Sunday, January 18, 2009

Library Tales Ancient and Modern

posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary

My maternal grandmother taught me to read when I was five years old, and ever since then, one of my favorite places in the world is the library.

We didn't have much money to buy books when I was growing up. But every other week in the summer or during other school holidays, my mother would take me, my sister and my brother to the local branch of the public library. My sister and brother liked to slide down the smooth concrete banister out front, but not me! I loved to roam among those shelves and shelves of books, looking for treasures.

The library was heaven on earth for me, and I'm definitely not the only one. Even in ancient times, libraries were special places. That was never more apparent to me than on my recent trip to Turkey when I got to visit the ruins of the Library of Celsius (or Celsus) which was in the Roman city of Ephesus. In its heyday, over 12,000 scrolls were stored in it.

For the history buffs (like ME) in the Lair, here's a bit of information from the Turkish Tourism site...

"According to inscriptions in Latin and Greek on the wings of the front steps, the Library was erected in ad 110 by the Consul Gaius Julius Aquila for his father, Julius Celsius Polemaeanus, formerly Roman Consul and governor of the Asian province. The library was completed in ad 135 by his heirs. Its façade was two-tiered; the interior consisted of a single large hall, measuring 10 × 16 m, comprising the Celsius library itself. The burial chamber under the floor contains the marble sarcophagus of Celsius in an excellent state of preservation.

The reading room destroyed in a fire in the second half of the 3rd century, but the façade did not suffer damage. For a time, the library was left filled with the resulting debris. About ad 400, the area in front of the building was converted into a pool. The façade served a decorative purpose, with its beautiful silhouette mirrored in the water." (Guess my siblings weren't the only ones who liked to play in front of the library!)

An article in Wikipedia states that Julius Celsus was a wealthy and popular citizen of Ephesus. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor.

Quite an honor from the looks of this place! I would have loved to be there in 135 AD...

What about you? Are you more a borrower or a buyer? Or maybe a bit of both? Do you have a favorite library story you can share?


flchen1 said...

OOh! We LOVE our libraries, but we love buying books too!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Good GRIEF, Fedora!
You were one quick lil bunny, honey!

Treat the bird to some outdoor fun in the lovely California sun.


flchen1 said...

Hi, AC! What gorgeous photos! I haven't had a chance to visit any ancient libraries, but we sure do visit our modern ones frequently. The kids are becoming avid readers, too, so we're frequent borrowers. We didn't get to own many books growing up so I LOVE having my own copies, but it does quickly get out of hand, so I'm trying to be better about weeding the keepers... *sigh* I'd love to someday have my own personal library ;)

sarabelle said...

I am all for libraries, but I could not surive without Borders.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Cindy! There is truly something magical about a library.

My grandkids beg to be taken there to pick out books. And of course nowadays, so much more more than reading goes on in a library -- story time, video and audio rentals, research computers.

In South Bend's library they even have copies of paintings you can check out to hang in your home, exchanging them ever so often. What a wonderful idea!

I'm more a book buyer than a renter, especially if it's one of my favorites. Otherwise I'll check a book out from the library or purchase it at the used book store.

What I really enjoy lately is checking out books on tape to listen to while I drive. Hey, it's hands free!

Congrats, flchen1, are you taking the rooster to the library or bookstore today?

Mary Marvella said...

As a child I lived for the school library and the bookmobile during the summer. Yes I LOVED books!

In junior high and high school I walked a mile and a half twice a week and checked out the limit each time.

Now I do buy a lot of books because I know so many published authors.

Loved the photos and would love to wander around in places like those.

limecello said...

Congrats on the GR, Fedora! :)

I'm a bit of both. I love the library - though I buy a LARGE number of books as well.

Those are such gorgeous photos - and I haven't had the chance to go to an ancient library. In college the city I was in - the metropolitan library was and is ranked #1 in the country...

And I have to admit - I finally watched "Sex and the City" and I *loved* the idea of the wedding in the library in NYC - gorgeous building and everything. (I've had a few friends get married in nice libraries...)

Helen said...

Congrats Fedora have fun with him

Aunty Cindy love those pictures wouldn't have been great to have seen it when it was first finished.

