Ok. They’re sitting on the shelf along the wall. Shelves. All four of them (lets leave the ginourmous stack of comic books for a different time, ok?). And they’re on my Kindle. My happy, happy Kindle. It’s a good thing digital files weight nothing. I’ve got so many books in there…
But (there’s always a but) I’m trying to cut back. On the buying at least. I have SO many books, I don’t know when I’ll get to read them all. Also: Money. I’m putting the Plastic Card of Temptation on a diet. Sasquan is coming up. As are house repairs. And things like groceries. And electric bills. You know, important stuff.
So I went and started poking around the library again. And it made me want to cry. I don’t know who is in charge of ordering. I don’t know what their budget is. I know things are hard for libraries everywhere. But would it kill them to get a few more new books in the speculative fiction end of things? Theres…well, not much. Most of what they get is YA and Junior fiction. Which is great for the kids. But I don’t read much of that. What I do read in those age brackets is left over from when I WAS that age. Other than that, I’ve moved on.
Either I’m reading to lose myself, in which case I reach for something I’ve already read a dozen times. Or I’m looking for something to expand my horizons (the imaginary ones that is). And then I reach for something that I probably haven’t read yet. Something written without the idea of…simplifying is the best term I can come up with. The questions and issues in YA tend to lack the fullness I’m looking for (See: Hunger Games. SOOOO many things she left untouched). And hey, I get it. YA is YA. And nobody puts an age lock on it and says: You are not allowed to read this if you are over X years. To each their own.
But I just can’t get into the stories any more. It’s just…not my deal.
Which brings me back to libraries. Specifically, the one in my town. And the tears. And agony.
It’s TINY. Tiny and packed full of people. It’s got plenty of books I haven’t read. And every couple of weeks I go gazing through the shelves for yet another book I haven’t picked up yet. But I miss Anchorage. I miss a library that lays its fiction out into ‘Speculative, Mystery, Literature’. This one jumbles them all together, and what the main Anchorage library has in its Spec Fiction is about what this one has TOTAL.
I miss Seward too. It’s the nostalgia for a place that introduced me to Spec Fic in the first place. Redwall. Anne McCaffery. Mercedes Lackey. Piers Anthony. Tamora Pierce. The People of the Wolf and all the rest in that series. Conan the Barbarian. Terry Brooks. All the countless books I found down in the basement and they just said ‘take them, they’re part of your wages’. And I danced with glee and took home Asimov and about twenty other books that have since travelled on to various second hand stores. Books I am now going back and hunting up all over again. A Fire Upon the Deep. It was way past my 15 year old brain, but it introduced me to a world of science fiction that I hadn’t even known EXISTED.
And lets not get started on Title Wave. From the three story pile of “Oh holy crap, BOOKS!” to the floor space that rivals Wal-Mart, that is the best book store I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting lost in. SO. MANY. BOOKS. On pretty much anything I’d ever want to read about. What I’d do to be in walking distance of that place again.
But I’m not. And I don’t have the shelf space for it anyways. So I sit here and cry.
And go through online libraries.
For the record? The ebook selection our local library is hooked into? It makes me cry too. I think they’ve sunk all their money into kids ebooks. Kids. Ebooks. Um…ok. I get it. Free books for kids. Always great. But myself, I don’t know of many ten year olds who are more interested in fighting their way through Overdrive (Worst book app ever) or Freadly. They’ll fight you for Angry Birds or Youtube access, but an ebook? Please tell me I’m wrong. Tell me you know different kids!
What’s my point? Besides being whiny because I spent the afternoon trolling through the library, and then fighting with crappy search engines on even crappier elending sites? And then going looking for more? (Hello Gutenberg. I know you well). My point is that I have rediscovered libraries. And all the frustrations that come with them. But on the plus side, I can bring home a foot high stack of books every week and the Husband Person can’t complain, because it’s all going back out the door next week 🙂