Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How are You Classified?

Ok... I'll say it. And I know it's not going to be politically correct in this age of technology. But this isn't about being politically correct. It's about honoring my friend Arlene because it was her birthday yesterday - and she is the only other person I know that can fully relate to this. So.......

I love libraries.

Not in the normal way people love libraries. I mean...I love the smell of the books and the shushed way librarians communicate just as much as the next bookworm. And, of course, the calming feeling I get when I stroll the aisles of books is important to me too. But that's now how I love them.

I LOVE how they are so orderly. That the DDC (that's Dewey Decimal System for you haters) gives every book it's own special spot in that giant building. I just imagine how cozy the books must feel...all cuddled together waiting to be picked by some reader. *sigh*

I ADORE the little cards that aren't to be removed by anyone but the chosen few. The counter ladies - if you will. The *gasp* librarians! I've always thought librarians were some of the luckiest people on earth. They get to spend ALL DAY around books. They can rearrange them...read them...help others find them. If I weren't such a loud mouth, I might have actually studied to be a librarian. But we all know I would have been in big trouble.

My love for libraries started at a young age. My grandmother took me to the library with her ALL the time. And, as I've said before, I come from a long line of readers. I also volunteered in the library in elementary school. That's when I learned the inner workings of the library world.  But I didn't really stop there....some might say I took it a bit far when I decided I could be my very own librarian.

After taking a complete inventory of all the books I had in my home collection, from Little Golden Books to Judy Blume, I concluded that if anyone (i.e. my brother who didn't care a FLIP about reading) wanted to read one of my books, they'd have to follow the protocol.

I carefully made sleeves for my checkout cards and strategically placed them in each book. I slowly alphabetized by author and added their call number. I didn't really have many different categories, so that made using the DDC a bit difficult, but I managed. I mean...you can't file Helen Keller next to Willa Wonka for Heaven's sake!

This went on for a couple years. I'm sure this may be a shock to those of you who knew me back then. I mean.....if you never asked to borrow a book, then you never got to experience my home library. In retrospect, it would have made more sense to do a bit of marketing for it. But at the time, it was really just the love of the books and the process that kept me content.

Now I look back and laugh just as I'm sure you have been laughing.....but I still get the urge to help put away books when I go to a library. And I always want to shuffle those cards they insist on using despite the technological advances that allow them to keep track of the books checked out. It's almost compelling, but somehow I stop myself.

I bet you wonder if I still do it, don't you? Well, I don't. I love my Kindle...and I love my books on the shelves. But I don't keep them in any specific order.  I lost that desire when I fell in love with newsletters................  But that's another story...


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