Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I'm a Man with a Mission in Two or Three Editions

April, in addition to being (so far) a turbulent weather month, is also National Grilled Cheese Month. If you’re reading this before lunch, we both know what you’ll order now. You’re welcome. Try it with cream of tomato soup; it’s a wonderful combination. You could look it up.

Speaking of which, we’re in the middle of National Library Week, whose theme this year is “Libraries Transform.”  And when you look at the number of small (and successful) businesses that have sprung up and continued to spread around the Otis Library, it’s hard to disagree. 

No one (= me) is saying downtown Norwich is hopping 24/7 and we’d all agree we have a long way to go before anyone complains about too many people on the sidewalks, but there are busy storefronts all around Franklin Square and they seem to me to look to Otis Library the way the fingers of the hand look to the thumb.

I wanted to mention that before noting the Friends of Otis Library Book Sale (Spring edition; there’s another in October) that happens this weekend and which, if the past is prologue, will bring thousands (yes, I typed thousands) more people into Norwich.

At the risk of repeating myself let me do just that with words I offered a couple of years back about an event I never miss, and neither should you.


It starts this Friday morning at 9 with an Early Bird preview hour (ten dollars gets you first crack at memories and memorables), when the Friends of Otis Library unlock the basement doors to start the  Annual Spring Sale.

Aside from that Early Bird session, all three days are free. What’s your pleasure or passion? Sports, history, biography, gardening (since Spring seems to finally be here), mystery, classics of traditional and modern literature are all sorted, stacked and shelved at bargain basement prices.

And it's not just books; there are CD's, DVD's and vinyl collections and more. Book sale hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and from noon to 3 on Sunday. And there’s tons of free parking, but not in the library. And after your book-buying binge, follow your nose and check out one of the restaurants as close to Otis Library as Dewey is to Decimal. 

The research I just made up suggests you can work up quite an appetite book shopping, a lot of people don't know that; don't you be one of them. And because you haven't been in downtown in a while you may not have noticed, but we have terrific places for a quick bite or to savor a full meal. 

And if the weather is even close to the spring we feel we are entitled to, it'll be a perfect time to break out one of those purchases and enjoy a sidewalk scene and a coffee. Perhaps you'll be inspired to write the next Great American NovelI think I know a library where people will really enjoy it.
-bill kenny

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