Life in Progress: A weblog by Heidi Price

My library branch

(A picture included in the Rhapsodies in Black box set)

I think I have a problem.
A week or two ago, I checked online and discovered that I had 52 items checked out of the library.

Some books, like Nancy Farmer's "The Warm Place", I checked out more than two years ago and I know I am going to read it one day. Others, I acquired more recently.

For example, I decided the wait seemed too interminable for the next Harry Potter book, so I checked out the previous titles on book on cd to listen to in my car. Then there are the other works on cd, "Reading Lolita in Tehran", for example, which I plan to listen to as soon as I get my Harry Potter fix.

Did I tell you I was studying Spanish? I also have several books on cds so I can practice my pronunciation during my morning and evening commutes.

My niece and I love listening to stories in the car so I recently checked out the Mary Pope Osborne's wonderful Magic Tree House series. It is an ongoing story we both love about a brother and sister who travel through time and perform noble tasks for a magical wizard. Each story brings a new mystery to solve while imparting knowledge about the city or place they are visiting.

There are the piano pieces I have checked out to learn because I just started taking piano lessons again.

I recently requested the Beatles "Let it Be" and a Johnny Cash box cd set because I wanted to hear my favorite song "Tennessee Flat Top Box."

And I'm trying to get domestic, so I have a whole slew of cookbooks that I plan to read someday very soon.

The saint-in-my-life has started referring to my house as the Winshire-Street-branch of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Even worse, in the last few weeks, the librarians at every single branch I frequent have ceased renewing my items. It's like they have a sign behind their desks with my picture and the warning DO NOT LET THIS WOMAN CHECK OUT ANYTHING, EVER AGAIN.

On a Sunday, I gathered as many books and cds as I could bear to part with, and set off for the library, determined to shrink my tally to 40 or less.

As you might have guessed, it didn't work. Once in the library, I came across a Bach compilation and his Violin Concerto in D always makes me weep, it's so moving. Then, I found "Rhapsodies in Black, words and music from the Harlem Renaissance." It contained four cds of music, poetry and essays that are incredible. I highly recommend you check it out once I return it. (Listen to August Wilson reading the poem "America.")

As I went to check out, I walked across the dvd rack and saw "The Blob." Gosh, I haven't seen that movie in years.

I didn't shrink my tally as much as I wanted. It is no longer 52 but it isn't under 40 either.


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