Thursday, March 25, 2021

Poetry Friday: Don't Go Into the Library

I'm not sure what got me started on the library love this week, except for the fact that I'm never far from library love. I grew up going to the library with my mother, my sister, and my brother, I went to the library as a young adult. When I became a mother, I took my babies/toddlers/children/teens to the library. One of my daughters is a librarian, and I still, naturally, of course, obviously, go to the library. 

"The library is the book of books," Alberto Ríos says. The library is my enormous, never-to-be-completely-conquered-but-that's-okay TBR list. 

And I must share this Lit Hub must-read: "How a Year Without My Library Has Changed Me":

Don’t Go Into the Library

The library is dangerous—
Don’t go in. If you do

You know what will happen.
It’s like a pet store or a bakery—

Every single time you’ll come out of there
Holding something in your arms.

(Read the rest here, at 


 The Poetry Friday roundup this week is at Susan's Bruck's place, Soul Blossom Living

(Image by TuendeBede from Pixabay)


penelope said...

Ah, the Library ...! *happy/wistful sigh* Ours is Covid-closed (since March 2020). ... We can browse the website and place hold requests, and them fetch them, curb-side. I end up checking out 2-3 dozen every week because I can't know if a book is one I actually want until I hold it in my hands! ... heh. So, that's a lot of trucking books back and forth for the 18yo. It's a nice walk, at least! Back in the day (meaning, the whole of my life until disability) the library was a several times per week destination. My kids still went 2-3 times each week, even once I because primarily homebound. And I, perhaps once a month, wheeling about in my chair, would go too, getting frightfully dizzy (what with the chronic vertigo) from the head tilt, peer about, reach and heft required from book browsing ... but still! For all the effort, oh the joy of it ... Ah, the library! Love.

tanita✿davis said...

I have really come to love Alberto Ríos. He has such an offbeat and dry sense of humor which always pokes through.

Yesterday I took a web quiz, "Are You A Library Power User?" and laughed at myself. I thought I wasn't, but apparently putting holds on things before they're available isn't what everyone does...? Who knew!

Linda B said...

Rios' poems are so wonderful, Karen, & this is a great one. I love "The library is dangerous, full
Of answers." Perhaps this year people realize how much they love them. Ours are slowly opening but I've been able to get books for curb pickup for quite a while. My librarians are terrific. I remember the inside of every library I've ever used all through my life, such special places. My very first was a bookmobile! Thanks for the celebration!

Karen Eastlund said...

I am a library enthusiast also... and I worked in a library for 5 years, doing all the children's programming. One of the most fun jobs! So this is right up my alley. Thank you for this intro to Rios.

Linda Mitchell said...

One of my FAVORITES! Thank you.

Janice Scully said...

What a great poem! I just love libraries and going to the local Carnegie library where I grew up was heaven to me. Like others, I wanted to start with "A" and read all the way to "Z". A library really is like and ocean.

jama said...

I couldn't live without the library. It's my second (and third and fourth) home. :) And I love Rios's poetry. He has a way of surprising the reader.

Ruth said...

There's so much truth in that poem. I sometimes meet people who live near a public library and never go there, and I wonder, why? I download books from a public library 1500 miles away and wish to go there.

Kay said...

I love this poem--thanks for sharing it. I think my favorite line (though it's hard to choose just one from so many good ones) is the deli offerings of civilization itself.

Bridget Magee said...

Swoon! I love this poem as well, Karen! Every time I've moved, I've learned whichever new city/region by visiting the various libraries in the different neighborhoods (or here in CH, villages). I love Rios' line: "The doughnut scent of it all, knowledge" - yes! :)