Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 65 - The Good, Bad and Ugly of Libraries

I love to buy books. In fact, one thing I need the most is more bookshelves. I love being able to take down a book and look up sections I enjoyed to see exactly how they were handled, I like being able to look up quotes easily and I like being able to just re-read my favourite books whenever the hell I want.

So I don't often go to libraries, but when I do I'm always bowled over by the sheer scope of them. I spend my time flitting from one section to another going "Ooh! I could learn to play the guitar in three easy steps!" and "Fascinating! What exactly WAS the effect of trade on the downfall of the Ottoman Empire?"

Today our NaNo write-in was at a local library, and after realising that there was apparently a statute of limitations on overdue fees (or perhaps my parents returned the book when the cleared out their house - I have no idea) the library let me take out two non-fiction books on space travel aimed at the 10-13 market and a terrible, terrible novelisation of the TV series Crash Zone, which seems to be aimed at 12-15 year olds.

The ugly came in the form of a crazed religious fanatic who, overhearing our discussion on sex in romance novels, decided to come and favour us with a long and very loud lecture on our own immaturity, the importance of embracing Jesus and the sin of homosexuality. We're not even sure how he got on to that one, but we told him to get lost. Eventually he had to be booted by the library staff. So there's at least one nutjob who's ensured he's going to have a bit part in a couple of novels!

Weighing up crazy evangelicals against free books I wouldn't normally buy and good chairs and free Internet, I'd say on the whole libraries kick ass.

Word count - 4,196

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