Friday, April 11, 2008

The Library--Second Chance

So, I decided to try the library again. I have a love/hate thing with the library. On the one hand, free access to books! (that would be the love part). But I have issues as well. I don't like being held to a certain due date; I don't like paying late fines; our library doesn't have all the books I want (even with inter-library loan), and my biggest gripe is that several times in the past I've turned in the books on time but they were not checked back in properly on the other end, thus creating a huge hassle--having to go back, say I already turned this in, then the library staff has to track it down, and only then to they believe me! It's happened at least four time, no kidding. Once it was a really long drawn out ordeal because the book was from another library in the county so couldn't be located immediately--that thing went on for weeks. So I haven't been using the library much at all, preferring to Amazon my books, but that has its limitations too. I only have so much money and storage space for bought books. Some books I really only want to read once. You know how it is.

So I decided to try the library again--give it a real try with a fresh slate and all that. What's different this time is that I want to be more focused on letting technology work for me. Our library has a pretty good website, so I requested all my books online; then all I have to do is go pick them up when they come in (and I opted out of the wasteful paper mailings they had been sending when the books arrive). (Rainer can't go in, of course, but Faith has kindly sat with him in the car for the 5 minutes it takes me). Then I went into Google Calendar and noted my due dates on there and chose an e-mail reminder the day before they are due. Then hopefully I will remember to go online and renew my books (or return them on time).

So here is what I have checked out currently. It's really pretty exciting (some of these are for the kids):

Crafts to Make in the Summer, Kathy Ross
Oh What a Busy Day, Gyo Fujikawa (I love her illustrations)
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?, Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (big hit with Rainer)
Bonjour Tristesse, Francoise Sagan
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children, Ann Cooper and Lisa Holmes
To See Every Bird on Earth, Dan Koeppel
At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays, Anne Fadiman
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
Today at the Bluebird Cafe, Deborah Ruddell
The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
College Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends, Megan and Jill Carle

Faith wanted me to particularly mention that she made a salad from the College Cooking book. It was good, too. She loves the anecdote because it was just her and me and the baby here for dinner the other night. I didn't want to bother with cooking at all (and messing up the kitchen) but she insisted, preferring a healthy salad over fast food.

Now I have an excuse to make a new tote, just for my library expeditions (assuming this works out). I have to say I love having all these books at my fingertips. More are on order, as well.

Thanks for all the sweet comments and good wishes for Rainer! We were in the hospital with him for the whole day on Wednesday--and I do mean the whole day, until after 6pm. He started on the "consolidation" phase of his chemo, which will last 2 months. He also got red blood cells on that day because he was anemic, and I must say he is perkier now and starting to move his legs a little bit--just bend the feet and knees a little, wiggle his toes. It's a huge relief to me. He has such a great personality--even through all that chemo he either slept or played happily with his new puzzle. He's a total trooper. Now he has a home health nurse coming out for 4 days to give more chemo but it's short--goes in over 5 minutes. Next Wednesday, back to the hospital. And so it goes.


Christy said...

I had to laugh a bit at your library woes (sorry!) as I worked in a library for several years in a former life, and found it to be the epitome of bureaucratic runaround.

But, yes, it is a nice service, too, when it works!

Good luck with it in the future.

And I'm glad to hear Rainer is moving his legs a bit.

Amy said...

Oh I am so sorry the library has not worked out for you! I always return our boks at the desk when we check out new ones. No mistakes that way...and they have even told me to just forget about my late fees...I do plan to pay but darn it I never have any cash on me!
We love going to the library-hope it turns around for you!

Carrie said...

Good luck this time around with the library!
I love Gyo Fujikawa,I have seen the name mentioned on many blogs-and it's funny-when I was a young twenty I started collecting books that I wanted to have for my children.My local thrift shop had a Fujikawa book and I was hooked on the illustrations,over the years I collected a whole bunch from the shop!

butterscotchbrownies said...

I recently discovered the wonder of Check it out and see if it serves your library system. It automatically emails me prior to my library due dates. Very helpful!


denise said...

Good to hear Rainer is moving a bit more.

I was going to post the link for Library Elf...but I see the previous commenter just did! ;) It emails me when I have books in, due, coming up to be due. It is great. I do ALL of my library books online and just pickup. WE get SO MANY books, which is awesome. THe staff at the library has gotten to know us since we go so often, and they are great! :)

Kelli said...

when I know my son is going to be in the hosptial (if we can plan it) I got to one of those make and take places and make 12 meals that I can bring home and put in my freezer for those times I dont feel like cooking. There are books also on how to do it (what order) plan,shop, chop, assemble ect. And once I paid the extra 40 dollars and had them assemble them and I just picked them up. Its nice to know a couple days a week, I have more freedom from the kitchen and can devote more time to the sick son or more time to the healthy ones that were on the back burner. Just a thought. Better than fast food. Take care.

Amber said...

I just found your blog and love it! For about a month now I have been a huge fan of the library! I just moved to a new house and the library is about 2 blocks away. My roommates and I love to check out DVD's. The internet has definitely made a difference and I also love searching for books and having them held for me. Our library even emails us a few days before books are due. Pretty sweet.
Also, I want to congratulate Rainer and your family on making it through induction! I am a pediatric oncology nurse and I know it can be so hard. Good luck!

ames said...

Glad to hear the little guy is doing better!

You'll have to let us know how the books turn out, I'm very intrigued by that Crafts to Make in Summer one. And The Golden Compass is one of my favorites, I just adore Iorek and Pan.

trisha too said...

THE SAME THING! the same library thing--turned in, but they say not--has happened to me, too, more than four times, actually. Only once was it an ordeal; the last time, I just went and took it off the shelf and said, umm, here, see (I'm not a big fat liar).

Okay, just thought that last part.

Love/hate. Thin line.

Carrie said...

I love the library. I checked out eight books today, returned one and still have 3 books and a book on cd to listen to from the last library visit. LOVE BOOKS!!!

crunchy peas said...

I have read "Lunch Lessons" and it was pretty good. Some of the recipes were yummy. Enjoy!!

Gift of Green said...

And so it goes! Try checking out Whirligig. I just finished it. It's a Young Adult book, but it is beautiful. And...*always* insist on a receipt for returned books. A hassle, but imagine how good you'll feel when you wave it under their noses. Signed, A Librarian.

l said...

Just wanted to also say that works! If you are able to, you should check it out.

Good luck.