10 Library-Related Things You Probably Don't Know About Me
I'm in sort of a fun mood, so instead of blogging about something serious, I thought I'd do something a bit lighter today and give you a list of 10 things you probably don't know about me. And, as a bonus...they're all library or reading related.
I went to Jackson Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska as a child and one book that I checked out time after time from the school library was Dunninger's Complete Encyclopedia of Magic. Even way back then it was an outdated magic book, but I didn't know that. I poured over every trick and even learned how to do a few. Last summer at the Society of American Magicians Convention in Washington, DC I was in the Dealer's Room and a bookseller had an old, beaten up copy of this book in his bargain bin. I pounced on it immediately and today it holds a place on my bookshelf as a reminder of where I first got bitten by the magic bug.
High school actually taught me a love for classic literature. Sure, back then we were "forced" to read Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter & Lord of the Flies, but now I read a classic or two every year for pleasure. Most recently I've read The Three Musketeers & The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. I'm currently reading a collection of Edgar Allan Poe's stories & poems.
Several years ago at a magic convention banquet, I found myself seated next to Kenneth Silverman, who wrote (in my opinion) the ultimate biography of Harry Houdini. I was star-struck. I actually had him autograph the label of an empty bottle of wine and it's sitting on my desk right now.
In my personal library, most of the books are on the subject of magic. The second most popular subject in my library is cryptozoology.
I also own several books of famous quotations.
I know many of you will strongly disagree with me on this, but I don't like Stephen King books. Believe me, I've TRIED to like his books. I've read several, but there's always a point where he pushing me beyond the limits of my suspension of disbelief.
I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction. I'm particularly fond of biographies.
Other than my school library, the first "real" library I ever went to was the old Omaha Public Library on 18th & Harney. It was built in 1891 and even as I child I remember admiring the architecture. To a child it seemed like it was cavernous. Your footsteps echoed and you spoke in a whisper because that's the way things were back then. The tables and chairs were all wooden and pretty uncomfortable. In my mind back then I just knew that that building held all of the knowledge of the universe. I spent a lot of time there.
I once bought a book at a library book sale. When I got home, a slip of paper fell out. It was a hospital bill from 1938, A woman gave birth to a child via c-section. She was in the hospital from November 21st through December 5th. The total cost of the delivery, lab work, room, etc. was $79.12.
One of my most vivid memories of the old library on 18th & Harney was a scalp that was on display in the Children's Room. I thought it was cool, but in retrospect I wonder how many nightmares it caused!