Stephanie Burgis
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Little miracles
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Yesterday Patrick and I made a discovery that felt like a miracle: we found a really good public library only 10 minutes' drive from our house! This probably doesn't sound like a miracle to most of my readers - it certainly wouldn't have to me until I moved to Leeds - but for the past 5 years, I've lived without a decent public library. ("Decent" being defined solely based on my personal tastes, of course - the Leeds Central Library has fantastic nonfiction sections of all sorts and an excellent collection of British chicklit. But since I'm a fiction-lover who can only take so much chicklit in my reading diet - and I really overdosed in my first year as a Leeds library patron - I've had multiple experiences of walking in after months away, desperate to find something - anything! - to read, and then walking out empty-handed and defeated after an hour's search.) And since I'm a book fiend who is on a very, very tight financial budget...well, discovering the Morley public library, right next door to us, was amazing. I walked inside, saw the YA and SF/fantasy sections right by the door, and my jaw dropped open.

I spent the next 20 minutes snatching up books after books - books I'd been wanting to read for a long time, like Libba Bray's Rebel Angels, Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing and Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora, and books I'd never heard of before, like James Howe's The Misfits (which turns out to be so good, funny, snarky, and sweet!) and a collection of Elizabeth Gaskell's Gothic tales. (Who knew she'd even written any??? Not me, that's for sure.) Ohhh, and just-for-fun comfort reads, like an Agatha Christie Tommy-and-Tuppence novel (By the Pricking of My Thumbs). By the end of half an hour, my arms were full of books and I was practically floating with geeky happiness. Discovering this library would have been a miracle for our finances anyway, but I'd almost forgotten the sheer liberation of being able to pick up a book & take it home without worrying about whether it was really going to be worth it, whether I would really, really like it all the way through - being able to take home a book even if I wasn't sure I'd like it at all, just based on sheer curiosity. Sheer heaven.

So I'm just feeling awfully happy and satisfied today, and surrounded by potentially wonderful books to read, which is a lovely and unusual situation. Happy weekend, everybody!

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