Libraries

I’m dangerous in a bookstore. There are so many great books. So I have to discipline myself.

A friend once wanted to take a shortcut out of the mall by cutting through Barns & Nobel. I said no. She told me not to look, just walk. I almost made it out of the store book free, almost.

I kept my eyes down. I didn’t look towards the fantasy, science fiction, mystery, or any none fiction areas. I didn’t even check out the new books in the middle aisle. But in the foyer area, where bargain books hang out, I saw the last book, leaning against the outside window and I had to buy it.

My friend tried to talk me out of it, but it was on knights and chivalry, I had to have it.

I’m worse in a half price bookstore; they’re all on sale.

One year, I told myself I was not allowed to buy another book until I read everything I’d already bought. Then I saw an autobiography by Santa Clause.

How could I refuse? It was his biography in his own words, edited by some journalist, Jeff Guinn. It was by Santa Clause on his life from a Bishop to how he ended up in the North Pole. How could I not buy it? I know you understand.

For the sake of my wallet, my favorite book supplier is the library. It’s also a great place to pick up books I might not want to buy, but would like to read.

I just picked up The Call of the Wild, by Jack London. It was a quick read about a dog, Buck, who was stolen from his home and sold into dog slavery.

The book is set during the time of the Yukon Gold Rush of the late 1890’s. Large dogs were needed to pull sleds. The dogs also needed to have thick coats to survive the cold Alaskan weather. Buck was part St. Bernard.

The story is told from the dog’s point of view. On occasion London slips into omniscient voice so he can tell us about the humans Buck encounters.

Buck is starved and beaten by dog slave traders, treated fairly by good owners, abused by incompetent owners, and finally owned by a man who teaches him true love between master and dog. End the end, he answers the call of the wild and becomes a legend.

London is an author of few words, but his words are well chosen and descriptive. I’ve never read a Jack London book before, I’m glad I found it and will probably read another.

I also picked up a Star Wars Novel.

Like most of you, I’ve seen all six movies and am still hopeful that someday the last three will come out on film, but I’ve not read any of the Star War Books.

I picked up the Millennium Falcon, by James Luceno.

Luceno is short on description. One alien was colorfully dressed. Another alien was so stunningly beautiful, Han Solo did a double take. OK, whatever.

Not to worry, Luceno is long on imagination. The Millennium Falcon was so well described one might have thought James had been on the ship.

The main character of the book is the Millennium Falcon. It’s the history of the ship from the time it was first built to when Han finally owns it.

Every owner was from a different world, with a different backstory. James tells how each person acquired the ship, how they used it, and why they gave it up. And no, the story is not as boring as I’m making it sound.

A previous owner is trying to find the 100-year-old ship, because it is carrying a sixty-year-old secret. Han and family are playfully tracing the back history of the ship. The two meet and follow the clues to the treasure find.

I say James in long on imagination, because of all the aliens, worlds and lives he created to tell the story were believable. We not only get the Falcon’s history, but we also get a tour of the galaxy.

Both books were fun read and something I would never have bought, but would read for free.

It might sound like I’m not financially supporting authors by going to the library, but in fact I am. The more people who go the library, the more money the library gets. The more money it gets, the more books it can buy. One book bought by thousands of libraries across the country generates a lot of money for an author.

It’s also a good place to check out books it see if they’re worth buying.

When Harry Potter first came out, I went to the library to see what all they hype was all about. I’ve since read all the books and seen all the movies. It was an easy way to become involved with the series without wasting money on something I might not like.

This doesn’t mean I’ve given up on bookstore, new or bargain, it’s just another place to seek out something new to read.

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