Life

Passing time at the library

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I used to be a magazine junkie. I was reminded of this when I stopped by my local library Friday afternoon to pick up some books I had on hold. Fresh off my nostalgic trip down memory lane of my childhood library and with time to spare, I decided to wander past the front desk and new fiction area to places I hadn’t visited in a few years.

First, I checked out the expanded DVD section which I always forget about. I love old movies and they are hard to find at Red Box and Netflix so I found a couple videos for myself and to share with Liam (I recently introduced him to Hitchcock via Rear Window). He likes mysteries and it’s not easy to find appropriate films for an eleven-year-old that aren’t rated R. We have seen Clue, The Movie more times than I can count. Next up, thanks to the library, is North by Northwest.

There have been recent renovations at the library and the magazines were no longer tucked in the back corner by the movies. A little detective work led me to a previously unexplored section and wowza, periodicals have increased in real estate threefold since I last sought them out. Upon scanning the long wall that contains bound copies of the most recent issues (you know where they are bound in big binders that make it hard to walk off with them on your way out the door – not that I’ve ever thought of doing that!), I found many old friends.

It jolted me a little to realize that while I had long ago put my magazine habit (with multiple monthly subscriptions) to rest, they were still going strong and finding a place at the library. The New Yorker, Cosmo, Vanity Fair, Cooking Light, Real Simple, The O Magzine and on and on. After Cosmo I graduated to Good Housekeeping, Redbook and InStyle. Oh, how I’d missed them! I had to eliminate most of my subscriptions because they were piling up and adding to the already horrifying clutter of my house. Years ago I made my husband unload his many years worth of National Geographic and made a deal I would do the same with my cooking and culture magazines.

The library also has an app that I’ve used from time to time which allows you to look through magazines on your computer screen, but really, it’s not the same. I picked up the most recent issue of The New Yorker and paged through to realize either the articles are much longer than they used to be or I’m the product of a diminished attention span brought on by the internet and the brevity of social media formats. It’s not a happy thought. I skipped through an essay by Larry David (totally unexpected and I’m not sure if what he wrote was true) and a story about Tiffany Haddish who seems to be popping up everywhere these days (loved her at the Oscars).

I pressed on and flipped through a few more before I decided my day had been far too self-indulgent from what I’m used to. First two hours at Starbucks followed by lunch with friends and then another three at the library.  The day may not have been very action-packed, but to me, it was truly captivating.

MC

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