Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Private Libraries for Elite Readers

I have mentioned that at Holden we have a small library. So when I need a sequel to a book, namely The Wizard by Gene Wolfe, where am I to go? Well, the North Central Regional Library System, which includes the Chelan Library, has a wonderful feature. They mail books! I request a book, and the book begins an exciting adventure onto the fair Lady of the Lake boat and across the deep and toxic Lake Chelan, and in a few days I get a note in my mailbox saying I have a package. So I did not waste time in requesting a library card. But the days passed, and I got no email saying they had accepted my request for library membership. Oh no, I think, have they discovered I already have two library cards, one to Bellingham and one to Sno-Isle, as well as access to a school library? Have they discovered I have a $1 fine unpaid at the Western Washington University library? Are they refusing me membership?

I realize I am being ridiculous. Libraries do not have exclusive memberships; it's not a secret club; I don't have to go through some sort of hazing in order to check out a book. They are public libraries, and if they somehow figured out I already belong to other library systems, they are probably glad because they want people to read, wherever they are!

In short, this week I got an envelope in the mail. Within that envelope was an adorable manila envelope just large enough to fit a library card. I am now a proud card-holding member of the North Central Regional Library system. And I have just requested my first book to get mailed to me.

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