SORTING THROUGH MY COMMONPLACE BOOK

A paper pack rat with files and files filled with tidbits from books, magazines, television shows.  Periodically I read through and see if my perspective has changed.  I am a magpie for words, phrases, one liners.   Today I read this handwritten, in pencil, note found in the Supplement to the Toronto Star….The City….page 4. Volume 2, Number 14 but it is not dated.  it was however written by Martin O’Malley.

When he goes into a library, he gets rattled.  The books rattle him, the librarians rattle him.  Acres of books overwhelm him.  Books I could never read in a lifetime.  But its more than the futility that overwhelms and inhibits.  Ribald advice from a colleague:  “Two things in life one must never do out of a sense of duty and one is read.”

That little piece spoke to me because I have never entered a library without feeling sick to my stomach, anxiety rises and my guts roil and suddenly I need to leave as quickly as I can.  I have never been able to relax and wander and spend a lot of time searching and choosing.  Overwhelmed by choice I cannot choose.  If I go in with a list and ignore everything that is not on the list…I can deal.  The other problem with libraries is my need to possess what I read.  If I read something and enjoy it, I want to read it again.  I want to own it.  I want it close at hand, available at a moment’s notice to read again.   I won’t go into what twigs my interest in a book but I have not joined Amazon Prime for lots of cheap or free books.  I don’t gather/collect books just because I can.  I do love it if I go to buy a book and find it is on sale or very cheap but I don’t buy books just  because it is part of a bunch offered for .99 cents.  I love looking at pictures of libraries.  The big fancy ones, the tiny personal ones but it has been years since I have entered one.

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