Day Seven - My library card
A couple of months ago, Downwood and I decided to limit some of our extraneous spending. For me, that meant buying fewer books. If anyone out there wonders how much of our monthly budget was going into that addiction, I'd just like to ask, "Have you met me?"
I love books. I love stories that make me think, laugh, or cry. I love the fluffy brain candy books, science books full of knowledge, and history books that make other eras come alive. I have a deep and abiding love for the fantasy genre, but with enough prodding, I'll read just about anything. For me to give up my weekly/biweekly trip to a bookstore of some flavor was a significant sacrifice.
And then I remembered that I had a library card.
Here in southern Wisconsin, land of snow and more snow, almost all of the libraries share a single computer system. This allows me to search for any book and, should one of the libraries in the area own it, request it be delivered to my closest branch. It usually shows up in a couple of days - more if I'm down on the list - and I get an email to come pick up the book.
It makes for difficult browsing - sometimes it's hard to find the first book in a series or to figure out if a series is any good - but if I know an author, I stand a pretty good shot at getting my hands on whatever it is I'm looking for.
Simply remembering that I have a library card, a close branch, and online access means that I've read more books in the past month or two than in the previous six. I don't have to wonder if I'm going to be stuck with something that I'm not sure I'll like. I can take chances on series that have six, nine, or twelve books in them and not feel the same obligation to get them all.
It also means that when I read a truly kickass book, I can get my coupon and go buy it without hesitation. Two books that I recently finished that fell into this category are Soon I Will Be Invincible
by Austin Grossman and Interworld
by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves. I'm a little ways into Nation
by Terry Pratchett and I can tell that, unless something in the narrative goes completely haywire and sucky, I will be adding this book to that list. Yes, they're all YA or borderline books, but they are FANTASTIC stories that I know I'm going to want to read again and foist on my friends.
Also, if you're signed up with Goodreads
, let me know. I have a profile and try to write out reviews for the books that I finish. They may not be terribly informative reviews, but they're generally my honest reactions to the books in question. For example, I will close with my review of Soon I Will Be Invincible
This book may be my new life plan. It's sort of a how-to for the budding evil genius - the nemesis, the lair, the plan, the girl, the defeats, and everything else.
It's also about how becoming a hero and joining up with the other Good Guys may seem like what you want, but not turn out to be the way you thought it would. There's some self-discovery, some attempted romance, and the conflicts that come up when secret identities and origin stories collide.
It's an auto-biography of Doctor Impossible - "The Smartest Man in the World" - and Fatale - "The Next Generation of Warfare". There are daring heists, dangerous combat scenes, dramatic escapes, and monologues aplenty. It's everything I was hoping it would be and then just a little bit more.
This, too, is a book that I checked out from the library and will now be purchasing. It's really that good and anyone aspiring to the throne of Evil Genius or Hero should really give it a shot.