Reading Rainbow

ChurchIt makes me sad to see people out walking their dogs in the winter.  Especially in the morning.  It seems like they’re always yanking on the leashes, snapping at the dogs to “hurry up and do it!” so they can get back inside.  I’ve never had a dog, but I think if I ever got one, it would be for love.  And I can’t imagine yelling at something I love telling it to hurry up and go to the bathroom!  Isn’t that a bit rude?  I’ve never potty-trained a child, either, but I know the parenting books clearly state that there is no yelling in potty-training.  I believe these days there isn’t supposed to be much yelling at kids in general.  From my reading it seems like that went out of style.  Good.  People yelling on the phone, the bus, the sidewalk – it’s just too much for me to hear.  In the library, everything is always quiet with that lovely ambient hum underneath, womb-like.  You can hear yourself turn a page, make a note.  It’s a beautiful place, almost like a church, where people commune to learn things and wrap themselves in a story.  I try to never be in the library when there are school classes there – they scream and talk on phones and climb over each other and it just make my heart palpate.  I sit behind the check out desk, sweating, waiting for them all to leave.  No one asks me questions, no one wants to know what I know.  I didn’t get into library science to talk to people, that much should be obvious, but it’s become something I look forward to.  A well-thought out question can illuminate my day, make me think about books and topics I haven’t read about it years.  Someone comes up and asks about Hitler youth camps and I can feel my brain just moving over the question, digesting it, getting ready to spit out titles and authors and years and other related topics to enhance their reading.  Even when the question is about parenting, which I’ve never done, the fact that I can recommend books makes me feel a kinship with these people (mostly mothers) as if I had been through the experience myself.  While I check them out they thank me and smile like we’ve been part of a secret society and I’m initiating them into the ways of the tribe.  And that makes me feel good.  I may not have done a lot of things in my life, but I’ve read about them.  And that feels almost as good as the real thing.

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