There is an anecdote going around the internet where a mother asks her little girl what she wants to be when she grows up.

The girl responds, “A librarier.”

“Don’t you mean a librarian?” the mother asks.

“No,” the girl says. “A librarier. Someone who goes to the library and reads.”

This could be a true story because kids can be that precocious, but even if someone besides a little girl made up the word, it’s a good one. And since I identify with the term, I would modify it to simply mean “someone who goes to the library.” I don’t do well reading in public — I need the mental space and freedom to relax into the book, and I can’t do that — don’t want to do that — when people are around. I feel too vulnerable.

Since I’m such a good and reliable librarier, I get to check out more than the maximum. (Being a “good girl” sometimes has its privileges!) But I still go quite frequently.

I have a friend who also reads a lot, but she does read at the library. She once said to me, “People always tell me that life’s too short to spend it reading. I say life’s too short not to spend it reading.”

That’s basically my philosophy. In my younger years, that’s what I did — read. It’s all I ever wanted to do. It’s not a good career choice since there’s no money in it (I could have been a librarian, I suppose, but then I’d have to watch everyone else read while I worked, and that’s not the same thing.) Still, I managed to mostly read my life away.

After Jeff died, everything changed, even reading. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t stand to read fiction. Too many books involved death, and I couldn’t face that faceless beast. Other books involved couples getting together, which was excruciatingly painful since I no longer had anyone. Still other books involved couples not getting together, which was just as bad, because it reminded me of my situation. And I was too unfocused to read non-fiction.

I did struggle with books for a while, but when the library closed for asbestos cleanup, I didn’t miss reading. I did buy an occasional book, but my finances don’t really lend themselves to such an indulgence.

Now, though my finances are even in greater disrepair than ever before, I have a library a few blocks away, a decade’s worth of reading to catch up on, and even better, death’s sting has receded.

So once again, I am a librarier.


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.