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Germinating Thoughts

30 Sep

A couple of Saturday ago, I poddled into the local library or ‘visual entertainments centre’ as they are most likely called these days.  it’s a rare thing for me to go into a library, what with my own personal one waiting for me at home but the local bookshop which usually serves as my preferred meeting place has squeezed out the good books again and decided to give even more coverage to bestsellers and the Kobo e-reader.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, a library, let us say your local one, gets a £5 million pound revamp, which includes unnecessarily oversized tables, lots of computers and of course, the inevitable and not to mention huge loss of books. This is happening up and down the UK and I suspect everywhere else globally.  As well as being a place to read and learn, now libraries are places where the homeless stay warm, everyone is loud and if you would like a book from a series, the first is never ever available but books 3,4 and 6 are never taken out it seems.

mansfieldI did find some great authors though, in my browsing of the fiction section, Camus, Balzac, Verne and Zola to be utterly precise and as luck would have it, whilst perusing these literary giants, I received a text saying that due to missed buses I will have to wait an extra hour for my proposed meeet.  Which is never a problem for me in a library, so I picked up Zola’s Germinal as my reading habits this year have been less than stellar so far and redressing the balance is always preferable to…um, undressing.

I found that this simple act of reading whilst ignoring everything going on around me was extremely therapeutic and something that I hadn’t realised I missed so much.  Call me a traditionalist but back in the day libraries were a place to be quiet, there wasn’t much noise because people liked to concentrate, everyone talked in whispers and there were no distractions…maybe I am just old before my time but I find it easier to read down the pub these days.

Anyway peace in my head was restored and Zola is, for the record a cracking writer, although I only read through the first 30 or so pages of Germinal, I was immediately drawn in by the brutally honest portrayal of life for the French working classes in the 1800’s, his social awareness and powerful literary skill are up there with Dickens.

Anyway Chris was met, coffee was drunk, subjects discussed and in a wonderful finale to my day, it turns out that Germinal is on one of my bookcases so a good day all round and here’s to a few more of those.

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81 Comments

Posted by on 30/09/2013 in Life

 

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81 responses to “Germinating Thoughts

  1. Al

    30/09/2013 at 15:32

    It’s odd that libraries are removing books. Whilst I like my kindle, I brought something the other day specifically for the book mark. I like flicking through briefly to see if I have time to read another chapter before going to sleep.

    Libraries should be for books. And quiet. With people saying “Ssshhhh” if you say too much. I remember as a kid, sitting in the kids section, reading Fungus The Bogeyman and then checking it out and reading it home.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 15:52

      I think these days kids don’t enjoy books as they associate them with learning, that would be partly the fault of the National Curriculum but there you go. I always remember a cartoon where a man runs through a library holding up a sign that says FIRE! as smoke billows around him, lol. Fungus was a staple for kids everywhere, that and Funny Bones!

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      • Al

        30/09/2013 at 16:00

        My daughter has a kindle, but she is currently reading James Herbert’s The Rats in hardback. She said prefers the feel of a book.

        I never saw that, but it is so funny 😀 Now there is a hubbub of sound in the library. Here, in Dover, the Library is also part of the council offices, so sometimes you get angry people shouting. I went intot he library the other day looking for a book. Oh yes, one on astrology. Notice the spelling there. Three times the bloke brought up details on the Sky At Night and things like that. They only hire people who can use a computer, not people who can work with books.

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        • Ste J

          30/09/2013 at 16:51

          Books are so intimate in there tactile nature and smell…you can’t forget the smell either! Libraries seem under valued now and everything always has to be noisy. Everyone craves silence but is scared of it at the same time. It is a strange and i suspect wholly modern phenomenon.

          I agree with you on the staff, they don’t seem to have the value of a book at the forefront of their mind or even a basic working knowledge in some cases but when they have a computer at their fingertips there really is no excuse!

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          • blackcountrylibrarian

            30/09/2013 at 17:57

            I think you’ve been unlucky with the library staff you’ve met! In the past public libraries have employed staff for their IT skills rather than their knowledge of literature but things are changing, I hope, and at my job interview in Sandwell five years ago I was asked to talk about books I’d read recently. My personal mission is to get books and reading back at the heart of libraries and there are plenty of library staff who agree with me, but it is difficult and you’re right about refurbished libraries losing books. It breaks my heart.

