The Best Deal in Town

About a dozen long blocks from us is the Cleveland Public Library—Main Branch. It is so big that there are two separate buildings with two floors just for book storage. The Lolly the Trolley Guide told us there are 10 million volumes. That’s A LOT of books, Ollie.

Two of the happiest ways I support spending my tax money are parks and libraries. The Main Library is especially wonderful because they have so many old books that can’t be found in branches.

Since it’s a downtown library, it has the full assortment of downtown people. Some of them are the marginalized folks who live subsidized lives, some are folks coming in during a lunch hour, some are there to play video games, and some, like me, live downtown. Whoever you are, the library has it for you. All free.

There seems to be a full spectrum of staff as well. By that I mean that there are some truly professional, interested, knowledgeable and patient people. There are also surly, uninformed, impolite folks who sometimes seem to be on a slowdown strike. Of course, that can be the same with people in any work environment.

Librarians love Dave. He has that white haired, professorial look that just oozes “I’m well read and a sexy genarian.” Librarians of a certain age flirt with him and look at his wedding ring finger. Since Dave doesn’t wear a ring he is fair game to some. Then I walk up, give him a squeeze or a “honey” and their smiles evaporate and everything turns to all business. It’s great fun when this happens.

I’ve been registering my books on Goodreads.com. I only have 14 books there so far. That’s about half the books I’ve read this summer. My book clubs have kept me busy recently reading Tinkers, The Corrections, and Good Without God. Then I intersperse what my friends are reading: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and South of Broad. When I really get caught up I read from a list of classics: Winesburg Ohio, The Innocents, and Point Counter Point.

Risque Reading

I’ve been reading from a list of books that have been recommended to me over the years from listening to National Public Radio, my book clubs, and my friends. It’s a long list. The older books on the list have been winners. The new ones are uneven.

So when I look for these oldies, I get to go into the Old Main Library, up to the second floor, turn right, and go into a vast cavern of double-decker stacked books. The volumes from A through N are downstairs, then upstairs for the rest. You can bring your books to spacious oak tables with plenty of natural lighting and gracious chandeliers. Think quiet, big, traditional libraries and you’ve got the right picture in your mind.

This library is like a super market when it is time to check out. There are places to check out books, either with staff help or on your own, places to get books on hold, and counters for other business. There is also a drive up window typical for downtown libraries.

Check out time

Visiting a library is a little like Christmas for me. I get to go home with a stack of books. They are JUST WHAT I ASKED FOR so I know they’ll fit. And if one doesn’t, I just have to drop it in the book return. The library is the best deal in town.


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5 responses to “The Best Deal in Town”

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  1. Bill and I are great library goers. We are there several times a week and often read the same books. He also reads the Wall Street Journal there as our special $99. deal ran out and full price is about a million dollars. We read alot of political mysteries, some biographies, and no chick novels. Hate them! I did read South of Broad which I enjoyed very much though the ending was not to my liking. We are getting a new county library which we look forward to as the present one pretty much sucks.

    Don’t know about Dee but I have never gone to a high school class reunion. Enough said. K

  2. Carolyn says:

    “It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them an ability and ambition to develop it as the founding of a public library.” 3 cheers for Andrew Carnegie!

    You and Dave are such great readers and writers. Readers of a vast variety “…of shoes and ships and ceiling wax, of cabbages and kings, of why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.” and writers of life in the city. 3 cheers for reading and writing!

  3. Karen says:

    Three cheers for all of us who like to get lost in a good book. I’m starting South of Broad right now. Will you get a Kindle? I don’t buy books so I doubt if I will, but you can get newspaper subscriptions cheaply that way and I think the New York Times will require payment at the end of the year for online news.

  4. Judy says:

    We have an iPad and LOVE it. Jack just came back from 3 weeks in Asia, and carried all his reading material, newspapers and books, on the one simple screen. For a traveler, it is a real boon!

  5. Vicky says:

    Did you like The Corrections? It knocked my socks off.

    All’s well in LR (which I can tell you miss SO MUCH!).

    Referring back to your wonderful baseball post, I like baseball because it’s the only sport I actually understand. Also, to me, baseball on the radio is as much one of the sounds of summer as crickets are. Sometimes I’ll search out a game on the XM/Sirius, generally between two teams I couldn’t care less about, just to hear it (not listen to it, just hear it).

    I don’t know ’bout the spandex biz. If there was a spandex phase in the baseball uniforms, I must have missed it. Perhaps it was in the 80s, when I owned some spandex myself ( amazingly enough), but didn’t own a TV to watch baseball on.

    To my critical, dirty-old-lady eye, pro baseball uniform pants have always been very unforgiving, especially in profile. They’re just stirrup pants, y’know, and usually white, no less!