Day 16: What I miss

What do I miss about working in a library?

The book budget. I loved buying books with other people’s money.

Books. I loved opening boxes, lifting out new volumes, turning pages, taking them home to preview (if I could grab them before my colleagues did).

Book people. I loved doing booktalks for both students and adults. I loved recommending books to patrons and colleagues. I loved saying, “You’ve got to read this. It’s wonderful.” I loved being around people who loved books.

We spent this evening with friends who worked with me at the library. At the last minute before embarking on our seventy-mile drive, I gathered books from shelves, from chairs, from the cedar chest, from the floor, and put them into a bookbag–mysteries for Sally, a hodgepodge for Maryellen.

They seemed pleased to get them.

It was almost as good as being back at work.

8 thoughts on “Day 16: What I miss

  1. It must be a wonderful job. They’re closing libraries left right and Charlie here. And with them, we lose another opportunity to be quiet and reflect, and bring away something to learn from.
    But I never did that, because I was always the one at the front desk in sackcloth and ashes, settling outrageous fines and apologising because a book had disappeared down the piano and I was unable to reach it.


    1. I’ve never known a librarian who was unhappy with the job. With the people, sometimes, yes, but never with the job. It’s like a great big jigsaw puzzle–lots of parts, all of them different.
      Libraries aren’t having an easy time here. I was lucky to have good funding, but things have become more difficult since I left. As for fines and apologies, I’m a better librarian than I am library user. I find it less expensive to patronize the bookstore than the library. I’ve never had a book go down the piano, but a lot of them end up Under Something. (I don’t broadcast these facts, of course.)


  2. Enjoyed reading this–and seeing librarians from the inside out! Fun! And you cleared out your bookshelves! Next time you go see them give me a heads up and I’ll make a contribution. Sure will make my husband happy for me to clear off my nightstand. Sylvia


    1. I’ll let you know. My friends are voracious readers. Unfortunately, they’re going to return the books. They’re more steadfast than I in their determination to keep some surfaces clear of bound print material.

      Glad you’re back from the Golden Triangle. Or maybe you’re on the road again.

      (P.S. I didn’t exactly clear my shelves. But the cats can curl up in the rocking chairs again.)


  3. I know what you mean. When I was the distribution person for SCN Book Reviews, I’d see all the new books before they went to the reviewers. It was like Christmas every time I got a package in the mail. Nothing better than books! And the people who love them…


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