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            • Ste J

              30/09/2013 at 18:03

              The town I live in doesn’t have much in the way of book orientated places to go, I think a lack of encouragement to start/continue reading may be a factor in our town not having library staff that are as passionate as you and others are. It is heartening to know that there is a movement to get libraries back to towards their more traditional roots. At least the internet has made it easier for us passionate bookophiles to meet up and chat about our mutual loves. Thanks for stopping by and lightening my some may say harsh opinions on libraries.

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          • Al

            30/09/2013 at 18:00

            I don’t think sniffing books is something I will get into hehe. I shall leave that to the true bookworms. I think that I can find more information myself by looking on Amazon and Barnes & Noble than they knew at the “library”

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            • Ste J

              30/09/2013 at 18:19

              Apparently, by which I mean according to QI, the chemicals that the paper is treated with so it stays in good condition has an extremely mild hallucinogenic quality to it…so perhaps the reason why some books are so very amazing is for that fact…now that’s a theory I can subscribe to.

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              • Al

                30/09/2013 at 18:35

                HAHA I may have to start sniffing them then

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      • shiningstar85

        10/10/2013 at 07:10

        I remember funny bones! We had the tape of it! The …bone connected to the hip bone!

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        • Ste J

          10/10/2013 at 08:30

          Haha, old skool. I may have the tape somewhere…of course nothing to play it on these days, so YouTube exploration it is then!

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  2. colemining

    30/09/2013 at 16:40

    Welcome back!
    I still love hanging out in libraries. Our local Reference Library underwent a huge reno fairly recently, and I find it a pretty relaxing place to hang out- and it has always been a hub of activity. Some of our local uni libraries are phenomenal places- to browse and just take in the whole wonder of being surrounded by books. Tears for Fears filmed their video for Head Over Heels in one of them, back in the day. That was pretty trippy.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 17:02

      I will be checking out Tears for Fears on YouTube now then going through a lot of cheesy music afterwards methinks. It is a wondrous thing to be surrounded by books and to feel all that history and all the unread adventures and facts that they hold for our pleasure…it gives me the shivers actually.

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      • colemining

        30/09/2013 at 17:08

        Great description. That’s one of the reasons I can’t live in a house without books. Somehow seems empty without all the characters and wisdom being somewhere close by. Not so fun when it’s time to move though…

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        • Ste J

          30/09/2013 at 18:05

          I know what you mean, it is harrowing, especially when you fancy looking at a book but it could be in any one of the boxes…a house without books is one with no character in my blatantly biased opinion.

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  3. Chatty Owl

    30/09/2013 at 16:41

    I remember as a teenager i used to spend hours in the library trying to find a book that i havent read yet.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 16:44

      I bet that became a challenge extremely quickly!

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  4. thejerseygal®™

    30/09/2013 at 16:56

    Literary skills that are up there with Dickens is quite a compliment!

    Libraries in my neck of the woods don’t get huge overhauls. Maybe later this week I will take some pics of my town’s library. It’s rather small and quiet and save for the computers, outdated looking.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 17:01

      Yes please do, I haven’t had the chance…yet to grace an American library and wonder how they will compare culturally with the life on English libraries. I think ours only got an overhaul because the council would have lost the money had they not spent it.

      Zola does seem to be an epic author, I shouldn’t judge on that 20 pages but they were very strong so I am because I am reckless like that.

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      • thejerseygal®™

        30/09/2013 at 17:14

        I am thinking about vloging it. What do you think about that? You’ll get to see the library, but also hear my gawd awful New Jersey accent. I’ll take pics, too. They’re closed Mondays, which is odd, but this is a small-ish town, roughly 2 sq. miles and under 10, 000 people…but not in the sticks…we’re not hillbillies at all. We’re suburban NYC….as much as the rest of North Jersey is. That being said, I can’t wait to move to another town lol.

        You are a rebel! I appreciate your honesty and it’s your blog, so play by your own rules. Twenty pages is enough to garner a feeling for the book.

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        • Ste J

          30/09/2013 at 18:11

          Yes do the vlog! It’s always interesting to hear (or see) a fellow blogger, then I can read all your posts with your voice in my head…like a 3D post, kind of. Your town sounds fairly similar to mine population wise but we sprawl out a bit more than two miles. I cannot wait to move to another town either lol.

          When I was in Amsterdam I was called ‘No rules’ Ste J so that is how I shall play the blog from now on…

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          • thejerseygal®™

            30/09/2013 at 18:29

            Amsterdam! Was that a vacation (holiday) or did you live there?

            Ste J…my guess, Steven Jones….am I close? No need to say your real name, just me trying to figure out the nom de plume.

