Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

It’s Saturday.  No, you haven’t lost your mind. I’m writing this on Saturday even though you’re reading it on Monday.

It’s Saturday and it’s cold, more than cold—frigid.  This morning it was -7 F and felt like -14.  If we can make it until Sunday, it might be 30, a heat wave in these days of sub-zero temperatures, both real and with wind chill.  We have snow, but it’s too cold to go out to properly enjoy it.  I even drove the few blocks to the salon for my every-six-months-or-so haircut.

It’s Saturday and I’m faced with a delightful dilemma:  which book should I read next?*  In the spirit of supporting our local library to the best of my ability and to feed my need to read (oooo, I love the sound of that phrase), I usually have 15 or more books checked out and 40-50 on hold, many of which haven’t come out yet.  Don’t you just love the ability to do that?  Our library has a “Best Seller” list that offers a plethora of categories, including “Adult Fiction” and “Adult Non-fiction” under the headings of “Just Arrived” and “Coming Soon.”  Just click “Hold.”  That’s like crack to an addict. (more…)

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Every week, Cee posts question for her “Share Your World Challenge.”  I decided to dive in this week.  Friday we’ll be getting ready to leave Wyoming, but not heading directly home.  We’ll be doing a loop of the Badlands, something you won’t want to miss.  But you won’t, because you’ll be in the passenger’s seat!  Anyway, “they” say sharing is good, so let me share.

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about … French. I’m trying to learn a bit of a language where a good proportion of the letters aren’t pronounced and that, in common with German, decided for some horrifying reason to use multiple forms of “the”, which then have to be conjugated, thus blighting the lives of all who aren’t born to the language.  On a more prosaic level, I also want to learn a lot more about photography and how to make the best use of my Nikon and start doing a bit more writing again.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?  A comfortable bed is what sprang to my mind immediately.  🙂  A clean room is of equal value.  After that, a large room with a wonderful bathroom, a small fridge and microwave,  and a fabulous view would be great.  A view that doesn’t overlook buildings or crowds would be even better, although I could deal with a great B&B or Airbnb in a wonderful city (at least for a bit.)  I suppose could tolerate proximity to a great market (of the food sort) and restaurants and museums if I had to, although it would of course be tough.  A reasonable price would make the whole package even better!!  🙂

What is your greatest extravagance?  Books, even though I buy them mostly at places like Half Price Books and library sales and haven’t been feeding my habit recently (with a great effort.)  The time to read them is probably more extravagant.  🙂  Or maybe my answer should be “use of the library.”  All book-related, though, so who cares?  Just file them all under “book love.”  Of course, because I spend so little on all those books, tea may be my biggest extravagance financially.  But again, the two go together so well that they are as one.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.   Our younger daughter, an recently graduated art student trying to make living while a resident of Philadelphia, lost her job with the art school in spring (along with 7 other people), got another job with the school (that doesn’t pay as well, but at least has benefits), is also working extra hours with a catering service, rides her bike everywhere, has become a pro at “scrounging” of a good sort, yet still has time to make posters to post around the neighborhood for a friend whose cat (rescued from the street) disappeared.  (It was found today because of those posters.)  And she has a rescued cat as well. Yet for the most part, she manages to be upbeat and full of humor.  That’s all sorts of inspiration!

See you tomorrow at the Photo Challenge.

When I began blogging just over two year ago, one of the first posts I read in my manic search through WordPress blogs asked whether you prefer e-readers or books. There were lots of responses and more keep showing up even months after the original post, mostly in favor of books.  Just today on Facebook, there was a thread about the same thing, with people who like “real” books best the most vehement.  I find myself shaking my head and wondering why the discussion continues.

I’ve been a certified, or possibly certifiable, bibliophile from the time my mom read aloud to us.  I knew where every horse book was at the library branch we used.  I ordered books from Scholastic book club and was shocked to hear that there were not only children, but families at the school where Mom taught for several year who didn’t own a singe book.  I gave some of my precious books to her to give to some of the children.  After all, we didn’t have much money, but we always had books.

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When I went backpacking in Europe for almost a year in the mid-seventies, I had to find English books or magazines wherever possible.  Thankfully people left them at hostels or B&B’s and shared them with fellow English-readers.  Once in awhile I spent some of my precious money on them at the rare bookstore with books in English.  Before I got a library card in the Wyoming town where we go for vacation each year (we really go to the mountains near the town, but the library’s in town), I used to haul two or three bags full of books along in the van to avoid that fate worse than death–running out of reading material.  Even when spending most of the day outside on horseback or hiking, there’s always time in the morning or evening for reading.

So when Bill got me a Kindle some years ago, I was quick to see the advantage.  I could carry literally thousands of books with me wherever I went.  All I had to do was to be sure to also carry the charging cord and, if necessary, an adapter.  How could that be bad???

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Yes, I like to read “real” books.
Yes, I love the smell of books.
Yes, my library card is one of the most valuable cards I own and new taxes for libraries about the only ones I’ll vote for.  Our library system is a treasure; a place where you can find out almost anything you want and learn practically anything, all for no cost.  (Yes, I know taxes are a cost, but you know what I mean.)
Yes, I have boxes and boxes of books in the basement in our rental house and hope one day to have a room to serve as a library.
Yes, I have piles of books in the living room and elsewhere. Isn’t decorating with books always in?

BUT…and that’s a big but…

what’s not to like about being able to read on an e-reader?

No, I don’t like having to buy books and no, I don’t like that e-books are getting to be rather expensive, they can’t be given away, sold to Half Price Books or donated somewhere when I’m finished with them (provided they’re some of the rare books I want to get rid of.)

I like to read. Period. Whatever book or device helps me to do that with the least amount of effort is in my book (so to speak) great. Who says we have to choose? Why should owning an e-reader not be a great thing and owning books a great thing? They both have their place and that place is, as the ad says, anywhere I want to be.

And guess what? E-readers contain books. I know it’s a shock, but it’s true. They have the same words as if you held the literal book in your hands. The pages just turn differently.

Book or e-reader? Bring ’em both on!
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“Libraries are some of my favorite places.  They’re filled with books and information and give you the good feeling that no matter how much you’ve read there’s an endless amount of reading material still ahead of you, so you never have to worry about running out.  It’s a nice certainty in an uncertain world.”

Cliff Hanger, Philip R. Craig

Libraries are one of our nation’s richest treasures, places where anyone can go and learn almost anything.  You may use a computer there if you don’t own one.  You may borrow an e-reader or check out a virtual book.  You may read magazines, find movies, check out music.  No matter the method, you can discover the world.  Library levies are the only tax increases I vote for these days.   I can’t imagine my life without libraries and books and if I had to buy all the books I read, my husband and I would both have to work two jobs each.  The discussion of books vs. Kindles or other e-readers isn’t a discussion that interests me.  I love real books and I love being able to take thousands of books with me in my purse.  I love to read and I love whatever facilitates reading.

That so many children get passed through grade after grade without ever learning to read is one of our greatest shames.

The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”
–B.B. King

B.B. King, you said a mouthful! Learning is something you have forever, something you can get any time you like, at least in this country and  something that, thanks to a wonderful library system, you can get for free. That’s the reason that levies for libraries are the only levies for which I vote “yes.” (more…)