BLISSFUL BROWSING

What a joy to be able to enter a Public Library, and spend time wandering amongst the shelves, stopping in front of the displays of new books, picking out a book to study the back blurb, or read a few pages!

Who would have thought, pre-Covid, how special this activity would become two years down the line? I missed many things during the hard Lockdowns, and visiting the Library was high on my list.

I had a glorious time at Koeberg Library, just browsing. It took me a while, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? There’s no substitute for holding a book in your hand, reading the reviews, flicking through the pages, reading the opening paragraph and the indecision : am I in the mood for this type of story? is the print too small or will I manage? have I had enough of this author ? should I give the author another chance? or – drat! I’ve read this one. Decisions, decisions.

Eventually I made my choices and here’s what I chose:

Heyns, Mulgrew and Winkler and South African writers. I’ve enjoyed Michiel Heyns’ books before. He’s an Afrikaans writer, but usually translates his own books. Luckily for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to enjoy his novels. And Matt Haig is an old favourite of mine, particularly one of his early – if not the earliest – book Whatever Happened to the Radleys? Its a wildly quirky novel about a family of vampires trying to reform their lifestyle and stop preying on the rest of us. Written, as I recall, in a deadpan style. I regret selling my copy.

Any comments or suggestions?

10 thoughts on “BLISSFUL BROWSING

  1. Yes, libraries are wonderful places, places in which I’ve spent a large part of my adult life! I agree totally with your assessment on the joy of physical books. E-Books have their place, but printed books are best.

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  2. Hi Alison.
    I also had a visit to my new local library – I haven’t been into a library for many years actually – and was pleased to find I was still on the system which made the admin very much easier.
    Sadly they didn’t have either of the two books I was looking for, but they promptly sent off the request for them to some other library.
    Then, just so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip, I too browsed… and came away with two books (one a penny-horrible and one Mary Stewart, which I since realise I’ve read but I’m reading it again anyway).
    Of your selection, I remember thoroughly enjoying How to Stop Time by Matt Haig – I think I read it as an ebook.
    Enjoy your reading.
    Dawn Rae

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    1. I have a rule, set in concrete: if I’m not enjoying a book, I close it immediately and return to library or owner. Regardless of rave reviews, friends’ glowing recommendations or my unwise purchases. At this point in my life, am not prepared to waste valuable time and my eyesight on a book that isn’t working for me.

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  3. I’m so glad you finally got to go to the library. Here in Canada in the small city (population – around 100,000) I live in, the libraries have been open for quite some time. And I too enjoyed wandering in the stacks looking for books that leap out at me saying, “read me, read me”. I needed to visit the library to use the internet too as I found the cost of it prohibitive on my seniors pension. Canada has the highest cost of internet in the world. I now have internet at home again thanks to my kind brother who felt sorry for me as I missed out on current events moving ahead at warp speed and he paid for 6 months of internet for me. Enjoy your library books!

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  4. Fortunately , our state library is wonderful and open. I have so many books but still use the library as I believe it’s important to show them support, especially to governments, so they won’t lose funding or be closed. Happy reading.🤠🐧❤

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    1. Good for you! Authorities are only too keen to close Libraries, under the banner of Cost Cutting. Its happening here in Cape Town. The Pandemic has reshuffled priorities on all fronts. Always a sad day when a Library closes. We don’t have sufficient, as it is.

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  5. Ahhh, what a wonderful experience that must have been! I have missed my regular visits to the local library sooo much… You are right, there is nothing nicer than pootling through a library, taking books off shelves, trying to decide whether it is a worthwhile read, and collecting a nice little stash of books to take home for a couple of weeks. I don’t even know if ours at the Howard Centre is open yet…

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