Friday, September 9, 2011

Big Day

This is an important day for me.  Most people would not give this a second thought, but to me it is truly special. Any idea?

I doubt anyone could guess it so I will not hold you in suspense. I got my Prince William County, VA library card.  Now why is this important?

Before I begin, I can almost hear the comments and questions. Can you be any more boring? You have got to be kidding!  Is he really that dull? Does the library get C-SPAN? Or, I get it, this is a joke. 

No. Some of my best experiences have been in a library or because of one.  In fact, in every city I have ever lived I take time to occasionally enjoy the public library. I digress. Back to the previous question, why is this important?

First, Just to browse the magazines, biographies and public affairs sections is enjoyable.

Side note, have you ever seen who writes autobiographies?  A significant segment of celebrities who write autobiographies will never have a biography written about them, so they think they the world should know all about their life. People like Suzanne Somers, Sylvester Stallone, Rob Lowe, Rosie O'Donnell, Vanna White, Tommy Lee, Drew Barrymore, Stephanie Powers, Brooke Shields, Tatum O'Neal, etc. The list is endless.  And basically useless. Most celebrities who write memoirs simply are not interesting people. So why read their book?

Second, a library is always quiet. If you have kids living in your home, you know exactly what I am writing about.

Third, most of the people in a library share a desire for knowledge.

Fourth, most of the people I prefer not to see would never step foot in a library. I actually have a higher probability of running into those people at a Wal-Mart or a grocery store.

Fifth, the library staff is always helpful and courteous. 

Sixth, I can read a book that I probably would not buy.  Most of the books I check out I have a passing interest in the subject matter or the person. I will read it and return it for someone else to enjoy.

Seventh, most libraries I frequent have an extensive selection of current magazines and journals.

Eighth, the chairs in the magazine section are comfortable.

Ninth, the reading/working tables are made of wood. They are large so you can put alot of stuff on it.

Tenth, people who frequent a library are generally polite.

Eleventh, no eating or drinking on the nice furniture. Try telling that to my kids.

Twelfth, all libraries have books sales. Where else can you buy a hard back for less than $1.50?  Also, for all you almanac collectors, where else can you buy a five year old almanac? It is like a used book store.

Now, anyone who knows me know how much I enjoy my Kindle. However, a library is a public service and a good use of taxpayer money.  A library is a way for the local citizens to say knowledge is important and the sharing of knowledge should be encouraged.  You can be exposed to so many interesting topics and subjects.  Sometimes it is just nice to walk around a library.

For example, most libraries sponsor authors and interesting speakers. In addition, book reading clubs and writer groups also call libraries home.  And why not?

Consider this, if you ever had or have the opportunity to tour an old mansion, note the library. Usually, it is one of the most stunning rooms in the entire house. The ones I have seen are well decorated and quite stylish in a traditional sort of way.

I recognized long ago that a public library is as close as I will get to the majestic libraries of the old mansions.  So now I just need to figure how to get all the other patrons out. 


The first book I checked out was by Dr. Amy Chua, it is Day of Empire. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed it. She looks at several empires over the history of the world. She explains how the empire came about, what made it unique, how it prospered, and how the empire decayed and eventually imploded.  You will also read a foreshadow of her highly successful book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom.

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