Friday, July 29, 2005

Book 'em, Dan-O

I am pretty sure that my title up there has a misspelling. It doesn't look quite right. But, moving on...

This week, Viva and I went to the library. Now, one thing I should tell you is that we rarely go to the same library twice in a row. We have three libraries quite close to us, one of which is closed for renovations. Since I am a big book freak, I always like to try one we haven't been to before, or one we haven't been to in quite some time. Since Los Angeles is quite spread out, this is not really all that difficult.

On Monday, we ventured to the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. It is only a few years old, and it has a heavenly selection of picture books to choose from. After spending an indecent amount of time in the children's section, Viva informed me that she had to go to the bathroom, holding on to the front of her shorts with the universal signal for "I have to go RIGHT NOW." So I stopped at the Information Desk to ask them if (a) they would hold our books for us and (2) they would tell us where in God's name the bathroom was. The librarians seemed to regard our situation with fond amusement, graciously sliding the books away for safe-keeping and directing us to the bathroom. We got to the bathroom, but it was too late, sad to say. Accidents happen. So I got Viva squared away and we went back to the liberry proper, where I told her it was Mama's turn to pick out books for herself.

I keep a running list in my head of contemporary authors and books I want to read, and I was horrified to discover that not a one of the ones on my list was in evidence. So Viva was trying to help me, and I was trying to get her to be sort of quiet while also running through the list in my head. But she kept saying stuff (loudly, in the way that only unself-conscious toddlers can be loud) like: "You want this book, Mommy? You want the pink book? How about this book? You want this book!" As if, by saying it emphatically enough, I would agree that, "Yes, I do indeed want to read Shogun by James Clavell, rather than the contemporary work of fiction I came in for, thanks, sweetie!" You know, I went to Borders the other day looking for a specific book and it, too, was not available. What is that about?

Here are Viva's current favorite liberry books:

(1) Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
(2) Felix and the Worrier by Rosemary Wells (which they didn't have, but it's still high up there on her list)
(3) Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
(4) Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
(5) Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird

Unfortunately, I can't tell you what some of my current favorite liberry books are because, dammit, I left empty-handed. Last night, I picked up Even Cowgirls Get the Blues from our bookshelf and flung myself down on the couch with a sigh.

"What is that?" Sweet Willie asked, and after ascertaining what it was: "Why are you reading that?" and before I could even say anything: "You poor thing. We need to go to the bookstore."

We speak each other's unspoken language.


sploo said...


Here's what you do. By you, I mean not the general you, but the specific you. Go to Have your list and library card at the ready. Browse the catalog. Make your selection howsoever you choose. Put those babies on hold. They'll call you when the books arrive. Or you can check the status on line. Requesting books from the library is my most favored method of internet shopping, as it costs nothing but time. Right now, I have 29 books on hold. (I am currently No. 578 for "Freakonomics," true BUT I am No. 1 for "The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music"). I get two or three or five new (to me) books each week. I LOVE IT entirely.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Oh my Gawd. That is fabulous, and at the same time so awesomely simple it boggles the mind. I was aware of the "hold" feature, but I thought it was something I'd have to do either in person or on the phone. Sweetie! You totally rule!

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