Monday, January 14, 2008
What is January for you?
I don't typically ask my readers to answer questions and enter into a conversation--although I always welcome participation through comments and emails--but I've been thinking recently about the month of January. (Thinking can be dangerous I know). The new year can bring many things with it. A few weeks of *hoping* those resolutions will stick, along with the fear that backsliding right back into bad habits is just a few days--or a few weeks away.
But January for me is something altogether different. If I were to proclaim January with a title like "National fill-in-the-blank month." January would be--at least for me--Overwhelm Yourself At the Library Month. Now it's true, Overwhelm Yourself At the Library Month could technically belong to any or all of the twelve months depending on your habits. But for me, January has typically spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Why? Maybe because my appetite for books is at an all-time high. December is usually a slow month for me as far as visiting the library is concerned. When given the choice of going Christmas shopping or staying home and baking cookies or wrapping presents--or attending Christmas services and pageants and such--the library takes a backseat to the holiday festivities. So much so that I become over-eager come January to visit the library.
Last year, I ended up checking out over seventy books in one month. I got into a library debt--not actually debt but more of a guilty obligation--because of the number of books out on my card. It became a vicious cycle of renewing books week after week. Hoping against all hope that I could get all the books read. I began to *hate* the library. (Not really. I could never hate the library for a long period of time.) But you have to admit that when you have to renew books by telephone listening to the bar codes of sixty or seventy books read by computer digit by digit...it will make you a bit cranky. (And not prone to repeat the insanity.)
So knowing the dangers the month can bring, what did I do? Three guesses anyone??? Yes, I went to the library. I now have 32 books checked out. Of the 32, 6 aren't mine. (5 for mom and 1 for dad.) But even still 26 books is a lot. This is just the starting point. If I can *restrain* myself, maybe just maybe I can avoid the slippery slope of being overwhelmed by library books. (Am I even capable of restraint?) But my philosophy tends to push the extremes. (Have you noticed???) The only thing that stops me from checking out books is when I reach my capacity for carrying books. And since I go in a bunch--three people--that is three sets of arms that I can weigh down if I need to! Though I typically try to limit it to what I can personally carry.
Another reason January lends itself well to being "Overwhelm Yourself At the Library" month is that it is awards and best-of season. All the tantalizing titles that are suddenly proclaimed the best of the best and true must-reads. Fortunately, this year I have some of the award-winners at home to keep me busy. I'll just have to hunt down a few books in the upcoming weeks.
So, what does January mean to you?