Sunday, June 15, 2008

You Had Me At "Cake"

I have a crush on my local library.

If it was a man I'd be finding excuses to visit him every day to borrow stuff (oh wait - I'm already doing that) and mistaking his generous inclination to share for flirtation.

Come to think of it that's pretty much how I got my husband. Out with a bunch friends and KosherCook after a Jewish singles event, I mentioned that I hadn't seen a movie in over 2 years. Shocked and horrified he asked me out to the movies. He was offering popcorn and pity - I, of course, assumed he liked me. It didn't take him long, though, to figure out we were meant for each other. Of course, it helped move things along that I kept showing up to borrow his stuff.

Seriously though, the library is like a little slice of heaven, especially in the 90 degree heat of summer. I've taken to trolling bookstores with a little notebook, taking down names and ISBN numbers and then requesting the books at the library. I typically have 15 or so books out at one time, with about 6 different due dates. If it wasn't for the email reminders the library sends, my addiction would be completely unmanageable.

The book I just finished was worth reading just to see the title every time I picked it up - I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. I can completely relate to the shards of hope she clings to in the face of mounting disappointment. Unlike the promised but undelivered pastry of the title, Sloane Crosley serves up a witty collection of tales in which she is relegated to underdog in her own life story. I could barely contain myself while reading "Christmas in July," an essay about her tenuous Jewish identity being eroded away by an accidental stint at bible camp. I insisted on rereading it out loud to KosherCook after finishing it the first time.

I was already hooked on her writing, when she reeled me in with a single phrase - a phrase curiously similar to the one I uttered 8 years ago which also sealed the deal for my husband. If you ask him why he married me he'll tell you it was Kashrut and Britcoms that piqued his interest. But when I saw our car abandoned in a sea of parking spaces and said, "The Cheese Stands Alone," he knew I was the woman for him.

Similarly, Sloane Crosley became the newest of my favorite writers when she said it with soy. "The soy cheese stands alone."


  1. I love the library also! Where else can you (legally) walk into a comfortable, air conditioned building, get pleasant service from the people who work there, and walk out with an armful of merchandise that you don't have to pay for! And you can come back again and again as often as you want to. I can't count the hours and hours that I have spent in various local libraries, happily lost in books that I would otherwise never have access to.

  2. Hi Superraizy! Thanks for stopping by.

    I'm always amazed when I can just leave the library without paying. What is even more astonishing, though, is I used to work at a bookstore where you could borrow the books they sold. Any book. New, old, the only copy of the most popular book on the planet. All on the honor system.



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