The scent. Always the scent for me, of books and books and books, stacks of books, rows of books, piles of books, old books and new books, fiction and non. Breathing in deeply and feeling so at home among the dusty, papery smell of all the books.
The muted busyness of the library. The quiet calm of yesterday's libraries long passed. The murmur of conversation, the click of computer keys, the beep of the computer scanner, the laughter of children.
Overhearing the conversations: "Have we seen this one? I think we've seen this one." "Can I get another, Mommy? Just one more?" "That's his latest one. Did you read the one before?" "We don't have it but can get it from the main library." "If you like the Weepies, you'll like this one."
My books on hold, treasure just for me, I quickly find, and move to the shelves that always have the newest books, then to the stacks by letter, looking for this favorite author, that favorite author, always searching for that new book I can't resist.
Shelves of books, chaotic rainbows of book spines, hypnotizing me as I walk up and down, looking for the book I seek. So many books I've read and so many yet to go.
My library card in hand, burning like a credit card with no limit, and I am so tempted by all the books, the many many books, that I reign in my need to just check them all out--I can't carry them all.
A long line waiting to be checked out by a very-black-haired, many-pierced, way funky librarian, not named Marion, but Josh.
Finally my turn with my precious pile of books. Josh lets me know I owe $4 in overdue fines from my last fix.
A small price to pay.