Monday, March 03, 2008
the habits of an addict
Books have to be heavy because the whole world’s inside them.—Cornelia Funke, Inkheart
We are the Jasons; we have won the fleece.—Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
I’m beginning to wonder if I have a serious problem. The librarians certainly seem to think so.
I come to the library alone, half an hour before closing, and try to look innocent until I can duck out of sight, behind the kids’ stacks. And then, from my coat sleeve, I pull the handwritten list of the books I’m hoping to find. I move quickly, tucking books into my large red bag, muttering those three-letter call numbers over and over as I work down the aisles. (There’s a girl at the far end of one aisle who backs away when she sees me. Do I look too focused? I smile. But instead of looking reassured, she seems to change her mind about the value of visiting the library.)