Sunday, November 14, 2010

Exploration #12: Fifty Things

Exploration #12: Fifty Things
Write down (or document) fifty things about one of the following:
A trip to the library, a trip to the grocery store, a walk in your neighborhood.

I decided for this Exploration task, I would do a trip to the library. I have to make thrice weekly trips to the grocery store and to me, that's a chore. No way was I  gonna do that willingly. :) The library sounded so much more inspiring, especially since I've been writing for the NaNoWriMo project. And it has been awhile since I spent anytime in the library, having been replaced in my world by Barnes and Noble.

1) Upon walking in, I notice a set of three sculptures outside in the courtyard. I'm thinking I should have brought my good camera. At least I had my trusty iPhone.

2) The hours of our local library are daily 10am-8pm Monday through Saturday. The library is closed on Sunday. Really? Seems like a lot of people would want to go to the library on a Sunday. Unless they are like me- on the couch watching football instead. :)

3) The lobby has an exhibition currently going on showcasing local Haitian Artists. I wanted to take some pictures of the art but there is a big guy guarding them and he's looking at me suspiciously.

4) I did manage to sneak a picture of a sculpture. A large metal sheet with 0's and 1's cut out of it.

5) The entire bottom section of the library is dedicated to children and teen literature.

6) The shelves in the children's sections have stuffed animals sitting on top of all the shelving. Seems like there are more white tigers than anything else.

7) The Adult Non-fiction and Fiction sections were upstairs. That's where I headed to get the remaining 43 "things".

8) I found the Reference Section first. There was a great book I think I might like to own called "Shakespeare's Words". There is a sticker on it that says "Not To Be Removed, Reference Only."

9) The English Literature section was great! I could have spent hours here looking through all the books.

10) I brought a notebook with me to document my fifty things and I started writing books down that I want to get from Amazon. From the English Literature section, I write down Shakespeare's Words, The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Irish Literature and Tudor England.

11) There are two elderly men sitting in chairs reading newspapers.

12) Walking down the fiction aisles I saw what looked like an image of my favorite English personality and one of my favorite writers, Oscar Wilde. Upon closer inspection I discover a series by Gyles Brandreth known as The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries. Victorian murder mysteries featuring my favorite writer as a detective? How did I not know about these until now? Of course, I had to order them off Amazon as soon as I got home. Can't wait to delve into them!

13) I suddenly realize just how loud it is for a library. There is a lot of racket, chatter, clanging and what not going on. It's not any quieter than a Barnes and Noble.

14) I see a book that I absolutely must take a picture of. It's called Wanderlust and has a cute little cartoon gal on the cover with suitcase in hand. This one is for you Phoebe! Phoebe aka Wanderlust on Flickr is an amazing friend and photographer. Every image she takes is infused with magic. Click here to step into her wonderland.

15) I like the way the light is coming through the large windows. Looking down the aisle of books, it seems like you could walk past all these written words and head into the light. But what if it's a ruse and you  fall into The Well of Lost Plots? Oh my imagination. We are such good companions.

16) I'm starting to feel like a super spy on a reconnaissance mission!

17) I'm noticing that certain titles are catching my eye: Manless in Montclair, Frida's Bed, Venus Envy.

18) The Jane Austen section is surprisingly small. 

19) I find the Dickens section. It reminds me of the time I took Bleak House to read on a trip. I carried it around for 4 weeks before deciding to ditch the book in Germany. I just couldn't get into it and the damn thing was too heavy.

20) Someone sneezed really, really loudly. Germs are floating around somewhere now. I'm hoping I don't walk through them.

21) There are tons of computer stations upstairs, separating the Non-Fiction and the Fiction sections. Every computer station has someone sitting at it, typing away on a keyboard. 

22) My stomach starts growling. I'm not sure I can make it to 50. 

23) I spot The Wings of the Dove by Henry James. Loved the book, loved the movie.

24) I add another book to my list of potential books to get: The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber. It sounds very interesting.

25) I realize that I'm not making it very far. I've been stuck in the Fiction section for a long time, fascinated by the gazillion books that I need to read including The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. The cover caught my eye first. I'm a very visual person so cover art is a big deal to me. Want me to read your book? It better have an enticing cover!

26) I'm smelling cigarette smoke residue in one of the fiction aisles. Was someone who smelled like smoke just there before me? Or is it the residue of a spirit, one who roams the library? I get chills and have a shudder. Moving on!

27) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is propped up, facing out on the shelf. I read this book back in 2005. It was good. It's about two rival magicians in England. It was hard to get going but once it did I really enjoyed the story. It reminds of of 2005 when I made a goal to read 25 books. I think I only read 15.

28) The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane catches my eye. It's got a great cover and when I read the synopsis, I decide it's right up my alley and put it on my list of "must reads". 

29) The noise just increased dramatically and I peek around one of the shelving units to see tons of people coming out of a small room. They are all speaking different languages. I decide it's an "learn to speak English" class. :)

30) I see this book called Hater. I suddenly remember that I've seen that word, written almost the same way somewhere else. I took a photo of the word on the Pompano Pier when I was on my Creative Saturday outing with Lita. Here are both...eerie that I would see it twice in one week!

31) Another book jumps out at me. The Voodoo Season by Jewell Parker Rhodes. I loved the cover and the authors name. The text is way cool. It goes onto the list.

32) There is one elderly lady browsing in the Romance Section. She's got snow white hair and she is wearing teal pants and carrying a floral purse. I wonder if she reads romance just for the fun of it or if she is a widow who lost her love and reaches for him through pages of romantic prose. I want to be her friend. 

33) Not one single person is in the Science Fiction section. In fact the only person browsing for books besides me is the romance lady.

