Friday, May 9, 2008

Too Many Books?

Does anyone know if there is a 12-step program for libraries? More specifically, library use? Because I think I might need one of those. Now, in all fairness to me, being addicted to books is probably a lot better for me than being addicted to a lot of other things. Alcohol, gambling, chocolate (really, I'm NOT addicted), collecting troll dolls, etc. But I do seem to have a serious problem.

I needed to go to the library yesterday to pick up some items on hold for me. Three items, to be precise, and only two of them were books (the other being a "Learn Chinese in Your Car" CD set). My original plan was to go to the library, approach front desk, return the items that needed returned, pick up the items being held, and leave. And I had every intention of doing just that. I often have every intention of just picking up items on hold and leaving. It never happens. Never. I mean, maybe once, but probably never.

Shortly before I left for the library, I decided I'd let myself look at the new book shelf and then pick up my held items. Nothing else. How much damage can I do in the new book section?

A lot.

Now, everyone should keep in mind that I have hundreds of books at home that I own, any number of which haven't been read. I also have this shelf known as the "read me and get rid of me shelf," mostly made up of books people have loaned to me or from the paperback exchange at the library (another REALLY bad thing for my little problem). And I still had four other books checked out. But I'm a mature, fairly rational person. I can handle the new book section.

Um, not so much. Seven books later (not including those on hold for me), I'm starting to doubt the realism of my plan. Now, I did manage to find two books on the shelf that are on my To-Be-Read list (another issue in itself). One of which I could not believe was on the shelf (The World Without Us). At this point, I literally have to drag myself away from the new book shelf without looking at everything there.

But as I'm walking out, I go by the books on tape. And I remember talking to one of the foster parents that I visit that I really should have picked up a book on tape the last time I was at the library since I can spend 15 hours or more a week in my car, driving all over the place. So I grab a book on tape. And then I go to the desk and check everything out, including my three items on hold. Luckily for me, I had put my stuff to return in a bag, so I have some way to carry all of this stuff out of the library. And yes, not being able to sanely carry all of my books out of the library is a frequent, common problem with me.

So I sit here now with 14 books checked out (not including those paperbacks mentioned before), one book on tape, one Learn Chinese CD set, and a movie. And not nearly enough hours in my days.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why I love Georgia, part 3

Every year, I get the thrill of taking my car to a service station or stand-alone "Emissions Inspection Station" to get my emissions tested (so I then get the joy or renewing my registration and paying annual tax on my ten-year-old car). I don't have any problem with doing the test. The air here sucks. I'll do what I can to not contribute more to the problem. Anyway, I drive in and they connect fancy computer equipment up to various parts of my car. And the computer does it's magic and talks to the computer in my car and figures out how much nasty stuff my car is spewing into the air. And then I hand over $25 and get my certificate, printed on form-feed paper by a dot matrix printer! Where on earth do they even find paper for these things any more? It just doesn't make sense to me. A fancy computerized system to do the test, and they can't even manage a cheap ink jet? I have no doubt there is some big warehouse in central Georgia or somewhere just full to the brim with the planet's last boxes of form-feed paper.