Tag Archives: public library

Libraries are Compassionate and Awesome

9 May

For almost three and a half weeks, I’ve been flat on my back and in horrible pain. I couldn’t sit or stand at all, making driving impossible. I just didn’t have the flexibility or swift reactions to navigate a car.

For that reason, my latest three library books were grossly overdue – by more than a month! Today, after finally getting a good diagnosis and better drugs, I was able to get up and move around enough to go the library to return those grossly overdue books.

“I hope you aren’t going to revoke my library card!” I joked when I got to the counter.

The librarian dismissed my comment with a wave.

I held out my money as she checked the books back in.

“That’s it. You’re good,” she said.

No fees? Nope, she’d waived them because of my condition (which, by the way, is a bone spur pinching a nerve in my neck).

See? Aren’t libraries awesome?

So, a huge shout out to Plainsboro Public Library for being so compassionate. And in return, I’m going to give them a little Twitter love: Follow them on Twitter @PlainsboroLib. They just joined and deserve to have a following.

Also, another huge shout out to my youngest son, Devlin, who DROVE me to the library. He’s just learning, and for the next few weeks he’s my official driver around town.

And so the 52 Books Project continues. I’m behind on writing reviews, and now I have new books to read. But we’ll catch up. Here’s what’s coming up:

  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
  • The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker
  • We Bought a Zoo, Benjamin Mee
  • The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

Also, the new books I picked up today will follow:

  • Waging Heavy Peace, Neil Young
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, Anna Quindlen
  • Live by Night, Dennis Lehane

And one more that’s on interlibrary order:

  • The Woman Who Wasn’t There, Robin Gaby Fisher

Visit your local library today, and travel the world without leaving your home.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Mysteries Tucked Inside Your Library Book

9 Feb

I love when I find little surprises in the books I check out at the public library.

Sometimes I find receipts or business cards or grocery lists (I really love the grocery lists). Some readers will underline or star passages, or they’ll jot notes in the margin. These little scribbles always give me something to think about, sometimes spurring a virtual argument with some invisible library patron. “Are you kidding me? No reasonable person would consider these characters middle class! I’m sorry, fellow reader, you and this author need a dose of the real world!”

A few years ago, a New York Times reporter hid $100 bills around the state and challenged New Jerseyans to a scavenger hunt. One of those bills was found in our local public library.

That’s a treasure. And a good story.

Now and again, I discover a real treasure myself. Sadly, I’ve yet to find cash; though that would be nice. No, sometimes I find something better: scribbled notes.

Wild extra notes 1

Literary treasure hunt.

Which is what happened when I opened my borrowed copy of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.

Three small pieces of note paper tumbled out from behind the book jacket. Grocery lists? Notes on the book? Philosophical musings?

Of course, these could also be intensely private, so perhaps it’s morally wrong to peer into the innermost thoughts of a previous reader.


These turned out to be wickedly good. Not a grocery list, and not a rumination on the book. Rather, I like to believe they’re by a budding author, free-associating ideas for a new story.

Either that or one of our local comedians has been testing out joke ideas for an appearance in Atlantic City.

So, are you a comedian?

So, are you a comedian?

%d bloggers like this: