Hi, my name is Leigh and I'm a Bookoholic*. I would not be here today if it were not for my friend, the library.
We've always had a grand relationship. I remember signing up for my first library card when I was 9 years old. We'd lived in an unincorporated town previously so I'd never been able to check books out before. This was a brand new world!
I loved the Wheaton Public Library. The children's section, where I began, was huge. I devoured Ramona Quimby, horse books galore, and Nancy Drew mysteries. In no time, I graduated to the teen section, inhaling Canby Hall, Sweet Valley High, and anything by Caroline B. Cooney I could find.
Between the library and the stellar English teachers I encountered in high school, my reading tastes grew up. I still love a good fluff book but I now appreciate well-written prose and the occasional classic.
Aside from my goal of reading 100 books this year, I've averaged 65-80 books a year the last few years. You see, I love me a good book or three. There's no way I could ever afford to buy all the books I want to read, which is why the library is an ideal companion.
Incidentally, WPL has been one of the top 10 libraries in the country for many years. An enormous collection. Something for everyone. It has perhaps ruined me for all other libraries.
The library here was another adjustment. Urban libraries are different, in general. Instead of going to the big library downtown, where there is a larger collection, I head to the branch that's several blocks from my house. Now instead of browsing the stacks, I reserve books on-line and have them sent to my local branch. It makes me glad that I've had a To Read list for so long. I miss wandering around, looking for titles or authors I recognize. I can still do that at the local branch but it's on a much smaller scale. I think that WPL's new titles take up as much space as the fiction area in this local branch. It's a new way of doing things.
And as long as they continue to feed my addiction, I'm fine with that.
*This term is not meant to be disrespectful in any way to those who deal with very real addictions. Obsession might be a better term than addiction when it comes to my love of books. But Book Stalker just doesn't have the same ring to it. My apologies if Bookoholic rubs anyone the wrong way.