library guilt

July 1, 2008

I’ve been going to the library a lot lately. One of my recent trips was to pick out some books on CD to listen to on my 8 hour drive to Orlando to visit my family. James couldn’t go with me so I needed to make sure I had some entertainment – something to keep me awake. I needed about 14 hours worth of stuff to listen to along with at least two back-up books. You see, with audio books you not only have to factor in whether or not the content of the book will be interesting enough to keep you awake but also whether or not the reader’s voice will make you want to stab your eyes out. Once, when driving to visit my mom in North Carolina, I listened to Emma. Good book, unbelievably annoying accent reading it. But I digress.

On that trip to the library I was struck with a familiar feeling – library guilt. You see, I do judge a book by it’s cover. I know, so shallow. Sometimes I’m in the mood for books with neon colored covers with pictures of women shopping or baked goods on the cover. This usually indicates mindless chick lit – something I enjoy. Other days I’m looking for something a little more complex with some kind of intriguing photo – I usually steer clear of black and white photographs because this usually means the book is a bit too brooding for me. This method makes going through the library a bit easier for me since I can just glance up and down the aisles looking for covers that interest me.

So, let’s say that the cover warrents being picked up. I don’t just judge by the cover, I go deeper than that. The next test is the first line of the back cover/inner flap summary. If I don’t like the way that one little sentance is written, it goes back on the shelf. This is when the guilt comes in. The thought strikes me, “what would the author think if they knew that this one little sentance is their only chance to have someone read their book?” Then I start thinking about how much work goes into writing the book and how much time they’ve poured into it. I don’t know much about writing a book but it sounds like a pretty involved affair. It’s described like most art – the book becomes a part of you or you become a part of it – whichever makes more sense.

So, as much as I love the many wonders of the library – I mean, come one, FREE BOOKS! – I do often leave with a sense of remorse for not giving those lame looking books a chance. Someone’s life work rejected just because of stupid cover art or a lame first line.

Oh, and can I just say before I end this one – why are so many books about infidelity? I mean, seriously, so many books I pick up and glance at have some adulterer in them. I’m so tired of reading about unfaithful men and women. Boo.

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One Response to “library guilt”

  1. Magen said

    glad your back!

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