November 6th, 2007

Borrowing Books

I haven't been to the town library for years. In fact last time I went it was housed in a completely different building. The old library was Victorian and full of people who didn't wash (sorry, that sounds snobbish and I suppose it is). The new library is full of daylight and bright, young, unemployed men sitting at computer terminals; also it seems to contain fewer books- not that I counted. 

It was Ailz's idea that we should join again. I was sort of dragging my feet. I remembered the old library as a depressing place- the sort of place that used to give me a migraine. But I'm glad I let her win.  It's delicious to go round picking odd things off the shelves. It's not like going to the bookshop- where budget restrictions mean you have to pick and choose with extreme care. Instead you can be promiscuous, daring, irresponsible. I wound up with a graphic novel by Alan Moore, a biography of the Victorian spirit medium Daniel Dunglas Home, a big Taschen picture book about Luis Bunuel, and a pamphlet by the poet Geoffrey Hill. If I don't like them I can whizz  them all back and replace them- as indeed I shall whether I like them or not. I used to have this rather grim thing about wanting to own every book I liked; not any more; I've worked out- and it's taken me long enough- that I can't take them with me.