Today was re-entry after a blissful few days off on quilting retreat. After several days of uninterrupted creative time, lovely friends, lots of laughter, all punctuated by regular delicious meals which I did not have to cook, there's always a bit of a thud returning to the reality of home. (Not that home isn't lovely, but landing back amid piles of laundry and catalogs and Work To Be Done and miscellaneous Things to Be Put Away is always a bit of a shock. You know, "Who ARE these people and how to they manage to make such a mess?!")
So, naturally, I took myself out to run errands. I dropped by the fabric store (not having had enough fabric time despite 12 hours per day of it over the last several days), and picked up some groceries, and visited the library to pick up some of the books they'd found for me.
One of my favorite things about my local library system, by the way, is that I can look things up online in the library's county-wide catalog, "request" them with the click of a button, and they magically appear on the "hold" shelf sometime later. It's like Amazon.com but without the
less fun result when the credit card bill comes.
I'm in and out of the library frequently, and I have come to the conclusion that people who become librarians do so because they like books more than they like people. (Excuse me if you are among the rare breed known as Friendly Librarians -- I don't see them often in my bibliographic forest.) Gradually, my extreme charm and sparkling wit are winning these reserved folk over -- some days I get a timid smile and on a really good day I'll get a compliment about my just-for-library-books basket.
Today, as the librarian was sliding my books past the magic magnetic thingie, she looked up with a broad smile. "Oh, I never read books, but I read THAT one and it was really good."
You got that? "I never read books." I replied that I was very glad to hear the book was worth reading, and we resumed our exchange in silence while I pondered how it was she came to choose her career.
This reminded me of an incident some years back with my favorite front-desk librarian, a slim blond woman with perpetually wispy hair and bright pink lipstick smeared crookedly across her lips.
She sighed as she started in processing the stack of novels I'd placed on the counter. "You read so many books! I wish I could find a good novel to read."
What does one say to that, standing in the middle of a library? "Well, what sort of things do you like?" I asked.
"I don't know how to find books about the things I like," she replied with a shrug, and then went on to tell me that she preferred to read the astrology columns in newspapers. I suggested that she search the online catalog for books about astrology, and threw out the name of an author who writes mysteries featuring astrological topics. She looked astonished at my cleverness. "I never thought of that!"
Of course, this was the same woman who announced once as she took my library card, "we have the same name!"
"Oh, you're Diane too?" I replied (brilliant, yes?)
"No, my name is Cynthia." Said brightly, as if perfectly logical.
For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to reply. "We're both goddesses!" she exclaimed.
Note to self: don't try to engage the librarians in conversation. It will only cause more furrowed brow lines of confusion, of which I have plenty already.