My siblings and I practically grew up at our local library. Apart from having so many more books than even we bibliovores could ever hope to read, it had heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. What wasn’t to love?!
I grew up loving–and arguably surviving thanks to–both books and libraries. It was thus inevitable that my own children would visit their local library frequently, and each have their own local library cards.
We all enjoy our local library, and how we can have books delivered from one branch to another within a day or two.
Recently, we got another delightful library surprise: As California citizens, we’re eligible for free Los Angeles Public Library cards! This means not only access to six million paper books, but hundreds of thousands of ebooks, audio books, and videos, in addition to various other non-book perks.
Since we discovered the benefits of LAPL membership, my older child has gone wild with the possibilities of ebook check-out. He seems determined to read every My Hero Academia manga within the week, or as nearly as he can manage based on book availability.
My younger child has only checked out one LAPL book so far, but there are already signs this quietude will be short-lived. There are only so many Desmond Cole, Princess in Black, and The Last Kids on Earth books that will fit on our shelves at home, after all!
And me? In fewer than three weeks, I’ve read–am reading–horror by John Langan, YA by Amy Reed, and non-fiction by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (natch), Atul Gawande, Kathryn Schulz, and Arthur H. Bell.
With all this, I–like my children–have only barely begun to scratch the surface.
My childhood self was limited to checking out printed books available in one physical library a small number of hours each week.
My older self lives in a world where hundreds of thousands of books are available all hours.
It’s an amazing thing, but not necessarily a sleep-conducive one.
So if you see me with circles under my eyes? Don’t be concerned.
I’ll sleep tomorrow. Really.