In The Library

For those of us with triskaidekaphobia the year 2012+1 will be an entire year of forced behavioral therapy.

It’s a stupid superstition but one I still struggle to shake as (for me) it’s wrapped into a weird layer of OCD-based terror.  In my mind, every time some one says the unlucky number, everything becomes unlucky for everyone who has just heard that number, and only saying it again will cancel the negative effects.  Except that it’s impossible to know exactly if you’re on the lucky or unlucky side of life, and so maybe you say the unlucky number to get you out of an unlucky period but then you get your arm chopped off and then you realize that you were in the unlucky period before, so you say it again and then your leg falls off because you’ve just said the unlucky number too many times and fate is now pissed that you’re fucking with her.  This all makes sense in my head.

That’s why yesterday at my friend Laura’s house I was a bit of a nervous wreck entering the first day of this terribly named year.  And so we decided to change the name.  To “The Library.”  At first I thought this just made me feel immediately better because the booze had just kicked in, but now I’m perfectly sober and I’m in the second day in The Library and I feel so terribly comforted.

(by Johanna Ljungblom)

In The Library you are safe.  It smells of old books and worlds you’ve yet to explore.  It smells of worlds you’ve loved that beckon you back.  It smells of the bacon sandwich the guy in the corner has smuggled in while he devours words and food, not sure which is more filling.

In the library you are prepping.

Everything that happens in the library is just preparation for the next year.  That means if you fuck something up this year it’s fine.  This whole year is just practice.  The library is made for that.  Maybe you spend the year writing a book no one will ever read.  Maybe you spend the year recuperating from last year.  Maybe you burn the Thanksgiving turkey and forget an important birthday.  It’s okay.  It happened in The Library.  It was just practice for next year.  Maybe it’s insanity, or maybe it’s just me, but somehow I think we all need a year in The Library.  A year where it’s safe to make mistakes.  A year where it’s okay to have to escape and stare out the window without someone asking you when you’re going to get back to work and fix your life.  A year where we all whisper quietly about our plans and our wishes and dreams and darkest fears.  A year in The Library.  A year of getting lost in dusty, forgotten corners, and a year of finding the want.  (The want to leave.  The want to play.  The want to shrug off the dreams and walk out in the sunlight.  The want to pounce on 2014 with glee and rapture.)

The Library opened yesterday.  It closes 51.9 weeks from now.


463 thoughts on “In The Library

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Unless you’re River Song. Then you don’t like the LIbrary very much… Luckily we don’t need to deal with that brand of terrifying. Happy New Library to you, my dear.

  2. I’m with you. I’ll be in the dusty second-hand chair next to the fiction section eating an apple and scribbling notes.

  3. See, I was thinking almost the same thing about “2012 +1”.
    I just didn’t have as-clever a name for it.

  4. Awww! The Library is actually my LUCKY number, but that’s because I was born an oxymoron and tend to get everything bass-ackwards!

    I do love the perspective that this year is just practice, and if you screw anything up it’s because of the number! See, two days in the Library and you’ve already created a good coping strategy!

  5. I like it, but how will you write it out on checks and other things where you need to write the date? My biggest flaw (also my biggest um, shit, I forgot the word…not-flaw?) is that I’m highly logical above everything else. So I can still “get” the whole unlucky number thing but still focus on the mundane aspects.
    I never said I made sense.

  6. I’ve renamed it too. In fact I renamed 2012 as well, it shall always be called The Big Suck. Now 2012+1 got the same treatment and is hopefully titled The Big Awesome. It helps keep me positive.

  7. O, how I’d love to spend the year in The Library! Unfortunately, my kids are very disruptive, and I don’t suppose they’d enjoy spending a year without me. O, this is a figurative Library… right. I truly LOVE this analogy. Or is it a metaphor? Shit…I hope I don’t stress about that all day.

  8. I’ve been reading your blog since THE DAWN OF TIME (that’s not even hyperbole, okay?) and this is easily my favorite post ever. EVER, JENNY. Shit’s getting real.

  9. That number happens to be the birthdate of 2 siblings (one in January and one in November). Plus, my other sister was born on the 26th (a multiple) and my month+day digits add up to That Number. So I consider it very lucky indeed.

    Besides, I see numbers as colors, and That Number is a nice fresh white/green striped combo, unlike last year, which was a bit too bright for comfort.

  10. Serious question: Why 2012+1 and not 2014-1? apparently i’ve been saying it wrong and was wondering why

    (Because 2014-1 implies that 2014 will happen and it’s tempting fate during The Library. Also, I’m insane. ~ Jenny)

  11. I love this idea…not sure how I feel about the fact I’ll be giving birth in the Library though…….. seems an inappropriate place for it.

  12. “This all makes sense in my head.” Yeah, I said that to my therapist this morning. No joke. I’ll happily join you in The Library – not because I’m afraid of that which shall not be named, but because I’m afraid of just about everything else. Now if you’ll excuse me, my OCD and I will be enjoying that bacon sandwich we smuggled in.

  13. As a Doctor Who fan I’ve learned that libraries can be far more unlucky than numbers.

    (Yes, but if you’re in trouble the Doctor shows up to help. And RiverSong gets to prove her love. It’s all in the way you look at it. LIBRARIES ARE AWESOME. ~ Jenny)

  14. But… is there Silence in the Library? Now I’m worried about the Vashta Nerada. Of course, I was worried about them before, so it’s not that big of a deal….

  15. The “number that shall not be named” is also our house number. Fortunately, I am not a triskaidekaphobe. But it causes some worry for friends of mine who are. I shall now refer to my address as “The Library” on [street name withheld because some of you are rather sketchy but I still love you anyway]. Thanks!

  16. Ah, The Library, full of musty memories and comfort. I will meet you there with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and a hug.

  17. Think of it this way… In 1912 the Titanic sunk. In 1914 World War I started. The year in between wasn’t too bad.

  18. Love, love, love libraries….and I’d be happy to be in one for 51.9 more weeks. Just hope I don’t get so comfortable I don’t want to leave!

  19. I don’t mind that number, but after last year, I definitely need some time in The Library. Time to discover new treasures, learn more about new and and old loves alike… but most of all? I just need the break from the constant go-go-go outside of The Library, I need that quiet, calm safety that can only be found when one is wandering in between the stacks of worlds contained between two covers, waiting to be discovered should I want to step inside. <3

    I very much like this idea.

  20. I like it. I’m not a triskaidekaphobic, but I can see myself using this in other situations.

  21. This is fabulous. My poor anxiety-riddled son struggled all through 2012 with the whole 12/21/12 Mayapocolypse thing. A year in the Library is what we need around here.

  22. I love the idea of a library. Unfortunately for me, it’s not a safe haven so much as a place to get in and out of while not making eye contact with the weirdos looking at porn on free computers…

  23. I actually have a fondness for the number 12 + 1, so that isn’t one of my Bad Things, but the logic is completely sound. But, triskaidekaphobia or not, I adore the idea of a year in the library. If it goes well, perhaps we can all stay forever.

  24. Oh, Jenny… while I get where you’re going with this, and the books and the escapism and all that (and I TOTALLY hang with it), clearly, you didn’t spend all day Monday watching the Doctor Who marathon like I did.

    The Library? Really?? Two words: Vashta Nerada.


  25. I also love that in The Library, you can take out a book you’ve never read before, try it, see if it works for you and if it doesn’t, just put it back! This is a good place to hang out, a good place to read new genres, look back over old authors you’ve not read for a while, sit, relax, be. I like it in The Library!

  26. Does this mean I can’t watch porn because I’m in a library?!?!?!

    This is gonna be a looooooooong year.

    (I’m sure we can hack the firewalls. Bring your headphones. ~ Jenny)

  27. “A year where it’s okay to have to escape and stare out the window without someone asking you when you’re going to get back to work and fix your life.”

  28. I saw a picture flying around Facebook with this quote: “Tomorrow, is the first page of a blank 365-page book. Write a good one.”

    Other than the gross misuse if a comma, I found the sentiment to be lovely.

  29. Sorry, hit send too soon. I love love love that phrase: “A year where it’s okay to have to escape and stare out the window without someone asking you when you’re going to get back to work and fix your life.”

  30. Having absolutely nothing to do with what you wrote…Remember the card catalog…in drawers?

    (And the sound it would make when you would slide it open? ~ Jenny)

  31. If you need to write out the date on a check or something, a suggestion:
    Use hexadecimal for the year:

    Today is January 2nd, #7DD

    7 is a lucky number
    And Double D is very easy to remember

    I’m sure the banks will cash it just the same.

