I love goodreads, probably because I’m an obsessive list maker. Goodreads lets you keep track of books you’ve read, want to read, and are currently reading. (I can even scan book bar codes from my iPhone to add to my lists thanks to their app!) This was the first year that I’ve kept track of all the books I’ve read and my total count is 41 this year! I’m a little bit proud. I’ll try to finish four more before the end of December and make it an even 45.
Rediscovering the San Francisco Public Library had a lot to do with the number of books I devoured. Until this year, I hadn’t visited a library since college. I forgot how libraries open my heart wide with the possibility. The smell, the beautiful architecture, the plastic covers on the hard backs, the wooden slab tables with green Banker’s Lamps at each seat. When we moved this summer, we moved within walking distance to our neighborhood branch. I had no more excuses. I’d dragged my feet about getting a library card because I was happy to support our local bookstores. We have at least five in walking distance. One of things I love most about San Francisco is the number of independent bookstores there are.
There was a problem though. Every once in a while I’d buy a book that looked great at the outset, only to find out 100 pages in that I wasn’t really going to love this one. Since I’d bought it, I would dutifully press on making myself read page after page. Eventually I’d stay away from reading altogether to avoid the drudgery of slogging through a book that just wasn’t for me. The only reward was the relief of being done with it.
I discovered a beautiful thing when I started visiting my library. I don’t have to read books I don’t like. After I’ve given a book a fair chance I can slip it through the book return slot without an ounce of guilt. I can also request books from any library in the system – some 2.2 million books – and have them put on hold and delivered to my local branch. ALL FOR FREE. Unbelievable.
Ink and paper books make my heart beat faster. Whenever I check out a book from the library that I absolutely love, I’ll buy it to add to my bookshelf at home.