Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rapacious Reader

The local library system limits new cardholders for the first three months to no more than 5 hold requests at a time, and 5 books out at a time; and they charge $5 per interlibrary loan. This made me entirely crazy for a few days. What, I can't get on the waiting list for all the new books which have been ordered, so as to insure a future flow? I can't even start waiting for the sixth title I want until November???? My former colleagues would fall on the floor laughing if they knew—I'm famous as an addict of the new. For a while I was so distracted by these limitations that couldn't find anything I wanted to read, notwithstanding that I continue clipping along at the rate of about one mystery per day. I complained to a friend on the phone. The apartment has a TV, so she suggested I join Netflix. "I want to read BOOKS," I wailed.

Things are better now. M. has loaned me an armload of her NW and Washingtoniana books, and is going to place holds in her name on a small flock of new fiction which the library has ordered. I bought a little pile of paperbacks at the Goodwill, for insurance. I go to the library every day and cruise the new books shelf for what may have come back in just now. And I discovered that despite having ignored him all this time, Henning Mankell serves perfectly well as 'acceptable material', which is what my old friend Phil used to say of anything which wasn't first choice but kept the reading-greed demons at bay. The library has a dozen or so Mankell titles, a mental TBR pile lined up for whenever I otherwise run out of Story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good grief, Miriam.