Library Card

Today I finally got around to an errand that I have been putting off for a little while. After work and finishing reading a book [1], I found it was still early enough to get to the library (not knowing what time they were closed, but assuming it was after 4:30PM, when I finally got around to it) after doing my weekly grocery shopping. It is little surprise that I am someone who greatly enjoys libraries, seeing them as a place where good books, and free books, are stored for my reading enjoyment, especially as I like reading often obscure books that may be found at a library that would be expensive and unprofitable for me to acquire for myself [2].

The nearest library to where I live is the Beaverton City Library at Murray Shoals. As far as libraries go, it is not a very conspicuous one, being nestled in the corner of a shopping center and being rather unprepossessing from the outside, and not particularly large either by the standards of libraries that I am used to. Nevertheless, I was finally able to get around to it and to sign up for my Washington County library card and listen to the librarian there comment on how each of the branches was like a standalone library that nonetheless cooperates with the others in the county. And so today I ended up with my third library card during my time in Oregon so far, after having first gotten a Clackamas County library card and then after that gotten one for Multnomah County. I only need to get one for Yamhill, Clark, Columbia, and Skamania Counties to complete my set for the Portland metropolitian area as a whole, although that might be a bit too ambitious and would require a lot more moving around than I want to contemplate at this point.

One can generally get the feel of a library pretty quickly. From what I could see, that particular library was full of families with small children, and not wishing to overstay my welcome at the library, I decided to quickly return home and look up some books to get. As might be expected for someone who is fond of Young Adult dystopian literature [3], I finally got around to putting a hold on the e-book for Divergent, given that only about four hundred people have holds on the physical copy of the book. That sounds like a future weekend reading project for me, since only three people had a hold on the e-book. I also put a few holds on what looked like worthwhile history books as well, which should provide for some interesting and provocative readings on the American Civil War and American Revolution for future serious book reviews.

My trip today, as brief as it was, was a reminder to me that libraries are inviting in different ways for different contexts. Some libraries are designed with great architectural beauty, or massive collections of books, and others are clean and spare with contemporary touches and large numbers of computers, while others are warrens of short roofs and short bookstacks catering to children. There are all kinds of people who go to libraries for all kinds of reasons. Having spent a fair amount of my life in libraries of various kinds, I know what kind of libraries appeal to me, ones with private reading rooms or quiet and comfy chairs or couches and large collections of books on history and philosophy and drama and great literature and other related subjects of interest, but I also understand that not everyone may share my tastes. Still, it’s nice to explore every once in a while, especially now that I have a reason to stop in there at least briefly after work to pick up books for my reading list, as if I don’t have enough books to read already.


[2] See, for example:

[3] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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