So, when I got home from Canada this summer, I had all these little scraps of paper in my backpack on which I had written the names of books I had seen in various bookstores and wanted to one day read. This is something I do often, write down a book on a ridiculously small piece of paper, or on a better day, an index card, then stick it somewhere and forget about it. Somehow it helps to keep me from buying too many books in a bookstore. I still buy too many books, but if all of those little scraps of paper were actually books I’ve bought, at full price, at full CANADIAN price even, then we might be eating beans and rice all fall. (Can you hear my children wondering aloud why we are eating beans and rice anyway?)
Anyway, sometime in the last couple of weeks, I cleaned out my bag and collected many of these little reminders into a pile. I sat down and looked all of these books up on my town library’s website. And out of all of these books, they happened to have three of them. Three. And actually, that is pretty good for my library. The bad thing about my library is that it is small and it doesn’t usually have the books I want. The good thing about my library is that, with the exception of the bank of computers attached to the internet, it doesn’t get that much traffic, so if they happen to have a book I want to read, it is almost always on the shelf. So I wrote down the location of the three books I wanted to check out on an index card, stuck it in my purse and ordered the rest of the books.
So in the next few days I made my way to the library, quickly found People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and Beautiful Boy by David Sheff. But when I went to the spot where the third book should have been, it was missing. Sooo, I looked it up on the computer in the library and lo and behold, it was CHECKED OUT. How is it possible that in the time between when I had looked it up at home and when I actually made it to the library, someone else in my town actually wanted to read The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway? This may not be baffling to you if you live somewhere else besides North Little Rock, but to me, it was. Baffling. And irritating. Mainly because at this point I thought that it would be a miracle if I could somehow remember to look again in a month for this little gem of a book.
But I consoled myself with my two finds (and with more books coming in the mail), so I checked out my books and went home.
Then, later that same week, I was sitting in my favorite camp chair next to my friend Sarabeth, watching our sons play soccer. Ben and WIll are on the same team, and it is pretty great to watch them. However, it is not as funny as it used to be because their coach has finally (after two seasons) figured out that he cannot play them at the same time. This is true for a couple of reasons, one, that they get in trouble on the sidelines together when they are off the field, and two, because their clown act that they have going is just a little too tempting when they are on the field. Sometimes when they are out together, the soccer ball takes a back seat to some crazy joke they are sharing. Or a crazy dance. Ben is a big fan of a crazy field dance. The positive attention for this behavior far exceeds the little scolding he might receive from his coach, and so he persists.
But I digress. So there I am sitting with my friend who carries around with her a bag that is somewhat large for an outing to the soccer field. And then out of this monstrosity she pulls out her library book, as she says, I’ve been reading this great book that I think you would like. And…you guessed it. Seriously. The only other person in North Little Rock who would have checked out the book I wanted is sitting right next to me. She probably had it with her in that big striped bag of hers the last time she came to my house.
The good news is that she is a fast reader.
I now have the book in my possession. And it is a rainy, stay inside and read a book kind of day.