Apr 6, 2006

You never know what you'll find

At the New York Public Library.
My New York public library visits tend to come in two flavors: thrilling and successful, or depressing and creepy. During the former, I show up armed with a list, pluck everything on the list easily from the shelves, and stumble across a few gems I'd forgotten I wanted to read, or never even heard of. The high I get from these visits is not unlike the one that accompanies a great shopping trip at a discount retailer (my sister, observing me in one such frenzy at the Seattle Nordstrom Rack, said my "shopping face" can be a bit unnerving -- OK, "scary" was her word).

I remember this acquisition-high from going to the library as a child -- I never got over the thrill of realizing that all this stuff you want is yours for the taking. Sure, you have to give it back eventually, but at the rate I plowed through books as a lonely kid, the book's purpose was served and spent after the last page was turned, and I was eager to send it back for a fresh batch. Anyway, the NYPL, while fraught with disappointments such as the cruel Sunday/Monday closings and some really down-at-heel facilities, often can be relied on to produce a pretty satisfying haul.

Via Maud Newton.

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