When I was growing up we always went to the library either the school or council one although I was always given books for Christmas and birthdays most of the books I read were borrowed from a library and my children were the same they loved visits to our local one and they even started a toy library when my kids were young. Now I buy all of my books our local council libraries never have had the books I wanted to read to I do buy them all and keep them (very expensive habit) but every month I buy probably somewhere between 5 and 1o books and I can't see me stopping when there are so many great authors for me to read.

Have Fun

PJ said...

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Fedora!

When we lived in Jacksonville I was a regular (as in every week) visitor to the library. We had a beautiful newly-built library branch a couple miles from the house. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and their inventory was amazing. I bought a few books here and there but the vast majority I read were from the library.

Now we live in a small town with a small library that's totally lacking in warmth or ambience. The selection of hardbacks is "okay" but not all that great. They only get a limited selection of new hardbacks and only have one copy so I spend a lot of time on waiting lists (I was 18th the last time I signed up for a book) and they have NO paperbacks. NONE! Consequently, I do a lot of buying. We do have a really terrific UBS but it's 45 miles away so I don't get over there all that often.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Fedora and all,
Thanx for the compliments on the photos. Yes, yours truly took them. (and I'm afraid the close up of the library has a wee bit of a "horizon issue" but oh well!) It was a GORGEOUS morning when we were in Ephesus!

My own private fantasy includes winning the Lotto and owning a house with my own personal library. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nice to see you, Sarabelle!

Unfortunately, the Borders in my neighborhood just closed down. #@%&@)( this economy! Luckily B&N still has a brick and mortar store less than 2 miles from me.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I LOVE the idea of checking out pictures to hang on the wall and then exchange them. GREAT way to expose the family to famous works of art. Speaking of... just read that Andrew Wyeth died a few days ago. I really liked some of his work.

Oh and I too love to check out books on tape from the library. Any time I have a road trip coming up, I get one or two. SOOO much better than the radio or the same old CDs over and over.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Mary Marvella,

My mom always let me check out as many books as I could carry. And I always finished them in the two weeks before we went back to the library. ;-) That was me, nose in a book all summer.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Limecello,
Did the GR finish off ALL the macaroons at your place? Maybe he will have lots of energy to run around with Fedora's kidlets.

I LOVE the NYC library too. First time I ever went to New York, I MADE the DH take my piccie standing by one of those lions!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Helen,
Yeah, those Romans were FANTASTIC architects! And pretty fine at a few other things, as our gladiators here in the Lair will attest. :-)

How cool that your local library had a toy library! I would have loved that when my son was a kidlet.

Just keep buying those books, Helen! We Banditas LURVE readers like you and our other BBs.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi PJ,
Hope you are keeping WARM!

I feel your pain. My local library branch doesn't keep paperbacks in their 'permanent' collection either. :-( Perhaps with the bad economy, they will rethink this issue. The budget can stretch a lot further buying paper backs instead of all hard covers!

who seldom buys hard covers but loves to receive them as gifts!

Christine Wells said...

Hi AC! What a great post. I love libraries and grew up borrowing the maximum allowed number of books each time and burning through them all well before the next visit. My mother used to let me use her card so I could get books out of the adult section as well, because they wouldn't let me with only a junior membership.

Since I started writing I've bought a lot more books--one reason is solidarity with my fellow authors and another is that there are some books I just have to have right now. Of course, there are also the keepers, which get bought also. I spend a lot of money on books but thank goodness they are now a tax deduction!

One of my proudest moments was seeing the local library had 10 copies of each of my books. I borrowed one, just to look at it and the librarian said to me: 'Did you forget what you wrote, dear?' Typical Aussie dry humour:)

Congrats, Fedora!

danie88 said...

I'm more of a buyer then a borrower... though I do love my library :)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Fedora.

Hi AC,
I'm a borrower and a buyer, but I've been buying less because these days. I try to head to the library every week. I wish we could experience the wonders of the Library at Alexandria and its amazing collection.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm ROFLOL over the librarian asking, "Did you forget what you wrote, dear?"

I would LURVE to see my book in a library, but as I mentioned, my local branch doesn't have paperbacks. There is a handy dandy search engine that lets you look up the US libraries that have your book. Last time I looked, 138 different libraries have TWS. The closest one to me is in Napa. Looks like I'll have to take a short road trip...


Minna said...

I'm a bit of both. And if a book I have borrowed in a library is really good, I might buy one later.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Dani,
What I said to Helen goes for you too! Keep buying and we Banditas will keep WRITING!

