I am the first to admit that Mondays were not always my favorite day of the week. It has to do with the monotony of day after day, week after week, year after year. The weekend was over, the fun was over. Until I found my home working in a library. I can’t get over how much difference it makes getting up on Monday to do something that you are passionate about. It changes everything.
I miss that routine now, and the anticipation I had of going to work. It is more than just a pay check. I’ve never made a lot of money, I have simple needs. My energy went into raising my children, but all that changed when I discovered doing something that I love and that I am exceptional at. I discovered that I am exceptional when I am in a library. It brings out the very best in me and I can’t help it. Books inspire me, challenge me, invigorate me and I think librarians have one of the best jobs on the planet. We get to work with people all day who come in to our domain searching for the written word.
Working with the public has it’s challenges everywhere but it is hard to maintain a bad mood when in a library. Seeing happy little faces beaming at their stacks of treasures stacked on the circulation desk. A mom limp with relief that she found the dvd for the babysitter on date night. A soon to be mom finding a copy of “100,000 Baby Names” and a teenager and parent fighting over the last copy of “The Hunger Games”.
Libraries are about anticipation. Delicious, seductive, welcoming and nurturing all at the same time. They are about discovering things that you never knew about yourself, about your world, about life. Walking into a library is like opening a giant treasure box. Riches beyond belief. Embrace and hug your library (or librarian), they are more precious than gold, then check out a book.
Edith Wharton’s book left me very melancholy, and it’s no irony that it’s titled “House of Mirth”. Ms. Wharton’s writing reminded me of a cynical Jane Austen. Her prose was amazing and I was in awe of her writing. This book stretched me and left me wanting for more. Lily Bart is her beautiful tragic heroine, full of self-doubt when all that she is brought up to believe fails her. She is expected to make a brilliant marriage but instead makes a series of fatal mistakes within the rigid social prison subscribed by the upper crust of New York society. Her story is also complicated by her falling in love with a penniless, male friend. Ms. Wharton doesn’t think highly of the rules that women were governed by, nor by men for that matter. I have read that she herself suffered in a miserable marriage. This novel is about the high price women pay in marrying for material comfort or the alternative. There really isn’t much of an alternative. Amazing writer!!