BLOG

From the Miscellaneous File

On the new shelf  (J081) and in the children’s department (SNI) this is a book to amuse all ages.  Even the title is funny—Read Something Else.  The subtitle reveals what to expect—Collected and Dubious Wisdom of Lemony Snicket.   Sample sayings: “In my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil.”  And “Villainy can win against one library, but not against an organization of readers.”

If you have dipped into YouTube one too many times and/or watched all the podcasts you can stand, reboot yourself by visiting americanbookreview.org.  There you will find such debatable topics as the 100 best first lines from novels, the 100 best last lines from novels, and the top 40 bad books.

Here are some wise words, author(s) unknown.  “Books don’t crash, they don’t get viruses, and they don’t need screen savers.“  “People who say that I’m hard to shop for must not know where to buy books.”  “I want to check out that book that has every trick in it.”  “Book lovers never go to bed alone.”  “A synonym is a word used in place of the one you can’t spell.”

I’ve made fun of James Patterson in the past, so to be fair, I have to share the following news item from an April Publisher’s Weekly:  “James Patterson is pledging to donate $2.5 million in partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs to help teachers build their classroom libraries.  This is the sixth year that Patterson has supported school libraries with grants.”

Corinne B., a friend of mine and a Friend of Longmont Library, recommends  the following:  The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe is the true account of Dita Kraus, who was 14 when she and her parents were imprisoned by the Nazis.  She was entrusted with the eight precious books that had been smuggled past the guards.  Her story is available by book and in audio at our laudable library.  Also in both formats is Ms. Kraus’s autobiography,  A Delayed Life: the True Story of the Librarian of Auschwitz.  Either version makes masks and social distancing seem shamefully easy.

Keep your distance.  Read!
*Written by Carol Cail. Read more from Carol at carolcail.com

Music Musings

I like classical music, especially the louder bits when fingers, bows, and conductor’s hair are flying.   But my favorite music genre is rock, ever since it was born and borne on the shelf radio in the family kitchen, while I washed dishes, sang along, and thought about boys.  Of late, I’ve noticed that some lyrics of music written and recorded years ago are appropriate for our current situation.  I’ve started a list.
🎵Fleetwood Mac, Behind the Mask: “Don’t you come too close to me; you’re dangerous can’t you see.”
🎵The Eagles, Last Good Time in Town:  “I like to go out every now and then.  I can’t wait to do it again. . . . Lately I’ve been stayin’ at home.  Workin’ the crosswords, turn off the phone. . . .I don’t mind being by myself if there’s no one else around.  It’s the last good time in town.”
🎵Richard Thompson,  All Buttoned Up:  “She’s all buttoned up, all buttoned up, no place to go.  She’s all buttoned up, all buttoned up, no place to go.”
🎵Collective Soul, Run:  “Are these times contagious?  I’ve never been this bored before.”  

If you love a good melody, Longmont Library is a treasure trove of entertainment—-16 pages if you type “dvd musicals” in the “by subject” option.  All genres for all ages and a wide variety  are available: bluegrass, jazz, country, mariachi, flamenco, a Leonard Bernstein Omnibus  (four DVDs!), Bob Marley, Rock ’n Learn for kiddies, Teen Beach, and any Broadway show you can name.  There’s something called Rumble: the Indians Who Rocked the World, and another that delves into the science of why music appeals to us (The Music Instinct).  And if you are a music do-it-yourselfer, search for “songbooks” in the “keyword” option.  Piano, vocal, accordion, guitar, ukulele, trumpet, dulcimer—-aplenty to drive the neighbors crazy.

Two last tips on the subject—
1.  In that wonderful future when the library completely reopens, check The Book Shop for music CDs and DVDs at bargain prices.
2.  During so much alone time, are you embarrassed to find that you’re talking to yourself?  Try singing the words—it just feels better.

*Written by Carol Cail. Read more from Carol at carolcail.com

Our Spring in the Desert

As I’m writing this, the library is still closed to browsers.  But if you want to put a book or more on hold, you’ll be able to collect your choices outside the building.  Click here for the link that explains how. Following are suggestions for your to-read list.

Ifferisms: an Anthology of Aphorisms that Begin with the Word If (082 GRO) edited by Mardy Grothe is a fun read.  So that you wouldn’t have to look up “aphorism,” I did.  It is a pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as,If a book is worth reading, it’s worth buying.”  Another title by  Dr. Grothe is I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like, which includes this gem: “A simile is like a metaphor.”  This book is not in the Longmont Library catalog; you would have to ask for it by way of Prospector, which is probably not currently available.

