Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Uniquely Portable Magic

As a kid, I grew up reading Tom Swift. His adventures were my dessert, so to speak as a reward for 'real reading' that we did in my parents' house after we came home from school and had finished our homework.

Our father was a teacher and our house was filled with newspapers and magazines but most especially books. I think I was allowed to get my own library card for my seventh birthday. The sense of power it gave me was remarkable and something I can still very vividly recall.

No longer did I have to plead with my Mom when she was checking out books from the library or try (and usually fail) to negotiate with my dad along the lines of 'for every Sir Walter Scoot and Ivanhoe and Mark Twain and "Connecticut Yankee," I can also have a Chip Hilton or a Hardy Boys book.' That first library card was my passport to anywhere and everywhere in the world anytime I wanted to go. My parents even got me a wallet to put it in even though I was a decade away from having anything else to keep it company.

It sounds like "back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth" I know to anyone who's come of age in our current Converged and Connected World of non-stop noise and news that there really was a time when downloading a book to read meant using a step stool in the library to reach a book on a high shelf.

I thought about that whole then and now comparison a lot this past weekend because the school at which my father last taught before passing away thirty-five years ago honored both his memory and his impact, still, on his generation of students with their Distinguished Faculty Award.

And at practically the same time, across the country, a Facebook friend was cheerily, if not gleefully, posting that while most of her Pacific Northwest major city was plunged into darkness, she was sitting in a comfortable chair in her living room, sharing the illumination of her battery-powered lantern with her pre-teen son as both were engrossed in catching up with some of their favorite books.

If you have a library card from the Otis Library, you don't need me to tell you about all the places you can go in terms of materials to check out and enjoy, be it music on compact disc or feature length movies, and of course every manner of book imaginable.

But this weekend, actually, starting Friday, you don't even have to have a library card because it's the Friends of Otis Library Semi-Annual Book Sale, held in the basement of the library, open to everyone.

It's a great fundraiser for the library and it gets bigger and better every time it's held.  As I said, its starts on Friday morning with an early bird from 9 until 10, that will cost $10 to get a first look at all the treasures.

Officially the sale will run from 10 until 3 on Friday with the same hours on Saturday with Sunday from noon until three your last chance to get bargains, huge bargains, and I'd hope enough reading material to get you to the spring sale.
-bill kenny

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