Saturday, September 16, 2006
I had a fun afternoon, a friend asked me to join her for coffee and a walk downtown today, and we ended up in the library. I haven't been inside the Confederation Centre Public Library probably since I was a kid having finished off the last of the science fiction books I could find there and not caring for much else at the time.
It's brighter now, and has more of an open feel than I remember.
My friend said she was looking for books to make a person happy, but beyond that, she didn't know really what she was looking for. So we had a nice time going through the shelves looking for inspiration. She'd pick out a book, ask me if I'd read it, I'd say what I thought of it, and we'd move on like that. I'd forgotten how great libraries were, the idea that you didn't have to think twice about picking something you weren't totally sure of, because you aren't buying it so 'why not?' is so liberating.
The two books I ended up grabbing for her were The Life of Pi, a semi-obvious one but she hadn't read it so I was pretty insistent that she do, and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin. Neither are strict, no-strings-attached, feel-good stories, but Pi is satisfying in a very deep way, and it leaves you with the ability, in my opinion, to relax and enjoy a good story. It's like a cynicism-ectomy. On the other hand, the Carlin book rips apart euphamisms and social conventions and politics in a pretty unmerciful way, and if one isn't careful, might let your cynicism go up. But a more careful reading of it would leave you understanding the world and people better, and just accepting that we are the way we are and we do silly things and you might as well just laugh.