A Walk to the Library

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Day 17 of #100DaysToOffload

Disclaimer: Mentions of Ukraine

I try to go to the library often. I do have an e-book reader but I find I go through books much quicker if it's a physical book. It's a good thing that the library nearest to me is quite close by. It's one train station away and, if the weather is good, just a nice scenic twenty minute walk along the river.

There is a monument just before the river, commemorating the Ukrainian victims in The Great Famine from 1932 to 1933 due to the Soviet Famine. Millions were killed during this time. Whenever I pass it, I try to pause for a bit or even re-read the inscription. More often that not, there is a homeless person slumped against it, sleeping, so I usually just do a mental pause in my head.

However, today it was nearly impossible for me to get to the monument as there was a large gathering. Dozens of people holding Ukrainian flags and signs were around, protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is a large Ukrainian population in Canada so the turnout was not surprising. I didn't stay as I felt like an obvious intruder, just a passerby. If only I had driven and was just able to honk my acknowledgement, as so many who were driving by were doing.

When I reached the library, I put my books into the return bin (the return chutes were out of order). It was filling up quickly and I was quite pleased seeing all the children's books that had been returned. Then I picked up a book that I had on hold: Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. It's a book that's on the Texas Book Invesstigation list that I have been reading from, mostly out of spite. I really love reading graphic novel memoirs, it feels incredibly personal.

After that, I walked around the library and hit all the spots I usually try to hit:

  • In the science fiction section I look for any Ursula K. Le Guin books that I haven't read yet.
  • I look for Haruki Murakami books that I also haven't read yet.
  • I casually walk through the general fiction section, picking up anything that catches my eye.
  • I go up to where the manga and graphic novels are. These days I mostly just pick up graphic novels (like I said, I love those graphic novel memoirs) but sometimes I pick up a manga volume or two.
  • Browse through the crafts/arts section.

Today, this was my book haul:

  • Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami
  • Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Maples Stories by John Updike
  • A Chronology of Art: A timeline of western culture from pre-history to the Present by by Iain Zaczek
  • The Handmaid's Tale: the graphic novel by Renee Nault and Margaret Atwood
  • This is How I Disappear by Mirion Malle

It was a short visit so when I was walking back from the library, the Ukraine rally was still ongoing. It was harder to pass by, I should have taken a different route. I crossed the street and tried to listen for a few minutes but it was too hard to hear. I thought about taking a picture but decided against it.

Coming home, I was greeted by my cat. I was gone for only and hour and a bit but he was acting like it was the end of the world. It was a short outing but it was nice to get some fresh air, grab some books in one of my favourite places, and see people being united for a good cause.