Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I Love You, Sweet Library -- But You're Too Stinking Hot For Me

I hadn't set foot in my beloved Bybee-ary since last spring, so after I sorted out my conversation class this morning, the L-word was very much on my mind.

I headed up the hill, sweating all the way, trying to dart from one small wedge of shade to another along the path, and feeling pathetically grateful for even a suggestion of breeze. The library would be an oasis from the muggy, oppressive heat. The stacks would be cool and shadowy. I would emerge hours later refreshed and rejuvenated with an armload of library loot.

The library loot part was right, but the library was just as bad as outside -- thick and unpleasant. I hoped that the sweat rolling off of me wouldn't make the floors too slippery. The stacks were suffocating. Tilting my head to look at titles gave me a headache tinged with nausea. I had to give up after only 10 minutes and 3 books:

Sea of Glory - Nathaniel Philbrick. This book is about the US Exploring Expedition, which went on for a few years in the late 1830s and early 1840s. I admired Philbrick's In The Heart of the Sea so much that I was instantly attracted to Sea of Glory.

Love and Death in the American Novel - Leslie A. Fiedler. I first saw this 1960 groundbreaking study of literature at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma when I was about 19 years old. Beguiled by that title, I examined the table of contents, then shied away from it. I clearly remember what gave me pause: Charles Brockden Brown. I didn't know who he was. Therefore, I was not smart enough to read LADITAN. Wasn't I a skittish reader back in the day?! Now nearly [mumble] years later, I still don't have a good grip on who CBB was, but I now know that Fiedler will probably provide context and if it's not there, then I'll Google and have my answer in a moment.

Complete Novels - Dashiell Hammett. This volume includes Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man and The Glass Key. It's going to rain like hell starting tomorrow with a typhoon, so I anticipate good times and cozy hours curled up with Dash if the electricity holds out. If not, I have a couple of flashlights.

This loot is due back on October 1. The weather should be much improved by then and I'll come back to my library ready for a nice long visit.

11 comments:

Mollie said...

Whew doesn't sound like optimum browsing conditions! Enjoy your loot!

Teacher/Learner said...

Hope you like the Hammett collection! No A/C in the library?!? Usually government-run buildings have them, unless you live in a small town. Oh dear...at least you managed to snag 3 books before fainting :oD

Kathleen said...

What a shame that the library didn't offer the respite from the heat that you were hoping for. But, you did get some good books. I've had that Philbrick book on my shelves for several years now but have yet to read it. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Cat said...

Not the best library experience....I've been enjoying the warmth of ours over these winter months,
Enjoy your loot!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I recently went through that hell in a bookstore in Chicago whose a/c had gone out. It was miserable.

I have all the Dash books, too....hope you love them as much as I do!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

By the way, I just got Sea of Glory, too.... :)

Linda said...

Ugh, I hate being all sweaty and being indoors and sweaty is even worse! Love and Death in the American Novel sounds interesting. Enjoy!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

It's such a disappointment when you go instead hoping for cooler temperatures and it's just as bad, if not worse! And think how bad it must be for the books themselves! Poor books...

An interesting trio of books this week - all three sound very American!

Enjoy your (patriotic) loot!

Jenny said...

I am made out of sympathy. No air conditioning (isn't good for the books! and) makes for a miserable library visit. :/ Hopefully it will cool off soon!

Dave and Tami said...

I invite you to come sit in our library - my toes are turning to ice! :) Unfortunately it's a bit of a jaunt for you to get here, so we'll just hope for cooler weather for both of us. Enjoy your library loot.

Jessi E. said...

Aww! Hopefully they will fix their air-conditioner soon. That's just not making for a good time.

Enjoy your reading!
Jessi @ The Elliott Review