Monday, May 6, 2013

How I Use My Local Library

(The image above is a recent Zita commission, made to look a little like the celebrity reading posters you see in libraries).

About once a week, usually on thursday or friday, I pack up my current sketchbook, my current notebook, and my current (old, beat up) computer and spend most of the day working at my local library.

It’s wonderful. I love being surrounded by people I’m not responsible for. I see tutors trying to explain algebra to students who clearly have better things to think about; I see librarians using futuristic gadgets to scan books that are already on the shelf; I see people who are here because it’s clearly their only internet access point; and I see the librarian who my girls say is beautiful like a china doll.

And I see books. Wonderful books.

I also bring home my weekly stack of reading. To this end, one of my favorite sections of the library is the nonfiction new books shelves because this is where you can find a wide range of interesting stuff in a very small space. If you’re looking for lateral thinking, the new books shelf is the place to be. This week alone I brought home:

Heads in Beds, a highly entertaining, kinda foul-mouthed memoir of the hotel industry and how it works.

The Richer Sex A book about how women are earning more, becoming the dominant sex and... I don’t know? I haven’t read much of it. Anna snatched it up PDQ. Now I'm all worried...

I also brought home another history of circumnavigation (a topic I return to with FRIGHTENING frequency) and a new C.S. Lewis biography.

Finally, I try to bring home a couple interesting books for the girls. I peruse the adult sections for those large photo-heavy books on fascinating subjects. (they pick stuff out from the juvenile section on their own). This weeks treasures:

A book of photos from the Hubble Space Telescope: SO. BEAUTiFUL.

A book of microscopic ocean life: SO. CRAZY.

And that’s pretty much how I do the library. How do YOU use this great public resource?

15 comments:

Bill Boerman-Cornell said...

Best READ! poster ever. Now, can you get some other graphic novelists to do the same?

Fongolia said...

Many thanks for the brilliant commission! I absolutely love it and as a fairly new librarian, I also love that you're a library advocate. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Melanie said...

The librarian in me loves the read poster and that you write about your library use.

Anonymous said...
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b jon said...
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b jon said...

good tips, see u on next article

b jon said...

good tips, see u on next article

b jon said...

good tips, see u on next article

Laura Christine said...

I like to spy on my favorite artist and sometimes chat with his wife and daughters. ;-) Seriously, I love the library too!

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, are you going to sell any more of those in your etsy store? I would totally buy one.

"The Light Princess" happens to be one of my favorite fairy tales ever.

Ben Hatke said...

Theresa, you have awesome taste in fairy tales. Unfortunately this one probably won't go up in the Etsy store. Mostly 'cause I don't make prints of stuff. Yet.

Laura! I know you're a good library patron 'cause I see you there often. I should say hello more.

Bill BC: We should get Dave Roman to do one.

Diana Marie Jacobsen said...

I absolutely love this. As an assistant librarian I think this a fantastic way to promote reading. And you rock.

Amber G said...

LOVE the poster! I think you should talk to the Unshelved guys and other graphic novel authors like Bill suggested. I am a Library Technician and would totally buy a copy of this for my wall.

Trying to figure out how I could get a personalized one done...oh how I wish I could draw!

Anonymous said...

i love this poster. i love your blog.
i am a long time public librarian and just discovered you (via novelist) - this cheers me right up.
plus you feature one of my all time favorite (lesser known) books - ronia the robber's daughter.
thank you!