Growing up in New Jersey, I used to love going to the library. The library was great. It had an extensive children’s department, lots of books and periodicals, a video section, and a place where you could rent records and tapes. (And later: CDs)
My dad used to take me to the library, and I would always have a fun time. I liked the smell of the books and the “Shhh! You’re in a library!” type attitude. The library might have been the only place I was EVER quiet as a kid. I also liked the “READ” posters, like this one:
I was trying to find a picture of the Bill Cosby “READ” poster on google images, but no dice. That one particularly stuck out in my mind, but I also remember the Yoda poster too. I used to confuse Yoda with ET.
I remember getting my first library card. My handwriting was so sloppy when I had to sign the back of it. KRISSY, I wrote. It came in a little paper sleeve, which was really excited about too but promptly lost. There was a sense of independence in having my very own library card, too. The desk where children could take books out was really low, just my height. I felt like a grown-up making a purchase.
I loved the smell of library books, and I loved taking out videos and records, too.
We used to take out “Children’s Circle” videos, like this:
Strega Nonna, that was a good one. My grandmother watched it with us once and said, “Strega Nonna. Maaaaaaama mia. Strega Nonna — come me? Maaaaaaaama mia.” The Mama part was always really dragged out. Maaaaaaaama mia.
Libraries were, simply put, a wonderful place to be. We didn’t own an abundance of books; we’d go to the library! Why BUY books when you can “rent” them for no cost? (Unless you were like my family and you’d rack up some massive overdue charges…but the maximum overdue charges were STILL less expensive than purchasing a book)
Libraries were great as I got to be a teenager, too. I could do assignments, homework, take out lots of books. I would almost always run into a classmate at the library too, which was kind of neat, especially if it was one of the “cool kids” who would talk to me in the library but not at class.
Unfortunately, where I lived in California, the library systems were pretty pathetic. With the exception of the main branch of the San Francisco library (and the Berkeley one wasn’t bad either), most of the libraries were downright embarrassing. In well-to-do Walnut Creek, where I did my miserable junior year of high school before transferring to a less snotty school, one would expect there to be a decent library. But it was tiny, stinky, and seemingly had no books printed after 1988.
I stopped going to the library then. If I needed to get out of the house to study, I’d go to Border’s or Barnes & Nobles. If I wanted to read a book, I’d have to buy it, and if I wound up not liking it, I’d be bummed that I spent $16 on a mediocre book.
Well, I had no idea that Massachusetts would have such phenomenal libraries. I hadn’t really thought much about visiting my local library until a friend of mine told me that Newton has a great library.
Today after work, I went to The Newton Library…and picked up my love affair with libraries as I left it in 1997.
I got my library card, excitedly signed my name in the back (hopefully a little better than the KRISSY I wrote nearly twenty years ago), and stood in the lobby, unsure where to begin. I walked upstairs to fiction, and found three novels. I wandered over to non-fiction and realized I had forgotten all about the Dewey Decimal system.
I panicked a little bit. I began looking frantically for the card catalog. Oh my. Then I realized that it’s all computerized…they don’t have card catalogs anymore. I found the computer and was pleased with what a breeze it was to look up what I needed. I found two books on alternative treatments for endometriosis and another one for women’s pain. I was really excited because these books are THICK non-fiction books with tons of information…imagine if I had to purchase these things?
Oh, I am just so excited! I love libraries and I love books.
I suddenly have the “Reading Rainbow” theme song stuck in my head, man…
Don’t you just love Levar Burton?Filed under Fun stuff, Greater Boston (General), My Life, New England, New Jersey, Things to do in the Boston Area, Uncategorized | Comments (4)
Hungry around 10:30 PM on a Wednesday night in Union Square?
Try India Palace in Union Square. (Somerville)
Matt and I went to see our friend’s band play, and afterwards we were really hungry. (We had forgotten to eat dinner!) We found this place and were quite pleased! Terrific chicken korma, curry, naan, and pakoras. (Which I reheated at work and ate in sheer delight!) And the service was stellar, some of the nicest waitstaff I’ve encountered in a long time!Filed under Greater Boston (General), Greater Boston Restaurants, Things to do in the Boston Area, Uncategorized | Comment (0)
While New Orleans is under water, Bush is ‘playing country rock star’. Hurrah! The city of New Orleans is underwater, and well, Bush obviously has his priorities straight. He disgusts me to no end.
In short, there has never been a more unpopular President in our lifetime(s), barring Richard Nixon, just before he resigned. That’s some dubious company to keep!
Anyway, I didn’t mean this to turn into a rant about Bush, but, man, sometimes it’s so hard for me to refrain.
But, I belong to several communities on Livejournal…and some folks are trying to set up a relief benefit for the Katrina victims. Contribute with ideas if possible. A lot of money could be raised and every little bit helps!
So much to write about all of a sudden. The hurricane, nauseatingly high gas prices, Wal-Mart wanting to open a Downtown Crossing location (bleah!)…but for now, just think of ideas for this relief benefit. If it pans out, Matt’s band, Custom Deluxe, will perform.Filed under Current Events (other), Greater Boston (General) | Comment (0)