And I can never say this too often... We authors LURVE to get fan mail!!! Please, the next time you finish a book with a happy sigh, email the author. I guarantee you will MAKE HER/his DAY!!!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jane,
According to my Turkish tour guide, when the Celsius Library was completed in 135, it was the third largest in the world. First was Alexandria, of course, and second was also in Turkey (then Anatolia) in a city called Pergamun. We also saw the ruins of Pergamun on this tour, but none of the library was left intact except a few foundation stones. Over the centuries, the marble and other materials were scavanged for other buildings. :-(


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

You are a woman after ALL the Banditas' hearts because you borrow AND buy!

Well all, it is after midnight here so I will catch you all again after I catch 40 winks!

Sleep tight...


Minna said...

What, no paperbacks? In our libraries there are plenty of paperbacks.

Maureen said...

When we were growing up my mother brought us regularly to the library and I was always happy to be able to pick out more books. Like you we didn't have a lot of money to buy books but there were always new books for Christmas so we did have some of our own books but you never knew what new books you might find at the library.

Margay said...

I am definitely the type who prefers to buy books so I can read them at my leisure and go back to them any time I want without a time restriction. Or the threat of late fees if I forget to drop them off on the due date. Which is kind of ironic considering that my very first job was in a library. Don't get me wrong, I love the library. i just prefer to create my own.

PJ said...

When I was in Washington, DC last fall we took a tour of the Library of Congress. Wow! It was incredible. I could have wandered in there for hours.

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, AC.

I loved visiting Ephesus - spectacular!

I love libraries - there's something about them. That said, I do tend to be a buyer *g*. I go to the library for research books and the archives. If I'm travelling I will often check out the nearest library so that I can work there, especially when Lovely hubby was on business.

Thank goodness for Amazon in the UK or I'd be lost. I miss B&N! (And they probably miss me too *g*) I can't get books as quickly as I used to but at least I can get them without having to pay huge shipping and customs charges!

Janga said...

Wonderful pictures!

I'm a buyer and a borrower too. I buy all the romances and most of the mysteries I read, but I couldn't afford to feed my book addiction without library access. :) I still consider the moment I held my first library card in my hand one of the great moments of my life.

I'll sing the praises of Interlibrary Loan as well. I love knowing that I can read almost any book I want to read by using their services.

Joan said...

Cool post AC!

Hey flchen....maybe you could take the GR to your library. He LOVES "The Little Red Hen"

I lived in a suburban area growing up. Every week during the summer the Bookmobile would come to the cul de sac on our street and set up shop. My Mom would take us down there and even in a big ole truck, the scent of books provided quiet comfort.

Ahhh...those were the days.

Keira Soleore said...

A borrower first and always and a buyer, too. I aodre looking at books, smelling them, touching them. Nothing like going to a store filled with books, or visiting a house with stuffed bookshelves.

What a thrill to be standing in the spot which housed books 2,000 years ago? Imagine the numerous Roman priests and ordinary people walking those areas, sitting and reading at their leisure, and always learning, learning, learning. Thanks for those photos!!

"Did you forget what you wrote, dear?"
Christine, that's hilarious! I'm sure that's a story that librarian's going to be repeating at all her family gatherings.

PJ, I definitely plan on visitng the Library of Congress in July when I go there for Nationals.

I really love that our chapter monthly meetings are held at a library. During weekdays, I write at my local library, and on the weekend, I meet with my write-meets at another library.

Fedora, good catch!

Kirsten said...

Morning everyone -- love the post about libraries. I must admit I am a HUGE library lover. I can't think of anything more thrilling than being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books, and being able to take ANY of them home with me! YUM!

I consider myself a power library user -- rarely have less than 70 books out at a time (I did top 110 recently, which was a new limit). There is no way I could fund my book habit by buying -- we go through way too many! Much of what I get from the library is for the kids, but there's also lots of research books, and my own short attention span to be reckoned with (I love to take out 10 books at a time and read the first few chapters to see if I get hooked -- I'm afraid I won't finish if it doesn't grab me).

I do love to buy books, but I have to keep myself on a little bit of a chain when I go to my favorite bookstore. We're all on budgets, right? But when I'm at the's just a love-fest with all those books!

And I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE librarians! Any of you who are out there -- you are awesome! :-)

jo robertson said...

Cindy, the picture-checkout is great, especially since they're nicely framed and look like they're your own! With the renewals, Kennan can keep them about 6 weeks. South Bend, Indiana, has an incredible library for a smaller city! Probably because Notre Dame's there.

