It’s rare that I get up before 11am on a regular day – I assure you, I’m legit nocturnal – but I got up at 9 so that I could drive Fu to the station and more excitingly, check out the city’s libraries!
After the fiasco with trying to buy a book online (ugh, story for another day), I was searching on google for alternatives when I saw that one of the results was a public library. But hmm, would the library carry the books I want? A quick search and… EUREKA! They do! AND it’s on the shelves!
I’ve never been to a library in Japan before and I was pretty excited! I practically lived in libraries growing up; I would make at least one trip to the public library (often more than once if I finished reading quickly) and I visited the school library almost every day. It slowed down when I entered secondary school and these days I read maybe one book a year. It’s kinda sad, huh?
I do most of my reading on the screen now, and articles instead of books. But there’s something about the feel of a book in the hands, the smell of the paper, and the action of thumbing through the book that is unique and irreplaceable to me.
I think I have sufficiently established how excited I was about going to a Japanese library for the first time (don’t ask why I haven’t gone sooner, I don’t know either) so it was with much anticipation that I set off for the car park.
And this was the scene that greeted us:
These are the remains from the snowfall we had two days ago:
And look what happened to Haru…
The ice was dead stuck onto the windscreen and we had to chip away at it with the only tool we had in the car: the handle of a 100 yen windshield wiper.
Fu didn’t have much luck with it, and thought he would have to walk to the station so he went back to change his shoes. I continued working on the windscreen and when he returned his reaction was “WHOA! How did you manage to clear it all?!”
*smugly flexes biceps*
After dropping him at the station, I made a beeline for the library!
I made my library card and it lets me borrow 10 books for 15 days.
For a small city, we have 5 libraries sprinkled all around! I headed to the 本館 or main library which held the most books. I guess the many libraries is further proof of the Japanese love for reading (on trains, it’s quite a common to see people reading paperbacks or newspapers).
I wasn’t expecting it, but they have English books too!!!
I was so elated to see the Harry Potter books since I had to leave mine in Singapore, and thought it was time for a reread from the start (I’ve read the entire series twice, and some books 3 times). BUT OF ALL BOOKS TO BE MISSING, the first book – and only the first! – was not there -_-;;
I picked up a Treasury of Japanese Folktales (written in both languages, too! score!) for this visit, but I will be back for that HP book!
I also once again realize today that Japan is the country for me.
I was just thinking what I’ll need to do to clean the books, because you know, #OCD, but then… look. Just…
LOOK AT WHAT I FREAKING FOUND.
A DISINFECTOR FOR BOOKS!!!
Just pop the books in, press the button on the top right, wait 45 seconds while the UV light comes on and the germs are zapped to death, and voila!
I’m still going to wipe the books down though. More to make myself more comfortable psychologically than anything else. Stop shaking your head over there.
When I got into the car to go to another library (that branch has a book I really want), I realized I spent 2 hours in the library! The heck. It felt like only half an hour!
Basically the entire just flew by. When I sat down to eat my lunch (Hanamaru Udon, if you’re curious) after all the library visits, I glanced at the clock on the wall and paused.
Nah, that clock must be broken.
I shake it off and start to dig into my udon.
With a mouthful of noodles, I pause mid chew, and decided to whip out my phone to check the time. HOLY. It really was 3pm!!!
How has 4 hours passed since I dropped Fu off?!
But that was time well spent even if I didn’t feel it. I foresee myself doing this again very soon! :D