The Chicago Public Library celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
I’d already made a promise to myself to reboot my plan to visit every local library branch this year, a goal I made in 2020—and, well, we all know what happened that year. I usually borrow more books than I can finish in a reasonable amount of time, which can be both overwhelming and comforting. If I place all the books I’ve taken out in a pile, it’s a physical reminder of my ambitions to read a lot of text on a (pretty lax) deadline.
But I try not to pressure myself too much to finish a book if I have no external forces demanding I do so. I like to read for pleasure, and I’m (mostly) comfortable with the pace I read books. I like having a lot of library books around the house to remind me of my omnidirectional interests. I like to pick up a book I have on my hand when something in the air—my listening habits, my work, the news, an afternoon stroll, a conversation with a friend—points me in that direction. And I enjoy walking to the closest library branch and browsing the shelves to see what jumps out at me.
Which is one of the many reasons I aim to visit every local branch I can. But first, I’ve gotta get some work done so I can carve out a little more leisure time to read.