The Horrible Unreasoning Fear That THIS Would Happen

Posted on 10/02/2012 by

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I have reached the rather odd point in my life where I now buy books rather than borrowing from somewhere to read first. I’m not sure why this is odd. Perhaps it’s not. Perhaps everyone does that.

But I used to live with a book courier (a.k.a librarian-mother-who-would-bring-me-books) and spend a rather obscene amount of time in school libraries. I went to eleven different schools over the course of ten years. (Which, incidentally, is an interesting way to get an education. To my endless frustration I ended up studying modern war on three separate occasions and never ancient history  — with which I was fascinated. My sister on the other hand hit ancient history several times. I’m not sure what gap in her education this caused, but at least I could borrow her books. And there was that one time I switched schools at just the right moment and was able to hand an assignment I’d written for one teacher to my new one, with no one the wiser.)

The truly brilliant thing about changing schools so much was the fact that every time there was a new library. And I’d go through it in about a year and be all ‘next please’. I don’t think the fact that I ran out of things to read had anything to do with the regularity with which I changed schools, but at the time I certainly would have found it a valid reason.

The thing is, I’ve graduated now, leaving behind even my tertiary libraries (four schools in eleven years — good god). Tertiary libraries are delightful, delightful things that I never come close to reading my way completely through. But I graduated. I did. I remember it clearly. And I’m not going back any time soon. So. I don’t… have a library.

Before you ask, yes, I understand about public libraries. I’ve been to a number of them. They seem perfectly charming. But, you see, you have to go there. When you’re at school, in one way or another, they’re just about. And if you’re me, the books sort of lure you in like the smell of freshly baked bread.

Now the closest library is my house, and I’ve read all the books. Actually, that’s a filthy lie. But the only reason I haven’t is because I keep buying them. So I have this fear, that this is going to happen:

Photograph of a wall that has broken open ostensibly under the weight of a pile of books

Posted in: Kandace