Sunday, July 26, 2009

Books: Back to the library

I used to haunt the library in Mineola, Texas. As a kid I was desperate for any sort of escape and the library was a great place to find it. For a small town, it had some interesting stuff. A bit weak on sci-fi and I doubt there was a single tome by H.P. Lovecraft, but there were books by HG Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and others.

In general, though, I prefer to buy my books. It keeps them around for when I'm in the mood to actually read them. You see, I might pick up a book and leave it on the shelf for a year or more before the mood strikes me to read it. Those moods are frequently striking me at 2 a.m., so the library really isn't the best option for me.

However, my wife has recently started listening to Books on CD during her commute. Since she's in the car about two hours a day, that means she's going through those CD Books pretty fast. About one a week, in fact. So, we've gone to the local library to get some new ones.

The Barbara Bush Library is fairly near our house, so that's where we go to pick up and drop off our stuff. And to browse a bit. You see, you don't have to "prowl the stacks" any more (as old grad students used to call it) to find what you're looking for. You can just go online, select your stuff, and they'll pull it and have it waiting for you when you get there. There's even a self-serve line to check out. It's all pretty cool.

Now, I just got a library card, too. I'm starting to do some research on a topic for a book I'm working on. Now, usually I prefer to have my research books on hand, but in this case I just want to skim them. So, in a way I'm using the library as a "try before you buy" system.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the library.

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