  32. conversation with the guy I’ve been seeing:
    Him: Happy New Year!
    Me: Yay! So what do you want to do in the library?
    Him: euhm… you?

    Yep, fan.

  33. What a beautiful analogy! Being born on the 12+1 day of a month, it’s always been a lucky number for me, thankfully!

  34. Awesome and love this analogy, because I always did love the library (reading being one of my favorite pastimes). Thanks for putting it this way makes me feel better even about getting another year older!!

  35. Thank you for the new pesperctive. I kind of like The Library now. I spent the first hours sleeping well, which I think must have been the smell of dust and old paper. I think The Library can become one of my favorite years because I can use it for preparation, indulging in memories of years past and finding new forks in the road. I’ll try the road less traveled on this year, remembering that The Library is just for fun, for exercise, for trial and error. Yeah… It’s growing on me. Thx for taking away the akwardness of it!
    Happy 364 days in The Library to you and your family!!

  36. As a librarian, let me officially welcome you. Enjoy your year! I don’t think it needs to close at the end, you’ll just have other place to go and things to see in addition.

  37. I love this. A year where it’s ok to make mistakes. I may live the rest of my life in the library!

  38. As a public librarian who just no-trespassed my 5th person in two weeks….thanks for this. It’s nice to remember that most of the library lovers in the world have run of the mill crazy, and not the call the police kind.

  39. There’s usually some older woman in the library too who is like everyone’s mom, smells like cookies, smiles sweetly, and only wants to tell you a story. On the flip side of the unsaid unlucky number, 7 is supposedly the lucky number, A lot of bad shit happened in 1777. There is hope.

  40. It’s like the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenwhosit, only better, because it’s a library and not a museum!

  41. Pretty excited about this year, I have to admit. Even with the unlucky number… 11 is mine… so I’m just grateful to be getting further and further away from that number.

  42. And you call yourself a Doctor Who fan… The Library is where the Vashta Nerada were, and they’d strip the flesh off your bones so fast you didn’t realize you were dead…

  43. Ummmm Like any of us wouldn’t want to read the book you’re (hopefully) writing. We are all waiting for it and are going to love it as much as the first one!!! And this will be the only time you’re going to see The Library again unless you find some awesome way to live for another hundred years!! If you find that please share! Unless it’s vampirism cause that’s just gross although I do like the sparkle factor of certain vampires cause really what isn’t better covered in glitter? I would love to be naturally glittery all the time. SO if you find a way to live for another hundred years and it’s glittery vampirism let us know!!

  44. I’m sure there’s some option somewhere where you can turn all mentions of a certain word in a website into another word. It’s meant for preventing publication of swears, but I’m sure you could implement it into working with The Library too.

    Which might make for some interesting comment posts from people later in the year who forget about it and try and type something else completely innocently, but still…

  45. I’m fairly certain I’ve spent 48 whatever we call them in The Library. Somewhere between the stacks, plopped on the floor, books piled high around a bit like a fortress, a pony looking over my shoulder, a trail of glitter leading the way out in case I need provisions.

    It’s always been where you find me. So, welcome! I’m glad the rest of you are here. It’s lovely, it’s full of interesting and unusual and fascinating characters. And there’s always room for more. It’s an especially good time to be taking care of The Library. Libraries, all of the, need us to occupy them and need all our love.

  46. I’m not sure this works for me. In my world (one attached to several academic types and university influenced life) The Library is where we go for some girl on wine time. That way it looks better on our Outlook calendar – maybe even like after hours work – for anyone snooping. A whole year in the library sounds grand, but perhaps a bit too inebriated to get much else accomplished.

  47. Wow. I’ve had quite a bit of life-searching, mind-reviewing, plan-altering going on recently, and this post was just so perfect. I’ve not got any number-related qualms, but a year of prep, a year of trial and error, a year of notecards and outlines to sort out my mind. That is just spot-on.

    Thanks. 1000% sincerely, from the back recesses of my tossed-and-plundered mind, thanks. I truly needed to read this.

  48. I feel compelled to leave work and go watch “A Beautiful Mind.” For the library scenes alone, but it doesn’t hurt that all that other stuff is in there.

  49. To me it’s the number 4, from Asian belief systems it means death (so does the number 9 to some extent, too). So I’ll not be happy about next year, 2014. Nonetheless, pretty much ALL my last years have needed a library, and I don’t mind retreating into yet another one. I’ve spent most of my life in the library actually. Whenever I had enough brain energy to go there, I’d most likely *go*. Well, see you all on the other side of the shelf.

  50. oh thank god i’m here. last year fucking sucked. so did the year before. i’m in the middle of a depression and i was worried that this year is going the same direction as the others. somehow, knowing i’m in the library and this is all practice made it possible for me to take a deep breath. now maybe i can open my office door without crying.

  51. Thanks Jenny…I don’t mind the number 13, but we’ve had a rough couple of years, so I wasn’t really looking forward to a new one. But my husband and I decided that this year should be the year of good things, so we made a jar to keep in the office–I decorated it with tiny vintage cocktail posters cut off the back of an old calendar, and labeled it “Good Things.” Whenever something good happens, we can put a note in, then at the end of the year we can read about all the crazy, good things that happened to us. We started out with “Watching Lord of the Rings,” since re-watching the trilogy is our New Years tradition…and that is definitely a GOOD THING. Here’s wishing you lots of good things as you practice for next year!

  52. Yes. The Library. Good idea, as I adore libraries, am a huge fan – and have been feeling queasy about the year-that-shall-not-be-named for some time now. Good solution, thanks Jenny!

  53. I should have been a librarian as I love libraries and both my grandmother and mom were librarians. Damn law degree!

    I don’t have any sort of fear of the 13th as I was born on Friday the 13th and my birthday will fall on a Friday the 13th in 2013. Black cats for everyone!

  54. I actually thought of you and worried about you when I first had to write *the unlucky number* as part of the date. I’m glad you’ve found a good way to deal with it. I like it, and not just because I used to work in a library!

  55. Point 1: You are awesome.
    Point 2: I will probably end up getting married this year and am a little irritated that it is in an unlucky year but am not waiting around for another freakin’ year! I have rationalized if I get married on an unlucky Friday in the unlucky year it will cancel out and will actually be very lucky. Aren’t you glad you aren’t the only crazy?

  56. When I hear “The Library”, I think of that Doctor Who episode that introduced River Song. The one with the giant library with thousands of people “saved” but no survivors. The one with the killer shadow-things that devoured you if you stepped out of the light. Suddenly, The Library doesn’t feel safe.

    The only thing that could be worse would be to come upon a Weeping Angel statue in The Library!

  57. Sounds awesome, but, you know, let’s all stay out of the shadows . . . just in case.

    Jenny Lawson has entered the library. Jenny Lawson has been saved.

  58. Love love love the idea of The Library. Can I be a 16-year-old dreamer again, in The Library? Where I decide my future will consist of fashion photography for Vogue Magazine, writing for National Geographic and traveling the world to uncover the hidden stories that desperately need telling?

    Because sometimes, having a mortgage just doesn’t sound as fun. Is it safe to regress in The Library?

  59. This totally made sense except I couldn’t shake a weird ominous feeling associated with the phrase #The Library.” Then I remembered the Dr. Who episode with Donna Noble in The Library (with River) and now I can’t decide if I love or am terrified of The Library. Clearly I’ve seen too much Dr. Who.

  60. I like The Library. It’s quiet.

    To get past having to write 12+1 on checks and the like (does anyone actually write checks anymore? I mean, my apartment rent is the only thing I write a check for anymore because they REFUSE TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM and get online). Just write a capital letter “B” on things which is a squished up version of what 12+1 equals and then you don’t actually have to write the number, you’re just writing a harmless ol’ letter B.

  61. The ‘unlucky number’ thing has always been confusing to me as my family have always considered it lucky. my Grandparents got married on the 12+1 of the month, live at 12+1 house and have a 12+1 in their phone number. (Adding 12+1 rather than unlucky number so it doesn’t scare anyone. Have a great year in the library 🙂

  62. I can’t think of a nicer place to spend the year. You’ll find me under a desk in the Austen section with smuggled Twinkies, I’ll save you one.

  63. If it helps, I think of this as “Year 1.” Because after the whole Mayan apocalypse thing I was promised a “new era,” and I’m claiming it, dammit.

