“It is both relaxing and invigorating to occasionally set aside the worries of life, seek the company of a friendly book…from the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley
As Book Lover’s Day approaches on Saturday, August 9 I thought I would take this opportunity to expand on my love of literature. As Gordon B. Hinckley so aptly put it – there really is a richness of life that one gets from reading good books. Whether it’s the classics like Grapes of Wrath, a little Ernest Hemingway or Shakespeare, to modern page-turners like Harry Potter, any world can be escaped for hours on end with a good book. To read more about the origins of Book Lover’s Day visit: http://nationaldaycalendar.com/2013/08/09/august-9-2013-national-book-lovers-day-national-rice-pudding-day/
The history of books can be quite interesting, did you know that book covers were originally made of wood and often covered in leather? Also surprising, books in public libraries were often chained to a bookshelf or a desk to prevent theft! Much has been done in the latter half of the 19th century and more recently to encourage more Americans to pick up a book. According to the National Library Association’s website, in the mid-1950s research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. By 1957 a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging people to read more developed a plan for National Library Week. The formation of the week, which generally takes place the second week of April, was based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. For more on National Library Week visit: http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/factsheets/nationallibraryweek
All this talk of reading and libraries reminded me to tell you where you can visit your local library. The Twin Cities 7-county metro area is lucky to be home to more than 100 public libraries that work together to bring the best library services and programs to you. Below is a listing of our local libraries:
• Ramsey County Library (RCL) – White Bear Lake; 4698 Clark Avenue. http://www.rclreads.org/about/locations/rcl-white-bear-lake
• RCL – Maplewood; 3025 Southlawn Drive.
• Oakdale Library; 1010 Heron Avenue North. http://www.co.washington.mn.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/3
• RCL – North St. Paul; 2300 North St. Paul Drive. http://www.rclreads.org/about/locations/rcl-north-st-paul
Several of the libraries in our community were built within the last 10 years and not only carry large selections of books, but popular DVDs, CDs and audiobooks and magazines as well. The Children’s area is a great place to escape the heat of the summer and maintain your children’s learning throughout their summer breaks. All of these libraries also include a computer area with internet access. I would be remiss to discuss these wonderful institutions without thanking our helpful librarians. Librarians have a special knack for always being able to find or recommend just the right thing. I hope you take Book Lover’s Day to dive into a new story, escape your surroundings and learn something new.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions regarding any issue. I encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 651-296-6820.