"Are you waiting to have your I.D. made?"
"No actually, I'd like to check out a book."
"OH! Really? Well then come over here please!"
By the sparkle in her eyes and the flailing of her arms as she literally RUNS to her desk (causing it to dawn on me that the woman is a carbon copy of Olive Oyl), I can tell that students rarely go to the library to actually check out books.
"Do you read a lot?"
A group has now formed around us waiting to have their I.D.'s made. It's a small group, but still large enough for my cheeks to flush and my responses to become brief. Gotta get outta here, gotta get outta here...
"Because this book is HEAVY."
It's a paperback with only 200 pages. The woman needs to eat more eggs.
"I'm surprised you're reading such a heavy book. War...death...it's gruesome."
Oh okay I get it. Library lingo. "Heavy." So wait, is she implying I'm dumb? I look behind me. The small group is now a medium-sized group, with a couple people moaning, "Mayynneee, dis chick TAkin too looong!" Ugh.
"So, you're in Reading Club then."
It'd be bad enough if she had asked me. Asked me in front of the now medium-to-large antsy group behind me. But no, she just automatically assumed. Automatically assumed I was in Reading Club. It's not even like, "Only NERDS are in Reading Club!" It's like, "NO ONE is in Reading Club." It's like, "Reading WHAT?" because no one even KNOWS about Reading Club.
Keep 'em brief, keep 'em brief.
"I didn't even know we had a Reading Club."
WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF. THAT'S ALL I WANNA KNOW. WHY.
"You'll have to go to Ms. Andrews and she'll give you details."
No no no!
"Here, you choose two or three books from this box to read, and THEN, you blog about them."
Her smile is gone. She's gone into All Business Mode. Reel in a Reading Club candidate and keep them in an ice-box. Trapped. And reading.
"So I go to Ms. Andrews and sign up?"
So I can leave now and never come back again?
"You can start now; you don't even need to sign up. Look through these here..."
She dives in head-first to the gigantic cardboard box. Her right arm shoots up from underneath her head with a book in hand. She holds her arm up without lifting her head from the box. Am I supposed to take it? She shakes her hand. I take it. The cover is hot pink with a girl on the cover, hip pushed out to the side and both hands strategically formed together to make the letter, 'W.' "GIRL VIBES" it says. I look on the cover for a "Reading Level: K-5" sticker. I'm shocked to only find a description. I don't really remember exactly what it said, considering the fact that I threw it back in the box when the woman finally emerged from it to gasp for air, but I'm sure it went along these lines: "Kelly is a senior at a new school with new friends, friends who may not be so "friendly" after all. When Samantha, the most popular girl at Sisquo High, decides to steal Kelly's boyfriend, Kelly knows she will have to play the game to keep him. Will Samantha win her boyfriend, be the Valedictorian, AND win Prom Queen? Kelly will have to do whatever it takes to bring Samantha down, which includes sending out her...GIRL VIBES."
She walks over to the now MOB of people behind me and tries to calm them down, turning back to me every few seconds to see if I'd found anything. I realize there's no getting out of this. Just grab a book and get gone. I look for the shortest one. "Fashionista" is my best bet: 60 pages.---
But I just can't do it. Reading "Fashionista" would be a waste of my life, I'm sure of it. I close my eyes and grab one. Another pink one. NO.
People keep pouring into the library (who would have thought? the one day I go to check out a book, the FIRST book I've ever checked out my entire 4 years of high school, is the busiest day in there), looking over at me, me who is now crouched behind the librarian's desk with 4 books in one hand and one with a sparkle spine in the other. I finally find one about boys and grab it. I don't think I'll get any "dramarama" in a boy book.
"Oh! You found one!"
"You only want one?"
"Well I'd like to start off with one since I'm reading about 4 other books right now."
"Oh! You can blog about those as well!"
Why do I lie?
"Do you have friends who like to read?"
"Give them these fliers!"
Why do I tell the truth?
Great. I will leave the library and be forced to walk all the way across the school DURING LUNCH when everyone is out and about, with two books in one hand, the laminated-paperback-obviously-from-the-library-kind, with a giant bookmark sticking out from each of them, a STACK of neon green fliers, and a face as red and blotchy as that one kid in 5th grade whose face was always red and blotchy. At least I'm finally getting out of there with SOME dignity, since the mob didn't ACTUALLY know what I was doing behind her desk submerged in the hot pink paperbacks from Hell. I reach the door, when all of a sudden...
"DON'T FORGET TO TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN READING CLUB WITH YOU!"
I might as well just join.