2017 Reading List: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

We started a book club at my office. There are about 10 avid readers who are excited to read something new, get together during lunch, and talk about books. So this next book on my Reading List is not something I would have picked out on my own. Our first BarkleyREI Book Club book was American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

You may have heard of this book because of the TV show on Starz. But I hadn’t.

I was a bit dubious when I heard that this would be our first book. Our group has some diverse tastes and everyone likes a wide range of subjects and styles. I looked up the synopsis of the book and I could barely follow it. It seemed complicated and weird.

But wouldn’t you know it, it must be the most popular book in the country right now, because I had to put my name on a hold list for a digital copy from the library. There were 25 digital copies available and every single one was checked out. And I was 90th in line. I ended up getting a hold at the “real” library. Every book in the whole county was checked out. But at least I was next in line. Continue reading

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Discovering the Digital Library

librarymagic

When I was younger, the library was a place full of magic. The endless rows of books held so many stories and tales and lives and characters that I couldn’t consume fast enough. The warm quiet of the building was a welcome respite from the chaos of a large family. I could wander through the stacks for hours, skimming titles and reading covers. I gathered books in my arms to check out while I perused, until I had so many that my muscles shook and books were tumbling off the pile.

I would check out five or six books at a time, piling them next to my bed. When I was younger, all I needed was a book and cozy nook to curl up for hours, lost in a whole new world.

I loved the smell of old library books. I loved the way the pages were a little yellow and the plastic cover crinkled when you opened it up. I loved the books with water-warped pages because I could imagine the reader sitting on the beach, not realizing how close the waves had crept up until they were upon her. I especially loved the books with a comment card paper-clipped to the back cover, where previous readers wrote their thoughts and noted their surprise or sadness or anguish over characters. I would sometimes choose a book based on these comments alone. I felt like I had a connection with the other anonymous readers – like we were, in some small way, the same, because we had both shared this book’s great adventure.

Then technology came and changed it all.

Continue reading