I love my job at the public library. I am a professional spine-labeler; fiction, non-fiction, children’s picture books, westerns, audio books, and countless other collection codes haunt my nightmares. As an avid reader and devoted movie fanatic, having an entire three county library system at my fingertips is amazing. Anything I want gets delivered to my desk – bestselling novels, classic literature, a book on Harry Potter knitting designs, new release DVDs, anything I could possible wish to expand my mind with.
My job, however, has led me to habitually commit the cardinal sin of literature – reading the last chapter first. It’s a temptation too easy to ignore – do Cecilia and Robbie get together at the end of Atonement? What is the horrible secret of Duma Key? At first, it was a silly little impulse, a curious wonder, to see whether all romance novels ended with a “happily ever after.” And as they did, more and more, I was curious about the who-dun-its, and then the westerns, and then the memoirs, and then the…
It’s an addiction I cannot stop.
The more I read the all-important last pages of books, the more I realize the importance of knowledge. I have learned tid-bits and trivia I would not otherwise know. I have acquainted myself with these stories, authors, and characters I would not otherwise have met. Even from this ruinous quirk comes little glimmers of information and wisdom.
This, I believe, is a window into the world. A person cannot just sit and watch as life passes them by. No one can sit and not try to open their eyes to the ideas and words of the world’s people. A thirst for knowledge is the most healthful habit a person can form. By soaking up the little bits, a person (such as a wayward librarian) can be those few words closer to being a citizen of the world.
No one could ever hope to every thing on this planet. No one could even hope to come close. To search out information about the parts of the world unknown to me is all I can do to widen my perceptions. The more I learn, the more I can understand.
And because I’ve mastered the rhetoric of the final chapter, I believe I’m paving a road in my mind that is meant for knowledge. By reading the endings of countless books, I believe I’m forming the habit of picking up whatever bits and pieces of knowledge I can find. In such a hurried and advanced world, knowledge is one of the most important things I can hope to gain.
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