Read like the wind! or, Why My School Library Stinks, or I Get a Library Card, Part 1

There are ten floors, six of them with books: stacks and stacks of them. Within all of these stacks you would have assumed that there was something you could read.

When I first heard that there were ten floors worth of library to explore at my university, I was more than excited (obviously). I brought my own novels from home, sure, but I would have more than enough to read at school, right?

A herd of elusive wild animals...
Unfortunately... wrong. The past few weeks of my winter break I've been stuffing my face with as many library books as possible, from here that is, from libraries that recognize that reading is more than something you just do to outline an essay or write a paper. I've taken out more than 35 items, mostly books, in just a short two-week period. There's no way that I can finish them all, but I like variety.

I have no idea if other school libraries are like this. There's no way that I, lover of libraries since I had first learned to read, had picked the only school in the nation with a library without a single piece of fiction (or creative non-fiction) within those shelves... right?

I'm righting this wrong the only way that I know how: applying for a library card not just from another library, but THE other library. I'm talking about...

The New York Public library! At only about forty minutes away, by train, I figure that once a month I could get a couple of novels out of the library and scratch that itch. Trust me, I love keeping books of my own in my little wardrobe at school, but after a month or so that collection gets a little stagnant. 

Applying for a card was easy enough, there's a form on the website where you choose if you want a card mailed to you or you want to pick it up in person. Depending on which one you choose you go from there and BAM! You enter a state of pure, unadulterated literary bliss (that is, as soon as you validate it).

I've been meaning to visit the NYPL for the longest time and I'm glad that I can go as more than just a tourist when I finally stop by.  But my question is... Why does it have to be like this? I'm excited, sure, but why doesn't my school library at least have a small collection of fiction? There are no local public libraries within walking or shuttle distance (I know, I checked), and not all of the students have cars. There are plenty of clubs and sports to keep us busy, no to mention classwork, but I can't be the only student who's upset at the fact that we can't indulge in fiction every once and a while? I hope not.

For those that have attended college, was your library like this? What did you do about it?


  1. Yes, we had a total of twelve, multi-floored, cathedral-sized campus libraries. Yes, TWELVE, and they were just like this...BUT we had a huge University Bookstore (check to see if you do too) that sold the textbooks in the basement and then had two giant floors of REGULAR-BOOKSTORE-NESS and gift shop-ness above, so we were well fed fictionwise. Plus there were a ton of independent bookstores up and down the street across from campus. SO... start google-mapping your area for the independents, and DO find your university's bookstore and see if they have more than just the textbook section!


  2. I thought my university library was going to be like this, with the only fiction being classics used for lit classes. But when I was researching African history, wouldn't you know, right across the aisle was a "juvenile fiction" section (including copious amounts of YA books) larger than that at most of the public libraries I've frequented? I guess I'm quite lucky in this. Too bad I have too many of my own books to read to use this resource much...


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