Library Books

My library no longer stamps each library book with the due date.  Now they either just tell you when the book is due back or give you a card with the due date written on it.  I am sure there are lots of good reasons for this change but I miss looking at the back page of a book and seeing how many times it has or has not been taken out. 

Often when I got to the end of a book I would look at the last page and wonder about all the people who had taken the book out before me.  Had they liked it or hated it?  Had they picked it out with curosity but run out of time to read it and just returned it.  Or did it become a favorite book and they renewed it a number of times.  Some books went for long periods without being checked out.  In those cases I always had hope that I had found a hidden gem.  There was always a certain excitement in being the first person to take a book out.  In some ways looking at that back page made me feel connected to the community of readers.      

The other day I took Knit Socks by Betsy Lee McCarthy out of the library again.  The librarian startled me by saying, “What is it with this book?”  I had to ask, “What do you mean?”  He then went on to tell me that as soon as this book is returned to the library it gets checked out again.  I explained that socks are a very popular item to knit and that Knit Socks is the ONLY book in the library collection entirely devoted to socks.  He did not get it and as a newbie sock knitter I could not express the passion people have about socks.  However, it was nice to know that it is a popular book.  So I am not the only one haunting the shelves of the craft section of my local library for knitting books.


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