Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kickin' It Old School At the Library

Reading is one of my pleasures. It has been for a very long time. During my college days I didn't get to read much for pleasure, and sometimes life (or the Internet) seemed to get in the way, but in finding Brian I found an equal lover of books. We both love to read. However, I will say that I'm a book snob, or, I should say, I'm a hardback book snob. If I own a book, it must be in hardback. AND, I usually only stick to my genre of choice, fantasy, because if I am going to buy an expensive book, it better be what I like to read.

But recently I have discovered the marvels of the modern library. I can honestly say that, except for my school days, I have never had a library card. I know, I know, gasp all you want, but there it is.

So, after moving to a neighboring city and needing to fill our time with less-expensive entertainment, Brian and I went and got library cards. Gone, mostly, is the Dewey Decimal system (at least at this place). No longer do you have to go to someone to get checked out. No. Now all you have to do is scan your library card and then scan the book, and then a receipt prints out with your lovely books to read and when they're due back (and don't forget other things like DVDs, audio books and CDs). My library sits on a lovely lot with a man-made pond in the back with a fountain, has a cafe next to it, AND even has a parking garage below it (which came in VERY handy a few days ago when it was cold and rainy). My only concern is that this library is a branch of the bigger library, so it doesn't have as much to check out, but they will transfer books -- you just have to let them know.

Now I am free to check out books because they seem interesting, and while they may sit on a corner of a table awaiting to be read, they won't clutter up my house or shelves, because they will go back in a few weeks. I can venture into new genres and if I don't like the book, then, oh, well, I have a few others to read. At our last trip Brian and I got 4 books and 5 CDs. One of the books I knew Brian wouldn't read at all. It seemed like my cup of tea. Victorian. Written by an English author. But, alas, the language (and subsequent convoluted plot and numerous characters) did me in before page 100. But, you know what. That's just fine. I can now move along.

So, if you haven't before, or haven't recently, I heartily recommend your local library!

(Oh, and if you have any books to recommend, I'm always looking for something new or different to read. If you look on the right, somewhere will be a list of my current read, as well as my previous reads.)


Claudia January 7, 2009 at 7:30 AM  

I am smiling over here! Joshua went for years without a library card (bad experience as a child). Now that we live a short walk from the library, and I've convinced him that the body snatchers won't get him, he is a library maniac. Ordering books online, putting two or three on reserve at once, etc. We are at the library every week (at least the kids and I are), and everyone loves books!

Here's something totally out of your genre (and yes, I love the non-commitment of the library: read 10 pages, don't like it, return it, no guilt): AJ Jacobs' "The Know It All". It's one of the funniest books I've read in a long time.

Anonymous January 7, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

I love the library! If you want a good fantasy read, try 'Name of the Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss. You might also like Patricia McKillip. Her stories are poetic fairy tales.

Manda January 7, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

The library is our favorite hangout these days. Alexander sees going there as a special treat. And it's so much less expensive than buying every book! (Plus our library has great book sales.) I "try" books, and then if it's something I really like, I can always buy a copy. Anyway, we have limited space, so we have to be selective!

jillyfae January 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

I second the comment on the lyrical nature of Patricia McKillip. (But I notice now you just read Riddle-Master, so you already know that. Everything I've ever read of her's has been lovely.)

I also think you would really like Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. (If you do, there are a couple sequels, which while quite enjoyable, aren't as good as the first one. Still recommended though, as are all their other books. Wrede is a particular family favorite, and I've enjoyed the few Stevermer I've come across.)

Robin McKinley also writes some truly lovely fantasy, including a vampire tale entitled Sunshine, and several fairy tale retellings, of which Beauty is probably my favorite. Deerskin is also very good, but much darker. I've also heard very good things about C.E. Murphy's The Queen's Bastard, but my library doesn't have it, and I haven't quite convinced myself to buy it yet.

My current favorite author is Patricia Briggs, who is the only person on my auto-buy list besides Neil Gaiman. I got to meet her at a con a month or so ago. She and her husband are simply wonderful people, and they gave my mom a silver bullet, (long story), which pretty much made my mom's year, I think.

And I could keep typing for about a week, so I should stop now. But I love talking about books and authors, so if you ever need any more suggestions... *laughs*

Anonymous January 12, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

I've just rediscovered the pleasures of a local library. Don't feel that bad. Which one do you go to? We need to have a book discussion. You probably have read more than I have...

Erika January 18, 2009 at 10:04 PM  

I second Jillyfae on Robin McKinley and Patricia Wrede (and have several of both, and Patricia McKillip) should your library not currently have them.

Different genre (mystery/suspence/adventure) but GREAT light reads are the Mrs. Pollifax books by Dorothy Gilliam.

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