More than a year ago, we lost our neighborhood library. It seems like an eternity to me.
Although libraries in France seem a lot less fancy than in other countries (no summer reading programs, Bloglily! I had some cultural difficulty to understand that libraries would hand out prizes if you complete a certain amount of reading… really?), I loved my 4-storeys, 30,000 adult books, 15,000 children books (ugly and well-worn) library. When will I be able to get it all back (minus the faded 1980s wall-carpeting, if possible, yeah, the ugly one on the walls for sound-proofing)? Apparently, the refurbishment takes a bit longer than originally planned, so that now we’re promised a reopening for end of September.
Which leaves me antsy and restless. No, even worse than you can imagine.
Can you imagine how many Bookmooch I have ordered? Can you imagine how many books I have sighed for? Can you imagine the ever-growing piles in our small homes, books that I *had* to buy when I actually had no need to own them?
Can you imagine that the Smithereens boy always wants to *buy* books and can’t even properly pronounce the French word for “library”?
No. I can’t wait until the end of September. So, at my wit’s ends, I looked for… another library in my (wider) neighborhood. Duh.
Shouldn’t I have checked that before? I did, of course, but I originally shook my head and said that I could settle for nothing less than my big fat adult-and-children library within easy reach (no metro required). One year later, I am ready to negotiate and be happy with a lot less.
A few weeks ago, I fished out my old City of Paris library card (de-activated, sigh!), the Smithereens’ boy’s passport and got off for our big adventure. With a bit of apprehension we walked to some unknown streets, just a block away from our weekly fresh cheese and vegetable market. A city library! Oh wait, a children city library…
In a matter of minutes the Smithereens boy became an official library patron with his own card (although he can’t sign it yet). My card was re-activated and I could browse. Children books, young adults, and a very limited selection of adult books (it actually looks more like my own big pile at home). Never mind, in my present state of bookish starvation, it felt so good!
Something tells me that I will make a lot of discoveries in young adult literature.