  64. I am, in fact, at the library RIGHT NOW reading this.

    I’m choosing to think of this year as “Lucky [insert number that can’t be mentioned],” however. I was the [insert number that can’t be mentioned]th grandchild, so the number holds little terror for me. My grandad, on the day I was born, chose to call me his lucky [insert number that can’t be mentioned]th grandkid. I’ve just gone with it.

  65. The library sounds like a nice place to spend a year. As long as nobody shows me any books with pictures of snakes because I’ll be afraid they’ll start moving, jump off the page and come after me. That wasn’t intended as a joke, it’s a real fear of mine.

  66. Last year was a great year for me, so I was a little hesitant to leave it. Something always goes wrong after going so well, right? So, thank you, for The Library. I’ll treasure my time in it. I may never leave.

  67. I’m inexplicably drawn to the number 12+1 and I do have inexplicably bad luck but you should know that in several religions and cultures across the world 12+1 is a lucky number. A very lucky number!

  68. It’s funny you know I have moved often and the first place I go to is the library. I love to explore the isles of books and find a corner in which I can just sit and devour a book, magazine or newspaper. When I was a child I would often escape the house by walking over the footbridge to our library which was an old Victorian house and I would find my favourite book (at the time it was “The lonely doll” books) and I would sit in the window seat and absorb the sun and my book and all was right with the world for that short period of time. It was like the library was my place to re-energize and take away all the crap that was the past week and give me hope for the next week.

  69. “the library” just reminds me of the Doctor Who episodes about that library and that to me is frickin scary

  70. For the love of all things blue, stay out of the shadows! Or just call the Doctor, he’ll come protect you from the year!

  71. My birthday contains the number of the beast (which I’ll thoughtfully just refer to as “the number of the beast”), so unlucky numbers usually feel more lucky to me. Still, I’m thinking every year could be the library as long as it’s an Earth library and not the one in Clue. I love the idea of prepping.

  72. I like it! *Oh, shhh * Love it, actually. Now, I’d like to request a library card and am willing to pay a fee for it. 😉

  73. So if the moons align to the right mystical coordinates and I actually get laid this year, can I say I was having sex in the stacks? Cos I’d like to be able to say that without the pesky arrest part.

  74. I’m calling it the 2012 do-over because my 2012 sucked so badly. I realize I’m tempting the fates with the 13 thing….but am highly optimistic that this plan will work.

  75. Where you learn and get better and imagine new things.
    I was wondering what you were going to do about this. I like it!

  76. I don’t know how you did it, but somehow you have perfectly captured EXACTLY what I need this year to be. A year of emotional and mental recovery, one of further discovering who I am and who I want to be. Thank you, so much.

  77. Oh, I love the idea of this year being practice–and being in a warm, safe, lovely place full of sunlight and books.

    Thanks for the lovely image.

    (Warning, the post from my blog this comment will link to mentions the dreaded number a few times. So skip if you are inclined.)

  78. At my husband’s grandparents’ house, if someone is in “the library,” it means they’re in the bathroom.

  79. 13 is my LUCKIEST number, especially if it falls on a Friday. To quote from the Internet, which we know is ALWAYS right:

    **But in all reality, a number is neither lucky or unlucky, it is what you put into and take out of the whole aspect of numbers, faith, beliefs, and the mystery that is all around us. So if you want to make 13 an unlucky number then that is what you will receive… you control your perceptions, make the best of them.**

    So I’m choosing to have a lucky year. Join me!

  80. Oh, sure, as long as you avoid the shadows in the library. “Hey, who turned out the lights?”

  81. Mona: We didn’t lose River Song. River’s been “saved”. I wouldn’t be surprised if she finds a way out of that at some point. 😀

  82. Yes, the library is a very comforting place, unless there are vashta nerada…oh, well, I guess you can’t have everything.

  83. 12+1 has never bothered me. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. 🙂 I hope you have an amazing year in The Library! May The Doctor always save you! Hugs!

  84. I really kind of needed this. Totally okay with the year as it was, but I need a safe place to practice and make mistakes and get ready for things to come. So, the library it is.

  85. I don’t have this particular affliction, but the renaming and the description feel wonderful to me. I’ve got a terrifying life experience coming up this year, plus being in the grips of a quarter-life crisis (which is like perpetual low-grade panic), so I’m loving the idea of a library year. Just what a bookworm like me could use.

  86. word. how can any year that starts with us going off a dang fiscal cliff be good?

    Library is good. Library is very very good.

  87. I suddenly feel like I’m inside a giant game of Clue… only everything happens in the library because there are no other rooms. Maybe I’m actually thinking of the Twilight Zone…

  88. YES!!! This is it exactly.
    ‘Cept when my wife reports that a mother of 6 has brough her children an ENTIRE lunch menu in the back.
    Messy and loud, but not a regular thing.
    I love the quiet, the thought, the creativity.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    The Cheeky Daddy

  89. Good gawd! I just confessed my OCD to the world this morning and now this. Thank the fuck that numbers is not my compulsion. I just worry over too much wrapping paper covering the floors. I need to go to the library. Now.

  90. This is the year of test runs for me, because having it be the year of Getting Shit Done, as I originally told myself, is just a tad bit terrifying. I’m happy to join you in The Library.

  91. I immediately thought of “Silence in the Library.” But some days, “everybody lives.”

  92. I love the library and this reclassification is perfect! I wish libraries were not in danger of extinction. Shall we take steps to give tangible form to this concept? Make it a year dedicated to the written word!

  93. Plus “The Library” is full of the world’s best weapons. I mean, you want to arm yourself against 2012+1, books are the best weapons, right? That’s what The Doctor said, and he’s never wrong.

  94. I gladly welcome the new year, regardless of unfortunate numbers since 2012 proved to be as unlucky a number as one could imagine. This year in the library simply *has* to be a better alternative to 2012, otherwise it might kill me.

  95. I’m with Gina – Unless you’re River Song.. which, unfortunatly, I am not. However, 12+1 works well for me and is my lucky number, so just know you’ve got a friend on the outside of the Library, too. 🙂

  96. I used to love the library, until one time this creepy old guy kept sidling up to me and I realized he was masturbating. Now I’m afraid that this will be the metaphor for my year. Thanks a lot, Jenny! 😉

  97. You could also just stick to the Chinese calendar for year name-age. It doesn’t quite match up with the Western one, but right now we’re still in the Year of The Dragon, and come 10th February we start Year of The Snake.

  98. Wow. I can’t really say why this post touched me in ways I’m not normally – but it did. Maybe because I’ve been on a self-discovery journey for the past 1/2 year and am trying to live in the moment and not wait for life to happen – and now I have a cocoon in which to wrap myself for another year before emerging. Hmm.

  99. Just the thought brings the feel and smell of a library to life. Also, you people all keep talking about Dr Who, but I keep thinking about Slimer and the card catalog cards shooting up into the air.

  100. Enough comments in here to look like a card catalogue, so you’re clearly doing something right. I like this, both in a literal and metaphorical sense.

  101. I’ve always considered that number to be my lucky number. Is the day in November that I was born on.

  102. I adore this post. I have never been a superstitious person, but in 2007 my son died on a Friday the 13th. Since then I have been irrationally repulsed by the number 13 & have been dreading this year. Now I have a comforting image when I start to feel unsettled. I know you didn’t write this post to help a grieving mom, but you have been a blessing to me today & I thank you.

  103. I don’t think I like the idea of this year being a practice year. I’ve got shit to DO. Good luck charms haven’t done a damn thing for me my whole life, so I’m going to smash a mirror, hug a black cat, and wait for 2013 to BRING IT.

  104. Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes! I love it. You’ve made me feel happier about 2013 already. I was already sorta getting there because my son pointed out that technically 2012 was a better year than 2011 so we’re on an upswing, but now that I get to think of it as the library all year….just yes. This makes me so happy.

  105. I really wish I did have a library to escape to this year.. This year is likely to be brutal for me.. And low and behold? One day in the first crying spree happened. Gonna be a loooong practice year. But we will make it though. Also? There is some good news for you.. The date can never be 12+1/12+1/12+1. How awesome is that?

