It’s rare that someone can easily find a free place where they can be surrounded by their favorite hobby and item at the same time. For me, that place is the library. When I walk into a library, I usually feel joyously overwhelmed. The selection of books and genres can engulf even the most avid reader. I try to put blinders on and quickly walk to the shelf neatly packed and labeled with books on hold. I urgently find my last name, but I cannot help but be persuaded by the table of one dollar used books. Some are brand new with crisp spines, some are torn and ragged.
After picking out a book or two to make my own, I am enticed by the elaborate color-coded or themed displays of books to check-out. I pick up books to examine one-by-one. They are covered in crinkly plastic that helps protect the books from any disasters in the homes of the borrowers. Some smell musty or smoky, others smell like freshly cut paper and book glue. There is no doubt that these books have been loved by many people; each person leaving a mark on the book, whether that be a Cheetos stain, a ripped page, or a dog-eared corner. When I finally leave with a stack of books that I will never finish, I feel a sense of accomplishment and adventure. The library is only slightly better than a bookstore because I don’t end up leaving with a fifty dollar or more receipt tucked within the pages of a book, only a receipt of a promise to return the books. When I come back to return the books, the cycle will definitely start all over again. That’s fine by me because the library will always be my favorite place.