The Other Side of the Couch – Surprise at the Library



I went to the public library a few days ago.  I have been going more frequently in the last year since I am a member of two book clubs, and I am spending way too much money on books.  I made a resolution to check with the library before I bought another book, so I ran in to see if a copy of The Color Purple by Alice Walker happened to be available.  (It was – I read it years ago, but this is the classic that my book club is reading this month.)

What was interesting to me is what happened after I found the book that I needed.  I started browsing – you know, just looking at book titles, pulling a few off the shelf to check out the descriptions.  Before I knew it I had picked up three other titles – one of which I put back because, although I wanted it, I knew it was too long and challenging a read right at this time.  I checked out the other two.

I left the library with three books – the one I came for, and two others that I would never have run across had I not been just poking around, picking up books and putting them back, just for the sake of looking.  I am now deep into one of those books (NOT the one I am supposed to be reading for book club!).

To have the opportunity to go to a public library, to hang out, to browse, to run across books that I might not have ever seen or known existed, is a privilege that we in this country and in this city take for granted.  To have a library card, to have access to the incredible array of services offered by our public library system, is one way in which our country maintains its democracy.  A library card is a ticket to information.  Information can be found in any number of different ways – through books, through public computers, through DVDs and CDs, through inter-library loan, and even through e-books.  In Nashville, the public library system is linked to our schools, so our students have access to this amazing universe of knowledge.

Library cards are free!  All one needs is an ID and proof of address.  What a bargain.  The information below is found on the Nashville Public Library website – .

About Your Library Card

Your library card gives you free access to over two million books, ebooks, magazines, DVDs, streaming movies and music, and more.

Library cards are free for any person who lives in Davidson County or within the Goodlettsville city limits. Cards are also free for Metro Nashville employees.

You may get a library card online or in person at any library location.

Online cards allow immediate access to all online library materials. If you get a card in person, it allows immediate access to all library materials. To get a card, present your photo ID and proof of address. Any combination of accepted forms of ID that satisfy these requirements is allowed.

As I prepare to read another chapter of my “found” book, I am celebrating libraries, and books, and reading, and I am also acutely aware of the privilege that I have in this city, in this country.  Even in Nashville itself, too many men and women are unable to read.  According to the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, one in eight Nashvillians are unable to read.

Celebrate reading; celebrate your ability to go to a library and to find what you want, and sometimes to find some other things that you didn’t know you wanted.  Life is enriched in so many ways.

About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP:

Susan is a communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, and proud native Nashvillian. She has been in private practice for over 30 years. As she says, “I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts.”  Contact Susan at

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Other Side of the Couch – Surprise at the Library

  1. Norma Shirk

    Libraries are wonderful. My sister and I always looked for the public library first whenever our family moved to a new town.


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