May 4th, 2013

krazy koati

She's got a paper heart that lies in mine

Something has shocked bunny_hugger for months now: I didn't have a library card. Not a Lansing-area one, anyway. There's simple enough reasons for this, though. I had stockpiled books, from an outlet bookstore's closing sale and from New Jersey-area used book stores, when I was moving out, and I admit to picking up a couple here and there, and her parents and my family, and friends were generous in giving books for my birthday and Christmas and, ultimately, I hadn't exhausted my stockpile of unread books. I'm trying to get more responsible about not just buying books way ahead of actual need, and believe it or not, this is about how big the stockpile had gotten. It's only in the past couple weeks that I've been down to only a couple things left.

So with a fairly free day (while bunny_hugger was off at work) I popped into the main library for the area and filled out the paperwork for a card. I couldn't make an anecdote out of this, since the only oddness came from my insistence on standing to the side while filling out the form rather than obstruct people coming to the circulation desk; there weren't any. The library's got a lovely late-60s municipal design, and I'm eager to dive into a whole new library collection.

The other big library in the area is the Michigan State system, and while I'm not technically ``student'' or ``faculty'' or ``alumnus'', they do give memberships to Michigan residents on proof of residence. This did produce some peculiarity, since the guy working the circulation desk entered me into the system, filled out the card, and then ... declined to give it to me. They would mail the card to me after, I don't know, they checked it against the Big List Of Fake Michiganders or something. (It took a week.)

The guy working the circulation desk, in-between instances of saving the Michigan State library system from recidivist Ohioans, was working on clipping Popeye comic strips out of a 1972-dated Florida newspaper (I didn't catch which one). This is for the library's comic strip collection, which, oh yeah, they have. I'm adjusting to the idea of a university library that's got a bigger and more diverse collection than the Rutgers one. If only state resident memberships had a loan period more than 14 days.

Trivia: Captain Matthew Webb was the first person known to swim the English channel, which he did over 22 hours on 24-25 August 1875. The Captain Webb brand of matches was named for the celebrity. Source: The 13th Element: The Sordid Tale of Murder, Fire, and Phosphorus, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: The Port of New York, Carl W Condit.