Why we love libraries.
2 weeks ago I went to the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, or BAnQ as I like to call it. It was my first time back in more than a year. One year and 3 months to be precise. I went with my family and each of us got lost in the familiar maze, looking for movies, videogames, comics and novels.
I finally got to borrow “Aurora Leigh” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I had been waiting for it for a long time. One year and 3 months to be accurate.
While I was exploring and rediscovering the beautiful building I decided to search for books that had the maple leaf on the side. I’ve been living in Montreal for 3 years now and I have never read a Canadian author that wasn’t Mordecai Richler or Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. Both of which I really enjoy.
I found quite a few new authors. Luckily you can use a basket to carry around your books and I made sure to throw in it every book that I could find. So, if you were looking for “Heroine” by Gail Scott, I’m sorry but I’m still not through with it. It’s a hard to read! It goes back and forth and I feel like I’m watching an indie film or something. I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’m done with it.
I also returned to my favourite section of the library. The comics and graphic novels section! Full of superheroes, beautiful and large French albums that let you appreciate every last detail, and a lot of non super heroes comics. A lot. And having a Bachelor’s in English literature I can assure you that my tastes in comic books are very refined. Which is why I borrowed a couple of volumes of Power Girl.
I had to borrow a French comic book also, that I wanted to read for a long time, but that I kept postponing. I think it’s called “Pinup” and it’s a big red book with gorgeous artwork. Don’t ask me what it’s about, I’m preoccupied with “Heroine.” The book, not the other one.
While I was indulging myself with a fine selection of Canadian novels, French comics and a couple of videogames; the rest of the family spent the entire time in the fourth floor where the DVD’s and blu-rays are. Borrowing movies from the library is still my favourite thing to do in Montreal.
It was a good day at the library. It was a little bizarre, all things considered, I realized that I had some fees on my account, so before borrowing anything, I settled my outstanding debt of $9.
Once we had everything we wanted to watch and read and play, we headed towards the exit, the guard told us something that made me smile.
He said: “Garder la sourire!”
It made me smile.