Thursday, January 20, 2011

Girl, you is fine(d)!

Brace yourselves for a Nerd Alert*, everyone…
I love the library!  LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Now, to be fair, it’s true that I also love me a bookstore.  I can spend hours and hours meandering, perusing and caffeining in any book store, big or small, and have exactly zero qualms about copping a squat and flick-flick-flicking through pretty pages of stacks and stacks of books.  Do I care if the Barnes & Noble people give me the stink eye?  No, I do not.
My love affair with books started early, as did my love affair with the library.  I remember my Mom taking me to Atwater Village Library in kindergarten to see Officer Bird (“Say Nope to Dope and Ugh to Drugs!”) and get my very first library card which I was able to keep in my plastic Charlie’s Angels wallet.  (Can you even handle the sass, you guys?  I DIDN’T THINK SO!)  I loved having that card!  Then, at Holy Trinity, they used to walk all of us over to that library all decked out in our plaids once a month or so and let us get books.  When I wasn’t trying to finagle a way** to order various Judy Blume books or that badass “Just Hang in There!” cat poster from Scholastic (you know you wanted it, too.  DO NOT EVEN LIE.), I was focused and systematic in stockpiling the books nobody would buy for little old me from the library.  I knew we could take 4 out at a time and usually had a running list ready.  What still amazes me is how I got out of there with half of the books I did.  There were the basics, naturally…I would have my Quimby girls or SuperFudge, sure.  But peppered in there, always, was one that I knew I shouldn’t even be allowed to pick up.  Should a third grader be able to check out and read Go Ask Alice?  The answer is no.  But I sure did.  And nary a nun or a librarian or MY MOTHER noticed that I was basically reading my way through any smutty books with provocative covers that promised French kissing, people doing IT, drugs and the eff word.  WAY TO LOOK ALIVE, YOU GUYS!  
Anyway, me and the library system?  We broke up for a long, long time.  Aside from donating books during my annual literature purge, I didn’t set foot in to one.  I spent years happily buying any and every book my little heart desired,  and it seemed that every week I’d get either a box of books or a case of wine delivered to my office.  (Ah, the good old pre-recession days…how I miss thee!)  But it got so I just didn’t have room for my book obsession.  And, to be honest, it was sort of frivolous.  So a few years ago, I traipsed over to my adorable local library on the bay and got me a new card.  And can you even believe now with all of this new fangled technology*** all you have to do is go online and you can reserve almost any book you want and the library people will send it to your local library and send you an email and then you can get it?  Well, believe it!
So the problem here is that I am a madwoman with the reserving.  Totally kookoopants.  I'm a word addict and I read anything I can get my hands on.  I read a review or see something on TV and I immediately log in all frantic because I like to be one of the first people to get my grubby mitts on the fresh words as soon as they’re available.  I’m totally competitive and crazy:
bacibug: “ ‘Request confirmed’, it says!  ‘Number two on the list for one of the five copies’! Hell yeah, bitches!  Jealous?!!!!!”
empty house: “……..”
And also?  You can check out up to 25 books at one time.  25, America!  I’m like a fiend.  I go bonkers reserving the books and then they all come in at the same time so I skip and tra la la the two blocks to my library and haul all of my loot home.  And then I can’t get through it all.  And the pretty piles? They start to stress me out.  This week, the library got mad at me because I kept Franzen’s Freedom (PS: that guys sure does like to write about poo.  Hey, how about about you lay off the scat talk in your next novel, sir.  Take a break from the gross.)  for wayyyyyy too long and there was a waiting list for it. I finally returned it yesterday and had to pay them**** $5.60. Dang!  I also have an enabler.  I get to constantly scheme with one of my best sister-friends, Beth, about which books are next on our respective (she's lucky she's in Murrietta. I don't need the "reserve list" competition out here.  Obviously.) library acquisition.  You know how it is, internet...nerds of a feather, etc.
I totally judge a book by it's cover.
I also love borrowing the brand new cookbooks to devour!  I reserve those suckers as soon as I can.  I have a pretty severe cookbook obsession and love to pour over them, so this is ideal for me.  I think I’m whittled down to about 50 in my personal collection, I use about 6 consistently, and adore bringing home the new releases as an excuse to knock around in the kitchen.  Right now I’m obsessed with Hesser’s new updated The Essential New York Times Cookbook*****.   This thing is dead serious and almost 950 pages.  It’s a compilation of all sorts of crazy timelines from recipes published in the days of yore, loads of old school dishes modernized and tons of tried and true recent recipes.  It’s like a textbook (not very many shiny pictures…wah wah wah waaaahhhhhh.) and it’s totally one for the collection.  
The hardest part is deciding what to cook first.  It's looking like the short ribs!  Or the Croque Monsieur!  Either way, I better step on it already before the Bayshore Library comes after me.

*As if anyone would be surprised.  I also had like 54728 pen pals.  NERRRRR-HUUUUURRRD!
**=Crying hysterically.
***Yes, I’m aware that there is even newer fandangled technology, ok?  I’m just not ready for a Kindle.
****I get mad when I have to pay for certain things: parking, library book fines and new tires.  I know it makes no sense…it just is what it is.
*****I’m sure I’m the first person to have checked it out, which I find totally exciting!  See above: nerd.


  1. 1. You're adorable.
    2. My mom actually MADE me read "Go Ask Alice."
    3. Did you see the Ramona movie?
    4. I had NO idea I could check out 25 books! I just forced myself to return all my borrowed books and read the books I own. I'm on borrowed time (10 weeks til baby is due!), so I gotta clear out the clutter!!
    5. You're seriously adorable. Totally wish I lived near you so I could eat your cooking :)

  2. 1. YOU are adorable, Leslie Broussard!
    2. My Mom made me watch The Exorcist...scared straight!
    3. No, not yet! But it's on the agenda.
    I love your book reading worth it! I did 1 book/week a few years ago and that was really fun.
    4. I wish you did, too. Love reading your stuff...keep it up!

  3. The first book I ever checked out of the library was Lyle, Lyle, Crockodile. I LOVED going to the public library as a kid. LOVED IT.

  4. Lyle, Lyle, Crockodile? And just when I thought I couldn't love you more, Bri!