  106. Libraries are the most serene harbingers of truth and security. Even the possible detection of the Silence can’t spoil that for me. I’ve decided that I need to feel secure as I try out being a freelancer full-time, promote the book thing and all of that. This year’s going to be scary, because going balls-to-the-wall pursuing dreams always is. Now, I can think of it as practice. 🙂

  107. I LIVED 2012 in fear. It sucked in ways I can’t even explain. So everyone else will have to pardon all the noise I made running into the Library and squealing with glee. Holy shitballs is it nice in here! I love looking out the front door and taunting Mr. Anxiety. It’s a damn nice thing that he’s way to big to fit in here with us. Bowchicabowbowwowow Here’s a middle finger just for you Mr. Anxiety. Fuck off! The library is a safe zone ya bastard!

    (Seriously as someone whose spent months hiding in the house in fear of EVERYTHING, cuz my brain is so broken and we have yet to find a drug that works to help it and doesn’t make me want to have a heart attack, I thank you for a small thing that can help me cope. I’m still hoping to take my life back one day. Right now it feels like Schizophrenia is running my life. But eventually I’m going to kick it’s ass!)

  108. Thank you, with my daughter passing away on Dec 23, this is what I need, a practice year before it’s real again.

  109. Um…dunno if this will do more harm than good, but I figure it’s gonna come up eventually. Is it going to be an issue that every blog post will have the unlucky year attached to it?

  110. Perfect–I love it! I would love it even harder if you hacked your website to replace the offending year with “The Library” in all the date stamps. 🙂

  111. Libraries make me sleepy if I stay too long – not always a bad thing. So maybe we can all sort of Rip-Van-Winkle our way through 2012+1….

  112. I just told my husband “I wonder how many people will hate the year number. I bet they don’t sell many 2013 cars. When you go to sell it, they will say, “Nobody will want to buy your used 13 car”. I won’t buy a car with that number. I will wait till the 14 year comes out.

  113. I just set a goal to read a book per week this year, so a year in the library is what I was planning too. I really love your perspective. We all need some time to breathe and relax.

  114. So, I’m guessing for a triskaidekaphobic, Taylor Swift is like the Anti-Christ?

  115. So first off, I am definitely way too proud of you than I have any right to be for you actually writing out the name of your phobia! I know in the past you expressed that you were not comfortable writing that word because it might have That Number hidden away in there. So I’m very proud of you. Which is weird, I know, ’cause you don’t know me at all. But such is the Internet. 🙂

    And second, I’ve been so worried for you and all others with the same phobia as you have! I honestly have been so concerned about how on earth you’re going to make it through this year. And I’m relieved to hear that you’ve found a way to cope — a wonderfully imaginative and soothing way to cope. I love it! Well done!

    I sincerely hope that the year of the Library treats you well.

    P.S. People: Yes, I know, the Dr. Who episode was sad and freaky and all those things that makes Dr. Who so great, but for pity’s sake, this is a Safe Place so please stop making it less so. This is a warm and soft library, filled with soft pages, soft carpets, and soft smells. There are no dark spaces and no shadows. Can we please just enjoy it and stop evoking memories of a less fortunate space? Thank you! 🙂

  116. My grandparents were married in January of 1939, on Friday the you-know-what. By a Nazi official. And then by a rabbi. And then my grandfather was able to take my grandmother with him to America, where they had 4 amazing kids, including my dad. In our family, that number is a good number. But I will say that I love the idea of a whole year being a Library, because it would take that much space to hold all my books.

  117. I’m totally with you in the library, even though I don’t have issues with 12+1. (I actually hate 12+1+1, though, so maybe you can help me through next year). But last year wasn’t my favorite, so maybe a practice year would be nice and safe.

  118. Way to mind crunch the shit out of this. You. Are. Awesome. Meet you behind the young teens’ section to sneak from the flask! 😉

  119. Given that I work in one, the Library is a little less safe…or maybe it’s just MY library. But your idea is totally rad. And I require shirts that I can wear to work. 😉

  120. I don’t like the Library. The REAL LIBRARY. Yes libraries are old. They are old and smelly. Like mold and mildew and dust. I am allergic to mold, mildew and dust. I appreciate you’re giving this wretchedly named year a different name, but I would rather call it The Kitchen which smells a whole lot better than the library unless it’s Friday and you’re cooking FISH. In that case I would be in the Library, because Libraries smell better than STINKY FISHY KITCHENS. Then again, I don’t like to cook either, so my Kitchen is usually closed. The Bedroom would be best I think, because I love to sleep, and I could sleep for an entire year, so yeah, that’s what I’ll call this wretchedly named year. The Bedroom. If only I COULD sleep for an entire year…I would miss approximately 104 new blog posts by The Blogess. I cant afford to do that, so I guess it’s The Year of the Library.

    (The good thing about the library is that it’s filled with endless rooms and one has to be a giant kitchen since someone has to feed us and warm up the tea. ~ Jenny)

  121. Sorry, I can’t read fast enough to keep up with the comments, so I’ll just hope this one hasn’t been done: “In the year Library, Library, the numbers won’t be scary, we’ll all be drinking sherry!”

  122. I’m not going to say it, because at least 10 people in postings said it before this (which I know because I did a ctrl+f on “who” and counted the times people referenced it) but DANGIT Jenny the Bloggess! Now I’m thinking about shadows and sh*t.

  123. “The good thing about the library is that it’s filled with endless rooms and one has to be a giant kitchen since someone has to feed us and warm up the tea. ~ Jenny”

    So what you’re saying is that this is a TARDIS Library? (“It’s smaller on the outside!”) Infinite space in here for everyone.

  124. Just think: next year, while everyone’s drinking bubbly and singing Auld Lang Syne, you can stand calmly in a corner somewhere and intone, “Jenny Lawson has left The Library. Jenny Lawson has been saved … Jenny Lawson has left The Library. Jenny Lawson has been saved …”

  125. I love this post with all my heart. I think The Library, and the description is an AWESOME idea. I have no fear of the number 12+1, but for those that do this is a great compromise. I need a Library year so thank you for putting this awesome idea out there.

  126. At first I thought, no, The Library is scary and dark and filled with Vashta Nerada. But then I realized you’re right – it’s filled with clever girls (and boys) and watched over by a Doctor Moon, which makes it a safe place to tell/live stories. It was created because of love, saved by compassion and is proof that families of choice are just as important as families of blood. So – happy Library to you all!

  127. As long as there aren’t shadows in the library, I’m in. The Vashta Nerada freaked me out, too. Maybe I’ll go armed with a few chicken bones in search of a comfy cushy chair. I really do need a place where I can f-up.

  128. I must admit that 12+1 is mine and my husband’s lucky number. I moved to the UK on that date and we got married on that date 5 months later! So we are both considering this our lucky year. But I totally get this and love the fact that it’s The Library. Libraries are magical places 🙂

  129. THANK YOU FOR THIS!! Last year was a bit rough around the edges *ahem* and while I enjoy the sentimental and the sweet, this, this is the post that I am saving to read and re-read when I feel like I’m not catching up. I shall be in The Library. You’re a genius….

  130. Yes, I think I’ll be joining you all in the library, and if you don’t mind, I will bring my parrot as well. I promise to not let him chew on stuff, or poop on the tables, and I’ll try to keep the noise level down to a dull roar.

    He has triskaidekaphobia too…. or maybe he’s just bi-polar, or something. Anyway, he could use a break as well.

  131. Believe it or not, I didn’t even THINK about this being the thirteenth year of the 2000’s. Now I am terrified and feel totally fucked. Thanks.

  132. Thank you, Jenny, for your invitation to the Library. I feel like I just took the most cleansing deep breath, like I’ve just been given permission to pause.
    I’ve never commented before, but I wanted to finally tell you that in all of your humor and transparency, you’ve helped me tremendously. I’ve been unwilling to really acknowledge it, but I have been drowning in depression. I read your beautiful post about your dear friend (Today and Forever, 12/18/2012) and your words were so real for me, that I finally started talking to my husband about it – about what is really going on inside my head… about having visions of being in a terrible car accident and feeling relieved.
    Two days ago, with his help, I told a doctor for the first time. Today, I took my first anti-depressant. The doctor would like for me to take a year – A YEAR!?!? – to focus on my mental health. Being on this, or any anti-depressant, and committing to it for year means that my husband and I are going to hold off our plans to have any more children right away. I’m going to have to talk to someone else about what’s in my head. I’m going to have to admit this dark stuff out loud, and I really don’t want to.
    But, now that I’m in the Library, I can just whisper about it, and be quiet, and read, and maybe take a nap. Next year will be better and maybe I can get back to living and maybe even try to have a baby.

  133. Oooh, absolutely going to adopt this idea for myself. Thinking of this whole year to come as The Library already fills me with hope. Libraries always make me feel better. Yes, 2012 shall be The Library. Thank you so much for sharing.

