Why God made libraries

We have two bookcases in our home organized carefully using the home library version of the Dewey Decimal System: They’re arranged by book size. It’s not always easy to locate what you’re looking for, but it does look really pretty.

We have a third bookcase hidden away in our office where our guests won’t see it and judge us harshly. It doesn’t look pretty at all. There are books sticking out every which way, books on top of it and a stack of books growing up from the floor beside it. I’ve organized this one using what I call the Dewey Decimated System which I created to overcome the main obstacle presented by bookcases made of wood: they don’t stretch—much. The shelves are slightly bowed though.

The bookcase in my office contains the books I plan to read someday and there are a lot of those. In fact there are more than would fit in my bookcase even if it did stretch. Maybe you’re thinking I should just get another bookcase. I can’t. My office doesn’t stretch either.

Or maybe you’re thinking I should part with some of my books. I can’t do that either. That’s because I have a certain weakness. Actually I have more than one, but I’ll save the rest for another time. Some people smoke. Some people drink. I read. And one of the genres I like to read the most is mystery. Once I find a mystery author I like, I’m compelled to read not only every book in any series they’ve published, I must read them in the order they wrote them.  So along with a lot of nonmysteries, the bookcase in my office has dozens of mysteries I’ve acquired that I can’t read yet because I haven’t read the ones that come before them. Unfortunately I don’t have room for the ones that come before them because, as we’ve already established, my bookcase doesn’t stretch.  

And that, my friends, is why God made libraries—to store mystery series until I get around to reading them all in the order in which they were written. Oh, and they have other books too. In fact, not only do they have practically any book you’re interested in reading, it’s easy to find it because they don’t organize their books by size. The shelves still look really nice though.

This is all a long way to explain why I’ll be celebrating National Library Week April 23-29 with a good book or two—just like I do every other week. Maybe I’ll have cake and ice cream to make it extra special.

April is a big month for libraries. It’s National School Library Month plus National School Librarian Day is April 4 and National Librarian Day is April 16. What are libraries without librarians? If you ask me, appreciation for librarians is long overdue. Sorry.

Seriously, if I worked in a library, I’d be tempted to hide in the corner, and read all day. A customer would come by and ask me for help and I’d say, “Can’t you see I’m busy?” Librarians never do that.

By the way, I did come across one more library holiday in my research. But National Library Card Sign-Up Month isn’t until September. A library card is a handy thing to have if, like me, you don’t have bookcases that stretch. And I bet they wouldn’t make you wait until September to get one.

Dorothy Rosby is the author of Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off AboutHumorous Essays on the Hassles of Our Time and other books. Contact her at www.dorothyrosby.com/contact.