Such an Adventure!

I haven’t been to the library in months. Even though it’s been closed because of The Bob, for a awhile I was able to get books by appointment. That was an interesting experience — they’d come to the door and hand the requested books to me, then quickly pull back inside as if we were doing some sort of undercover deal. Real spy stuff.

Then, even though we still hadn’t had a single case of The Bob in town, they completely closed the library. So I read all my emergency books — a hundred or so paperbacks I’d collected that I wasn’t particularly interested in reading — and then I started in on my emergency emergency stash. First I got caught in the spokes of The Wheel of Time, reading and rereading and rerereading all fourteen volumes comprising four million words. More recently, I’ve been reading books I had on my Nook, including a whole bunch of Clive Cussler books, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and aother books I had been eschewing.

The library has been open for about a month now. The hours were shortened considerably, and the number of patrons severely limited, so I kept up with my Nook stash so as not to add to the confusion. Besides, there was that wonky knee thing.

Today I ran an errand (walked, actually), which was rare for me this year. Although I’ve been doing well walking just to walk, I’ve been hesitant about carrying things. I had come out of the store with my few items and was thinking that it was about time I checked in with the library when I heard, “We miss you at the library.” There stood one of the smiling librarians. We talked for a few minutes, then, considering that a sign, I teased her that she’d shamed me into it, and I headed for the library.

Oh, so amazing! Books! A building full of books! A place where you can walk in empty-handed and walk out with a satchel full of books. Wow! What an experience!

They told me about an upcoming reading contest. I reminded them — jokingly — that I’d won the last contest, but The Bob had kept me from my prize. This contest will be fairer. For every five books read, your name is put in a pot, and at the end of the contest, they will draw a name. It’s the only way to give someone else a chance. Otherwise they might just as well forget the contest and simply hand me a prize. I’m being a bit facetious here with my tone, though this really is the truth of the matter.

I have no idea if any of the books I lugged home will be worth reading, but they are BOOKS! Real books made with real paper.

Such an adventure!

I might have to try this again sometime.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

8 Responses to “Such an Adventure!”

  1. J. Conrad Says:

    Geez, all those titles you listed, and not one J. Conrad Guest title. (sigh)

  2. Sam Sattler Says:

    Love it! I was almost that excited to get my hands on an actual library book via our curbside service. Actually, I have to get out of the car, walk to an unmanned table near the doors to the library, and pick up a plastic bag filled with the books I ordered. The only downside is that when I put three or four on hold, the library notifies me one-by-one as the arrive rather than waiting for them to be sacked together. But…I’m not complaining.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I went for years without a library. I used my dad’s library card for a while, but when they closed down the branch I was using because of asbestos and went to temporary location without DIY checkout and card renewal, I couldn’t use his card anymore. And I couldn’t prove I was a California resident because I maintained my Colorado residency. When I moved here, I was thrilled to have a library again, and then this mess came along. So whatever form it takes, I am delighted to have any access to a library.

  3. Joe Says:

    Funny, I was just in a library yesterday and was grimly amused at the kabuki theater. Cordoned off walkways, bathrooms blocked off, staff practically in hazmat suits, required hand sanitizer, then you were allowed loose in the library but they would accost you and ask if they can help you find something. No browsing allowed! I left in about 5 minutes, tops.

    Remember my challenging friend? He used to live in Russia. He says America today reminds him of Soviet Russia in slowly increasing ways, which isn’t surprising considering how, um, shall we say, influential Russia has been lately. What’s really going on here? Are we now the Evil Empire?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      There is a big difference between where you live and where I live, that’s for sure!

      As for the evil empire, yes. That has been the direction of American politics (at least secretly) for my whole life, to bring us down to the level of a third world country. It’s why I studied so-called conspiracy theories. They contained more than an element of truth, certainly way more than a person can find in any legacy press today. I’m surprised it took so long to bring us to this point and disheartened that it is happening in my life time.

      • Joe Says:

        To that, all I can do is quote from The Fellowship of the Ring.
        “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
        “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

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