  134. In The Library, I get to finish chemo and then recover from it. After getting diagnosed with cancer in July on Friday the 13th, 2012. You can understand why I find the concept of the Library extremely comforting.

  135. Damn, I was hoping to be the first person to make a reference to the Vashta Nerada… Instead I will just wish you the best/break a leg (whichever tempts fate less) for the next 51.9 weeks and remind you to “count the shadows” just in case…

  136. I didn’t know that I needed this. But I do. So thank you. You have no idea how much the idea of a practice year resonates with me.

    If anyone needs me I’ll be by the fantasy section with a cup of tea!

    Lindy xx

  137. I miss when the library was a happy place for me. Now it is just a place where I have to pray that my 3 y/o and my 5 y/o will be quiet enough that people won’t stare at me with evil eyes…But I can see how it could be a comforting metaphor to someone else 🙂

  138. This made me cry as I work in a library and love it so very much. Thank you for the lovely testament to the wonderful place my world is, everyday or every year. May your library be filled with warmth, joy and comfort, Jenny.

  139. My boyfriend of 5 years proposed to me in November. I tried very hard to be ok with getting married in The Library, but I couldn’t. So I’m making him wait until 2014. And I’m lying to everyone about why. :/

  140. I saw “The Library” and immediately thought of Donna Noble. My favorite companion, and the one my still heartbroken over. So I figured this library thing wasn’t going to work for me. But then I read on and found something good.

    Many years ago I spent a magical summer at our local library. I was old enough to go alone (no sisters tagging along!) but too young to hold a job legally. It was freedom. It was before I understood how adulthood keeps pushing you down day after day. I spent hours in the library. Browsing shelves, lounging in the beat up old chair, discovering new authors and genres and worlds. I didn’t worry about anything but making it home in time for dinner.
    Reading your post reminded me of that summer at the library. The magic hold it has on me now. Today, when the kids have been sick for over a week. Today, when the bills are piling up. Today, when my insurance deductible has started over and I can’t afford my therapy anymore. Today, when I’m so tired it’s all I can do to keep going. Today, when I’m supposed to be planning for tomorrow and next week and next year. I went to the library, just for a minute.
    My therapist was telling me about using “mini vacations” in my head as a calming technique. I’ve decided my destination is the library.

  141. One of my favorite places in the world. I love going alone. I love taking the kids. The only time I feel even remotely stressed there, is when I’m trying to leave. That’s sometimes because I have a screaming toddler who is protesting the exit, and I’m trying to checkout 5 more books.

  142. The card catalog–I got one used from a church that was going digital in their library. I couldn’t ever find a use for it, but my sister painted it various shades of purple and uses it for kitchen storage.

  143. I love this idea!!!! I have always found libraries to be very comforting and safe, even as a little girl. If I could pitch a tent in a huge old library for an entire year and just live there, I would be perfectly content!

  144. I like that entire concept except for the fact that I am absolutely terrified of libraries. Hey we all have our little quirks. Otherwise though it is a lovely thought.

  145. I’ve never had a fear of the number who shall not be named, but for someone who’s biggest dream in the history of ever is to have an exact replica of the library from Beauty & the Beast of my very own, this gave me a little shimmer of hope in the midst of the neverending suck-fest that is my job lately. My day can turn around by the simple act of walking into a library or bookstore. I don’t have to buy anything, I just need to take them in & enjoy the blissful quiet & I’m good. It doesn’t often last long after I’ve left, though, so a year in the library sounds like exactly what I need.

    And if that fails, I’m on a mission to make this year my bitch. Cheers!

  146. New reader, and I’m not even going to be a lurker. I’m going to jump straight in!
    I finished your books last night. I laughed so hard that my face hurt and I couldn’t breathe. It was wonderful and cathartic and just nice to know that I’m not the only one with what I like to call “quirks”.
    And now to learn that you hare a Doctor Who fan as well…well, I think I love you. That is all.
    I love real libraries too. I borrowed your book from one but I’m going to buy it for real.

  147. (No bacon sarnies, alas, but” a warm blend of English Novel*, Russian & Moroccan Leather Bindings, Worn Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish

    “*The main note in this scent was copied from one of my favorite novels originally published in 1927. I happened to find a signed first edition in pristine condition many years ago in London. I was more than a little excited because there were only ever a hundred of these in the first place. It had a marvelous warm woody slightly sweet smell and I set about immediately to bottle it. “

  148. I so very much needed that. I have had a hard time letting go of my ideas and letting it be okay to just be practice or research for next year.

  149. This is the greatest idea ever 🙂 I would love to spend the year in the library! Also I want to do a whole bunch of stuff this year, most of which I’ll probably screw up, so it’s good that this year doesn’t count as such!
    Jenny-you are a goddess!

  150. Thank you so much. I need The Library. So bad. Last year sucked. I need to recover from it. I hope to curl up on an arm chair next to yours and read something to take our minds off the shit. See you there xxxx

  151. This. Is. GENIUS. I too, as a rule, despise the number **, so this year will suck. Calling it The Library is the best idea. Because The Library is somewhere you can always go hide, when OTHER things scare you, an also you get loads of work done. And sometimes there are hot English students there.

  152. No, sorry. The library? Are we not forgetting doctor who and how terribly awfully upsetting the library episodes were? This makes it all so much worse.

  153. I don’t really understand the fear of 12+1 but I think that this is just beautiful anyways. This is exactly what the world needs. We need a year where we can screw up and know everything will be okay. Life should just be like that in general. We should always be able to feel safe and comforted and surrounded by old, dusty books that we want to read. But even a year is great. Welcome to The Library and for everyone else, welcome to 2012+1.

  154. I’m so glad to be in the Library! If anything goes wrong, The Doctor and River and Donna can help. 🙂

  155. Oh my god, I need this. This is EXACTLY what I need. I will be the one doodling in the corner. And I will be doodling secret drawings on the backs of the cards from the card files. And it won’t matter what they are because it’s practice for next year. Thank you!

  156. I can’t help but hear Shatner’s voice from “All Our Yesterdays” as he keeps saying that Kirk was reading… “IN THE LIBRARY!!!” And then Jenny raises both hands, shakes her head, and runs out muttering, “I know NOTHING of this, NOTHING of this!”

  157. My husband and I both love 12+1… he was born on ‘it’… and I’ve always considered it my lucky number. We surround ourselves with ‘it’ all the time, and I would say we are no more unlucky than the next red-headed couple.

    PS… finished your book last night, and it was To. Die. For. Thanks!

  158. I was born on a 12+1, so every Friday 12+1 is kinda lucky for me. :p I like your Library idea. The trouble, however, is that it will turn into my own personal House of Leaves and I’ll never be able to leave once I’ve gotten comfortable. But maybe none of us should ever really leave, anyway. We all need a library in our heads to hole up in once in a while. Mine has stained glass windows, leather couches, deep rugs on the floor, golden lights from reading lamps, giant walls covered in books, and a roaring fireplace. It is always precipitating outside, be it rain or snow. And it is always dark out. I’ve always felt much safer at night, for some reason. Particularly when I’m snugly ensconced inside with a book. Personal libraries forever!

  159. Wait—what? WHAT!?! You mean this ISN’T the 33rd day of December, 2012? ARRRRRGH!

  160. Ha, I’m the exact opposite! I was born on June 12+1, on Friday the twelfthplusone, and I’ve been told my whole either that A) I have insanely good luck or B) Insanely bad luck. But I’m also mainly Irish, so I figure my “Irish luck” blocks out the twelveplusoneluck

  161. Just when I think your brain can’t be any more amazing/creative/fascinating, you surprise me. I will love spending the next 51+ weeks in The Library with you and I promise to never ever say the unlucky number in your presence.

  162. I lived a good many years in the library (the library of my grade school, the Tucson Public Library, the U of A library…), so this is a good thing. Comfortable. Warm.
    It could be a very good year, indeed.

  163. Oh man. This post was so comforting. I don’t have a problem with the number or think it unlucky, but I want to make changes and I’m not ready to completely change my life in 2013. Looking at it as a whole year of practice makes it seem far less scary that I’m not up to the challenge yet.

  164. And this is why we love you. I wasn’t even consciously bothered by the year, but find myself incredibly comforted by the Library. Thank you.

  165. Was totally expecting you to make a Doctor Who reference – but we got your back. I think I got what your saying, but my anxiety has been so bad lately my brains shot. So…..ummm….what was I saying?

