Tuesday, 28 July 2009
THE JOY OF THE LOCAL LIBRARY
Maybe I've been too affluent in recent years, well at least until this credit crunch reared its head. In the past whenever I've wanted a book I've gone out and bought one - it's scary to think how much I've spent on books in say the last ten years. But frugal times are here and so I decided to get myself a library card. I haven't visited the local library in years and years. And so I went in and asked to renew my card - I was dismayed to find I had outstanding fines of £16.90 but, I can't really complain, since they were for a book returned very late in 1987. Maybe I was skint at the time.
Anyway I paid the fine and became the proud owner of a new library card.
These days the library is more than a collection of books - they offer Internet access, CD's, DVD'S, they have a newspaper and magazine room and of course rows and rows of books. I was pleased to see they stocked The Tarnished Star, as well as loads and loads from my good friends in the Black Horse Range, and I talked the librarian into supporting the next Wild West Monday, 2nd November, by having a local author (me) along to give a chat on the importance of escapist fiction and specifically the western.
I ain't going to let my library card lapse again - I'll buy just as many books as ever - books are my passion, well books and donuts - but it's great to visit the library, to walk among rows and rows of books. If you listen carefully you can hear the books talking to you, enticing you with the delights that lay hidden between the boards.
Yep, the library has certainly improved since my last visit. The service is superb and the head librarian's a decent looking bird with a nice smile - years ago it was this fierce looking woman with a wart on her nose and a permanent scowl on her face. These days the library even has a coffee shop in the back that sells these locally made donuts.
The books, of course, are the main thing and always will be but it's nice to see, in these days of local authority cut backs, that the library is not only thriving but a cool place to hang out and be, "Shhhshed" by a temptress among the tomes.
How about it folks? Let's all make an effort to join the local library - even if we only use it on rare occasions it's nice to show your support and carry a valid library card. It's free, being paid for by your taxes, and it's the best way to try out new authors. And even if the head librarian at your local's got a wart on the snout and looks as if she may have had a house dropped on her in a classic family film, there are always the books.