Fun and Folderol at the Library

Patrice Putman and Mona Baker (Note Patrice's amazing ability to read a book when it's upside down.)
Patrice Putman and Mona Baker with their favorite books. (Note Patrice’s amazing ability to read a book when it’s upside down.)

Last night, we had our annual book club Christmas party at the library. At this party, we don’t discuss a particular book. Instead, it has become the tradition for group members to tell of one or two books that were personal favorites over the past year. Shane, the intrepid leader of book group, duly notes our recommendations and then sends them via email to everyone in the the book club. Good thing. I have a terrible memory, and while there were many recommendations I was interested in, I’ll be darned if I can remember the titles.

My book recommendation was George Elliot’s Middlemarch. At 888 pages, it’s an astonishing page-turner that kept me reading like a crazy person, even when I should have been doing other things such as housework or cooking or getting ready for Christmas. A masterpiece, that’s for sure.

Along with talking about books, we were also encouraged to deck ourselves in Christmas finery, and to no one’s surprise, the ever natty Mona Baker took first place. There was even a prize—a delicious cheese spread made by Sharon Presti.

On a touching note, Patrice Putman told how aside from her husband and her children, her greatest love was her library card. To her way of thinking, having a good library is essential to having a good life. With a library card, Patrice said, you can read anything and thus go anywhere. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.) As she spoke, we all nodded our heads in agreement, and Margy Knight told of how as a child coming from a big family, the library card was the first thing she had that was truly hers.

Many of us brought cookies to share—I made gingersnaps—and by the end we were not only filled with sweets but also with good cheer and the love of libraries.

And so, dear readers, wherever you live, cherish your libraries and support them anyway you can.