About a month after moving to DC, I discovered that one of its public libraries was down the street from our apartment. DOWN THE STREET! I couldn’t have been happier, and neither could Matt – I could no longer try to excuse why we owe $15 in late fees every month.
I have always loveddddd libraries. Some of my favorite memories of my childhood took place there - spending afternoons there with my mom, going to reading groups, lounging in the comfy chairs browsing through the stacks of books and magazines we grabbed from various aisles. She’d always let me check out a ridiculous number of books and Snoopy movies, knowing the entire time that I wouldn’t be able to make a dent in the pile before we had to return them. She was also friends with everyone at the library, which at times could be a bit annoying when my wide-leg-jean-wearing self just wanted to go home and eat dinner, but it also made the library an even warmer, welcoming experience. They also would search every corner of the library to find the book or CD I just “had” to have right then and there.
DC libraries are a bit different. I never see the same librarian twice, and most of the time the rooms are filled with grungy (nice word for homeless) people on Facebook. But what they lack in warmth they make up for in aesthetics. The architecture and design of most them are just gorgeous. Cue DCcool.com plug: we actually profiled DC libraries in our “Architecture Centerfolds” article. (I know, great title, right?!) I am already the slowest person in the world when I’m in a library, and that’s just looking at books. Think of how annoying I am when I also spend a good 30 minutes just taking in my surroundings. Like the grocery store, it’s a trip I best make alone, if I want to keep any of my friends/husband.
Anyways, my point is that I have been reading my little eyes out and I need more book suggestions! Here are some of my favorite books I’ve read recently, and the one I currently have my nose in:
Where’d You Go Bernadette: I just LOVED this book. It was kind of hard to follow at first, since the entire story is told via letters, emails, notes and other traces, but once it clicked it was quite the hilarious journey. I want to be best friends with Bernadette.
Life After Life: Again, this book was a bit tough to get into at first as every chapter seemed to start a new “life.” Basically, the main character is born over and over again, but through her various lives and experiences she begins to realize that she is more in control of her fate than she realizes. A few “lives” were a bit too detailed and long-winded for me (I am notorious for skipping over paragraphs with details I know are not imperative to the story line. I know, shame on me. But seriously, get to the point!) but all in all, a fascinating way to tell a story.
A Fault in Our Stars: Oh my gosh, can I even write about this book without having a complete cry fest? PEOPLE. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK, GO AND GET IT RIGHT THIS INSTANT. Yes, it is depressing. But it is so sad because it is so beautiful. And funny. And heartbreaking. But heartwarming. Gah…I heart Augustus Waters 4Life.
The Catcher in the Rye: Ah, my very favorite book in high school found its way into my library bag a couple weeks ago, when the book I put on hold wasn’t ready yet. It has been so long since I’ve read it and has been on my “re-read” list for ages. So when it caught my eye while perusing the fiction shelves, I felt like it was fate. I just finished it last night and boy, old Holden just kills me. He really does.
Me Before You: This was the book I was waiting for while I picked up the Catcher in the Rye. So, imagine my surprise when the very next day I received a notification from the library that it was indeed ready for me to pick up. And then imagine my surprise again when I picked it up from the library and noticed how ridiculously large the print was on the back cover. I thought it was a bit strange as I walked over to the check-out desk, but was just so excited to finally get this novel – which I’ve heard was excellent – in my grubby hands as quickly as I did. As I walked out of the library, I wondered why it was available as soon as it was – I mean, I swear there was a long wait for it. So I cracked it open to make sure I didn’t do what I thought I did…
Yep. I reserved the frigging large print version, people. It seriously has 30 lines per page and is as heavy as a brick. But since I would have to wait another month to get the regular version, I’m going to be reading this every night, at arm’s length.
(No joke, I just got another email from the library, telling me that “Labor Day, L.P.” is ready for pick-up. Apparently, the “large print” option on its website isn’t large enough for me to take into consideration as I’m going click happy reserving books.)
What are you reading now, and/or what are past reads you’d recommend? I need to build up my summer reading list!