On my first visit to our local library, I was disappointed to only find two of my books on the shelf. Turns out they were CHECKED OUT. Last week they were all back. Here’s hoping that doesn’t last!

I’ve always loved going to the library.

As a kid, Mom would take us to the Upshur County Library that Dad helped make possible as a county commissioner. We’d go in the children’s section and could choose any books we wanted. It was heaven. Except for the part where we weren’t allowed to run wildly up and down the long ramp leading to the second floor. Ah well, even Eden had a snake.

Then there was the high school library and the college library where I thumbed through card catalogs (I know, I’m old) and did all sorts of research for papers I can’t even remember now.

Next was the sweet library in Conway, SC. It was in a historic home with a fireplace in the main room and lots of lovely windows. It’s since been moved into a shiny, new building which is great and all, but I miss the little library house. In Asheville I mostly went to the satellite library not far from our house where I checked out cookbooks just to read them. There was the most wonderful tree out front, and it was a delight to park in the shade while I got distracted by all those books inside.

But, as I spent more time writing and doing my research online, my visits to the library tapered off. I bought the books I wanted to read or downloaded them on my Kindle. And who uses an actual book to do research anymore??

Then, this past January, we moved and our new house is super close to the library. I dutifully went and got my card but didn’t check out even one book on that first trip. Until, one day, my husband asked me to get him a book–Grisham, or Baldacci, or something like that. I went online, added a book to my shopping cart and suddenly it hit me. I could GO TO THE LIBRARY.

And I’ve been going every Monday since. Oh, the joy! Oh, the stillness and peace of a library. The smell of paper and ink. The crinkle of the plastic protecting the hardbacks. The murmur of voices never raised, never strident, always hushed.

And I can choose any books I want.