  166. I’m sorry to hear that number is unlucky for you. It may comfort you to hear that it has been extremely lucky in my life. It’s the day of my husband and brother’s birthdays. It’s served as the wedding date for many of my family members (Including me)! I’m always overjoyed when I see or hear that number. It’s my go to number and it always has a special meaning for me.
    I don’t have an unlucky number, just lucky ones. If you ever feel like giving that number a chance again feel free to try it on for size. You might like the way it fits. 🙂 Have a lovely new year.

  167. The library reminds me of my childhood. A place where I could embrace other worlds and block out a reality that didn’t make sense. Today turned into one of those I wish I could escape from. One grandmother passing and another grandfather on the brink is more than my body and mind can comprehend. Thank you for reminding me to take Never Ending Story moment and escape into a better story than today was turning into.

  168. Sometimes, In the Library, there are 4022 saved, no survivors and you have to count the shadows. It’s my favorite episode!

  169. This post made me desperately want to cry. I’m not sure I can even begin to explain the whys lurking behind the fact. I love the idea of The Library, but I struggled so. damn. much. last year… the whole of 2012 feels like it was on pause. So I can’t have this year be another break. I can’t. I have got to find a way back to real life.

  170. Awesome way to think about it. However, I spent all last year doing what I hope is just forgiveable-screwing-up stuff. Was I prepping for this year? Am I an overachiever? (Or an over-underachiever?)

  171. I don’t have triskadewhatever, but I LOVE libraries! They are full of people who read. Some of them read out loud, some do not. Some share opinions, some do not. Some are old and feeble, some are so young they are carried in their mother’s arms. All of them love ideas. All of them like to use their brains. This is why I love libraries.

  172. You’re weird but thats ok not only does that make me like you even more it makes my weirdness not so weird since there are others out there as crazy as me 🙂

  173. This reminds me of how my mom’s side of the family felt about money. You were either lucky or unlucky. No judgement. During the unlucky times relatives bunked together.

  174. As a librarian, I love that this is your safe place to be during this year. I welcome you to the library, and if you need help with ANYTHING, just ask. We’re here for our patrons. Especially awesome, kind, funny patrons that make us feel good when we are sad and need a laugh or a shoulder or both.

  175. “It smells of the bacon sandwich the guy in the corner has smuggled in while he devours words and food, not sure which is more filling.”

    You have a wonderful way with words. 🙂

    And you made me hungry…

  176. The library has always been one of my favorite places. And look at the bright side of the library year – at least there won’t be a 13-13-13. Pretend I didn’t type that.

  177. Would love a year in the library! Any library. Might make it hard to write a check or anything else with a date on it, though… 🙂

  178. Would love a year in the library! Any library. Might make it hard to write a check or anything else with a date on it, though…too much explanation required. 🙂

  179. This post just gave me the warm fuzzies like you wouldn’t believe. I’m really going to enjoy being in the library. And I wish for you a happy time in the library too. ^_^

  180. I don’t know what it’s like to be as mentally-incapacitated as you (please don’t take that the wrong way! Not an insult!) but I think the Library is a beautiful concept. A year to recover and to take time out and to focus on other things. A year to read other people’s stories instead of your own for a little while. A year to add to the shelves surrounding you your own book.
    I hope the Library is full of amazing things for you – and everyone around you.
    PS. Bacon + words = awesome

  181. Thank you. That’s the most comfort I’ve felt since my husband (the world’s only perfect man) died last spring. I will crawl into it as needed. And about the first paragraph: it makes perfect sense!

  182. Thankfully, I am not superstitious about 12+1 (in deference to you and other readers who do have a problem with it).

    I can’t begin to express how I feel about you naming this year after my most favorite destination!!!!!

    Love, love, love you and your mind.

  183. lol nice. My kindle has dragged me from the library more than I’d like to admit but maybe referring to this 2012 +1 year as the library will make me remember…kinda like a big huge unlucky reminder on my finger.

  184. Oh thank god! I was starting to fall apart under all the math;
    Remembering I’m 29+ something, my PIN numbers, telephone numbers and now we’re in 2012+1 – it was all starting to get a bit much…

  185. I feel the need to caution you…my alma matter has one of the most beautiful campuses on the planet, nestled in a picturesque country village in central New York – but you probably should avoid Colgate University. It was founded by a certain number of men, with a certain number of dollars and the same amount of prayers, so everything on campus includes that number. We love the school and thus consider the number lucky – every Friday that falls on a certain date is Colgate Day – but I see how it could be a difficult place to visit for some.

  186. Friday the (Numerals Which Must Not Be Named) is lucky in my family. My mom and dad met on a blind date on such a Friday in September and were married two months later. They used to go out for dinner on random Friday the (you-know-what) to celebrate their unofficial anniversary. It was sweet.

  187. Oh my goodness. Is is AMAZING.

    So when I first moved to NY four years ago, I had nothing set up. No job, no living situation, barely knew anyone. I would sit in the computer room at the Bryant Park location of the NY Public Library and apply for jobs while quietly watching Hulu on my headphones. Even though my future was so scary and uncertain, being in that gorgeous, serene space, helped me to remain calm and confident while I faced the unknown. I ended up finding a job, a place to live, and my rash decision turned into the greatest most worthwhile risk of my life (so far.)

    So spending a whole year in The Library? Sounds pretty frickin sweet, and may be exactly what I need right now. Plus, this means I’m getting married in The Library… How wonderful is that?

    I think this calls for commemorative bookmarks.

  188. Normally, I would criticize myself for letting autocorrect make the first sentence read “Is is AMAZING” instead of “This is AMAZING”, but fuck it! I’m in The Library!

  189. of course it could be worse, you could be celebrating your 13th wedding anniversary in 2013. like i am. this sucks. i am almost tempted to ask my husband for a divorce just to avoid this very frightening situation. on the other hand we were married in vermont, so it is like we aren’t really married at all. or something like that.

  190. Twelve (plus one) has *always* been my lucky number! It’s my birthday and the day I met my husband was on a Friday the 12+1th. We got engaged on 12+1 and married on that day too. We celebrate our 12+1th-a-versary every month. I think this is going to be one helluva good year. If you open the door to The Library a crack, I’ll be happy to share any luck that comes my way! If it helps, you can always take a machete to a box of Triscuits. That’s *pretty* close to conquering triskaidekaphobia.

  191. I am so glad that in the first 10 comments, at least 4 of them showed that “The Library” conjured up Doctor Who associations and that it wasn’t just me. I’m sure if I read them all, I’d find at least a few talking about the library at UU and l-space and how all libraries are really just one big one, if you know how to move through them. So, in that spirit, I’m sure we’ll bump into one another wandering the stacks at some point. I’ll try to keep it to whispers.

  192. An addendum to my last post:
    And if any of you are making the Doctor Who references but aren’t familiar with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, shame on you! Get to an actual library and correct this! 🙂

  193. I am indeed triskaidekaphobic, and I was having trouble with 2012+1 as well — and all the attendant angst, including a 12+1 anniversary, and a husband who wants to buy a new car this year (I mean, really! A 2012+1 car? Not. Happening.) — until I read this post. Thank you for mindshifting it for me.

    Best part about The Year of The Library? I’m a librarian. Now I can really celebrate all year.

  194. A practice year? I’M IN. May I put in a request for a cup of Earl Grey, hot?

    Also — DUDE –a real or not-real Corey Feldman commented on your blog. That’s got to be lucky, somehow.

  195. This is why we love you… KNOW us. Thank you for this….after a terrible 2012, the last part of which was lived from my bed unable to convince myself that the darkness lies, I am desperate for a better year. But the fear is so paralyzing! Now that I know that in the Library it is all practice, I know I can’t fail….it’s only practice! Thank you so much for this!

  196. I don’t truly have triskaidekaphobia because my thoughts about this were fleeting and quickly dismissed with the thought that it wasn’t a stand alone unlucky number but part of 2012 +1, so it didn’t really count, but now that I’ve read your blog I think it’s wise to consider it The Library just to be safe. And besides, The Library is a much better environment than a potentially unlucky year that would have to be really unlucky to be worse than last year, which shouldn’t have been unlucky at all but was totally fucked up. BTW, thank you for the “totally best birthday card ever!!!!!” that I bought in your shop and gave to my daughter who turned 30 on 12/21/12 and has always thought it sucked to have a birthday so close to Christmas! I also ordered the Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down card, which I didn’t have a specific use for but now I’m thinking it will no doubt be used for someone needing comfort because they failed to seek the safety and security of The Library.