Also, I learned you can download electronic books from affliliated with your local library. That's great because some older recordings are no longer available except as a very expensive collector's item.

catslady said...

Just the thought of a library burning gives me nightmares.

As a child every summer we got to go to this huge old library once a week - my favorite time.

Our neighborhood didn't have a library but a book mobile so once a week I'd take my two daughters and we'd take out the maximum amount (30 books). Plus I bought them enough books to start a library of their own lol. They did start up a small library but I got used to buying my own.

Louisa Cornell said...

Great Rooster Nab, Fedora! Take the GR to the library. I dare ya!

What fabulous photos. I would LOVE to tour all of the ancient libraries of the world. I could LIVE in a library.

I am a borrower AND a buyer. I must confess I am more a buyer these days and it will probably land me in the poorhouse! My entire house is a library at this point with bookcases in almost every room.

My dream house is a little English thatched roof cottage where the biggest room is a library!

When we lived in England there was no library in the little village, but the book mobile came around every week. It was a real treat and one of my fondest memories of childhood.

Virginia said...

Congrats Fedora on nabbing that rooster!!

I am mostly a buyer of books. When I was young I went to the library but now I mostly buy or borrow from a friend.

My sisters say the library is at my house because anytime they want to read something they come a borrow from me.

I would go to our library more often but they don't always have the books I want to read and they the library is downtown in the town near where I live and the parking is not great. When I was taking some classes a few years back I had to do a research paper and the library was the first place I went. It had loads on information on what I was looking for.

Trish Milburn said...

I'm obviously a buyer, judging by the literally more than 900 books on my shelves, but I still frequent the library too. In fact, I'm reading a library book now, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

PJ, I have a wonderful newer branch library near my house too. It's great. And if I ever lived in the country again, that's what I'd miss -- a fantastic, big library system.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning all!
(Aunty crawls bleary-eyed from the depths of the Lair)

Glad to see the discussion is still going strong!

Minna, my local library does have paperbacks, but they are uncategorized and on wire racks instead of filed on the regular shelves. I think most of these are donated books.

Last reason I heard for not buying paperbacks as part of the "permanent collection" was that they don't stand up to user wear & tear like hardcovers. I STILL say, for the money they are a good value. :-P


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Finding those "treasures" is my favorite library experience. I can spend hours cruising through the stacks, pulling out books, reading the back covers or inside the dust jackets. Okay, I do the same thing at the book store, but at the library, I can more easily give in to my "impulse purchases" because no $$ are involved. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Margay,
Tell us about that first job! What did you do at the library and how did you get hired?

I seriously thought about volunteering at my local library branch after I left the DDJ (dreaded day job) but I've been so busy writing and traveling that so far it hasn't happened. :-P


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


All the Banditas and our BBs need to pop into the Library of Congress while we are in DC. I KNOW they have a copy of my book! :-)

The other times I've been in DC, the DH wouldn't let me go in LoC because he knew he'd NEVER GET ME OUT! LOL!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I dunno about B&N but WE SURE MISS YOU! Not to worry, we are planning a BIG BANDITA RAID to your house in Cambridge one of these days, just like we will all INVADE DOWN UNDER. :-)

I can imagine there are some WONDERFUL libraries in some FANTASTIC old buildings there in your neighborhood.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I treasured my very first library card too! I think I was all of 7 when I got it.

Currently I have one of the FIRST electronic library cards issued in my county. I've had several librarians comment on how old it was and the fact that it only has (I think) 5 digits. I'm sure they are up to 7 digits now, maybe 8.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

There is something about the SCENT of books, isn't there? It's not exactly new-car-smell but it is alluring nonetheless. I think that is one of my favorite things about bookstores, and it really annoys me when the coffee scent over rides the book scent. :-P But then, I'm not a coffee drinker...

I wonder if scrolls had the same smell? Ask Demetrius and the boys, will ya?


Margay said...

I was still in high school when I got it through a program for lower income families. It was a summer job and I just loved it. I would check the books out, restock the shelves when they came back in, sometimes set up the room for storytime for the kids - that was always fun. The kids were a hoot. Sometimes I would have to reorder the card catalog when they were doing an inventory to purge the shelves of older books (probably to make room for the new ones) and I used to get to unpack the new books that came in and help catalog them. It was a great first job.

