I remember the day I got my first library card. I keep the (expired) library card from my hometown library in my wallet. I also keep my library cards from everywhere I've ever had one. I love books in general, and I love owning them and filling up my bookshelves to overflowing. But there's something about a library. There's something about a place designed to make reading accessible and available to anyone who wants it. Shelves and shelves and shelves of books. It's magic.
But for some reason, it took me a long time to get a library card here in Chicago. Next month I'll have lived in Chicago for five years, and I only just got my library card last spring. I'm embarrassed. More embarrassing even: I haven't yet taken out a book. As I mentioned in my first post, I inherited a big ol' pile of books from my grandmother's collection. I also swap books by mail with friends (best idea ever!) and trade books with book-loving strangers country-wide thanks to PaperBackSwap (genius! why didn't I come up with that idea?!), so I have a very accessible to-read pile to constantly poach from in my own home. But I am proud to say that I just placed a book on hold at my local branch of the Chicago Public Library!
It's the next book for my virtual book group, Reading Without Borders, The City and The City by China Miéville. I did not yet have a copy, and though my deepest desire was to buy a copy for my flight home yesterday, I resisted the urge (and bought magazines instead! ha!) and jumped right onto the CPL website today to take care of business! (Incidentally, if you'd like to join the Google Group for our virtual book group, just shoot me an email!) I'm excited - it's on hold and ready for pick-up. My branch is open until 8:00 tonight, so I can start reading this evening. This book has been on my to-read list on GoodReads for a while, so I'm pumped to see what it's about, and to hear what others think.
I think the minute I walk in the door this evening, I'll be like my little self years ago at the Amherst Public Library... a lifetime member.