May 30, 2013
Though I wouldn’t be so bold to speak for every librarian in existence, I would be brave enough to assume that most of them have an essential love of reading, learning, or at least media. This is the reason that the Library works to bring such a breadth of opportunity to its patrons, ranging from the items available through our lending system to the Summer Reading Program aimed at maintaining learning in children during school break. However, sometimes things come up in our lives that keep us from what we love most.
One of my first loves was reading. Ever since I was a child, I burned with the desire to devour all the pages that I could get my hands on. For the last three years, however, I have found myself more and more distanced from the books that I want to read. This is not to say that I haven’t been reading; I just finished my Bachelor’s degree, which required me to average 30-40 books per semester. I just haven’t been able to read the mainstream novels that I want to read.
On the one hand, this is a good thing. It pushes me outside of my comfort zone and instills a familiarity in subjects I wouldn’t otherwise be an authority on. However, at the same time, there is also a benefit to following the mainstream readership. After all, once a book permeates the public consciousness, small elements in even the basic conversation between people allude to instances in these books. Not to mention, as a library worker, it’s my job to know what’s trending. Though there are other methods for knowing what’s hot and practices that keep me in the know about what to suggest to readers, there is a stark difference between having first-hand experience with items and just relaying general consensus. It’s the difference between being able to say that I personally loved the sarcastic humor of a particular narrator and only being able to say that I’ve heard a book has an element of pragmatism that you either love or hate.
However, I’ve recently passed into a state where I can again read for pleasure. I reinitiated myself with Darkfever by Karen Moning, the first book in a series that I absolutely loved. I needed something lighthearted and completely frivolous. Otherwise, I felt like I might never have been able to remember why I love books so much. In all honesty, over the last three years, I had developed a specific mentality for approaching books, a blend of critical analysis and emotional dread. I needed something that fell apart in my hands, something that I could enjoy without picking to pieces. The book gave me the happy ending fantasy that I so craved, but more importantly, it was the first step into the world of mainstream books from which I had become disenfranchised. Reentering the fantastic world of mainstream fiction feels so much like coming home, but that makes sense – the Library is where a librarian belongs.
Oak Grove Branch