I met a lot of very interesting people and had my very first crush at that job. It was the guy who was in charge with the summer program that got me the job and I remember so vividly how he came to see me at the library to check on how things were going and I was just so tongue-tied that I could barely talk to him - add this to the fact that I was shy and you get the full picture. Anyway, I will never forget how blue his eyes were; bluer than the Mediterranean - I can still see them today. Man, he was cute...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I really did get a thrill being in Ephesus! I kept remembering that Antony & Cleopatra walked those streets... Okay, they were probably carried on very elaborate chairs or litters! St. Paul preached there! Of course he did get "kicked out" too, which led to him writing those letters to the Ephesians...

In that first photo of the main street of Ephesus, in some places you could see the ruts worn in the stones by the chariots.

the total history geek!

flchen1 said...

AC, some of our libraries do this thing where they laminate the covers of soft-covered books and then they do seem to hold up to wear and tear much better. And they do also have the random racks of books that aren't part of the permanent collection--those aren't laminated but are left to their own devices ;)

And I can completely relate to what Christine said--I used to max out my card, and then the great thing about having sibs was then trying to convince them to let me also borrow add books to their piles :) "Please!!! I'll even carry them for you!"

Minna said...

Last reason I heard for not buying paperbacks as part of the "permanent collection" was that they don't stand up to user wear & tear like hardcovers. I STILL say, for the money they are a good value.

They may not be as sturdy, but they don't seem to fall apart immeadiately if they are covered with some plastic.

Besides borrowing books I have bought some good books from the library, although the books they have wanted to get rid of haven't always been in such a great shape anymore.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora, he's back with his ladylove, I see! I hope you two have had a lovely day.

Just scooting by to wave to everyone in the lair.

Hey, anyone on Facebook, we've got a Romance Bandits page now. You KNOW you want to be our friend ;-)

Wow, Cindy, you've been to some amazing places. Ephesus looks amazing. Actually one of the ancient tragedies that always makes me want to weep is the destruction of the library in Alexandria.

Not surprisingly, I LOVE libraries. I'm always happy in a library. I had experiences like you as a kid, Cindy. My grandmother used to drive us up to the local library every two weeks to swap our books in and it was like fortnightly Christmas to me. And I learnt an awful lot wandering around those shelves and just borrowing as my whims took me. You can be a lot more daring in libraries, especially with expensive books, because you're not forking out the $50 for a hardback. Where I live at the moment, I'm sadly too far away to go to a convenient library. Thank goodness, there's Amazon and their wonderful nonfiction selection!

Gillian Layne said...

My library system is wonderful in our town of 19,000. It's a Carnegie library, so it's huge and old but recently remodeled, all Arts and Crafts style lighting and furniture and beams, plus can handle any electrical and web needs we have.

My favorite part is how they throw themselves into the community, from the littlest kiddos on up. We have multiple story times, many classes for adults, and our teen program is wonderful. They've built them their own cafe, and my two oldest girls are on their teen advisory board. These last three Saturdays they've brought in manga/anime authors and illustrators to run free classes for teens, all because my daughter wrote a proposal and showed them the interest was there.

Sorry to go on so--I am a huge book buyer, but nothing beats a well-run library. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, too funny! Did you forget what you wrote? Snork!

JT, are you encouraging the rooster over to the hot stuff? The Little Red Hen indeed! Next he'll be borrowing The Best Little Henhouse in Texas!

Minna said...

And even though I live in the countryside and our library is a small one, it doesn't matter, because I can borrow books, CDs and DVDs from all over the country.

Minna said...

Of course besides libraries, there's also BookCrossing...

Suzanne Welsh said...

Congrats Fedora on the bird!!

Hey, Cindy! Love all your pictures of far away and exotic locals. Probably the only chance I'll ever get to see them.

When I was in elementary school one of the best part of each week was the trip to the library. My mom would always get 5 or 6 books for herself and 5 or 6 for each of us kids. Okay, maybe 10 for me, 4 for my sister and one for my brother. (Guess who the reader is?)

Then in middle school I volunteered one study hall a day in the school library. In three years I literally had read every book in the place! How cool a job is that?

These days I'm a buyer. Only because when I go to the library, I stand in front of the romance section and go, "Read it, read it, read it..." You get the picture. Now for historical research if I can't find it on line, then I go spend a day at my local library.

Joan said...

The Best Little Henhouse in Texas!

