Getting books from the library is awesome. Except for the cost of transportation (bus fare or gas) it’s free. If you use an e-reader you don’t even need to go there, and in some cases, can keep the book for a very long time without having to renew it.
I took out a bunch of books a few weeks ago. I started to read one, but was dulled into submission or found myself planning lessons on the bus, or quietly contemplating life rather than reading.
I checked the status of my books and realized that they were due today. So, I did what I normally do. I renewed all of them in the optimistic belief that I would finish reading them on time. Sadly, the one I had just started was due and there was somebody waiting for it. Inwardly I screamed, but outwardly I remained calm. The book wasn’t very long and I had a few days. So, I managed to read it and I will be taking it back to the library shortly after I publish this blog.
Before you worry, this is not an angry blog at someone who reserved the book I was reading. That’s the way the system works if you want a popular book from the library. You have to wait, and your time is limited. For some of the really popular books the borrowing time is cut to only one week–they are called express loans and I have taken advantage of them on occasions, but mostly for movies.
The book that I had to read by today was Peter Robinson’s Careless Love–an Inspector Banks novel. I have read almost all of the books in this series and I really do like them. That the author spends his time between Toronto and the Dales in England is merely a bonus. The writing is quite good and the detective is a good representative of the genre without being too strong a character. The protagonists of most detective fiction usually have some terrible flaw or back-story that makes their quest for truth and justice central to their being. They’re alcoholics or gamblers. They’re victims of abuse or abandonment. They’re paranoid of the government or some mix of all of them. Inspector Banks is just a good detective–except that he seems completely incapable of finding true romance in his life. He had dalliances, but he never seems to find the one. He does get a bit maudlin at times about it, but he’s got his music to soothe his soul.
In the past, I had reading goals for the year. I stopped doing that when I realized that reading to some number was really not the best way to approach literature. It is great to look back on the year and see how many books I’ve read, but it isn’t fun to look forward and wonder if I will read the “required number of books” for the year. One great book is worth 50 mediocre ones.
Today’s Perfect Moment is getting that first book of the year read. I enjoyed myself and my commuting time, while not really changed, has felt less like drudgery. I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I am sure I will find something.