lifestyle

A love letter to the most under-rated place in your suburb.

By ALISSA WARREN

To my new lover, my library…

You’ve been so neglected and for that I apologise. By me. By your people. You see, I’ve been rather preoccupied with life. With a job. A wedding. Then kids. I’ll be honest, I’ve been distracted. Mostly, buried in my iPhone.

But I’ve come to my senses and realised your humble simplicity is what I need.

And the way you have wonderfully welcomed – complete with the baggage of three young children – back into your arms has warmed my heart.

Your old-fashioned lessons are hard to come by in this scary world. And you’ve helped me teach my kids things that I would never have been able to on my own.

I’m in love. All over again. And this is why:

1. Your seductive, slow pace.  

We’re in a hurry. All the time. I have three kids under four. We always have a person to visit, shoes to put on, day-sleeps we can’t miss. But your subtle schedules give me a reprieve from the minute-by-minute alarm constantly buzzing in my brain. Things are scheduled, rules are bent. It’s the only place where I feel time is gentle. Life feels calm.

2. You’re more than Mojitos 

Some pubs only sell beer. Others sell beer, cocktails and finger-food. You are the latter. You offer so much more than books. My kids do cartwheels – is that allowed? – over your DVDs, toys, magazines. Heaven.

3. You’re peaceful. So peaceful.

The silence. I’ll admit I’m usually the first to break this lovely rule. But I love it that you do your best to enforce it. Thank you. Life is too noisy.

4. You’re ahead of the curve.  

If you were in fashion, you’d be Anna Wintour. Classic, but you already know what’s coming out before it’s hit the shops. You, my friend, are on trend. New releases before the book shops even get them? Yes, please.

5. You’re Good People 

You house good people. Librarians who are helpful. People who actually KNOW things. There’s no room for bluffers. And if they don’t know, they find answers. A simple comfort in a world a million miles from Google.

6. You’re a Cheap Date

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A trip to visit through your doors costs me a few drops of petrol and a hot chocolate on exit for the kids. All of that in exchange for killing at least three units of time with my unruly kids.

7. You allow Cheaters

I must admit. I’m double-dating. Sometimes while you’re babysitting my kids (eek!), I pull out my sometimes-lover. My iPhone. And I use it on your bill. Just to check in. But not for long …

8. Your accessories are risque.

I don’t let my kids have beanbags. I think they’re unsafe. I know, I know, I know. I’m the fun-police. But your reading corner sounds like CB radio static once my kids jump all over your beanbag accessories. You have brought them an illegal joy and I’m happy for them. And you. It’s sort of like when an aunt lets their niece have a sip of their wine.

9. You’re so generous.

No matter what we’ve done, you always let us borrow your stuff. I do believe you think I contact your books in plastic. I must reveal, I don’t. That’s sticky-tape. I’ve spent nights piecing your wares back together and you still take me and my kids. Every. Time.

10. You bring the Life Lessons.

You’ve taught my kids that you can’t just take stuff, trash it and chuck it. You have to look after things and give them back. You’ve taught my kids about responsibility in a way I could’ve only told them about. Or I suppose we could’ve got a dog. A far smellier and more expensive option.

11. You’re a great babysitter. 

Sometimes I need a break from watching my kids run through parks and falling off boulders at the local oval. I need to sit, chill and listen to someone else sing nursery rhymes. And for that, I love your enthusiasm to help. To help me, help my kids.

Lover, all dressed up in your faux historical columns and 70s brick extensions, I’m sorry it’s taken us so long to reunite. I’m sorry I rejected you. But I won’t leave you again. You’ve got your sexy back. Your quiet, dignified embrace never felt so lovely.

You were the reliable lover I always knew you were.

Thanks for waiting for me.

 Did you rediscover the library after you had kids?