The library was a big part of my childhood. My mom volunteered there, and I commonly spent a few afternoons a week just hanging out there; reading books, doing homework, and flipping through newspapers from different (and more exotic) cities and towns. As a young adult, the library became an amazing (and free!) resource where I took out not only books, but tapes and movies as well. It fit my budget perfectly and was a quick walk from my house. I took full advantage of my library card, visiting at least once a week.
Naturally, I would love the library even more as a parent, right? I mean, what's not to like about the library? Well, quite a few things, I've found. It's actually become one of my more dreaded destinations lately. Why, you ask? Read on ...
1. The Stress. Keeping track of anything in a house with three young kids is an impossible feat. If a book disappears somewhere in our house, there’s a good chance that it’s gone forever. At the very least, I'll waste countless hours trying to locate a ten-dollar book.
2. The Late or Replacement Fees. See above.
3. The Grossness. I've seen my own kids wipe their dirty hands on books, lick the pages, and sneeze on them. Thinking about all those other kids who probably did the same makes me want to puke.
4. Keeping Kids Quiet. With mine at least, it's an absolute joke.
5. Keeping Kids Still. It's an even worse joke. "Stop running! Sit down! Don't jump! No dancing! We're leaaaaving!!!"
6. The Books My Kids Chose. The last three library choices have been on 1. a dying pet, 2. divorce, and 3. farting. Great job, kids!
7. The Smell. The cross between a musty thrift shop and old newspapers never really bothered me before, but these days, I find it rather gag-worthy.
8. The Scowling Librarian. I'm sorry, ma'am. I've never seen those kids before in my life.
9. The Lack of a Starbucks. Barnes and Noble has me forever associating books with coffee and, sadly, there is no skinny vanilla latte to be found at my local library.
10. Reading. But, that's a whole other post.
Photo courtesy of wonderfullycomplex/Flickr