Oblivion Banjo (811.54 WRI) is a new poetry collection from Charles Wright, spanning his decades-long career, emphasizing themes of language, landscapes, and the idea of God.  A New Yorker magazine favorable review included an anecdote of Wright’s encounter with Ezra Pound, whom he much admired.  Wright came across Pound in Venice, staring at a church.  “Wright approached him, stood silently by his side, then skulked away.  He didn’t want an autograph or a blessing; he wanted to share his idol’s point of view.”

Here’s something to do if you’re tired of twiddling your thumbs.  In the library’s online catalog, under title, enter “underground.”  You’ll be amazed at the variety of reading available—nine pages—adult, teen, children, nonfiction, fiction.  If you type “underground” as a subject instead, 15 pages come up.

We never fully appreciate a good thing until it’s gone.  While we are quarantined—that’s when we need the library the most.  Andrew Carnegie said, “A library outranks any other one  thing a community can do to benefit its people.  It’s a never-failing spring in the desert.”  Thanks to the keepers of our spring, which is slower for now, but still flowing!

*Written by Carol Cail. Read more from Carol at carolcail.com

Another All Quotations Column

Let’s begin with the court jester of quotes, Will Rogers——he’s really the king but he wouldn’t like to be called that.  Mind you, this is from about 90 years ago. “I sure hate to admit it, but there is no use trying to bull it through that I have done much book reading, for I haven’t.  But with the senate operating six hours a day, and the house the same, all the investigations, and the robbers getting out of jails, the million and one things going on, and I read it all, I just got started in wrong.  I seemed to have gone from Frank Merriwell and Nick Carter, right to the Congressional Record, just from one set of low fiction to another.”  

Nobody steals books but your friends.  Roger Zelazny

Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them.  Evan Esar

I couldn’t live a week without a private library—-indeed, I’d part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I’d let go of the 1,500 or so books I possess.  H.P. Lovecraft

When writers die, they become books, which is after all not too bad an incarnation.  Jorge Luis Borges

Books to the ceiling,Books to the sky,My pile of books is a mile high.How I love them!  How I need them!I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them. Arnold Lobel

Nothing can do what a book can do.  Lifts you out of your life. . .to a whole new world, whole new perspective.  A book is like a dream you’re borrowing from a friend.  Dave Kellett

Never judge a book by its movie.  J. W. Eagan

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.  Benjamin Franklin

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.  Love of books is the best of all.  Jackie Kennedy

Don’t join the book burners.  Don’t think you’re gong to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.  Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book.  Dwight D. Eisenhower

*Written by Carol Cail. Read more from Carol at carolcail.com

Library Deprivation: How to Survive It, Especially If You Have a Computer

During this difficult time of closings, lockdowns, and social distancing, love of reading is more important than ever.  What better way to spend time by yourself?  Going online with an e-reader and library card will get you digital books, audiobooks, newspapers, and magazines.  But If you prefer the “real thing” and your physical stack of to-reads is going down fast, I recommend you replenish it with books from betterworldbooks.com or thriftbooks.com , two good sources for used books by mail.

“Books, I found, had the power to make time stand still, retreat or fly into the future.”  (Jim Bishop)

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”  (Jhumpa Lahiri)

“An author spends months writing a book, and maybe puts his heart’s blood into it, and then it lies about unread till the reader has nothing else in the world to do.”  (W. Somerset Maugham)

Another way to entertain yourself during confinement is to visit dictionary.com, which offers word games (including crosswords), quizzes, quotes, and words of the day.  You can watch trivia videos, such as word origins or British slang, or learn about history, current events,  grammar, and more. 

“I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.”  (Steven Wright)

Not in the mood to read or play games?  How about trying your hand at writing fiction?  Write a story from the viewpoint of a dog, thrilled that his owner has been spending so much time at home.  That’s a story suggestion from yet another web site,  reedsyprompts.com, which is a blog with lots of other ideas if you need one.

“When you write things down, they sometimes take you places you hadn’t planned.”  (Melanie Benjamin)

“There’s always something to write about.  If there’s not then you need to live life more aggressively.” (Min Kim)

“Some people have a way with words, and other people. . . oh, uh, not have way.”   (Steve Martin)

You can find more inspiration for things to do while the library is closed, at longmontcolorado.gov under “Things to do while the library is closed.”

*Written by Carol Cail. Read more from Carol at carolcail.com