Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's Like Stealing Without the Arrest

When I was a kid, I practically lived at the local library. Every chance I got I would pick up and run to the other side of town and spend hours scouring the rows of books, trying to decide which ones to take home with me. I had my favorites, which I read over and over again, but I also loved the thrill of finding something new, something undiscovered. The librarians all knew me by name, as every third day or so I would show up to replace one armload of books with another. It was my happy place. Some kids liked the playground, I preferred the library.

I continued to be a regular visitor up until I graduated from high school and moved to the city. Once I had a job, I spent more time at the bookstore and less at the library. The problem with the library, I would joke, is that they always want me to give the books back.

But with money really tight these days, and me trying to squirrel enough away to make it to Atlanta in July, my book buying and movie renting has been cut drastically. And suddenly yesterday it dawned on me, the ephiphany of the clueless - the library, dufus! Go to the library!

Well, in truth, I didn't even have to go to the library. I just pulled it up on line. And good gawd you'd think I'd hit the mother load. DVDs and books galore! All there for the taking - and I didn't have to spend a dime! All I had to do was click the little 'place on hold' button and wait. It was like nirvana! I rubbed my hands together gleefully and chortled like an evil genius.

Finding Neverland...oh yes...soon it would be mine...(okay fine, I was 225th in the queue, but hey I can wait!). I did a search on period movies and went crazy. All the A&E ones I wanted to see again or had missed the first time around - The Last King, Northanger Abby, and more. I put a hold on Nicholas Nickleby, Washington Square, and movies Christian Bale did before he hit puberty. I got in line to borrow Memoirs of a Geisha and a book from Lorraine Heath's backlist. By the time I was done, I had put on hold about four books and eighteen movies and felt as if I had just robbed the bank and gotten away with the money.

All this stuff, and it doesn't cost a dime. And as if that weren't enough, they even deliver it to the library just down the street from me. I laughed manically as if I had just discovered the secret to total world domination.

Ah yes, I had forgotten how much fun the library could be.

9 comments:

Peggy said...

I love the library. We rent tons of movies from them. They're the best place to find the classics and period movies.

Cathryn Fox said...

That's funny Kelly.
Our small, dark, military library sucks! They will NOT get me in anything I ask for. grrr.....

Nikki said...

Anne and I do that too -- we're regular online "Holders" ...

And there are just some things you can't find at the movie store anymore ... I borrowed the entire "Sharpe's Rifles" series from the library 'cause no one else had 'em.

Mmmmmmm, Sean Bean ...

Have fun in your new happy place!!!!

Erin said...

Heh, Chapters sells the Sharpe's series of DVDs for $19.95 each. I've bought pretty much the entire series for my brother for various holidays.

Glad you're enjoying the library, Kelly. I rediscovered 'em last year when I was looking for some specific newspaper articles from the 40s (then again from the late 50s/early 60s). Ahhh, ze joys of learning the microfilm reader. Got so wrapped up in reading articles and checking out the ads (an entire dining room set for $99.95...or putting something that cost $9.99 on layaway) that I nearly forgot what I was looking for. ;)

Maxx said...

I have Memoirs of a Geisha... the book of course, not the movie. Is that what you've got on hold?

Melissa Marsh said...

I used to go to the library all the time when I was a kid. I remember carrying an armful of books home. Then I got my dream job and worked at the library in high school. LOVED it. Of course, we were in a very small town - population 1,600 - and we didn't have the biggest budget to work with. But I could read to my heart's content.

Kelly said...

Maxx: I thought you had it. Bring it up when you come. The movie is supposed to come out some time in December. I saw the previews - it looks amazing.

Anne M said...

I LOVE our library system. Soon as an author goes hard cover I start getting them from the library. I keep track of my fav. authors schedules and put it on hold when the library orders it. That way I get nice, new books. Some of those old books from the library are pretty skanky

kacey said...

the library...I sometimes forget about it...then I go back on a borrowing binge again.

(hey, you knit, right? Our library has cool knitting books and videos...you're welcome, always ready to enable people)