I've been lots of places, and I feel grateful and lucky for that. But one of my very favorite places in the whole wide world is not faraway or fancy, and I feel grateful and lucky for that too! It can be found almost everywhere and it's FREE!! It's the library!
I've always loved the library. I remember my mom taking me to the "little library" down the street from my house. I mostly remember doing puzzles there. When we moved, we ended up getting a bigger library!
One of the first things I did when I got here was to get a base library card. I was so excited to see that the library here has a McNaughton collection. The library at Kadena had this collection (newer books) but then lost the grant/funding for it, so there was this big chunk of empty shelves that practically shouted (or whispered very loudly, it's a library after all) "Remember that best-seller with the pretty shiny cover that you wanted to read? It's not here anymore!! Go pick one of the old stinky books."
Today, I went to the library to return a book (House of Mirth, Edith Wharton) and print something out (boarding pass to Dublin) and ended up spending nearly an hour browsing. That's one problem with the library. It's very hard to "just run in to return a book". Because, you see, there are hundreds...no, probably THOUSANDS of other books whispering, "I'm good. Pick me. Take me home." Almost like puppies in a pet shop! The other problem with the library is that it's very hard to choose a book. That's why I normally choose 2 or 3. There's not a limit at this library...I could check out 63 books if I wanted to---but I wouldn't be able to read them all within 3 weeks. And when I renew too many times, I feel like I'm being judged.
So today I saw a whole bunch of books that I would like to read, and I didn't have a little notebook with me to write down the titles. So now I'm sad! This library doesn't have tiny pencils and index cards or paper scraps near the "card catalog" computers, so I had to try and remember which books were interesting (I only checked out two today...I already have 2 Ireland travel guide books checked out from the other base's library.) I've already forgotten...which means that next time I go to the library, I'll be there at least an hour perusing and choosing. Good thing it's one of my very favorite places!