La Biblioteca

I have spent the majority of my week packing up all of the books in my mum’s library. And by “library”, I don’t mean her personal collection. My mum is a high school librarian. This summer, her library will be painted, re-carpeted and made handicap-accessible (via a spanking-new wheelchair lift). Construction is set to begin this weekend, even though summer vacation just began today. So we’ve been packing boxes like maniacs, hindered by high school students and teachers who for some reason want to use the library during the last five days of school.

Because I am addicted to books, sometimes working in a library can be…distracting. During the past month or so, since I started substitute teaching at my mum’s school, I have read*:

  1. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  2. If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? by Melissa Kantor
  3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

…and bits and pieces of several other books.

Reading. It’s a hard habit to break.

Knowing my weakness for fiction, my mum assigned me to pack the nonfiction books (or the dewey-decimal-sorted section, as it would more appropriately be called)**. This, of course, backfired.

To make an already long story short, I brought home the first five books of my summer reading list:

  1. Earthly Pleasures: Tales from a Biologist’s Garden by Roger B. Swain
  2. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  3. Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race by Stephanie Nolen
  4. Growing Your Own Mushrooms: Cultivating, Cooking & Preserving by Jo Mueller
  5. Eat the grapes downward: An uninhibited romp through the surprising world of food by Vernon Pizer

All from the 600s (I started in the 800s–it only took me five hours to give in to temptation). All nonfiction. Will wonders never cease.

* The books listed above are just the books I read out of my mum’s library. I also read:

  1. All of the Harry Potter books. Again.
  2. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
  3. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  4. Men At Arms by Terry Pratchett. Again.
  5. And, of course, lots and lots of booklings to the kiddo.

** Don’t ask me why, but for some reason every library I have ever used has divided its books into two main sections: fiction and nonfiction. The fiction books are sorted alphabetically by the author’s last name. The nonfiction are classified by the dewey decimal system. But of course the “nonfiction” section always sneakily includes such fiction as “classics” in the 900s, graphic novels (941.5), foreign language novels (400s, I think) and poetry (811), which could be construed as having a higher truth even if the words themselves are lies. My mum’s library, I noticed, also includes A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Apparently the dewey decimal system lacks a number for false biographies.

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