  197. I think this is the best post you’ve ever written. I love the library, and everything about it. Thank you.

  198. Love it. Seriously, I am only referring to the year who shall not be named as The Library from now on.
    And also think of it the same way as you spelled out.
    Focusing, dreaming and getting excited about 2014.
    Because I was sitting here mildly freaked out with PTSD that suddenly reared its ugly head on New Year’s Day.
    But this post is a good thing. The Year of The Library.
    Will do my best to snuggle up, chill out and look forward to 51.9 weeks from now.

  199. I have no problems with the number between 12 and 14, but The Library actually sounds like a pretty good place to be.

  200. Relief…immediate relief and comfort in knowing a whole community of people who think like me exists out there, that is what I felt when I read your post. I will go through my year in the library with your “dog eared” book tucked under my arm for when I need a break from the research of “me”.

  201. I quit my job yesterday. I need to spend time with my kid and get my priorities in order. I don’t care that society says I should be working because we need “things.” If it is a year for mistakes I may have made one, but right now it feels right, bring on the library!

    I should add that the Mr. is gainfully employed so we shall not be livng in a cardboard box, but if we were it would be ok, because we are in the library!

  202. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the mentality I had last year. This year I have Things To Do. No more waiting.

    But I got the Library all prepped and organized for you, so enjoy. I will deal with the ill-numbered year so you don’t have to (I like uncomfortable numbers, so this is okay).

  203. I have ways found refuge in libraries. One time, when I wanted to get away from my annoying college roommate, i took my walkman (yes, it was that long ago), a good book and hunkered down in a quite corner of our campus library. My seat was facing a large, sunny window, and with music in my ears, I didn’t notice when they turned off the lights and locked the door. I must have been in there for another hour before I turned around and realized I was locked in. I had a moment of pure joy to think that the whole library was mine, before I thought it best to quietly sneak out (luckily the doors locked from the inside) before campus security found me. I love libraries and look forward to hidning in this one for a year…just please don’t turn the lights out on me.

  204. Wonderful…inspirational…I feel like I’ve just been given permission to unclench and breathe!!
    Thank you.

  205. Love this. A year in The Library sounds heavenly. As long as it’s like the Library that was my favorite place as a kid. It was a big stone Depression era building, quiet, warmly lit, and welcoming; a place to spend hours browsing.

    The one nearest me now seems more like a bookstore, bright and noisy. Not a place to linger.

  206. Having cut the TV ties 15 years ago, I’ve been blank on the Dr. Who references.
    I’ll see Terry Pratchett’s Library — and raise you Evy the librarian out of “The Mummy”. Even if she did collapse the shelves.

  207. You know how mentally challenged I am? Your idea of the year of the Library is actually giving ME a panic attack. It’s an official one too since a dr. has recently put the diagnosis in my medical records.

    I find libraries very comforting but I can’t deal with this being a practice year. 2012 was so bad (see previous comment on the dr.) I need a great +1 NOW and can’t wait a whole year for something really good and real to happen.

    I will think pleasant thoughts of all you fine people in a cozy chair surrounded by books as I spin in circles outside the arched windows of the Library.

  208. I’m in school to be a librarian so this post made me all kinds of happy. And everyone is invited into my library (y’know when I get around to making one). There will be games, and movies and probably cookies too!

  209. Love the idea of putting words to years! Especially rooms because rooms are where we live. Very clever. And if I could put one to last year I’d have to call it The Bathroom. 2012 = The Bathroom because for me, it was the year that I got rid of a lot of stupid beliefs. I feel so much lighter now. Making me very happy to step into The Library.

  210. I love the beautiful way you described living in The Library. However, Doctor Who has kind of cast a shadow (or two) over the warm fuzziness of it all… Damn you, Doctor and your scary monsters that go bump in the night!

  211. As a librarian, I love this post. But sometimes, the smells in the library aren’t so comforting. We have a pair of brothers we call “The Stinky Brothers.” We follow their trail when they leave with air freshener.

    Or there’s the poop in the drop box. But I prefer your bacon sandwich.

  212. This year is the first year since 1987 to have four different numbers…I view that as a good omen. Especially since 1987 was such a good year for me….granted I was only 8 years old…but it still counts.

  213. Like many others here, The Library has many Doctor Who connotations for me. However, it also brings Silence, and contains the most dangerous man in the world, so it’s still a win!

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you. Thank you for helping me to understand a little bit better what it is that my daughter goes through when her anxiety acts up. I cannot pretend to understand it, and she can’t convey to me what she is feeling, but your honest reflections on your feelings and thoughts has helped me to make a bit more sense of it, and to regret that I can’t help her more (but I can help her more than I could before). It has reaffirmed that she can’t ‘just snap out of it’, as has been recommended by some folk. She is a wonderful, loving, hysterically funny, amazing girl – and none of that changes…ever.

    Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

  214. Perspective is everything. May your year in The Library be everything that is soothing to you. Happy New Year, Jenny!

  215. As long as this library isn’t the kind that has shadow-dwelling creatures who devour you! But I hope it does have David Tennant!!

  216. 13!!! … Patting myself on the back for finally not being afraid of something… I hope this year is all you think it will be… I need the practice!

  217. Your idea is perfect. My favorite library is The Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin. I could have just sat there all day. I think of it often, so I guess you could say that I’ve used “The Library” many times before when I needed a safe, comfortable place to be and daydream. Thank you for giving me a reason to be there for a whole year. I will be thinking of those spiral staircases and trying to figure out how to sneak a peek at all the ancient books before the librarian sees me.

  218. Can the library have tea in it? Or a coffee shop? I think my Library will go much better with caffeine. Thanks for spreading grace again this year!

  219. I can’t think of a worse name after watching Dr. Who episodes “The Forest of the Dead”, and “Silence in the Library.” The rather impresive Vashta Nerada may be in your library after all.

  220. I love this. Unfortunately spending a year in the library doesn’t pay my bills (although I guess if I lived in the library, I wouldn’t have a house payment or utility bills and wifi would be provided).

  221. can’t tell you how many times i’ve curled up and napped in the safety of your logic. that sweet smell of dust and soft pages turning. this place is BAD ASS.

  222. I’ve never commented on a blog until now, thank you so much for this posting. I’ve printed it out and have read it each morning and evening. My hope is that it helps me get through the year. Thank you

  223. As I remarked to my librarian yesterday, “I ADORE the library!” Such a wonderful place. Perfect word to pick.

  224. I happen, fortuitously, to lack any number-related fears, but this?

    “In The Library you are safe. It smells of old books and worlds you’ve yet to explore. It smells of worlds you’ve loved that beckon you back. It smells of the bacon sandwich the guy in the corner has smuggled in while he devours words and food, not sure which is more filling. [In the Library we have…] A year where it’s okay to have to escape and stare out the window…. A year where we all whisper quietly about our plans and our wishes and dreams and darkest fears. A year … of finding the want.”

    That’s a year to grieve the losses of 2012 and rest and remember myself and find all my missing pieces and be whole.


  225. 13 is actually a sacred number for women. In ancient times, before societies were so patriarchal, women were more revered and 13 was associated with femininity and the Goddess because there are 13 lunar cycles in a solar year, and therefore 13 menstrual cycles per year. But when societies became more patriarchal they changed the meaning of 13 from sacred to unlucky. Just like Christians took the winter solstice and made it Christmas.

    This is a great article I just found about how to celebrate the feminine in 2013. Hugs and love to you.

  226. Loved this post! Though I lack no love for The Library I feel I must offer an alternative as well. In tattoo culture certain numbers are seen as lucky. So, you should get a tattoo! See once your tattooed all rules and stipulations of tattoo culture will apply to you. Problem solved.

  227. I agree with you on one level, but as a fellow Whovian, I can’t think of the library and not think of the Vashta Nurada. Sorry.

  228. i’ve spent the last 7 years writing a book no one will read. so this year, i’m gonna write one that many people will read.

    i also resolve not to shit my pants for the next 51 weeks.

    happy newer year!

  229. Lovely analogy, but totally unnecessary vis a vis the year. Kind of like when the filter on a different forum changed the mushrooms to ****ake.

  230. I love this idea. I have crazy anxiety issues and every new year I lay all these ridiculous resolutions and burdens on myself which creates more anxiety. This idea is much better. I need a year like this! Happy Library!

