Borrowers

There’s a few books I’m working on reading right now (you can find my year-round reading list here). Whether you’re thinking about reading, have titles on your bookshelf waiting to be read, or are currently reading the same books, let’s cheer each other on?

Kevin DeYoung – The Hole in Our Holiness
Thomas Merton – The Seven Storey Mountain
Boris Kachka – Hothouse
Emily Freeman – Grace for the Good Girl

When I made a return visit this past November, one of the stops I made was to my childhood library branch. This particular library branch was convenient (right up the block and around the corner from where I lived), inviting (I never caused a ruckus and was never asked to leave), and familiar (everything had its place and it functioned as it should). It was as I remembered it: the same entrance way, the same bathrooms, I even recognized one of the librarians. There were a few changes, such as the paint color, and the automated book return, but it was sheer nostalgia to stand there again and revive a physical connection to place.

Growing up with an extensive library system at my disposal is probably one of the reasons why I insist on borrowing books. I reserved purchases for books I’d already read and decidedly loved. As a borrower, I tapped into a system of lenders and a theoretically infinite number of other people with a library card, all of us trusting that a book will be available in due time and in relatively good shape. Plus, it’s a form of recycling.

These days, however, I’m finding that I want to own books. In a pile on my desk. Unread ones. I no longer live within walking distance from the library. I can’t seem to finish the ones I borrow within the allotted time. I can’t find the books I want to read in the library catalog, at all. Seeing the physical copies of the books would serve as a reminder that words wait to be read. I might build up a beautiful library. Is it worth it?

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