            No rules, just right….or just write.

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            • Ste J

              30/09/2013 at 18:35

              It was a stag do…bachelor party to your side of the pond. Four hazy days of not quite sure what…although I did return with three pairs of hot pants which I bought one night in a shop and promptly forgot about lol.

              Steve Johnson, so close…I am unoriginal when coming up with a moniker for the Gravatar lol. I love your pun…I may steal it…I mean borrow it.

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              • thejerseygal®™

                30/09/2013 at 18:40

                LOL…let me put my giggles into perspective for you.

                Hot pants? Please take pics of those. Maybe in Europe hot pants means something different, but here they’re brightly colored and skin tight.

                Steven, is that your real name or a nom de there’s no effing way I’m sharing that with an american idiot? Haha either way, I like it.

                Steal, borrow, it’s yours.

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                • Ste J

                  30/09/2013 at 18:45

                  Hot pants are the same over here…I was puzzled in the morning when I saw them. The said Amsterdam on the bad and 69 on the front in the right hand side lol. I managed to give them away as souvenirs…it took a lot of convincing to get rid of them…especially the red pair lol.

                  Steve is real…I prefer Ste J as I like to make me sounds cooler hehe!

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                  • thejerseygal®™

                    30/09/2013 at 18:51

                    Okay, so the bachelor party was like a blur and you bought the hot pants because you were plastered.

                    Good thinking on getting rid of them haha

                    Gotta love pants that advertise sex positions.

                    It’s always fun chatting here with you, Steve…err, Ste J.

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                    • Ste J

                      30/09/2013 at 18:58

                      From what my addled mind recalls I thought they were a bargain…this is what happens when you decided to potter around the red light district on your own looking for bookshops…which it turned out were all shut at 8 o clock at night lol. Always fun to have a natter with you to duck.

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                    • thejerseygal®™

                      30/09/2013 at 19:02

                      Red light district….yikes!

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                    • Ste J

                      30/09/2013 at 19:02

                      I didn’t book the hotel.

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                    • thejerseygal®™

                      30/09/2013 at 19:04

                      Some friend of yours was in it for fun, for sure haha

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  5. Bumba

    30/09/2013 at 17:17

    True, libraries are trying to keep pace with the rest of the videoed, non-print world. But I still love the public libraries – one of the few services that I receive and enjoy from my tax money.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 18:12

      That is a fair point actually…I forget that we pay for the service…when I find a better library I vow to appreciate it more!

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  6. nancyrae4

    30/09/2013 at 17:21

    Our fancynew libraries in Northern Colorado are so noisy, I can’t hear myself think much less read.
    Our bars are practically empty because of our stringent drinking and driving laws. So, maybe I’ll take your suggestion and read at the bar. It’s probably quieter there:)

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 18:07

      It is more peaceful and if it is a book that’s a bit rubbish, the odd alcoholic beverage makes it seem that little bit better!

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  7. Claire 'Word by Word'

    30/09/2013 at 17:51

    Can’t wait to start reading Zola and I’m envious that you beat me to it, and a little ashamed. After all, I’m squatting in his birthplace, out most famous author. Ok, ok, I will add him to the list. Actually I’m quite keen to read that really long series of books he has written, what’s it called?

    Les Rougon-Macquart – Histoire naturelle et sociale d’une famille sous le Second Empire

    Right. That one. I found a quote that explains his intenet, and it sounds very interesting and like a whole year of reading!

    “The great characteristic of the Rougon-Macquarts, the group or family which I propose to study, is their ravenous appetite, the great outburst of our age which rushes upon enjoyment. Physiologically the Rougon-Macquarts represent the slow succession of accidents pertaining to the nerves or the blood, which befall a race after the first organic lesion, and, according to environment, determine in each individual member of the race those feelings, desires and passions—briefly, all the natural and instinctive manifestations peculiar to humanity—whose outcome assumes the conventional name of virtue or vice.”

    Now that sounds like something you could ponder at length. Good luck with Germinal and don’t stop there!

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 18:22

      I am sold after that comment…I just started a new book today which I have agreed to review but it will be on the list for afterwards…Zola never seems to get the same profile as other great writers…perhaps it is English bias or perhaps i am looking in the wrong place…either way I look forward to the journey that awaits me!

