Friday, January 27, 2006

Field of Blood


I just finished reading my first library book (Ash & Bone by John Harvey) and it was wonderful. I've moved on to my second, Field of Blood by Denise Mina and so far, so good. And I did a little cross-referencing between Amazon, Amazon.co.uk and the library, and it turns out that they have most of the books I'm going to want this spring and summer(John Harvey, Denise Mina, Declan Hughes, and Sarah Waters). Even the American editions of books that come out first in the UK are showing up here fast. And one Irish novel will be published here before it comes out there. My favorite bank teller told me today that I can get library cards from some of the neighboring suburban library systems, too. I know this must sound silly but this library thing is fantastic. I've spent the past decade and a half buying books and now I'm just borrowing them. This reminds me of when I first got glasses, how I was amazed at how much there was to see that I had been missing.

Its also been very liberating to read books in hard cover without worrying about soiling them. Not that I am reckless with the library copies but if I happen to be reading a crisp, new first edition of something, I have to be very careful to keep it in the best condition possible. Which means I can't read it with lunch or sometimes can't take it out of the house or carry it in my bag. I can do those things with library books. I have a friend who sometimes passes along hard covers and I get them same thrill reading them. Sometimes I'll find traces of a meal splashed on the corner of a page and be bowled over by the sight of it. For the record, I at sushi and a sandwich while reading my first library book and didn't soil it at all.

Tomorrow I will return my first book to the library and look around for a bit. I will have to go to a branch library (in West End) because the Mayor is having a meeting in the main public library and that sounds like too much of a hassle.

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