100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #79.

For some of us it’s our local tavern, for others, their mother’s kitchen (in Niagara Falls this mainly applies to Italians) but regardless of the choice, it’s vital to a have a safe refuge to turn to when things get too hairy in your life.

#79: Your Local Library.

Yes, I’m a ginormous nerd, thanks ever so much for noticing, but libraries are more than just the first place to be targeted whenever cities want to direct funds to raises for city councils, they are repositories of human knowledge and understanding. Some of the finest works of literature in history can be found in libraries.

And works by the Kardashians.

Of course, the Kardashian tomes are guidebooks for future generations; namely, how not to live your life like a soul-sucking succubus that contributes more to society’s demise than it’s enlightenment. 

But back to the benefits of your local bibliotheca. Modern libraries stock comic book trades and graphic novels. (YES!!!) Their shelves are stacked with guides to gardening (leafy!), home repair (noisy!), lovemaking (saucy!), politics (scandalous!) and every other subject under the sun including chihuahua cage boxing.

What? Can you prove they aren’t?

Libraries are also taking steps to ensure they don’t get left behind as society moves into the future. You can find mini-art galleries, expanded computer labs and multi-media rooms where you can use video cameras and musical instruments. And they’ll even provide all the editing equipment you’ll need to turn your dreams into digital realities. You can even rent space (free of charge!) at a library so your Three’s Company fan club can move out of your mom’s basement. (But she’ll still have to supply the cookies and juice.)

And guess what, kids? Your library even has ancient tech like record and tape players, vinyl pressings and tapes! History can be fun and soulful. And there even 3-D printers so you can design all sorts of doodads and whatchamacallits.

Knowledge.  It’s the best drug of all, kids.

 

The Niagara Falls Public Library system hosts speaking engagements, paint nights, back-to-work symposiums for those hit hard by a crazy economy, movie screenings, craft shows, touch-feely doggie sessions and even tax workshops. There are literally more offerings than i can list here (and not because I’m lazy) including a “How To Break Into The Assassin Biz” nights. These of course, became extremely popular after John Wick came out.

But the real reason I love libraries is simple: They’re quiet and peaceful. 

Sure, there’s a certain amount of background noise and the occasional nutjob ranting about potato salad and pink elephants but for the most part you can lose yourself in a library. My childhood was filled with some dark days and the St. Catharines Public Library was my equivalent of religious sanctuary. Solitude mixed with silence and knowledge equaled sanity for me as a kid.  

And even though I’m an adult now (apparently) and no one’s ever going to make me feel like I’m not good enough to be in this world ever again, I still require a place to escape life’s pressures and challenges.

And the comic book store drains my bank account too fast, so I’d rather read graphic novels for free at my library than go home and explain why we can’t eat this week. I’m funny that way.

So when the voices become too loud take a breath and drown them out with knowledge.

See you in the lobby and the stacks, friends…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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39 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #79.

  1. Mark Myers says:

    I love the library too. I can walk to our new one!!!

  2. Theresa says:

    I wish this country offered the things you listed in your blog. It’s all they can do to stay alive! Budget cuts by the counties or cities are felt first by our Library’s. If it weren’t for private citizens who care about the availability of free access to the internet and knowledge for all, they would have all but disappeared by now. Your’s sounds awesome! Good advice Hook!

  3. Tara says:

    I think I’m one of the few people left on earth who love the smell, feel, and joy of reading a real, PAPER book and have by principle avoided Kindle. I just spent $50 on books yesterday. I love bookstores as much as libraries… I could spend all day in either, just touching books (which would likely get me expelled from them at some point). I never considered that libraries would one day be obsolete. I really hope that never happens.

  4. I was a school librarian and loved to spend my free time in the library.

    • The Hook says:

      I’m not surprised to read this at all.
      You’re one of my favorite Brainiacs.

      • Oh wow. You’re very kind Robert, but I’m no brainiac. I admit I’m good at figures, but that’s about it really. My section was the one visible from the corridor and the first one through the door, so I always made sure the shelves were tidy and I had different books on display stands. I had few friends those last two years, so I spent my free periods there either doing my homework or reading whatever book had attracted my attention at the time.

      • The Hook says:

        You’re definitely a Brainiac in my book.

      • I’m blushing here, but thank you. 🙂

      • The Hook says:

        My pleasure.

  5. jlheuer says:

    A reason after my own heart ( retired librarian here). Besides all the things you mentioned our library lends Carnival Games ( like Football Toss & Pick-a-Pop), a Cake Pan library (30 different shapes), Arduino Kits and they have the 3rd annual Comic-con coming up in October. Yeah LIBRARIES!!!!!

  6. Darned right we would miss the library. Good one, Hook.

  7. Doug in Oakland says:

    For old people (like me) who can remember the world before the internet, libraries are where you went when you wanted to know something. The Berkeley Public Library has definitely pulled me through some dark times, so I feel like this is a good segment in this series.

  8. susielindau says:

    i used to go to my neighborhood library after school to check out books on insects. LOL! When I’m distracted at home, next time I should pack up my laptop and work on a few chapters at the Longmont Public Library. It’s closer than Boulder and I’ve never been! Thanks for the tip, Hook!

  9. I go to my local library every day it is open. Every day. It’s not quite the haven of peace and quiet you are so partial to, but I don’t mind that too much, though I do hate when the scrote count goes up and the resultant chatter gets irksome. On the other hand I don’t mind at all the weekly children’s singalong. I think children having fun surrounded by books is a good thing.
    Like pensitivity101, I was a librarian at my school. The advantages here were a/ the books, and b/ not having to get turfed outside in the freezing cold at breaktime

  10. The little island where we spent summer vacations, and where my folks spent the summer half of the year in retirement, has a small library. Every Tuesday morning, there is a gathering of folks who go there, have coffee, and visit. My Dad would go every week. Sometimes you need to know there’s a place you belong, a group you know will be there at the same time, same place, every week. Where you can just visit and connect.

  11. Julie says:

    Second hand books is similar. Dangerous, but similar to a library.

  12. One of the best jobs I ever had was visiting libraries and talking to librarians about new books and authors. Libraries are vibrant communities with real diversity and acceptance of thoughts – great places for all ages. (Especially like the old Carnegie Libraries with the ornate stone work, nooks, and sometimes lions out front…but the ultra new modern ones are equally enchanting.)
    Libraries are a great place to wander and soothe life in – how cool you shared that!

  13. kunstkitchen says:

    Thanks for this plug for the library. It’s still an important part of the community here.
    The library remains a staple in my life to this day.

  14. It is truly sad that libraries are not what they used to be. This world needs literature and words… so many words. It is what makes the world go ’round! ❤

  15. curvyroads says:

    Everything you said plus most libraries give you access to ebooks, audiobooks, and music via an app on your phone or tablet too! Score!

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