He's IN that one. Chapter Five ;-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW Kirsten!
They LET you take over 100 library books at a time?!?! POWER USER INDEED! I bow in my unworthyness to you. ;-)

And I AGREE that Librarians are some of the most AWESOME people! Let's give a Big Bandita HUZZAH for them.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I've heard that I local libraries now have electronic downloads of many books available. I haven't used it yet, but will certainly avail myself one of these days.

Sorry to be abruptly AWOL there for awhile everyone. My ISP decided to get tempermental, so I said FERGITABOUTIT and went to lunch with the DH.

Now I'm back and all seems fine.

the techno dummy

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I agree, when I think of the library of Alexandria burning, it brings angry tears to my eyes.

The Celsius Library in Ephesus was destroyed by an earthquake. In fact, the city of Ephesus was completely flattened at least 3 times by earthquakes. The final time, they did not rebuild mainly because the harbor, which at one point was within an easy walk of the library, had silted up. So instead of rebuilding the city, they simply moved to a location closer to the water.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I think I could happily live at a library too. Esp. if it was within easy distance of an Italian restaurant! LOL!

Like you, I'm pretty sure you can find books in every room in my house. Yes, EVEN the bathrooms. I know, I know...TMI!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Virginia on you being the lending library for your sisters!

Sounds like the main branch of our library is like yours -- downtown and the parking is terrible. That's why I never go to it even though the space is quite beautiful. I just use the inter-library borrowing route. MUCH less hassle!

who truly HATES parking meters

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

900 books Trish!?!

I'm guessing you're a book in every room kinda gal too! ;-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx a bunch for sharing about your first job! What a cool program, I hope they still do it. Plus your first crush got the job for you... I think I see the beginnings of a romance novel in there somewhere! ;-)


Margay said...

Me, too! The story ideas just never stop coming!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Fedora and Minna,
I think there may be a couple of branches of our library that do laminate the paperbacks, or they used to. The branch closest to me doesn't. :-( And I don't think our main branch does either.

I really don't think the hard covers wear that much better. I've checked out a few that weren't very old and the bindings were already shot.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Fo!

Thanx for popping in and plugging our new Facebook page! I need to get over there and start my own page as well as check out ours and see what all the fuss is about.

Just curious, do you have something similar to the Library of Congress there in Oz? One spot to house ALL the books and documents by Aussie authors?

Does Ottawa have a National Library? I hadn't thought about it before, but I'm betting you do!

Enlighten yer olde Aunty, per piacere!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

No, please, go on & on! You know everyone in the Lair LURVES to talk/write/pontificate. ;-)

Lucky you to have access to a Carnegie Library. I've seen a few and they are all pretty spectacular.


Anna Campbell said...

AC, interesting you should ask. The National Library (which is in a really beautiful building down on the Lake Burley-Griffin in Canberra) is supposed to keep copies of all books published by Australians. It's in a parliamentary act. Anyway, it's only recently surfaced that they haven't been keeping romances - which is a huge number of books. They're now changing their ways, as they darn well should! Actually, I'm eternally fascinated by the building. I think it's the nicest piece of architecture in Canberra (which is a showcase for Art Deco into Modernist architecture, a lot of which is awful, in my opinion). I keep looking at it and wondering why it works (it's in the international style with a few very subtle Asian touches) and other buildings of a similar vintage like the horrible National Gallery don't work at all.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, JT! There will be no holding him now. It will be a hot time behind the chicken wire tonight!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Don't be so sure about visiting far away places. I never went much of anywhere either until about 15 years ago. Now the DH and I try to make up for lost time. ;-)

How KEWL that you worked in the library as a teen too! Did you encounter a blue-eyed hunk like Margay?

And Gillian, I meant to say how IMPRESSED I am that your girls serve on the Library Teen Advisory board!


Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, make sure you befriend me when you set up! I'm getting a great list of Banditas and Buddies on my list!

PJ said...

Hey AC, I don't know if you were being sarcastic or serious but they DO have a copy of The Wild Sight in the Library of Congress along with books by Fo and Christie and Jeanne and Donna and...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Best Little Henhouse in Texas?


Now how would you know about THAT, Joanie. Isn't that Suz's territory?!?!

And Margay, you are SO RIGHT! Story ideas are EVERYWHERE! GO FOR IT, Bandita Buddy!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for the info. I actually LURVE Art Deco buildings. Miami Beach has some of the most beautiful I've seen.

