Things That Make Me Smile: Library Style

May 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm (Book Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , )

Have you ever felt like running away and starting your life over? I’m sure most of us have at one time or another. My problem has always been that I need somewhere to run towards before I can leave the safety of the place I am currently at. I’m a lot like Claudia that way. The recent death of E. L. Konigsburg brought to mind how much I enjoyed the adventures of Claudia and her brother as they ran away to live at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. If you have to run away, I would highly suggest that a museum is the best place for a historical geek (like me) to run towards. Though I know it is not true, sometimes the past feels like a much safer place than the now.

I worked in a museum recently and one of the best unnamed perks was the access to all the interesting back rooms like the old bank safe where the pottery was kept and the all too horrifying glimpses of the creepy doll collection that hung out at the top of one of the moving shelves (all of them staring at you as you opened the rolling shelves – everybody agreed they were creepy). We emptied out the gallery a couple of times when I was there. This involved rolling the mannequins to the elevator, down the basement hallway to their temporary storage in the auditorium. You’d start talking to them and apologizing for the inconvenience of the move. We’d also scare the other staff by leaving one of the mannequins (usually the priest) in the elevator because it was necessary to check the elevator as you closed the museum down for the night (didn’t want to trap anyone in there overnight).

Claudia and her brother would find it harder to hide in the museum now. If you ran away to live in a museum, which museum would you run to? I like the Cloisters (even though it is mostly an outdoor place – hopefully, there would be some shelter from the occasional storm).

Book Cover

There is something about books that we read in our youth and childhood. They stick with us, leave lasting impressions and draw us back to them as we travel along life’s pass.

I heard recently that Judy Blume’s son has made a movie version of Tiger Eyes and my heart went wow! Go view the movie trailer and see if you agree. Ms. Blume wrote about people who were real; they had the same wishes, aspirations and faults as me and my friends. I’d say that they don’t write books like that anymore but of course they do. It’s just that I have so much less time for reading than I did as a teen – I tend to read the authors I already love rather than go off searching for new writers to fall in love with.

I love authors like Neil Gaiman, who in a recent talk (scroll down to listen – LBF 2013) spoke about not judging a book by its cover and how, as book formats change and  evolve, we (readers, publishers, bibliophiles) need to find reasons to buy objects and not just content. Do you wonder how a book will be defined in fifty years, a hundred years, or a thousand years from now?

I wonder. I spent the last few days at a library conference and saw some of the changes coming for the delivery of story and song and information. I don’t ever want to not have a library but I do think the concept needs redefining. What do you think?

We need better swag...

We need better swag…


1 Comment

  1. Photo Challenge: Symbol | Solitary Spinster said,

    […] I love all libraries. When I travel, like to Alaska last year, I like to visit at least one library. I still regret not popping into the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh when I walked past it. I didn’t go in because I was lost and stressed. If I had gone in I would have become less stressed and (probably) less lost! […]

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