Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Books and Libraries

Okay, so I might have stayed up a little late last night.
I had a book to finish.
These things happen.
You know how it goes.
You readers, I mean.
Those of you who aren't readers, who aren't night people? I don't know what it's like to live in your world. I don't know what it's like to nod off at 8pm or fall instantly to sleep, or be able to shut off your brain like shutting off a light or the bathroom faucet.
And I don't know what it's like to spring out of bed when my eyes first begin to flicker. I don't know what it's like to not have to claw my way out of sleep like I've been in a deep, dark cave for the last several hours, covered with rocks and dirt. I don't know what it's like to feel like life is as bright as the morning sun and so am I.
Don't talk to me in the morning.
But if you want a conversation, I'll have it with you at midnight.

And if there's a good book that needs finishing, a book with only a hundred more pages to it, I'll set my mind and eyes to it without a problem...except that once the book is finally finished, it's likely I'm still living among the people within its pages well after I closed it and turned off my light. This is what happened last night. 2 am rolled past and there I was rolling around, too. 4:30 am happened by and I noticed Beve get up (too early a start even for him today), and I was still dwelling in that other land. Finally I drifted off.
I got about 4 hours sleep.

And that's just not enough.
For anyone.
So here I am, my own tired, ugly self, wondering why I do this.
Wondering why books are such magnets to me.
But also wondering why other people DON'T read.
Yes, I wonder that.

I grew up reading. My mother was a reader. She took us weekly to the library. We came home with piles of books that we each finished in that week. And it seems like we were always looking for an errant library book that one of us had read at night and let slip beside our beds for a couple weeks. this pattern was repeated with my own children. Yes, weekly. From before they could read thenselves we went to the library (I mean, I had to read, after all) where they picked out picture books and chapter books for me to read to them at night before bed. And though we had a specific basket where we kept all library books, we were always looking for errant library books: under beds, behind couches, in their closets, places they could have left them, and places it seemed impossible that books could have been left at all. Too often I had to pay little fines, just like my mother had before me. But I have never begrudged libraries of their fines.

In fact, I believe that Libraries may be the best free thing we get in the United States. Yes, we pay for them with our taxes. But on a weekly basis, on a 'this is how it seems' basis, the public library is at the top of my list of my favorite, free things.

So it keeps me from sleeping now and then?
It's worth it.

But today, I also think it'll be the cause of me needing a nap.


Kristina said...

Yeah, I had to look for a few books behind my bed, too. And I would sometimes stay up too late reading.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I am not a night owl because I have to get up early and go to work 4 days a week. But, I read from after the supper dishes are done and we've had our evening walk until my eyes are out of focus and going shut more than they are open...usually around 9:30 pm. (I have to get up at 5). I love to read and kick myself when I forget to bring home another book from the church library where I work. Oftentimes I grab a couple of extra short books to make sure I have something to read when I finish one or the other. I don't watch TV as it is commandeered by the men of my household. Sports, sports and more sports. I wish they'd learn to read and then I could watch some girl movies sometimes. But that's okay. My books are better than movies.
And I love to read what YOU and our other bloggy friends are writing about. That always gives me something else to ponder! Thank you.