This post was inspired by an r/libraries thread started by another librarian.
I love my job. I am so lucky to have landed at a library where I am intellectually stimulated, emotionally rewarded, and supported by wonderful colleagues. When people ask me what I love about my job, I usually respond with something like what I just said and follow that up with something like, “I really like spending the library’s money on fiction.” The following, however, are some of the really little things that give me an inordinate amount of joy.
- Alphabetizing. I’m nuts about alphabetizing. If you have unorganized books at your house and you invite me over (not during plague times, obviously), I will alphabetize the hell out of them.
- Chain lines on laid paper. A lot of bookish folk I know are all about the smell of books, but I’ve been around too many books with paper permanently infused with the smell of cigarette smoke or highly acidic books with a sickly, syrupy smell that gets right up my nose to be too jazzed about the aroma of books. But the texture of chain laid rag paper or toothy paper makes me happy every time my fingers brush across it.
- Deckle edges. This one is controversial. I know a lot of people who don’t like deckle edges because it’s a little more difficult to turn the pages, but I love it. Deckle edges remind me of older styles of book-binding that strike me as having more character than mass-produced books. (Even though I know, with the exception of select publishers and art books, all deckle-edged books are mass-produced.)
- Using library carts like surfboards.
- Dropping a stack (more than 6) of books on readers willing to take my recommendations without a quibble.
- Also the readers who let me do that to them, of course.
- Book hangovers. This term is defined differently for each reader but, for me, a book hangover is the dizzy, joyful, slightly sad feeling I experience after reading a truly exceptional book. The dizziness and the joy come from masterful writing, beautifully constructed characters, and breathless plots. The dollop of sadness comes from the realization that the great book is now over and I have to go on with my life and find another book to read. The feeling can last up to several days, during which I have to recalibrate by re-reading old favorites. Which leads me to…
- Old favorite books. Books I have read so often that the spines are cracked and the pages have lost their crispness. Books that suit my preferences and interests so well that I am never bored by them. Books that never fail to lift my mood.