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?