By Terri Morgan
I pulled into the parking lot of the library with the best of intentions. Five days earlier I had downloaded four new books onto my Kindle. I had a stack of hardbacks passed along by a friend piled up and unread on the table in the bedroom. I had a heavy workload, with three big freelance writing projects all with looming deadlines. And I had chores galore awaiting me at home, including updating the reading list for my book club, which had met the night before.
'I'm just going to drop off the book kit,' I told myself as I lugged the Blue Bag stuffed with copies of the Mistress of Spices and a Reader's Guide out of the car. 'I've got plenty to read at home. This is just an in-and-out drop off.'
I was so convinced I'd be able to avoid the lure of the library that I left the car unlocked. My resolve lasted, oh about a nanosecond, after I entered the building. 'Hmmm, might as well see if they've got the next book club book,' I told myself. They didn't, but another title by the same author looked interesting. I tucked it under my arm and wandered over to the mystery section to see if there were any books from Henning Mankell's Wallander series I just had to read. I took a detour over to the books on tape section with two books now tucked under my arm.
The offerings reminded me there were a couple of authors I'd recently discovered and enjoyed. I wandered back to the fiction section, and picked up two more novels. I told myself, 'well, since I'm here...' and wandered over to peruse the paperbacks. Finally, about an hour after I had come in I left with my arms bulging with books, mumbling to myself that 'the chores are just going to have to wait.'
I drove home pondering my lack of willpower, and wondering what exactly it is about libraries that make them so irresistible to me. As an avid reader---okay, an addicted reader---the site of all those books just waiting to be read is a powerful lure. I read so many books each week, that it would be impossible for me to support my reading habit if I had to buy each one.
Even if I could afford to buy every book I wanted, I don't have enough room in my house to hold them. Without access to a library, my life would not be as rich, as interesting, and as fulfilling. It amazes me that communities have set aside buildings and filled them with reading materials that anyone, armed with a library card, can borrow. It's my idea of heaven, a place where there is always something good to read.
Caitlin is happily married to her best friend, has two healthy children, and enjoys a rewarding career and the love and support of her extended family. Her seemingly great life is marred by an obsessive fear that Caitlin can't shake. Having grown up with two schizophrenic parents, she is terrified with what may be in her DNA, and haunted with the knowledge she may have passed the genes to the disease that robbed her parents of their sanity down to her children.
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