Breaking the Rules…A Little Bit

A couple things happened since Thursday…I got a library card!

In all honesty, I should have gotten one a long, long time ago. I’d have thousands of books at my beck and call and I wouldn’t have to pay a dime for it! Well, trouble is, I like to OWN my books. Then, they’re mine forever and I can write in them and do whatever I want with them. Can’t do that with a library book. I can also read one of my own books at a rate that pleases me without having to renew it or pay overdue fines. I can refer back to a book that I own numerous times just by picking it off my shelf.

Obviously, these are the excuses I used not to get a library card.

Christy’s been after me to get a card for a long time, and I finally did it yesterday, and, naturally, came home with two books I’ve been wanting to read: Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability by David Own, and Democracy Matters by Cornel West. I haven’t started in on West’s book yet, but Green Metropolis has taken me captive for sure. I’m only 20 pages in, and I’m thoroughly fascinated by Owen’s writing and arguments that places like New York City are actually greener than smaller, rural, agrarian communities because of their use of public transit, walking, cycling, and apartment buildings. Owen’s goal is to promote urbanism as a greater help to the environment as opposed to a scourge, as many environmentalists tend to paint it. I’ve had a big interest in New Urbanism ever since I read this article at The Urban Loft, and now I’m finally breaking into the subject.

Now, this whole library card thing does beg the question: am I breaking the rules of my goal? Well, maybe a little bit. This might count as me throwing my plan to read through my library a little out of whack, but here’s why I don’t think it’s a problem:

1) I’m borrowing, not buying or taking. These books do have to go back at SOME point.

2) This can supplement whatever I might be reading from my own library. This isn’t the case right now (except maybe with Cornel West and Hunter Thompson, and even that’s a stretch), but in future studies (such as one I’m planning to do on Islam and the Quran) I can utilize the library’s resources to supplement my findings (especially since I only have about five books relating to Islam).

3) Change of scenery. This can get me out of the house for awhile and into other books that I don’t own for a little. It’s sort of like a road trip: it gets me into a new place for awhile so I don’t go nuts in the place I’m in.

4) Fresh material. While I like to think of my library as diverse (and it is), I only have books on so many subjects (and absolutely NOTHING on New Urbanism), and this can help produce new stuff for me to write about and for you to glance at on my home page and dismiss as uninteresting.

So…yay for a library card! Updates on Green Metropolis, Paul In Fresh Perspective, and On the Campaign Trail to come on Tuesday. Just thought I’d tell you guys what I’ve been up to lately!


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