"If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library."
- Frank Zappa
The first weekend of No Smartphone, Internet or TV has triumphantly ended. Friday I met an old friend for dinner; Saturday was filled with beer, grilling, and reminiscing with neighbors before board games to round out that night; and then Sunday saw a visit to the St. John's Town Center before cleaning out my garage. Unfortunately, I realize I won't be able to continue those activities for the full 30 days. Boredom will eventually take hold like the facehugger in Alien.
The face of boredom
I have quite a few books at home to keep my entertainment level satisfied, but those I've already read. Plus, I can't exactly get online right now to simply download a new book to my Kindle anytime soon.
A change is needed. I have lived in Jacksonville for 12 years now — ten of which I have owned my house — yet am still not a card carrying member of the Jacksonville Public Library... until today. For the kids out there, a library is the tangible version of Wikipedia. Physical books are found adorning shelves that are labeled and organized using a system of letters and numbers known as the Dewey Decimal system. The catalog of books is searchable; however, you need to force your gelatinous body into motion to actually retrieve the information from those books causing the entire process to take than a few clicks of the mouse. Hard to believe, I know.
Today was my day to sign up for a library card and put all this newly found free time to good use by reading a few books over the remaining 26 days. I parked my car and walked up to the entrance. There was an older man slumped over and sleeping on the bench just outside the front doors. I deducted he's either the worst doorman this side of Walmart or more likely a homeless man catching an afternoon nap. Either scenario was not going to derail my determination. Immediately proceeding the front doors was another man asleep in a large chair in the foyer, slumped and snoring. One man is a coincidence; two man is a pattern. Suspicions arose in my head whether or not there was a poisonous gas leak inside the building. I entered anyway into the largeest area with the quietest noise level I've ever experienced. You could hear a cockroach queef from across the room. The scene itself was tranquil, inviting, and awe-inspiring all at the same time, despite another two homeless women with their heads down on a table asleep and the homeless man pacing back and forth in the magazine section while totally disregarding the magazines themselves. That area looked like the Little Rascals if all those kids didn't have a home to go to after their clubhouse.
Signing up for a card took less than five minutes, only requiring my driver's license as proof of residency. From the customer service desk I walked up and down the aisles looking for a book. If you think the sections are labeled nice and neatly like a Barnes and Noble then you're dead wrong. Everything goes back to that damn Dewey Decimal system, so if you're just looking to browse, you're going to be there a while. Finally I found "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, which is considered to be one of the best books for business ever written. Maybe if one of those homeless were reading this book instead of sleeping... who knows? Then again, they're the geniuses that get to hangout at the library all day without having to worry about having a job, paying bills, being on time anywhere, or finding a urinal to relieve yourself when a sewer grate will do the trick. Somehow I'm envious, well, except for the whole sleeping on park benches and using newspapers as both blankets and underwear aspects of the situation.
A full review of this book will be posted at a later date. At least that will help fill out some time.