The Borrowing Mood – An Ode to Libraries

Always bought books the way people bought shoes
Bad days and good days and whatever the mood
But I moved to the city, and, not sitting pretty,
Now the book money’s got to buy food.

What to do, what to do, with my book-buying mood
I was craving the search and the find more than food
I needed a fix, needed a tale, but even when books went on sale
The damage I knew I’d do in the store wasn’t good.

I missed wandering aisles and skimming the spines
Admiring all the covers and titles and lines
And losing myself in the New Fiction shelf
Buying and having and making books mine.

My shelves were so sparse, and I, feeling dismayed,
Was desperate for stories but couldn’t have paid
So I went for a stroll, to soothe my sad soul
And it was on that long walk I was saved.

I passed by a building so tall and so wide
You’ve could have fit cities, worlds even, inside
It was made of cold stone, yet warm like a home
And when I stepped through the doors, I was sure I had died.

There were aisles and stacks and corners and nooks,
And rooms upon rooms upon rooms of books
All of them there and all of them free,
No tricks and no catches and no dirty looks
When you pick something up, when you turn through the pages
When you sit and read, when you stay for ages.

And the best part is, now I don’t have to choose,
I can live in the city, I can have books AND have food.


19 thoughts on “The Borrowing Mood – An Ode to Libraries

  1. This is probably the cutest poem I’ve read in a long while. I totally share your library love!

    • veschwab says:

      Haha, why thanks. And seriously, they are so awesome. I still buy books, but try to read them first and only buy the ones I love. I did SO much damage last year.

  2. ek_johnston says:

    BRILLIANT! I love this.

  3. Heather Ponzer says:

    I’m the jerk who has 20 books on hold that the library hasn’t even acquired. Me first!

    If you have kids, then you get to go to a magical thing called Storytime! Or I guess you could still go., but you might get strange looks. I love our Storytime.

    Love my library. I buy occasionally, but staying home with kids isn’t as lucrative as you’d think. 😉

  4. Sara says:

    Aww as a newly minted librarian(just received my degree) that warms my heart. If I could afford it I would do some major damage at a bookstore.My local library serves me well I can feed my book addiction.

  5. ceciliajbh says:

    I totally love this poem, Victoria! I’ve worked at a public library in the heart of the nation for many years (not saying how many!) and this about says it all when it comes to what libraries are about!

    I’m sharing this poem with my co-workers…:> Would you have a problem if I posted this on our state-wide list serv…giving you credit as author, of course?

    This poem made my day! Thanks, Victoria!

  6. Jessica Naccari says:

    I LOVE this! Beautiful words and an amazing message! I’m going to share it!

  7. Liz says:

    I love this! As a library school student, it’s heartwarming to know that people still love and support the institution I plan to work in.

    • veschwab says:

      I adore your institution 🙂 I have to say, it brightens my day more when someone says they says they saw/picked up my book in a library than in a bookstore, even if I don’t get paid for that.

  8. LindaG. says:

    *APPLAUSE!* Love it. 🙂

  9. I love this! *types from circulation desk at library*

  10. ceciliajbh says:

    Well, Victoria…your poem is now out to all those KS libraries along with a plug for “The Near Witch”. I’m sure they all will love your poem as I did.


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