Kelly from Batavia, Illinois

ONE FOR THE BOOKS! - Was my husband having an affair with a librarian?  This thought crossed my mind when previous rare visits to our public library became nightly happenings.  Who or what was so alluring?   He admitted that there was an attraction, but, he added, although the librarians were pleasant and helpful, it was the library itself that he found so appealing.  My husband discovered that our library has services that enhance his life.  He learned what I already knew: patronizing the library is a good thing.

His love affair with the library began five years ago.  Unemployment forced us to streamline our spending and seek alternatives.  He was first lured to the library in search of movies and magazines.  Movie rentals at his traditional haunts had become too expensive; magazine purchases, too frivolous.  The library, he discovered, has movies—a wealth of cinematic offerings—available by just signing up for a library card.  “Movies for free…   what a deal!”  He raved as if he was the first to make this discovery.  Then he found the magazines, both current and older issues with stories he wanted to read.  Again, he got these periodicals free with just a swipe of his newly acquired library card. 

Where has he been?  I thought each time he regaled me of the many benefits of our library.  Did he forget that our computer was connected to the internet, free of charge, because of the library’s Metro Net service?  And didn’t he remember that it was the library, through its classes, where I learned how to use the computer in the first place?   Finally, where did he think I was getting all those audio books that accompany me on walks, to the gym and on long cars trips?  

Oh, well!  There’s no harm in letting my husband continue his fantasy that he’s the one who discovered the many services available from our public library.  Besides, it was because of his initial interest in the library’s movies and magazines that resulted in something amazing.  He rediscovered the joy of reading books.  As a young man, my husband had been an avid book reader.  This was something that attracted me to him when we began courting 30-some years ago.  Over the years, however, a wife, three kids, home responsibilities and long hours at work banished this habit from his life.  But not anymore!  Library books—his selections—are regular visitors to our house.

Now what was that about an affair?  My husband is having one, but it’s with me! Now that he is reading and sharing the information and knowledge he gains from books, he is more interesting; more appealing.  And, because of this, I no longer—after 29 years of marriage—take him for granted.  My rejuvenated attraction to him has made me more appealing to him.  I still get audio books from the library, but I don’t need them when I go on walks.  I now have my husband to accompany  me.  Holding hands, we walk and talk.  He always has something interesting to talk about, and I enjoy hearing what he has to say.

The library has changed our life in such positive ways.  It has increased our financial resources while supplying us with a multitude of entertainment options.  Its greatest benefit, however, is that it has helped to make our marriage stronger than ever.  Now that’s one for the books!