The Beginning of My Library


It is a beautiful summer’s morning in Oak Park. I put on a nice soft plaid shirt and grab a copy of my smallest, thinnest book. You have to start somewhere.

“Hello.” I say, at the library.

“Hello!” says the librarian.

“I am an author.” I say.

“Cool!” says the librarian.

“I live here, and this is our community library. It is a very nice library!”

“Thank you.” says the librarian.

“Look what I have here! I’d like to give the library a copy of my latest book. It was written in Oak Park, and it is about Oak Park.”

“Oh.” says the librarian. “We don’t accept book submissions to the library.”

Being ready for this, I say, “Well, it is a library, isn’t it?”

“Yes.” laughs the librarian seeing the irony. “But still, we don’t usually accept book submissions to the library.” The librarian thinks. “But there have been exceptions.”

“Who would know about those exceptions?”

“Administration, on the second floor.”

“Thanks so much. It was nice talking to you.”

“You’re welcome!”

I talk to the nice people in Administration, and then, in a café, I give my book away to a pretty girl. This was the beginning of my Library, which I guess is not a library at all — where books are accepted, where people don’t know they are a branch of my Library, and if they give my book away to anyone else, it makes a new branch.

Or, out of my confused thinking, I remember one of my heroes, Richard Brautigan, used to hand his poetry out on the street, the work attached to little packets of seeds.

I have no idea what I’ll do.

I go outside, and I’m reminded the world is a beautiful place. It has many libraries.

— —

CM Evans

CM Evans is a cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. He does all his writing and most important work with a cane chair.