Category Archives: California History

Is it possible to be a book glutton?

I just got back from the library, the third time in a week. I recently put holds on a few anticipated titles, and one by one they’ve arrived.  Given how little time I have in a day, acquiring a new stack is a bit unrealistic, but a library affords me the opportunity to pretend I will read each one before it is due.

There are five library cards in my wallet at all times– I suppose I never know when the urge will hit, and library hopping functions for me the way retail therapy excites someone else.

I have a Kindle and other e-reading apps with very interesting titles just waiting for me, but occasionally I don’t just want a physical book to hold, I also want to go to the library and bring it home. I would imagine this is a hold-over comfort from childhood.

Lee Lawrie relief figures over Flower Street Entrance

By the time I was ten years old I would walk to the library any time I chose and come home with as many books as I could carry. I know how young I must have been because I had the naive impression that if I started reading the authors alphabetically beginning with “A,” I could one day read all the books.

I was imaginative; I didn’t say “brilliant.”


Tile Roof

Even as a young girl I just couldn’t resist the lure of all those fascinating book covers and my mother gave permission to the librarian allowing me to read from the adult sections. I’m sure that for the most part I didn’t read anything questionable, but that changed when I got a little older.

Still too young, but in my teens, I very naively brought home Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” influenced by the author’s appearance on the Merv Griffin Show. To this day if the house gets too quiet and I get jumpy, scenes from that book are all too quick to come. It took me a few years to mature and make the connection that quality writing vividly draws the reader right into the scenes and there is risk in sharing experience with central characters.

But it’s also the pleasant pastime of escaping into a story that brings me back to the library.


West Entrance

I have several libraries close to my home, but I also enjoy visiting others, as I did just a few weeks ago at the San Diego Central Library with NY Times best-selling author and friend, Andra Watkins.

San Diego Central Library


Some libraries aren’t grand in stature, they’re just unique!

Little Free Libraries” fit right in with the Tiny House movement! This clever little library is in Northwest Pasadena, and the first I’ve run across.

For all the Doctor  Who fans out there, what do you think of the TARDIS?

Little Free Library

I think this is just too cool, and I have a little bit of “tiny” library envy developing.

Little Free Library founder, Todd H. Bol, recently received a commendation from the Library of Congress on behalf of his work to build literacy and create a community around that effort, and The Little Free Library is now included in the Library of Congress’s Best Practices in Literacy 2015 publication.

Perhaps if I ever take the leap my little library could be a giant tortoise with a brightly colored carapace opening to reveal its treasure.

Riding the rails? A tortoise?

Riding the rails? A tortoise?

I will be taking my fresh load of library books “on the road” for just a few days while we head to the Bay Area to visit our son and daughter-in-law. We have a few adventures planned.

I have been researching a particular place of interest, and perhaps I’ll post a few photos along the way, but in case we have to wait until next week, I’ll leave you with some clues.

I’m taking my library and adding wheels to research California’s connection to the Elizabethan Era.

Get ready–or maybe it’s “beware”…I feel a mini-lecture coming your way soon.