Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Libraries. Don't let them wither and die.

While in nicely paid employment, I would happily wander into Borders or Waterstones* and hand over the readies for whatever book had the nicest cover that week. I'm no literate genius, so buying a book based on its cover always seemed as good a way as any.

The book could turn out to be terrible; that's six quid wasted.

Now I am slacking, the library has revealed all its amazing charms to me.

Free books! And loads of them! And I helped pay for them with my taxes! And it doesn't matter if the books I get out are rubbish, I've not lost anything.

I am dumbfounded that it's taken so long to appreciate the vault of knowledge that is provided by our council.

My Bookshop Anxiety is now manageable. Whenever I go into a bookshop, I feel anxious. There is so much to read. How can I possibly choose whether to buy a World War history book, a trashy novel, a book about Quantum physics, or the biography of Lance Armstrong? So much knowledge, so little time (and money).

In the library, I can at least go towards solving the anxiety a little.

*incidentally, once upon a time, this would have been WHSmiths. Remember them? Alas, the big chains took over. I remember the first time I went into a Waterstones when growing up in Stockport. All that cool black shelving and red carpet. Mmmm. And then came Borders. Coffee, in the book shop. Magazines to read. The only thing I might go into WHSmiths for now is a special kind of pen, maybe.

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