It had been a while since I had even stepped into the Grundy Co. Jewett Norris Library, let alone checked out a book. Last week, while my parents were off to Haiti my 9-year-old fireball of a brother and I made our way inside more than a couple times. He mostly wanted to see what DVDs they had, but he tried out a book too. Getting him to read it would be the hard part. On the other hand, nerd that I proudly am, I even brought my own book to the library. Nonetheless, he found a book (and a couple movies) and even got some info on the summer reading program. Meanwhile I ventured upstairs to the ‘adult’ section – which isn’t dirty, it’s just for anyone who is above the eighth grade reading level. Geesh, get your mind out of the gutter. And in the rows and rows of books I found more than a few titles I’d been wanting to read, but hadn’t been able to add to my own collection. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, some Steven King titles. Of course I hadn’t been in so long, I lost my original library card. Now, to obtain one, you need proof of residency and bills and a personal id – just to avoid buying one for $30+. Lucky me, I was in the system and had another card assigned to my account. Thanks to the wonderful librarian I now have this gem (along with one for the Maryville Public Library), and managed to take home my next book as well. Let’s just hope I find the time to read it before it’s due, a week from yesterday.
“The exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach.” – Oscar Wilde
After transferring to Northwest Missouri State last fall, I moved into a one-room apartment in early July. With only a part-time job to occupy my time, and a longing for my vast yard back at home, I made my way outside in the evenings to explore the new campus. Of course I would take my book with me in case I found a new place to relax. After my second or third venture on my bicycle, I discovered Colden Pond. Among the beautiful scenery of Northwest – and right near the ‘Kissing Bridge’ – the little pond became my go-to spot. One of my first nights there, I even predicted the engagement of a nearby couple. Now, spending another summer working part-time in Maryville, I find myself coming back to the familiar oasis. And although it’s not being taught in the classroom, I’m doing my best to practice that exquisite art of idleness.
So, so much to write since I’ve returned from Minnesota (the farthest North I’ve ever traveled)! You may or may not know that I recently subscribed to TIME Magazine and it completely fuels my love for random facts. A few weeks ago, I came across an interview with Louise Erdrich, a half-Chippewa, half-American author. Erdrich has written upwards of 20 novels and her work has definitely earned her a good reputation. Her most recent book, The Round House is near the top of my to-read list, and describes a tragedy and how it is approached from the reservation. Also included in this interview was some information on a little place called Birchbark Books…
Erdrich started Birchbark Books, a small, local bookstore in Minneapolis, MN. The avid lit-lover than I am, I was sure to write down her new novel and her bookstore, in case I should ever be able to make it up that way. Thanks to my position with the National Postsecondary Agricultural Students Organization, some travel to that area was required. After navigating Minneapolis traffic during rush hour (following five other vehicles rather than a GPS), I felt capable of making my way to this little place. My new friend Trisha and I had an hour to kill, so I figured, “Why not?!” What we happened upon was a beautiful, unique, intimate nook in a strangely nostalgic, urban neighborhood. I hope these pictures give you at least a partial feel for this souvenir that warmed my heart. 🙂
And of course I got something to remember it by, despite being a struggling college student.