I still remember standing on my tiptoes to reach the higher drawers of the card catalog in the library. If there was no step stool nearby, I’d walk over to the front desk and ask the librarian for help. She would help me look up what I needed and then take me to the right spot in the library to find my book. While there, I was free to search the stacks to my heart’s content for other books on the same topic or by the same author or discover something completely different that might interest me. Those were the good ol’ days. When I was a college student, things were a little more high-tech. I sat in front of a computer monitor and typed in the subject, author or title of the book. No step stool necessary. Within seconds, the computer would cough up the names of all the books with similar titles and authors. I’d print out the list on the dot-matrix printer on the other side of the library and then walk up the stairs to peruse the shelves for my book. Today–25 years later–I learned about the latest in library technology on a college tour. Students walk up to a kiosk, type in the book they want, and WAIT FOR IT…a robotic arm will find the book and deliver it to a central location where a staff member will place it on a pickup shelf for convenience. Yes, you read that right…a robotic arm. The official name for this is BookBot–a book retrieval and delivery system which apparently saves on shelf space and opens up the opportunity for more classrooms and meeting spaces on campus. Or maybe just another Starbucks. The tour guide likened this state-of-the-art system to ordering a hoagie at a Wawa. Just walk up to the counter and make your selection from countless options on the screen and hit enter. Within minutes, someone makes your hoagie, wraps it up and delivers it right to you. But in this scenario, the hoagie is a book and the person who is waiting on you is replaced with a robotic arm. As a self-proclaimed book nerd and now library geek, I find this whole thing rather depressing. This truly takes all the fun out of discovering other literary treasures in the library. And honestly, where does it end? Will an army of robots soon be deployed around campus hunting students down for their overdue library books? Will a robot stay at her doorway and hold her hostage until she uses her iPay app to pay the fine? Of course, when I asked her if she thought this was creepy or cool, she thought it was awesome. I, on the other hand, miss the card catalog.
Archive of ‘My Reading Life’ category
I’ll be honest. I’ve had a long day and night and all I want to do is curl up with a good book. But, I promised myself, I’d write 31 days in a row and I’m sticking to it. After yesterday’s more serious post, it’s time to have some fun. I have plenty of books to choose from in my TBR pile which is why I banned myself from Barnes and Noble. My pile is way too big and I don’t think I should buy any more books until I read the ones I already have. So what’s a girl who loves to read and write do to fill the void? I am on the hunt for merchandise about reading and writing–coffee mugs, earrings, tote bags. They aren’t books, so it is perfectly legal in my own mind. But it may be getting out of hand. It started with a pair of earring that were a must have. These made me smile so I bought them. (BUY HERE) Next, I added a coffee mug to my already full cabinets of mugs. I try to be selective when it comes to coffee mugs. Lots of the sayings speak to me; this one screamed BUY ME. My co-workers agreed this one was worth every penny. Then the mug, led me to this t-shirt. What can I say? And now, I am eyeing up the next “must have” on my list. It is the perfect accessory for when I go to the movies with my friends to see A Wrinkle In Time. I may have taken this too far. Maybe I should just go back to Barnes and Noble where I belong. What is your favorite book/writer merch? Share in the comments section – along with the link where I can buy it! 🙂
An Avid Reader’s Soap Opera
My books are fighting over me again. It’s my own fault. I’ve been neglecting all of them. I’m so busy these days with a new job, running the kids around, trying to keep enough underwear and towels clean and answering that age old question night after night – what’s for dinner? Still, I need to pick a new book soon and my choices are getting anxious. Actually, they are pissed at me. And I don’t blame them. They have their reasons and they are good ones. My books have always been jealous of the flashy Samsung tablet I keep in my purse with the oh-so-convenient Kindle app. I’ve cheated on my pile of books so many times by purchasing countless novels on a whim.The immediate satisfaction is intoxicating. And you know what? I even read them too! I’m so ashamed. It’s addicting and so wrong. I tell people that I love the feel of a book in my hands. Turning actual pages is such a meaningful gesture for an avid reader like myself. Swiping just doesn’t give me the same thrill. But, my books think I’m a fraud and perhaps they are right. I can hear them now as they start their accusations. The 19th Wife says, “I see her downloading in secret. She thinks I don’t notice, but I do. I sit here and wait patiently collecting dust – even though we both know that I sit at the very top of her Goodreads list.” “She has no choice. She must pick me next!” declares The Catcher in the Rye emphatically. “Otherwise, how else will Jenna ever finish her 10th grade English paper? It’s not like she can fake it. We all know she never read me in high school.” All of a sudden, Big Magic, by the well-renowned author Elizabeth Gilbert interrupts. “But she needs me. Her writer’s mojo is at stake AND by the way she took me to Maryland this past weekend. We had a lovely time getting to know each other better.” “What about me?” cries Roses who was carelessly tossed on the floor in the corner of my room a few weeks ago. To her, I reply. “I tried. I really did. I had such high hopes for us. Tumbleweeds was one of my favorite books! You have to understand. It’s not you. It’s me. I’m just not that into you.” “Am I not good enough for you?” asks I’ll Give You the Sun – my book club pick that I haven’t even finished yet, but anticipate our relationship will be ending very soon. She is so great and I can’t put her down, but it is going way too fast for me. “Call me!” yells The Kitchen House from a small coffee table in my living room. And finally, as I stand by my bed in my guilty state of distress, the drawer of my nightstand nudges at me and quietly slides open. A certain book peeks out and speaks to me. “We both know they aren’t getting any until you are finished with me.” whispers Fifty Shades of Grey.The drawer closes and – damn it(!) – I know she is right. Stay tuned. The saga continues…as the neglected magazines on the dining room table are beginning to get restless and are planning to protest.