When You Assume You Are Set in Your Bookish Ways and Then Everything Changes at the Age of 36

library haul

What I am about to tell you fills me with shame. It’s more embarrassing than that time I passed out during choir rehearsal back in high school and my choir director thought the risers were falling. It’s more embarrassing than the level of drunkenness I achieved at my bachelorette party. It’s more embarrassing than that time a yellowjacket flew in my car window and landed on my steering wheel, leading me to screech my way into the mall parking lot, pull diagonally into four parking spots, yank up my emergency brake before fully stopping, and run laps around my car.


Here it is.

I didn’t start using my local library until about a year ago.

And the only reason I started using it is because I began taking my 2-year-old daughter to Monday morning story time.

Before I started using the library, I insisted on owning all of my books. This despite the fact that I am a recovering shopaholic, and have had to work my way through thousands of dollars in credit card debt multiple times in my adult life. Still, I had notions about having my own Home Library, in my own Home Office, with books organized alphabetically by author’s last name, lining shelves upon shelves upon shelves.

And though I did get my own home office when my husband and I moved from our one-bedroom condo to a four-bedroom house, I soon realized it was unrealistic to maintain anything more than a single bookcase.

I ended up donating at least 20 boxes of books to the VVA.

When I started taking Em to story time, it was like I was discovering the existence of libraries for the first time ever. Like as something other than a venue for Toastmasters meetings and local writing group events. Like, Free books!? As many as I want!? And I can put things on hold!?!?*!

Like, what did I think was happening at libraries all this time?

Which brings us to the point where I now go to the library just about every other day, to drop off books I’ve finished reading and pick up the hold items that have finally come in.

The other week, my library closed for AN ENTIRE WEEK and I almost had a breakdown. It closed because, for the next year and a half, the building is undergoing renovations. Library staffers needed the week off to move all of the books to the library’s temporary location. The sense of withdrawal I felt during that week, having to wait for all of those hold items that were marked online as “in transit,” made me laugh. Only a year ago, the library was but a blip in my life, not one of the top destinations in my day-to-day.

Speaking of books (how smooth was that transition?), you may have already seen this announcement on Twitter or Facebook, but I just signed a contract with Cleis Press, who will be publishing my book, A Dirty Word, in Fall 2018. I have a Facebook Author Page set up now, plus a longer description on my website. Check it.


Okay. Feel free to go about your business now.