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    • Claire 'Word by Word'

      30/09/2013 at 18:42

      That should have said “his intent” 🙂

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  8. Penny L Howe

    30/09/2013 at 18:33

    Yes, it is I … in the flesh (cybernetically speaking). Hi SteJ. Libraries, Ah, my favorite buildings on the planet, okay, right after used book stores (a passionate regard for the mystery and adventure of exploring a used bookstore). Libraries definitely come in second. Repository of knowledge. Change does creep in, but I don’t believe anything will ever replace the impact of books and the written words of them. (p.s.- count down going down here, by all … 🙂 ) 🙂 xx

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 18:40

      Well I aim to push libraries into third place after second hand bookshops and a downstairs library (permission pending of course) thing that will be eclectic and fascinating and ever growing…Ambitious is the word. always a pleasure to see you P and with the countdown fast flying down, I am ever more anticipatious of being back in the ‘house of dubious sanity’ hehe. xx

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  9. Alastair Savage

    30/09/2013 at 18:45

    LIbraries are so important, especially in the dull town where I grew up. For cash-strapped parents, it must be great to see their kids getting Asterix, Tintin and the Target Doctor Who books for free. I even miss those plastic protective covers they used to put on the paperbacks. >>sigh<<
    I have an e-reader but I don't think for a minute that a library should be some sort of IT resource centre. It's for books. Made of paper. And ink.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 18:56

      All fine examples of books there…the new Doctor Who reprints just don’t have the charm of the old ones. Asterix and Tin Tin are awesome and I do fancy tracking down a copy of Les Tuniques Bleues as well. Those plastic covers are great…I have a copy of the Tom Baker story Meglos that I picked up from a library years ago for 20p complete with that wonderful plastic protector.

      I tend to ignore all the non book bits in libraries because I am blinkered and old fashioned and that’s the way I like it.

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  10. Claire 'Word by Word'

    30/09/2013 at 18:53

    I might have to do a library post, I love our library, even if there aren’t many books in English in there, it is just a wonderful sanctuary and even has a small artsy cinema inside it. Each month they have a theme, the Roman Polanski fortnight is just finishing and then an Albert Camus special for his 100th anniversary. Maybe I’ll end up seeing the film before reading the book, ironically it’s l’etranger which is in a photo on my current blog post, a huge sculpture of the book at the entrance to the library. Apparently Camus never saw any of the films adaptations of his books, sensitive creature that he was.

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    • Ste J

      30/09/2013 at 19:02

      He was a goalkeeper, as was Nabokov interestingly. I do like a bit of Camus…libraries that make an effort are always welcome and deserving of publicity. I look forward to a glimpse into another cultural bibliophiles heaven. it’s all a bit intoxicating.

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  11. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    30/09/2013 at 23:31

    Our library is more the old fashioned type. They recently added an addition, but all it did was give a larger space for the children’s section and the smaller area that was the children’s book area was turned over to computers. You still have to be fairly quiet and it’s a nice place to sit and read. I have my complaints, but all in all, it’s a good library and I’m grateful we have it here in this tiny town.

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    • Ste J

      01/10/2013 at 19:42

      Good to see libraries still keeping mostly traditional your way. I do love Children’s books, although these modern ones don’t grab me as much but I guess I do hark back to my past and am biased.

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  12. Christina ~

    01/10/2013 at 01:38

    Always fun to read you ramble of your first love….and of course your erudite manner of elucidating on people watching…book browsing….what have you….is unceasingly fascinating. Our library got a major overhaul in the past few years as well…not too major loss of books though, which is nice….although I did worry whilst there…of….(insert ominous music) the Vashta Nerada….xxxxx

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    • Ste J

      01/10/2013 at 19:37

      Haha, I really enjoyed when that dramatic music kicked in to sign post the introduction of a new bad guy, I always love a Doctor Who reference as well! I bet that planet of books wouldn’t have been made into a planet of computers. I am sure I will see your local library one day, I am looking forward to sampling a few more, I was tempted to go to London and explore there before the 16th but shall save that as a treat for another time now. I am glad my rambling rambles keep you entertained, plenty more from this addled mind to come! xxxxx

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  13. readinpleasure

    01/10/2013 at 19:24

    As a student I never liked going to the library to do research, I must confess. I waited till my friends had done their research and kindly borrowed their works to read. The only time I read from the library was when it was a story book or novel. even then this was rare because our libraries at the uni were mostly stocked with academic books!

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    • Ste J

      01/10/2013 at 20:16

      ‘Kindly borrowed theirs to read’, haha I like that! Libraries are great but it’s so much more fun for us to build our own, it saves us having to wait for those elusive novels to come back in as well.

