Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our library experience has been fruitful and gratifying. Catch Twenty Two,  Cat's Cradle, and White Jazz  all came to us through casually  browsing the stacks in search of some new thing of which we'd never heard. Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, and James Ellroy eventually would have found their ways into our consciousness, but the earlier the better, according to most education theorists.  You gotta get in it to win it, and bibliophilia can take root at any age or reading level and lead to levels of achievement undreamed of by the average illiterate. Some readers go on to collect books rivaling our own towering mass, you should be so lucky. We ourselves began with just one book, but where the hell did it get to? It's in here someplace.   ¶ The free library system has always faced threats of censorship arising from the language and content of books,  but a more devastating and absolute threat comes from the economic crises now challenging most American cities, whether from years of profligacy or just bad luck. The link we post here addresses those issues. It's a mild rant from store friend Miss Pam. Thanks, Miss Pam. ¶ The store's economic picture has brightened considerably of late, but we owe a huge debt ( which, believe us, will go forever uncollected, so forget about it ) to libraries in general and maybe mostly to our local branch, the Sulzer, just down Lincoln Avenue a couple of blocks. It and its predecessor, the Hild ( now the Old Town School of Folk Music ) did all the prep work in our 'hood. Many of our regulars got started there and never lost the taste. Bon appetite, mes amis.
Miss Pam speaks on behalf of the Rogers Park Library  but this ain't it. This is the magnificent Harold Washington main library down in the south loop. The facade just knocks me out, although the interior leans depressingly to the Soviet style which in my kind of town is most brutally expressed by The Museum of Contemporary Art.  Go to you library and get the book.  J. M.

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