: the library as diet plan :

You know, I like it here; here being the newly renovated library. I didn’t at first. At first I thought it was a sterile and unwelcoming place, a cross between Ikea and an airport. The interior is all gleaming chrome and glass and light; lustrous oak tables and starkly modern chairs and sleek black computers. There’s even a café, isn’t that just artsy?

The library has up and gone high-tech. The changes took some getting used to, adjustments needed to be made. But now I don’t miss the good, old card catalogue. I don’t even miss the warm, cozy carrels. I don’t miss the whirring, squeaking microfilm machines. Not as much, anyway, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I mean, the important things at the library have stayed the same. I’m still surrounded on all sides by knowledge and books. And each time I visit I find something exciting or unexpected. Just last month, I discovered Jonah Lehrer and Daniel Kahneman, my new favorite authors. They’re a couple of cognitive science guys, those two: one’s a neuroscientist, the other is a psychologist, but they’re both geniuses.

Then last week, I stumbled across The Code of the Woosters, the P.G. Wodehouse masterpiece. For my money, Wodehouse is the most brilliant, and unheralded, writer ever to pick up a pencil. But keep a Kleenex on hand, he’s capable of making you snort through your nose.

What I love most about the library, though, is that it’s six blocks from my refrigerator. Six blocks and three feet from my cookie jar. I can’t reach. And if I can’t reach, I can’t stuff my face. And if I can’t stuff my face, well, I won’t keep gaining weight like I’m inflatable, something I’ve been doing lately.

So, until further notice, I’ll be at the library if you need me.

Copyright © Publikworks 2012

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13 Responses to “: the library as diet plan :”

  1. John

    It’s tough ain’t it!! Being diabetic, the weight gain is a really big no-no. Happy reading in the new environs, sounds nice!

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    • publikworks

      Hi, John, tough is right! Once I’m out of the habit, though, I hope it gets easier. It probably won’t, but I can always hope. The new environs are certainly nice, however, I like the old place better. It didn’t seem as cold and clinical, you know?

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  2. the home tome

    Three cheers for Wodehouse! That cafe would still be a problem for me – are allowed to bring the food/coffees into the main part of the library?

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    • publikworks

      Hi, home tome!

      I hadn’t thought about Wodehouse since my college days — it was great to find the dude again. I needed a good laugh!

      I’ve tried to forget that café thing is there. So far, so good : )

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  3. Lenore Diane

    And of course, if you’re at the library, you’ll continue writing, which is a wonderful thing. Could I use more commas? Perhaps. And, I am certain I didn’t even use them correctly. I have a comma addiction. Send help.

    I have so many books on my NEED TO READ NOW list, but I am a slow reader. I’m noting the authors you mentioned.

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    • publikworks

      Hi, LD! Like you, I have a comma addiction and I’m usually pretty hazy on the proper usage. If it looks good in the sentence it stays — that’s my rule.

      You can’t go wrong with P.G. Wodehouse. He’s my absolute hero!

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  4. Susan

    I avoided our new community library for a long time because it is named after a recently ex-First Lady whose name rhymes with Tush. But eventually I succumbed. Now I have a favorite table with a sweeping view of the Hill Country, a reading lamp, a plug for my laptop, and quiet. Only problem is it’s next to the self-help books.

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    • publikworks

      Too funny, Susan. My favorite table is next to the DVDs, so quiet only occasionally breaks out. The clatter of cases as people riffle through them gets kind of loud, but it’s a small price to pay : )

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  5. Nicole Smeltzer

    Oh, I’m so jealous! My local library is a dingy little nook in a run-down strip-mall. I still go there once a week, at least, but yours sounds wonderful!

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    • publikworks

      It’s my favorite place in town. When I’m at the library I feel stronger, smarter, and taller for some reason, so I hang out there a lot.

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  6. Angie Z.

    How can you not like the sound of the microfilm machine? And what about the microfiche reader — do they still have those? I think I spent quite a bit of time on one of those during college. (I was terrified of the internet back then and thought you were supposed to type html addresses into the Yahoo search engine box.)

    I love the library. I’m not even much of a reader but I just love being there.

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    • publikworks

      I hope you’re sitting down, Angie: there are no more microfiche readers :'( Well, not here, anyway. I’m sorry. It’s still a great place hang out, though. Come on over, I’ll save you a chair.

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