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  14. shadowoperator

    01/10/2013 at 21:19

    Yes, here in the States too, there has been a big brouhaha about a totally online library (I think in Texas or somewhere west) where not a “real” book is to be seen. And I too hate this, much as I see the logic of not wanting to ruin the earth and use up more trees. But what happens on the day when electricity fails for several days at a time, or the systems become old? Where do we look for our “books” then? I think it’s worthwhile to preserve both forms of books, and to reprint a measured number of each valuable text to be kept against that catastrophic day, perhaps for sale to libraries only, where everyone can still use print books, and not perhaps for private sale. That way, we have a failsafe, double-check system, and it’s certainly worth it–it’s our history, our math, our literature, our science, our music, our culture, in short.

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    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:08

      Love the word brouhaha, it is sadly underused Stethinks. Your comment has me in mind of the film The Day After Tomorrow where they are arguing about which books to burn and eventually settle on the huge volumes of Tax Laws. You are right we do have a responsibility to our planet and our heritage. I grudgingly accept that those e-reader things may be a good thing in that respect. Not sure about this unreal library though…it frightens me a bit but I’m not sure why.

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  15. Letizia

    01/10/2013 at 22:03

    “poddled”…. That word made me smile! Your public library is really jazzed up – quite something. As long as it gets people in the door and reading, then I’m happy. As long as there is something to read once you get in the door, of course.

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    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:05

      Reading is the problem though, there doesn’t seem to be many people that go there for that wonderful pursuit, still with the facilities there, then maybe just maybe miracles can happen!

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  16. RoSy

    02/10/2013 at 01:22

    WOW – I haven’t been to a library in yeeeaaars…
    I remember going all the time back in the day for info on school projects & to study –
    Back before computers were affordable & existed in just about every household.
    I actually enjoyed hangin’ out at the library. It was one of the few places my dad always said yes to when I asked to go out 🙂
    There was one time or two where we got warned to be quite or we’d be kicked out. One time we did get kicked out. But – we deserved it. We were having too much fun & laughing in non-whisper mode. So immature we were…

    YAY to your wonderful day!

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    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:24

      Libraries are always fun when you make them…I would have been one of those people looking over my glasses and tutting at you guys lol. Library mavericks both of you! I do wish libraries were social places but then i wish them to be quiet so I really should sort myself out lol.

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  17. sakuraandme

    02/10/2013 at 04:39

    Hey, how’s things? 🙂
    I don’t really frequent libraries but the ones I’ve visited have always been fairly quiet.
    No point being there if it feels like your in a playground! I was so anti kindles until I went to the U.K in April. I wanted to take 3 books but common sense prevailed and I crumbled and bought the kindle. Lol its just lighter and more convenient. I do miss holding the actual novel though. Don’t know if that sounds old fashioned either…but Meh!! Lol

    Pubs in Oz are too noisy for me to read. Your pubs are homely… I would never want to go home! LMAO. Hugs Paula xxx

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    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:17

      Things are going good my friend, I hope they are for you as well?! Next time I travel, I’m taking a ton of books lol, I can’t help it, it makes me feel happier to be with paper…I think it must be the same thing for pregnant women. Old fashioned is good though, I love to sound like an old miserly git, it’s when I dress like one that I start to worry.

      Our homely pubs are all dying at the moment, in favour of dull, samey characterless pubs that offer cheap alcohol. For me it’s the experience though so I do like to keep them going as much as I can. Going home is always a problem…especially when you try and navigate by the stars. xx

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      • sakuraandme

        04/10/2013 at 07:06

        Hahaha! 🙂

        I think I would get lost going home too. 🙂

        That would be such a shame if they all changed Its one of the great things about the U.K. Well, it is if your a drinker and that I am!

        Glad your well. Have a great weekend. Hugs to you, Paula xxx

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        • Ste J

          08/10/2013 at 14:10

          I’ll drink to that. I hope that people see sense and fight against all the cheap alcohol and bring back some character to our streets. Less beer, more character I say. I don’t say that often. Big hug backatcha! xx

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          • sakuraandme

            10/10/2013 at 08:55

            Mwaaah! Sorry, I’ve been away and just got back. hugs xxxx

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  18. anna amundsen

    02/10/2013 at 09:19

    Thank God (heavens, or whoever) our city library is still an old fashioned one. You can browse for hours and the only thing you’ll hear are voices of readers or students asking for a certain book or a recommendation.. The reading room is on the second floor and is used mostly for studying. But there is a problem with librarians, sometimes. Some time ago I asked for a French classic – Prevost’s Manon Lescaut. OK, she was under no obligation to know much about French literature but some basic IT skills are obligatory. She didn’t know with what search term to go through the catalogue, (it takes few seconds on google to find out how one spells Prevost!), she typed in something and said they don’t have the book. I did my own search back at home and found they actually do – and four copies… The saddest thing is – the lady in question.. We studied together – library and information science.. Disappointing indeed.

