There was a period towards the end of my Junior year of high school when I spent virtually all post-school hours in the local library. It was totally dull, and terribly grim. My friend Annabelle and I would sit in this one room with a hundred little, rectangular windows, and transcribe, word for word, our APUSH notes. It felt like it was never going to end…and in hindsight, as glad as I am that I wasn’t unprepared, did I really need to be THAT prepared? I feel like high school was the time for me to over prepare. To over plan, to over think, to analyze to such a point of excess that I would literally lose my mind on a daily basis. And I can guarantee, at least at my school, I was not the only one doing this.
College has been different. Surprisingly, as much as the material is theoretically more difficult and more in depth, I can’t summon that same level of motivation. It seems wasteful. If the things I like about the library are really the BOOKS, why am I spending hours in there NOT reading? It seems so silly. I’d rather read a hundred books, know a hundred different stories about thousands of different characters, than memorize facts about soil.
That’s my agenda though. I like to read, and some people prefer soil. (Peat is actually really interesting. Well. It’s more interesting than it could be.) I want to go to the library with a library card when I ‘grow up.’ I want to leave work on days when I’m feeling all pleasant and wrapped up, and also on days when I’m feeling just as dull and grim as I felt during APUSH cramming, and pick out a great book. I love that my great-grandmother dated every book she read. I love that she wrote little comments in the margins– unassigned annotations!– when she found a book she loved.
Someone asked me the other day what I like to do. I’ve always loved to read. I love the escape, the absorption. Also, I wrote this because I couldn’t stop listening to the song, “Having Fun Isn’t Hard, When You’ve Got a Library Card,” from “Arthur.” So. For context…