Life renewal

This past few weeks in Australia have given me an opportunity to catch up on life admin – I renewed my photo ID and got a new Medicare card, things of that nature. But the very first thing that I did – literally on day one at my parents’ place – was to enrol myself at the local library.

And then I proceeded to go book crazy.

The staff must have thought I was in some sort of fever dream. I was borrowing at least ten books a week, and just as many audio books. Almost every day, I walked up to the library to pick up a reservation, drop off some CDs, or just browse the shelves looking for more ways to make my bag heavier.

Of course, I didn’t read all the books I borrowed. Some, I borrowed and then checked if they were available in Zagreb’s library. If they were, I returned them without reading them, promising myself to get them again in Croatia.

But I have smashed through a goodly number. In fact, Goodreads informs me that I’ve already read nine books this year (five ahead of schedule), and I’m still part way through a bunch more.

And so today was a bittersweet moment, as it was Packing Day. It was time to return all those books – the ones I’ve read, the ones I haven’t, and the audiobooks I’ve fervently coped to my computer to listen to later… (totes legal).

I walked to the library. I slipped “This Sceptered Isle 1327-1547” and “This Sceptered Isle 1837-1901” through the Audio/Visual return hatch, checking beforehand to see that all the CDs were in their place. Then I took out three books – one novel and two history books – that I hadn’t quite managed to squeeze in, and I slid them down the chute marked ‘Books’.

Buh-bye, huge range of English-language books, I said, holding back a tear.

And then I went inside and picked up Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”, which I’d had on hold.

Well, the library didn’t think it was going to get off that easily, did it?

So last things last, I must now quickly rip these CDs before I go to bed. Good night, and happy reading!


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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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