I haven’t been doing enough ranting lately. I should work on that.
I just saw someone post a link to some article in which a newspaper accused libraries of being ‘book museums’—which I guess implies that no one goes to them, or something. I didn’t actually read the thing.
I’m not sure I had to. Largely because I’m not one of those unlikeable hipsters who can’t wait to brag at you about not even owning a television. The little twats who assure you without waiting to be asked that they never absorb any information not found within bound bits of woodpulp in exactly the way that vegetards assure you that they don’t eat meat. These are the people I assume actively collected starstickers back in school, and don’t understand an adult world in which they’ve stopped receiving the things. Prius drivers. People who’ll only watch foreign films untainted by subtitles.
By coincidence, I went to the local library yesterday. I wanna say it’s, like, the Arapahoe County Public Library; I can’t be sure because, when I’m taxed to further its existence, I don’t get an itemised list of extortions so much as a lumpsum bill thing.
I’ve actually been going in there a lot lately. Like, a couple times a month. Because MondoHebe goes there. He’s not exactly supposed to: he lives the hell across town, on the northern edge of Aurora in Adams County [the half of Aurora containing for example a cinema known for getting shot up in 2012]; but he pays an annual fee for the privilege of accessing a library down here where people don’t shoot up cinemas.
Since I live within theoretical walking distance of the place, he tends to stop by here first; then we go there and, more importantly, off to find food somewhere.
I haven’t got all that much experience with libraries. I used to go to one in the eighties which happened to look about like this one. But I gather that, those two exceptions notwithstanding, they’re usually crumbling dumps in bad neighbourhoods. So at least I’m not getting billed to support one of those.
A couple months ago, while I was in there, Hebe asked if I even had a library card. Nope. Not since about 1984, and not anywhere around here. Why would I, in the twenty-first century: even while the library is something I could get to and back from on a ZBoard, the fact is that it would be cheaper to grab a KindleBook for a few bucks and have it instantly than it would be to drive to this building and back. Twice. Because libraries still operate on the flatly disproved Blockbuster Business Model.
Found my library card after all….
That could really be the whole rant, right there: Libraries are to amazon.com what Blockbuster was to netflix.com. Extinct. And unaware of their extinction within the first decade or two.
But I went ahead and got a library card. I think it’s in a coat somewhere.
More recently, I mentioned to Hunter that we were going down there, prior to lunch; she jumped uncharacteristically at the chance to go along. She’s more into libraries, since they have free stuff. She used to live in the things, as a kid, reading and borrowing whatever they’d let her touch.
As a rich kid, my largest problem with books was…there was this one time.
DAD: Oh all right: you can buy a book. One of these two.
GREM: I’ve already got that one. Duh.
DAD: Fine. This one it is.
I don’t think it was about the money. I think it was about running out of room. I remember which two books those were; also, I know where they currently are in this house, in 2013. They’re on a shelf with five hundred others. And of course that’s not the only shelf.
Hunter never collected literal tonnes of books. So she likes libraries.
And, the one a couple miles from here is probably a good one. The place contains a few dozen Apples for searching what books they’ve got, or can get, or whatever; there’s also a MakerBot on a counter which you can ask a librarian about signing up to use. I dunno. I’m pretty sure you can’t actually check the MakerBot out.
But, otherwise, it’s a library. It’s staffed by the sort of povertybraggers who wear cardigans. And those people bug me.
I went in a couple weeks ago. By then, I had a card. But I was really just standing there with MondoHebe, who was returning stuff.
I guess the librarian saw me first. Not uncommon: I’m six inches taller. So she asked if I was returning anything.
GREMLIN: Nah. I usually just buy KindleBooks.
LIBRARIAN: No! Don’t say that!
GREMLIN: Well…it’s true.
LIBRARIAN: No! You should borrow ours!
GREMLIN: If it helps, I write yours.
LIBRARIAN: Oh! You’re an author?!? That’s okay then!
By the way: I’m not thrilled with the word author. It sounds artifically important. I just write stuff. That librarians see that as an accomplishment doesn’t affect my job as a Library Content Provider.
So, by coincidence, I went to the library yesterday. MondoHebe was going; and, since Hunter had gone along and actually checked out some books, she had to return them. Because Blockbuster; lawl.
So, here’s what proves my point. I didn’t borrow anything. Again. What I did do was notice that they’ve got that Used Book Section, where you can just buy books they’re now done with. So I did. Fifty cents each. I had some cash, so I grabbed an even number of them.
And that, in its way, is the rant. Because, if I borrowed a book, and didn’t get it back in time [or at all], they could charge me at minimum what the thing would cost at Barnes&Noble; but, if I wait until they acknowledge that they’re done with it, I can just buy the damned thing for four bits.
I see this as a scam.
So, again: I don’t tend to borrow books. I just buy the things. Whether they’re fifty cents once the library stops pretending that they’re worth fifty bucks plus late fees, or just KindleBooks I can grab from anywhere with WiFi for three to ten bucks thirty seconds before I start reading them. And, since the Used Books at the library are on a shelf next to a little Honour System LockBox, I can grab what I want without ever having to talk to Captain Cardigan the Bibliophiliac Vegetard Who’s Saving Her Pennies for a Prius.
I know that few people get my position on this. Least of all the librarians who, in their most unsmug modes, wanna congratulate me on my decision to contemplate reading something, as if that were a rare accomplishment in America. And maybe it is; but being shocked that, like, I of all people might know how to read, or—worse—might be looking for cardigancentric validation whenever I’m about to…I just don’t really need that.
Anyway: just my opinion; there are no late fees, so you can take however long to read it.
Have a webcomic: