but at one time it is not anomalous to see upwards of twenty books gracing the various free counter spaces in my house (which I should mention are actually few and far between).  You see, a further truth of my life to make it to this confessional is that both of my parents are librarians and my father enjoys nothing more than collecting books, CDs, and movies.  I will not go into detail about our house or his collection, but needless to say we could open our own library.  (However, his T.E. Lawrence collection is particularly impressive and would garner interest from the most elevated of scholarly universities.)
Yesterday was no exception to my incorrigible habit of book borrowing.  It’s almost like my own version of kleptomania.  Bibliomania.  Yikes.  The pick for yesterday:Pioneer Woman: From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.  It is the memoir of a woman’s metamorphosis from slick city-girl to ranch wife in the back-woods prairies of Oklahoma.  Or should I say, “back-prairies”. . .  Anyhow, this book caught my flitting attention in the back room from all the other volumes of potential excitement, and I decided (after a much too lengthy ten-minute perusal of its pages) to check it out and to spend the evening reading.  Which is exactly what I did.  The book is based on a blog this woman posts with the same name (to which I will, of course, include a link, but be warned: it is far and away much nicer than my own).  And, as trite and tired as it is to say, it got me thinking about starting my own blog.
So here I am: I am here to write about my daily adventures as someone who loves books and works with books every day, but also about the love of my life.  We just happened to meet in a library.  When we were four.  But I’ve said too much already.  That is for the next installment.

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