Saturday, November 13, 2010

La Bibliothèque

Just after we received our first piece of mail at this address last year, I announced on Facebook that it was official: I could go and get a local library card. I did that--yesterday. I have no idea why I procrastinated so.

I love libraries...not just what you can get from them, (free books, old movies, audio CD's, back issues of Vogue, all without the pressure or commitment to buy anything) but the atmosphere within a library. The din and hum of visitors trying to be quiet, the odd child breaking out from the confines of the 'indoor voice' and then the turned heads as an embarrassed mom tries to shush her kid, (I'm sure that will be me in a few years!) the sheer volume of information at one's fingertips--I love it all. Even the exteriors can be pleasing, especially in larger cities. Vancouver's library is a stunning work of art; if you've never been to the Vancouver Public Library's main branch you should go next time you're in the city--from the outside it looks like a modern-day Coliseum.

So yesterday I finally treated myself to my first visit to Livermore's main branch and I was really pleased with how inviting it was. Warm lighting, (they went easy on the fluorescents, which I was happy about. I've always said fluorescent lighting is the devil's lighting) visible timber trusses, and neutral earth tones made the whole place seem more like a lodge than a library. If only there'd been a large stone fireplace at the end, soaring upwards towards vaulted ceilings...

Anyway, the last great feature of this particular library was it's automatic sliding doors. I never leave a library with just a book or two, and am usually weighed down to the point where if I were grocery shopping, I'd look ridiculous without a cart. So when the automatic doors whirred open I felt really grateful for not having to turn my back to the door, heave the door open with my shoulders, and leave the library backwards. Thank you Livermore for providing me with the opportunity to maintain my dignity here.

What was in my hefty stack of books you ask? A couple pictorial coffee table books, but mostly travel memoirs and guides. China, the Middle East, a couple about Iran. You know, docile, indifferent troublemakers in this pack! Oh, and a guidebook to Switzerland, because that is where I'll be headed to shoot a wedding after Christmas!!! The most neutral place on earth! It's been a year and a half since I've been outside of Canada & the US and I'm dying to explore some place new, even if just for a week or so. Plus it'll be great to see an old friend get hitched, not to mention provide the newlyweds with a snowy photo shoot in front of a castle or something (fingers crossed!). Chocolate, snow, fondue, (CHEESE!!!!) castles, the Alps....I seriously cannot wait!

Oh, and if you have any favourite reads that might inspire my trip, let me know so I can hit up the library again :-)



  1. Switzerland sounds amazing, and your library discovery... there's not a good one around here, and it's something I really miss. Enjoy your travel books! :)

  2. oh I cannot wait to peruse books at the library.

    We go once a week, during storyhour, so all of the girls' noise blends in with the rest of the toddlerish chaos emanating from that corner of the library.

    I high-tail it to the "request" shelf and grab the books which have been marked with my name, and then hightail it out of there if we can survive the checkout experience.

    Last week I kept my kids still during checkout by feeding them goldfish crackers, to which I immediately realied my mama-faux pas seeing as I did not bring enough for the 8 other hungry whiny children encircling the checkout desk.

    All I can say is thank goodness for the online library catalogue so I can actually have something good for me to read ready and waiting, even I do (temporarily) miss out on the whole tranquil, perusing library experience. Someday.

  3. Switzerland??? Amazing! If only I was still here after Christmas, you could have come to Parma and eaten Parmigiano with me!!

  4. Linds! Where will you be after Christmas? I thought you were coming back in spring... Love your latest blog and the photos...oh the photos!!! We definitely need to collaborate!

    Missy...I love your descriptions of life with your little women. and just so you know, I file away all your tips and 'should haves' for when we have're such a great mom and such a great example to those of us who plan on being one some day!!! Let me know if you want to hit up the library when I'm home and I can watch the kids while you go relax!!!

    Beth: Is your library part of a larger system that you can order books through at least? Or are you limited to the books at that library? How's life treating you? Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! (Can you believe it's been almost 5 years since we met!!!)


Comments, ideas, tips, and questions are always welcome...I'd love to hear yours!