Friday, March 17, 2006

Library and What You Read

I've been trying to cut down on my book purchases these days. It's part of the "Grand Plan" to save money. (Reaching 30, and I haven't really set aside my retirement fund.)

So I've been going to the library, which is a little inconvenient as NLB is hardly up to date on the latest titles.

But it helps me save - and as a friend reminds me, it's better for the environment; The irony for this little bookseller.

You get a little receipt of your book loans, printed on filmsy thermal paper. I keep the receipt religiously, so that I do not forget the due dates for my library books. But before I return the books, I make it a point (just as religiously) of disposing the receipt.

I don't like the idea of leaving information of my name and the books I've borrowed in the books that do not belong to me. I don't know why. Yet I do enjoy finding the little receipt between the pages from the previous person. I alway read the list they have checked out - this person who just borrowed the same book I am interested in - what else do they read?

I believe what you read reveals much about you. Perhaps that is why I do not enjoy revealing my library loans to strangers. (And apparently in the US, the FBI is able to access the library records of US citizens - all for the sake of the Homeland Security, of course. It is naive to believe we have actually made any progress in freedom through the centuries.)

I once saw this slip between the pages of a serious literary title. It belonged to a female. Her receipt shows she also checked out a few titles from Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series. I was amused - but oddly respectful of her choices. A few friends have cried out, after reading the Shopaholic novels - "This is the story of my life!"

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