And WHADDAYA MEAN they didn't keep ROMANCE?!?!?! Them's fightin woids!

BTW, Minna, do you have a National Library in Helsinki or some place else there?


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

PJ Darlin,
I was very serious. I think it is SUPER KEWL that my book and books by the other Banditas are in The Library of Congress! Now there's a piccie I'd LOVE to have... The Wild Sight on the shelf in the LoC!!


Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Cindy, I'd say the library was more 50s/60s modernist than art deco but it's still very beautiful. Canberra is one of the planned towns, as you'd know, so there's not much there pre-1920s.

danie88 said...

I always try to email an author when I finish a book I loved. It just makes me happy to know that I made you happy by reading and loving your book. :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Fo,
Yup, I knew Canberra was a 'planned' town. We've got quite a few of those in California... not so much 'planned' as just nothing pre-WWII. But sometimes they purposely make the buildings look Art Deco or whatever. I didn't make it to your Capitol City when I was Down Under, so hope to get there on my next trip.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Fan Mail makes us VERY VERY HAPPY! I know I speak for the other Banditas when I say this.

And I see that you just gave us a blog award!!! HOW KEWL and BIG THANX to you!!!


Anna Campbell said...

Dani, thanks for giving us the blog award! How cool is that?

p226 said...

I'm a buyer. My first memory of a public library visit is a violent one.

I was dropped off for the first time at the county library, on my own, at my request. I think I was eleven. I had picked out some book or other and sat down to read it. Two kids, one maybe sixteen, the other probably twelve sat down next to me. One just reached over and grabbed my pen.

"Give that back."


"Give that pen back, my mother gave that to me and told me not to lose it."

"No." This time, the "no" was followed by a string of obscene insults about both me and my mother. This attracted the attention of a library employee who promptly ejected the three of us from the library.

And there we were. Me and two kids, one of which was bigger than me by a third, and the other of which was at least twice my size, outside the library on the stone steps with nothing resolved.

"Dude, give me the pen back."

"Fight me for it."



I hit the smaller of the two with everything I had. Multiple times. By this point, I was like Ralphie in A Christmas Story. I was in tears raging, while I pummeled this kid. His ogre friend grabbed me, and I wound up fighting with that kid too.

In the end, I got my pen back. I dislocated two fingers on my right hand (probably on the smaller ogre's nose) with a baseball game scheduled for that night.

At the appointed time, I was waiting outside for my mom (because I'd been banned from the library) who took me home without even asking what the cuts on my face were all about, or why the knuckles on my hand looked like plumbs. And I gave her pen back to her. Clearly it was too much responsibility for an eleven year old. She seemed confused by my returning it, but didn't really question why.

The first time anyone noticed it was when I was at my baseball game and couldn't throw a baseball farther than 20 feet. And that was my dad. "Boy, how come you can't throw all the sudden."

"Uh, my hand hurts."


Yeah, then there was a big stink.

But I never really considered that this incident may have kept me out of libraries for the rest of my life. Believe me, it didn't keep me from reading. NOTHING could keep me from reading. I just got my books at the school library, or bought them at book fairs. Sometimes, I'd raid my grandfather's or parents' books. But then I always did that. That's how I wound up reading Ludlum at age 5.

But I've always felt more comfortable reading at home. I still do. Often on the throne. *g*

Joan said...

Now how would you know about THAT, Joanie. Isn't that Suz's territory?!?!

We got henhouses here in KY too, you know!

Gladiators talk....

Susan Sey said...

Hi AC! Sorry to pop in so late. I was at Barnes & Noble. :-)

Seriously. I was. I didn't mean to buy anything--my kids had gift cards from Christmas & we were only planning to shop for them. But one thing lead to another & I am now the proud owner of Dawn Keepers, the latest in Jessica Andersen's awesome Night Keepers series.

She's guesting in the lair soon, isn't she? I think with Nancy? I got her book free at Nationals last year & ATE IT UP. Had to have the latest & couldn't wait for the library. Though I am, like many of you, a die hard library girl. I could never fund my book habit without it. In fact I ponied up $8 in late fees the other day & wasn't ashamed so much as happy to be contributing to my favorite cause on earth. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Now how would you know about THAT, Joanie. Isn't that Suz's territory?!?!

Uh, AC, am I supposed to know about henhouses or Texas?