New York Library

It rained today. Not good rain – manky, sideways, soggy rain that seeped into my shoes and left me wanting to hide inside.

It also washed my after-work event right off the calendar so I was left wondering what to do. Then I realised it was the perfect day to complete something I’ve been vowing to do for a year now: Join a New York library.

Perhaps it’s all those summers I spent ploughing through books when I was little (in a failed attempt to keep up with my big sister), but it just doesn’t feel like a proper community – or a proper summer – without a library card in my wallet. Thankfully there’s one just a couple of blocks away from my flat: The East Village’s Ottendorfer Library.

New York Library

All I had to do was show my New York address, photo ID and fill out a form, and bam! all the books, movies and mags I wanted. Well, all the books, movies and mags from the mid 90s that I wanted.

It wasn’t that bad really, but the inside is more modest that the grand, red bricked exterior would suggest. I was glad to see how much it’s used though. And after browsing the musty shelves, I picked up Emma Donoghue’s ‘Astray’ as I enjoyed her ‘Room’ a couple of years ago.

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The cute boy at the desk gave a knowing ‘Mmmmm’ when I placed it on the counter, which is either a good sign or him nearly succeeding at convincing me he’d read every book in the place.

Then I pegged it through the rain back home to check it out for myself.

Easy, free, and despite the no talking rule, I made some chatty new friends. Now hopefully for the first time in a long time, it takes me less than three weeks to finish a book.

New York Library