I wanted to work my high school summers in the Oceanside Public Library, putting books away and stamping cards. It turned out to be the hardest job in the world to get, impossible. The librarians would shake their heads slowly, their eyes expressionless over their reading glasses. All positions filled at this time. All the time. For all time. I still don't know why. I would have changed my name to Dewey if they had asked me to, (I didn't like my last name anyway). Even that wouldn't have been enough. I wound up working for the county elsewhere, over the bridge at Conservation and Waterways, at a nature preserve. This was the beginning of an amazing tri-summer adventure, I'll tell you about it someday. But always, the library called to me. Its fragrance of mildew and stamp pad ink. Paper cuts from the card catalogue. Those stumpy eraserless pencils even children have trouble holding onto.
At a Levenger's warehouse sale, I nearly knocked a woman over as we raced to be the first to grab up this little card catalogue, I won. Very un-libraryish behavior. But - Instant Librarian Chic.
Although Amazon sends them to you at a discount and in a smiley face box, and a Kindle fits a million books into your pocket, the library lets you take them home for free. You just walk out with them. Okay, you have to bring them back, I watched that Seinfeld episode. But still, for free! How is this? How can this be? I still don't quite believe it.
But it's true.