    Zola is one of the greatest French writers!

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    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:33

      Sadly, my knowledge of French authors is less than stellar, although Camus, Sartre, Hugo and a bit of Dumas has helped me on a bit. I always think the best librarians are book lovers…I am happy to be guided around to look for a book than wait for someone to tap-tap details into the computer.

      Interestingly all those great French writers I listed…well none of them have been checked out of our library since on 3rd January 2012…my town is not a mecca for the reading public!

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      • anna amundsen

        04/10/2013 at 17:40

        Have you read Stendhal? ‘The Red and the Black’ is one of my favorite novels. Beautiful literature..
        Of course – devoted readers make best librarians. I love the idea of getting into an interesting conversation with a librarian who knows his/her books.. I have never had that kind of thought exchange.. Maybe some day..

        In our library there are books checked out just once – by me!

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        • Ste J

          08/10/2013 at 14:06

          I have not but it has been added to my 632 strong wishlist of books…Amazon does have its uses for me after all. Save yourself a trip to the library and just have a chat with me instead…at least until you run out of books that is!

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          • anna amundsen

            09/10/2013 at 08:10

            I just might!.. There’s a large stock of unread books on my shelves and the Winter Book Fest is fast approaching so I won’t be needing library any time soon..

            Sometimes I think I will never read most of the books on my wishlist and I feel sad. Do you frequently visit your wishlist or it happens that other books are always jumping in whenever you are in the bookshop?

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            • Ste J

              10/10/2013 at 20:10

              Yay for chats and bibliophiles!!!! I think any true book fans have an insurmountable wishlist. You are not alone in the least there.

              I haven’t looked at the wishlist for a while, Indo take photos of book spines so I can come home and research them to see if I fancy reading them at some point. It#s a bit unmanageable with the sheer weight of them so I just try and remember the must haves and just hope I don’t miss any.

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              • anna amundsen

                16/10/2013 at 10:40

                Sometimes I feel I’m having a wishlist for nothing with all the new books being bought without paying attention to it. But, I guess that’s the way it is – sometimes you consult it, other times you don’t..

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                • Ste J

                  18/10/2013 at 17:01

                  Well this is the problem, with all the bestsellers coming out, it is perhaps not as easy to spot the gems and then you go into a shop and find a classic you never new existed and then you think how can I ever keep up. it is at once exhilarating and frustrating.

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                  • anna amundsen

                    21/10/2013 at 07:01

                    We can never keep up – that is the fact. When you remind yourself of it you’re left with the exhilaration only.
                    Till the next time you feel the frustration, that is..

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  19. LuAnn

    02/10/2013 at 13:50

    Until you wrote this piece Ste J, I had not given thought to how libraries have changed. When I was younger, libraries were welcoming, quiet, warm wood shelves, comfy chairs, smelled of old leather, with an abundant selection. Today they are bright, filled with metal shelving, loud, with children racing around, and feel hollow and empty, at least those I have frequented lately. I spent many a day and night at the library studying during school years, but am not certain I could concentrate at one today.

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    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:12

      traditional library values have declined…I think it is the modern fear of silence, there’s always noise everywhere, I can’t remember a time when I had absolute silence anywhere, let alone just some quiet time. Perhaps the library as a place for reading has declined with the noise being a factor…interesting thought, which came first, the decline in reading or the decline in standards…

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  20. quirkybooks

    02/10/2013 at 22:33

    Our city centre has a temporary library, whilst the old one is being changed drastically into a new one.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/10/2013 at 20:03

      Live in fear of the new one, there may be ‘sound pods’ and squash courts as I have heard of one such library having those facilities.

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  21. shiningstar85

    10/10/2013 at 07:09

    Haven’t read all the other comments but round here libraries are shutting, a bit like hospitals. My local library and the fortnightly library van is still open/visits though. Yours looks very modern and feng shui friendly with all its curves.

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    • Ste J

      10/10/2013 at 08:44

      It’s a sad state of affairs when essential services are shut down but pointless things stay open and doing well. I think we probably spent more money on a designer than anything else. It’s a nice place but not really conducive to one’s reading sadly.

      Like

       

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