Yesterday I did something that I haven’t done for several years: I got a couple of books out of the library.
Sounds odd, doesn’t it, coming from someone who so fond of reading – let alone someone who lives almost within a stone’s throw of the library? But it’s true. I’ve been into the library quite a few times, researching this and that, but it’s many years since I have wanted to take a library book home with me.
The main part of Shrewsbury’s library is housed in the old Shrewsbury School building. With a fine statue of Charles Darwin outside – educated here. The music library is housed in a room which still has the old panelling on the walls, covered in schoolboy names and initials, cut deeply into the wood, usually in rather fine handwriting.
It was the music section that drew me this time. I tend to get most of my fiction reading from charity shops – much of it returns for resale – and since I’ve had Internet access, I have found less and less need to go across the road to look up facts. However, the guitar occasionally needs feeding with new songs, and I thought it would make sense to see what could be borrowed, before I get tempted into buying new songbooks or waste more hours chasing things down on the web. And once I’d had my elderly library card replaced with a shiny new one, I came out happily clutching a couple of collections of tunes with a few ‘possibles’ in each.
(Much of this afternoon has vanished in transposing and getting to grips with ‘Carolina in my Mind’. Which turns out a great deal less daunting than I expected, once I’d rescued it from the key of F and put it safely down in G to get rid of the flats. I flatly refuse to play flats, except B flat. One has to draw a line somewhere. I will put up with a modest number of sharps.)
One advantage of not having borrowed from the library for so many years is that they may have had some turnover in the fiction section since I stopped bothering to look at it. Maybe there will be some new non-fiction on subjects that interest me? Who knows? I may have been lured back into library usage by the demands of a hungry guitar, but there’s a lot more than music in Shrewsbury Library (quite apart from the joy of being inside a lovely and historic building). I’m looking forward to my next visit….