Today in My History

2000:  Peeing My Way to Los Angeles
The Laramie Project
The Ride that Sorta Wasn't
Not My Problem
The Sound of Silence
Not Even a F**king Mint for My Pillow
A Videographer is (Almost) Born
Michael Vick and the Poky Little Puppy
2008:  Survivor...with Luxury
2009:   Underdog   
2010:   Doggie Udate
2011:   Water
2012:  Roll Out the Barrel
2013:  Brunch and Sunday Stealing
2014:  Old "Friends"
Was it Something I Said?
2017:  Today at Logos
2018:  Sunday Stealing

Theater Reviews
Updated 6/27
"The Roommate"

Books Read in 2019
 Updated 7/20
"Play Dead"

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Books Read in 2019
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Books Read in 2016
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updated 7/16

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Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

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22 July 2019

I was up until nearly 4 a.m. finishing a book last night.  When I get into an engrossing story, I simply cannot put it down, though it means napping off and on the whole next day. 

I am pleased that on the internet there are lots of other people who are hooked on books the way I am.  Interest in reading may be declining, but there will always be book lovers to keep books alive.  Even in "Fahrenheit 451," where all the books are burned there are groups of people who have each memorized a favorite book and are teaching it to a younger person so that story will continue, presumably forever.

There are lots of genres and each has its devotees.  I primarily am hooked on a good "story," with an edge to what I call "blood and gore," i.e., crime novels, though I love biographies, books about animals (especially people who spend time observing elephants), show biz stories, etc.  Not so hot on sci fi, though I have gone through periods when I read a lot of it (particularly when I was reading all of David Gerrold's books).  While I don't read a lot of current events type books, I do read some and find them as fascinating as a John Steinbeck story.

Today I stumbled across a great web site which shows the importance of books and reading around the world, no matter the problems in getting books.

In Thailand there is an elephant library.  Truly.  Because there are places where there are no schools or libraries, Books-by-Elephant has started bringing books to people, and teaching them how to read.

An artist named Raul Lemesoff drives a remodeled Ford Falcon and drives around the streets of Buenos Airest giving out free books.  His only request:  read a book and pass it along.

"Biblioburros" bring books to people in the mountainous regions of Venezuela.  According to the volunteers, the delighted faces of the children make it all worthwhile. In addition to bringing books to people, the university would like to provide Internet service. Their goal of installing wireless modems under the banana trees may sound far-fetched, but at one time so did biblioburros.

The Levinski library is located near the Tel Aviv central bus station in a community populated by refugees and migrant workers. Many of these people are not legal citizens, but the love of reading transcends the complexities of social status.

This is a simple libraryóno walls, just two shelves built against the side of a public shelter. Yet it is a place of learning and security, a designated safe house where no one is allowed to interrogate or intimidate.

The interesting thing about this library is that books area filed by the emotions they evoke in the readers.

Each book contains a file card where the reader notes his feelings about the book. Although one person may think itís a nail-biter, the next reader may find it reassuring or inspiring. Itís a unique approach, but library patrons think the notes make each book more interesting.

There are floating books on the fjords.  The Epos is a 24-meter (80 ft) cutter that has been refurbished to hold 6,000 books along with a kitchen and living quarters for the crew. The book boat operates from September through April and makes two runs each year. During this time, it visits 150 coastal hamlets which are difficult to reach by traditional methods.

In Mongolia, Jambyn Dashdondog runs the camelback library.

Over the past 20 years, he has traveled 50,000 miles bringing books to children because he hated the idea of a society without libraries.  If there was no place for children to get books, he would bring the books to them.

I found the stories of these unusual libraries fascinating and very hopeful that the art of reading and enjoying books is alive and flourishing all over the world.

Is there a free library in your neighborhood?  They are popping up all over the place here.

I have heard that in some places they are illegal.  I can only assume those laws are made by the same people who want to burn all the books!


The girls fundraising for their trip to the Western Nationals next week.


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