Writer’s Log 22 (libraries)

I spent the afternoon at the Library. I went looking for a James Baldwin book of essays. They didn’t have it. But they did have other books. Lots of other books.

I don’t know if you’ve ever spoken with a librarian, but if you haven’t, you should. We talked about books, buying books, writing books, our favorite book shops, hoarding books.

How we can spend our entire lives lost between the aisles of books.

I always go through the 800s

These are essays and poetry…

The oldest books in the library.

Most have been here so long they aren’t even categorized… some books are plays or letters…some haven’t been checked out since 1970…but they are still here… in this shelter for knowledge and discovery,waiting.

It’s almost national library week

Even if it wasn’t

I would still write about how important I believe libraries are.

They make it so easy to access information…

I wouldn’t be writing if it were not for libraries…

Every Saturday my mother would pack us up and we would go to the grocery store and then to the library. It was the highlight of our week.

We didn’t have a lot of money

And this enabled me to get any book I wanted and sometimes even a movie. And when we lived too far out from a library, there was the bookmobile. A mobile library brought to our community.

When I lived on my own I started using the library again. It makes for an easy budget.

It’s free accessible information.

Libraries have always given us the ability to grow as much as we are willing no matter how we live or where we live.

Ray Bradbury used them

Neil Gaiman used them

Most likely every writer and filmmaker has been influenced in some way by a library.

They are safe havens for the curious and the afraid

The artist afraid to run for the exit but looking out the windows…

If you have never thought of it

Or always wondered about it

Or just wanted to donate

Here’s how Donate

Because everyone deserves the opportunity to access information.

I will never forget my first library card. The power and responsibility I felt.

With this card I could read any book in the building for free.

But I always found books I wasn’t looking for, like thumbing through a dictionary discovering new worlds.

I believe libraries are important

And should have sure funding.

I have a tattoo of a library stamp…to remind me to never forget to be kind or to donate to those magic librarians. They really are our very own Rupert Giles…which gives us a responsibility, doesn’t it?

30 for 30 #13

When I was younger 

I played baseball 

I wasn’t any good 

But I played 

The first time I had sunflower seeds 

I didn’t know you were meant to spit the shells 

(That’s the fun of sunflower seeds. Spit on the ground, spit in a cup, spit on your enemies) 

I said, well, they’re ok, kinda crunchy though and scratch your throat. 

Because that’s how smart I was. Genius. 

I think of this every time I see canned food with a tab saying  “pull tab” 

My younger self would have needed that. I know this, because I tried stabbing it to death with a knife. I only almost cut myself 18 out of 20 times. Yes, we had can openers but I wanted to be like a pioneer. 

Sometimes I wonder what kids do these days 

I climbed trees and fell out of them 

Breaking limbs on the way down and mistaking them for broken ribs

I ran home and yelled, out of breath,  I’ve broke a rib!! I felt it! And heard it snap! Oh no I’m gonna die I just know it! 

This of course was just not true 

You can’t run like that with a broke rib.  You can if someone is serving ribs…

I wonder what kids do these days?

Snap chat 

Fb 

Video games 

iPhones 

And YouTube?

Does anyone run down the aisles on those stools with wheels at the library anymore?

Or wait at the grocery store for the rain machine to come on with thunder over the fresh greens? While pulling all of the coupons from the coupon machine and trying to make purchases with them like they were grocery store dollars. 

“Yes ma’am I believe these should cover it.” 

Or attempt to checkout the entire set of Nancy Drew at the library? (They won’t let you do that by the way. Five maybe, not 56.) 

You have to have these experiences as a child. You have to be able to ask your Librarian for help finding The X Files Book and Scary Stories To Read In The Dark with all of your Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. Because the  Dewey Decimal System and filing cabinets were cool but intimidating. 

Now, I don’t know, even if I google it wrong or sideways it finds what I’m looking for. 

And it’s all so fast 

And yet so far away. 

I’m thankful for those librarians 

And for those books 

Who help curious over dramatic children find what they are looking for and recommend books that they don’t know they will love.