  231. The Library is great, but please stay out of the shadows, I rather enjoy reading your blog. I’d hate for the Vashta Nerada to get you. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful year!!!!

  232. I love the library. I love the feel of hardback books. I love the smell of the library. I could live there for the year.

  233. I love the idea of spending a year in the library. Libraries are my favorite place to be. Someone else commented that one of the first places they visit in a new city is the library, and I am the same way. When I travel, if I have some extra time, I’ll check out a library in whichever city I’m in.

    I’d like to spend a year – or at least a few months in the library at the following link. If the link doesn’t work, the image is of an old abandoned library (in a mansion?) with a tree growing in the center of the room.

    It might be a bit drafty with that hole in the ceiling, but worrying about the weather would certainly keep me from worrying about what year it is!

  234. Thank you for giving me a name I can get behind because when that countdown ended I thought “Oh shit, this year is going to suck.”

    “The Library” is something I can use. And use to confuse the hell outta people. Happy New Year.

  235. Hey, did you know that The Library number is considered lucky in other parts of the world? Yeah, like it was a giant conspiracy to tell folks here it is *unlucky* …just to try to keep all the lucky for, themselves! I mean after all, it was that “12” year that had the whole Mayan end of the world apocalypse stuff, which we now know was all kinda of bull&*#%, am I right? Sooo, maybe it’s all a ruse just trying to throw us off from this, the *lucky* year? Hummmm…. Maybe you get the luck, *from* the library. Like you check it out or something because I forgot to return a book over the holidays and online it said that I owed $49.95 in fines for a week and a half (!), but when I got there today it was only $8… library luck maybe?

  236. You are such an inspiration! Regardless of your feelings about 12+1, this is a great idea! Most of us can do amazing things in practice, just not in front of the crowd. So this year will be awesome.

    Thanks for modeling openness and coping strategies. You make so many people understand they are not alone.

    And for those who are afraid of the library, watch the episode clear to the end. It’s safe now! And we can visit River whenever we want!

  237. I definitely need a year in The Library…can’t I come? I could get so many things done if I was just allowed to stay in The Library for a year.

    One note, if you want to meet the “saying it twice” theory, you might need to add the year twice to your date on the posts…or figure out how to make your blog call it last year plus one…heehee.

  238. 12+1 has always been my lucky number. Any Friday 12+1 has me happily bouncing around looking for all the good things that will happen. an entire YEAR of 12+1 actually has me kinda giddy, especially the first time I got to write it. Last year sucked great big donkey balls and I am sooo looking forward to all the wonderful things this year is gonna bring. I’m definitely speaking with The Library about being just as good to you as I know it will be to me. 🙂

  239. The unlucky number is actually my brother’s favourite number, so the fear never spawned in me. Bugs though…..Ugh. Good thing the Chinese calendar doesn’t have a year of the bug or else I’d go into the Library and NEVER COME OUT BECAUSE THEY MIGHT STILL BE OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m okay. Really. I may need to join you in the Library however


  240. It’s just too bad that it says the number all over the place, including on this very site – like at the top of your post, and on every comment, and in the URL for this post (and every post this year). Think we can rework the way the internet works for this year?

  241. Does this mean, even if NY Fashion Week goes horrible for me next month it still okay? I’m so stressed out about it…and sure enough, this actually made me feel tons better.

  242. I LOVE this…even though I’ll also be giving birth and plan to take the bar exam in the Library.
    At least one of those things is appropriate behavior (I’m not the type who believes in that whole quiet birth crap, although my husband and I both work at the hospital where I plan to deliver, so I can’t curse and scream like I always planned to–haha).

    Any place with books is a good one 🙂

  243. I was *just* trying to wrap my head around a way to give myself a vacation from the stress about and around my mental illness, in lieu of a break from the actual illness itself. And look. You’ve gone and done all the work for me. Muchos gracias!

    And now an IN THE LIBRARY t-shirt for me to purchase, to wear and remind and celebrate?? Pretty please?

  244. The number 12+1 is usually a sign of change for me – and the last few years sucked SO bad, I need some change! Not having a safety net gives me panic attacks though, so I’m screwed anyway.

    However, I do love libraries, so when I get panicky I’ll come sit on the steps and share bacon sammies with you, OK? 🙂

  245. Love, love, LOVE this. Inspired idea, takes all the pressure off…awesomeness on a stick for sure. Thank you!

  246. Well, here I was getting ready to make a reference to the Doctor Who Library episode and it seems everyone else and their sister thought of it before me. So I will make a reference to another Doctor Who episode who no one else thought of quoting because it makes no sense whatsoever.

    Are you my mummy? Mummy????

  247. The Library sounds like a pretty awesome, safe, wonderful place to be.

    I made a little WordPress plugin to make The Library feel a little more like home: – it fixes the year (and date, on the 12+1th) on posts and comments. Pretty trivial, but I hope it’ll be of use to somebody (and I’d be honoured if Jenny adds it here!)

  248. Brilliant. I love The Library and all it has to offer. Thanks for being you.

  249. You know… I think you just need to claim it.
    My hubby and I had an incredibly horrible 12th year of marriage, culminating in him being hit by an idiot driver in a car while he was on his motorcycle. What could have been a fatal accident, was by some miracle only a really bad accident. 10 days in the hospital and at least a year and half of recovery (if not longer). But oddly, that was the catalyst that snapped us back to reality and put our priorities back in order. Mainly “us”.
    2 months after the accident, we were having our anniversary dinner and I claimed it. This year was going to be different for us. This was our “Lucky (hold your hats on, I’m going to say it) 13”.
    And it was and it has been, and it continues to be 5 years later. We even have matching tatoos that say it. Permenately. On our bodies. “Lucky 13”. See I said it again. Because it’s mine, and it’s a good number because we decided it was.
    So don’t be scared. Claim it. It’s a good thing. (Thanks Martha.)

  250. So far this library stinks…. My whole house has taken turns being sick with a stomach bug since the library opened. 🙁

  251. As a lover of libraries and the number 12 + 1. (Born that day, met my husband that day.) I totally find this year to be sucking so far and I had such high hopes. Library it is, unless my luck magically changes (yeah, right!)

  252. Weird but true. I am IN a library working on my first non-fiction book (much to the relief of my publisher) and someone just sent me this link. I’ve cranked out three chapters this week, much of it in the library (plus a coffee shop and an Alamo Heights deli). Libraries rule. What a wonderful way to start the year.

  253. I’d hate to ruin it for you, but if Dr Who has taught is nothing else, its that libraries may not me as safe as they seem.

  254. Maybe at the next Blogher, I’ll be brave enough to go so I can build you your own little library to hide in. 🙂 You’re seriously the best.

  255. Me again, because this came back to me while sitting up with my daughter after her nightmare.
    My favorite library – Andrew Dickson White Reading Room in Uris Library, Cornell U. I never managed to make a photo that captured it to my satisfaction…but happily there is the internet.

    So when life throws me a curve this year, I’ll imagine myself at a study table up in those stacks, watching a brief storm blow in across Lake Cayuga… afterwards everything will be fresh and clean and ionized.

  256. The Library happens to be the year of my absolute favorite number. This is it. This is MY YEAR! So, I’ll hang out in your library…when I’m taking a break from running amok and wreaking havoc on the world (or trying really really really hard to get famous). Happy New Year!

  257. What a beautiful idea — I adore libraries, and spending a full year in one sounds like heaven (and a whole lot better than spending each winter weekend at a sucky base lodge ’cause my munchkin is on the ski team — those James Bond movies that show glamourous ski lodges? Well, those weren’t in the Poconos).

  258. I love the library and have numbers issues myself. I won’t out them here now for desire not to completely embarass myself but yeah I like round numbers lol.

  259. I have a really uncertain year ahead, mostly in terms of career-related identity issues (and I don’t know where we’ll be living, etc). The other night my husband said that he was so relieved to be going into this year so much less scared/worried than he was at this time last year, and I said, “yeah, I’m experiencing the exact opposite of that.”

    A Library year is EXACTLY what I need, and how I need to frame the coming months of searching and uncertainty, so thank you Jenny – from the depths of my heart – for once again providing a much-needed coping tool.

  260. I love this, but it also makes me giggle like a teenager because when I was in high school, we used “In the library” as a code word for “on my period.” And then if we asked someone for a “bookmark,” we really meant a tampon. So as soon as I saw the title of this post, that is exactly where my mind went.

    I guess this means that many of us will be in the library fairly regularly while in the library this year! …wait, that just got confusing. And possibly unsanitary.