I like books, free internet and peace as well as quiet. While some of the world’s population never reads or cares about opening another tome, libraries will forever hold a special place in my heart. The first time I made out with a girl during the day was in a library.
Even though I’ve never kissed another gal in the stacks, I still frequent them as often as possible. I’m cheap, love reading and prefer to type away from my home. My apartment in Chicago was only a few blocks from my local library. Even though this book palace wasn’t as big or beautiful as the ones in NYC or Boulder, I couldn’t wait until my new library card arrived.
Whenever I check out a book, I hear hoots of joy from my English teachers in heaven, hell or here. I walk up and down the aisles and say, “Hey! I was supposed to read this before I read that other thing.”
I look for librarians’ picks. “Wow! David Wong, who wrote ‘John Dies at the End,’ penned a different book!” If anybody knows something I should read, it’s not my mom, dad or dumbass friends, it’s a librarian. (And Wong’s “Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits” is a lot of fun.)
Yesterday, the Bozeman library’s book club held a meeting about the Great American Read, a show on PBS that talks about America’s favorite books. As I walked in, gasps arose as if a “Gone with a Wind” character witnessed a short skirt. I made up 50 percent of the male participants and was younger by 30 years. The 20 old gals and I gleefully chatted about books from “Tom Sawyer” to “Frankenstein” to “50 Shades of Grey.”
But not everything in the library is great fun.
During my first visit to the library in elementary school, we learned to be quiet, quietly ask the librarian questions, treat the books nicely and be quiet. I don’t like criticizing this country’s education system, but this lesson has been skipped — and not just by the younger generation.
The public library is not where you go to talk on your phone. If you run into a friend and want to chat, go somewhere else to do it. If you think you should treat the reading desks like a deli counter for making sandwiches or use the bathroom like a dog marking his territory, go the hell away and don’t ever come back.
Whichever library I visit, I carry around a beautiful 10-year-old laptop that weighs just under 15 pounds with a battery that can last up to two episodes of “Rick and Morty” (if I wear headphones).
But not everybody is as lucky as me. Some folks use the library’s computers to email, Facebook, shop, watch porn and jerk off. Gross.
I’m not one to tell you not to look at something or stop touching something, but please don’t do either of these things at a library. Nobody wants to see that, and believe it or not, children do come to these places.
Hopefully, more people will realize how wonderful a quiet building with limitless books can be.