Will You Be Our Valentine? National Library Lovers’ Day
February 9th, 2022 – Augusta Welsh, Adult Services
For National Library Lovers’ Day – February 14th, 2022
On Valentine’s day, we often reflect on the loves of our life. For me, this day usually includes my cats, hot tea, Tex-Mex food, and my husband. These four things are my safe place to land when reality gets heavy and the outside world overwhelms me. My hot tea doesn’t judge all the bubble baths I take; my quesadillas ignore my nonsensical ranting; my husband laughs at my terrible puns that most people have too much self-respect to laugh at; the cats…well, the cats actually stress me out even more, but they get away with it because they are cute. During the pandemic, these things have been a lifeline to me. Small comforts and stability are important in an uncertain and ever-changing world. Recently, however, outside change has bled back into my safe spaces.
My childhood sweetheart reappeared in my life and shook up what I turn to for love and comfort. With a previous relationship steeped in adventures, laughs, and a fair bit of romance, history overrode everything and our relationship popped up strong once more. After being apart for almost eight years, I was surprised by how easily my priorities shifted. Their new stories and irresistible mysteries drew me in. Finding me in one of the craziest parts of my life, my childhood sweetheart reminded me of simpler times in my life, when I could shut out the world around me and immerse myself into someone else’s thoughts and feelings. I fell right back into love and haven’t looked back since. My husband even approves of my rekindled love affair.
You see, my true first love was the library. Before I ever met my cats or husband, the library was my safe place. I was the child grounded from books and who stashed flashlights under pillows for secret late-night reading. I could go through books like water and I drove my parents crazy constantly trying to get new books or picking back up old favorites. My hometown library probably still has a record of me checking out the children’s book Verdi approximately 126 times.
In junior high, I was on a team that spent a semester reading different books before competing against other regional schools in a literary trivia contest. (I don’t mean to brag, but my team won.) I received every reward and went to every field day or party given to students for reading. To say I was obsessed might be an understatement. When I needed to get out of class and take a breath, I went to the library. I even spent my entire junior year of high school eating lunch in the library with my friends. It was my shelter from the real world long before I knew what “pandemic” and “adulting” truly meant.
This Valentine’s Day when I snuggle into my couch with the loves of my life, I am looking forward to having a book sprawled across my lap with a cup of hot tea in my hands. I get to celebrate National Library Lovers’ day almost every day, but I encourage you to celebrate your library in any way you can. Rent a movie to watch with your significant other. Grab a book to read to your little ones. Borrow one of our board games for a family night. You could even listen to an audiobook while cuddling with your furry better half. Spend time with the ones you love while falling in love with your library. Happy National Library Lovers’ Day!
Books for Library Lovers:
Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles
The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell
Dewey: A Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie