Read. Repeat.

We went to the library today, the kids and I. Do one’s library habits reveal deep and dangerous things about one’s personality? Say no. Because if my library patronage says anything about me, it’s that I love paying late fees, particularly if there is a DVD involved.

I live less than a mile from our library, which means my library habits also point to sloth.

One of the best things about the library is that we can pretend we have real jobs. All of us, even the four-year-old. Here she is learning about bar codes and the outsourcing of human capital to machines. She’s all for it. Get rid of the humans, she says, and give me the bar code zapper!

Ana loves the library and wants to live there. She is also speed-challenged when it comes to picking out books. Often, her slothful and fee-paying mother ends up rolling her eyes and hissing in a stage whisper, “Ana. We. Are. Leaving. Catch a ride home with the librarian.” Our children’s librarian is a total gem, though, so Ana doesn’t hurry her pace one bit.

Mitch loves non-fiction and focuses mainly on the giant squid, natural disasters, and the never-gets-old Titantic disaster. Nothing says “pleasure reading” like mass casualties! I have tried without success to interest Mitch in fake people and fake stories, but he wearily shakes his head and with one motion, dismisses his mother’s entire career. No biggie. I’m tough. And I can always have my revenge by writing him into a character one day….

Thea thinks the library is delightful because (a) it’s so organized and (b) she can read the same stories over and over and over and over. And over. What is with this child? Why must we read the quirky but underwhelming Angela’s Airplane 78,697 times when there are so many other choices? And I love Frances, but I think we can branch out and not hurt a hedgehog’s feelings. And this book, on a rotating list of favorites, has made me so irritable, I may have been the one to hide it behind the bed so we could have some literary peace.

I admit that Thea is hitting a nerve here. I do not re-read books unless they are written by God. And I don’t want to know very much about the book before I dive in. I NEVER read the back cover and was totally anxious having to read the copy of my own back covers. They all give way too much away!

And you? Are you a re-reader, like Thea? Do you read the back covers of books before you begin? And, in the interests of full disclosure, have you funded entire sections of your local library by paying your late fees? Go ahead and and confess. You’ll find no judgment here.

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