34) As I'm walking to the Non-Fiction section I notice a guy at one of the computers. He's wearing one of those funky winter furry ear flap hats. Interesting. I want to be his friend too.

35) A sign on the wall: Do Not Leave Valuables Alone. I guess thieves like to read too.

36) The first book that catches my eye in the Non-Fiction section is My Boyfriend's Back by Donna Hanover. I start singing the song in my head. Over and over and over. Damn you Donna!

37) I finally make it to the New Age/Philosophy Section. It's paired with the World Religion and Mythology. I could spend hours here but my stomach is no longer growling. It's screaming.

38) I see a guy with his laptop at a table. I can hear the sound of a chat room exchange. Is he having a secret online affair? Or does he come to library so he can visit sex chat rooms on his lunch hour? I don't want to be his friend, so I move on.

39) Suddenly, whispering on the other side of the books catches my ear. There are two of them and they are whispering very low. I want to know what they are saying but I can't make it out. I'm tempted to move the books so I can see who is doing the whispering, but alas, I'm a scaredy cat. I realize at this point I would actually be a terrible spy.

40) When I reach the Travel Section I'm reminded that I still have not renewed my passport which expires this month. I need to get on that pronto!

41) I spot The Joy of Signing. It brings back a memory of when I saw Children of a Lesser God for the first time and I became obsessed with signing. I taught myself to sign and could have a conversation about almost anything using sign language. Unfortunately, I've only retained a few words and the alphabet. 

42) The Art Section. It's huge. It's a good thing I didn't start here or I would have been stuck here the whole time. I see big tomes on Waterhouse, Van Gogh, Renoir. The photography section is right next to it. It too is quite large. These two sections alone make me want to come back when I have more time.

43) The crafts section is also really well stocked. I see tons of books that I already have and even more that I don't. 

44) A guy in a do-rag just walked by. I peek around the corner and notice the computer table again. There are three guys wearing do-rags. Those are weird things to just walk around wearing. I wear them, but only when I have a wig on, like in this image. To each his own I say!

45) Yay! I made it to the British History section. I think of John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich and start to drool. I wish I packed a ham and cheese in my purse. I have The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens. It's one of my favorite reference books. It's helped on many a Jeopardy! game. :)

46) I spend some time in this section and come across a book about my cousin, Sir Winston Churchill.(yes, we really share the same DNA). It's called Winston and Clementine: The Personal Letters of the Churchills. The book fascinates me so I take it off the shelf, sit on the floor and just open it up to a random page. On the left page was a letter from Winston that read in part (written as printed): My beloved, yr beautiful letter of the 13th has just come in. I read them all with delight. You write such sprightly letters with a real literary touch and all glowing with love...
On the right page was a letter from Clementine that read in part (written as printed): My darling Winston, Here I am feeling rather lonely in this vast hotel full of middle-class English people. That just cracks me up. This will be an interesting read. Onto the list it goes!

47) I find the Tolkien section. My most favorite write EVER! I read The Lord of the Rings every year. I just purchased The Treason of Isengard last week during my date date with Daniel. I put The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien on my list. I flip through a few more of the books before realizing I'm getting a slight headache. I need food. I'm about to eat a book. I think The Hobbit might taste good.

48) As I head down the stairs to leave, I notice the shadows high up on the wall. They look like the Terra Cotta Soldiers in China. It freaks me out a bit.

49) Right when I walk out the door, some guy walking in spits a big hawker. I'm totally disgusted. Men are pigs. 

50) Walking to my car I notice a woman walking in front of me. It's the lady in the teal pants and she's got a book bag full of romance. And I got a list of fifty things and a bunch of books to buy. :)


phoebe said...

What an amazing list! You had me laughing out loud and also gave me some book ideas too...
I love your comments about "I want to be her friend", "I want to be his friend" and "I don't want to be his friend"! At my stepmoms memorial service yesterday someone that spoke about her said that when they first saw her that she decided "I want to get know her and be her friend", so she introduced herself to my stepmom and told her that and they did become friends. And I thought to myself, what a cool idea! I've always in my life just sort of let friendships happen and never really pursued one. Anyway, I've rambled on and on and just wanted to say that I can't wait until you do another list like this. And I'm glad that you're my friend :)

Lita said...

Oh Laura ... Reading this makes me realize how much I miss you, even though I saw you as recently as last weekend ... Thank goodness I have your blog to read so I can feel what you feel, think what you think, see what you see ... I would've thought making a list of 50 would be tiresome, but you made it oh so interesting and entertaining! Fabulous, fabulous post!!! ♥

Alex said...

Spectacular post! It felt almost like I was reading a short story. You are very lucky to have a "Real" library. The one we have here would probably house the fiction section of your library. It was a pleasure to take a tour with you. I felt like I was walking right along with you. Be sure to take a snack with you on your next adventure. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into your blog. It is always a treat!

Laura said...

Thanks so much girls! I'm glad you enjoyed the post! It was definitely fun to do.
Phoebe: I'm so glad that your my friend too. And, thanks for sharing the lovely story about your step-mother. ((hugs))
Lita: I miss you too! I now have Saturday open if you want to do something!Maybe something from our Explorer book? A spy mission together! :)
Alex: LOL..yes, it would be wise to put a snack in my purse for next time! Thanks so much for your kinds comments about the time and effort put into the blog. I really do it for myself first but thrilled that others enjoy it so! xo

Nichole Renee said...

I loved reading this! I felt like I was perched on the shoulder of a kindred spirit! There's just something special about the library. The smell of the books and the way their covers blend and contrast on the shelves. I don't think I can ever get an ebook reader; I need the visceral sensation of pages between my fingers!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful exploration!

Laura said...

Thanks Nichole! I so agree! I love the feel and smell of books. Hopefully, there will always be people like us to keep "real" books around forever. :)