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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Three Library-Type Questions

This is how this works- I ask three questions, and you, Gentle Readers, kindly answer them. And I've just copped Miss Manners?!

This is the last day of National Library Week, and I hadn't mentioned it yet. I'll get drummed out of the Librarians' Guild if I don't. It's early this year, undoubtedly trying to avoid Holy Week.

I have four, count 'em, four library cards. One's from my community library, one is an alumni card from my graduate school alma mater, one is from the New York State Library, and the fourth is from the New York Public Library in New York City. Now, given the fact that I live about 150 miles away from New York City, why do I have a card from there? Because it has cool databases. Also because I can: "A Branch Libraries' card is free to anyone who lives, works, pays property taxes, or attends school in New York State. Others may apply, with payment of a $100 annual fee, for a nonresident library card."

So, I'd love it if you'd answer these three questions:

1) For what, if anything, do you use the library? Borrow books, videotapes, DVDs? Access databases there? Access databases remotely? Go to events? To read quietly? To people watch?

2) Regardless of where you got it/them, what book(s) have you been reading lately? Which ones, if any, would you recommend? This can include graphic novels, and, since it's National Poetry Month, even individual poems.

3) Regardless of the source, what books are on your reading list for the rest of the year?

My answers will appear in the answers section.
The Peabody Awards, in case you missed them. Love the descriptions, especially for Boston Legal (which I watch regularly) and The Shield (which I see occasionally).
"The movie has a jaunty, even merry tone for something so blood-soaked." You may have to register to see this Washington Post review of Lucky Number Slevin, but this line from Stephen Hunter, "there's just too much death, it comes too quickly, it has no moral import, it becomes ultimately meaningless", is enough for me to avoid it when I have only a handful of movies I'll see this year.


Gordon said...

Speaking as someone who also has four library cards (Chicago Public Library, St Louis City Public Library, St. Louis County Public Library, and grad school alma mater), I can say - I dig libraries. I once went to prison for library card fraud.

Well, no I didn't, but here are my answers:

1) Mostly, I go to check out books and do research. I did the DVD check-out when I was unemployed, and every once in awhile, I go to people watch and just get some work/research done, but it's all about the books.

2) After reading Brown Eyed Handsome Man, I'm reading The Record Men, Rich Cohen's biography of the Chess brothers. (I've also gotten a huge kick, thanks to Greg , out of the Annotated Sherlock Holmes).

3) On my reading list - Christopher Lawford's Symptoms of Withdrawal, Jonathan Kellerman's Rage, Two Sue Grafton novels, and It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

Roger Owen Green said...

1. I use libraries mostly for research remotely, although I've been taking out books for Lydia. And I do use the free DVD/video service on occasion.

2. The Effa Manley bio (reviewed here soon).

3. Christ is the Question by Wayne Meeks, The Black New Yorkers published by the Schomburg Center, and a couple books about W started but never finished (and currently MIA.)

Scott said...

1. I have been taking out books lately, but before it was audio books. My wife and I were traveling a lot to see my family (10 hour drive) and wanted something better to pass the time other then music (though we are both music lovers).

2. Currently I took out the "Complete Fictions" of Jorge Luis Borges and a collection of short stories by Edgar Allen Poe. I am currently reading (my own copy) of "The Dark Domain", a collection of short stories by Stefan Grabinski. These are all new to me (other then reading some Poe in high school), because I am usually a sci-fi and fantasy reader, though have read non-genre fiction from time to time. But being a new father, I don't have the time to commit to a novel, so short story collections are best. And I figured it was about time I start reading some of the masters.

3. These are all short story collections: "Smoke and Mirros" by Neil Gaiman, "Strange Itineraries" by Tim Powers, "The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories" by Jeffrey Ford, and "Hockey Sur Glace" by Peter LaSalle.

Tosy And Cosh said...

1) Books and CDs. The inter-library loan system is a Godsend. When in college and grad school I did the whole research thing, but no more. I miss being near a big University library - as a Rutgers student, I'd take out full scores to follow with CDs. Fun.

2) Attempting to get through Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver for the second time.

3) Afterwards, I want to get (from the library), the second Easy Rawlins mystery, the second book in Dennis Lehane's mystery series, Ian McEwan's Saturday, and John Irving's Until I Found You.

Anonymous said...

Hi Roger,
In response to your query about what we're reading, here's what's currently in play:

The Physics of Baseball, by Robert K. Adair
Four Great Plays by Ibsen, by, of course, Henrik Ibsen
McCarthy's Bar, by Pete McCarthy
Scurvy, by Stephen R. Brown
Owls and Other Fantasies, by Mary Oliver
Essence of the Heart Sutra, by The Dalai Lama

I just finished a book I absolutely loved, Winona's Web by Priscilla Cogan.

I have no idea what I want to read in the coming year. It all happens kind of serendipitously.

My son is reading the Half Magic series by Edward Eager, a kids' biography of Thomas Edison, and a National Geographic picture atlas, Our Fifty States.

SO and I were talking about people who read versus those who do not, and decided that when considering relationships, both parties being of the same persuasion is an important predictor of relationship happiness. We are both voracious readers and both have ex-spouses who hadn't picked up a book in years and well, they are ex-spouses.

One of the things that drew me to Bob was his personal library, and he said the same about mine. If I were to engage in that silly cultural phenomena speed dating, a question about reading habits would have to be high on the list!