Simple Pleasure #1 – Check it out
Not like #1 in my life, but #1 for the blog as I have decided to start highlighting the simple joys and random things that make me happy on the day-to-day.
First up, the library. Sounds extraordinarily simple, doesn’t it? But as the mother of a 3.5 yr old, I am saddened to say this past weekend was the very first trip we’ve taken to a library since my daughter was born. To my credit, libraries in Los Angeles just aren’t the idyllic, quiet refuges I remembered from my youth. They are out of the way for the most part, and filled with homeless people inside and out, and yes, the Romanian mother in me was always paranoid about pedophiles roaming their rows upon rows of books. So we’ve mainly stuck to the kids section of Barnes + Noble over the years, where Little D’s love of reading was able to fluorish, and suck up my pocketbook at the same time.
But now that we’re in suburbia, all has changed. I remember finding such peace and solace in the library as a kid, a teen (we weren’t “tweens” in those days), and again in university. You might remember that I was the “Battle of the Books” team captain, so it was only natural that I loved everything about the place. The smells, the sounds, the sights. Flipping through hundreds of alphabetized index cards to find a title. Sitting at big, thick wooden tables, piles of books surrounding me, looking for just the right topic for my next school project. Checking out the latest fiction du jour, everything from Sweet Valley High to Catcher in the Rye, and loading up my backpack with my finds.
Now there is a library up the road – walking distance, which means a lot when you’re living in Southern California – and from the moment we ventured through its big wide doors on Saturday morning, a simple pleasure smile crossed my face.
The smell of the books.
The sound of the crinkling plastic covers that adorned them.
And most importantly, the sights. Boys, girls, toddlers, tweens, and everything in between. Laying down, sitting up, leaning against the shelves. All of them, reading. Books, magazines, comics. Reading. Not an iPhone, iPad or Nintendo DS in sight.
The seemingly endless entertainment Little D found in pulling her favorite characters off the shelves, inviting them to play on the big, cozy beanbag chairs, and then delighting at the fact that she could bring them home for more was so fulfilling, so inspiring, so…almost enough to make me considering signing up to volunteer there.
For now, I will just be making very good use of the membership card.
Images: Some of my picks for the most beautiful libraries in the world. Even the coolest iPad in the world can’t compare.