It rained from morning until night today.  Not the sort of rain that makes for nice photographs of people leisurely walking through the streets and dancing over puddles, either.  It was “big ol’ fat rain.”  Thanks, Forrest.  It was the camera-breaking rain.  It was mood-obliterating rain.  The hair-wetting kind of rain, even.  

It was the kind of rain that makes stopping by library branches that you haven’t been to before seem like a good idea.  Yeah… that rain.

OK, here is what happened:

I tried to take a certain type of picture the other day that didn’t work out well.  I’ll spare the details because I’m still working on it.  So I wanted to get a book on Photoshop because endlessly googling questions about the computer program just drags one deeper and deeper into the Internet abyss.  Furthermore, a book helps because it offers information I wouldn’t know to ask about on the grand Google.

Anyway, I found three books that looked good and they were showing in stock at three different libraries.  No big deal, they are all within a few miles of each other and if I didn’t mention… it was raining so I had nothing better to do.

At the first library, Wayne City Library, I was impressed with how big, new, and clean it was.  The computer said they had the book on the shelf, but it was not on the shelf.  It was not in new releases, or on any nearby table.  There was nobody in the general area reading books that looked like the 450 page monster I was looking for.  In fact… I didn’t see much book reading at all.  Half million books in there and everybody there is on a computer.  I asked the librarian for help and she was not much use- first time I encountered that at a Passaic County library.  Normally they are either very helpful or bitter, but still knowledgeable.  No matter- there were two more on the list.

The second library, Caldwell City, was a small brick building made in the 1800s.  The librarian was awesome.  The whole place was awesome, really.  It had the poorly printed photographs in $1 frames hanging on the wall depicting town scenes from decades past, just like a government office with zero budget should have.  By comparison, Wayne library had expensive exposed laminated ceiling trusses in the architecture.  Caldwell had painted cinder block on three of the four walls.  But you know what?  Caldwell had the book.  Checkmate.

I decided to go to the third library, Cedar Grove, mostly because I was curious.  Cedar Grove’s appeared to be built in the 1960s, based on the style of the building.  From the front lobby you can see straight through the library to a rear glass wall and glass doors.  Out those back doors they had a garden and reading area underneath well-established trees, and it was alongside a small river.  Perfect, but it was raining by the way, so I just looked.  They also had a projector screen off to the side and a number of senior citizens were hanging out watching “The Martian,” with Matt Damon.  Spectacular movie… I almost stayed to see how it ended (for the third time).  This older library with the nostalgic older library smell (The same as Neptune, guys) also had the book I was looking for.  Two points for the tried and true libraries.

So anyway, now I have two good books on Photoshop.  I say good books because they are heavy, and heavy books keep me warm as they lay open on my chest and I am sound asleep “studying.”

Maybe I should have just picked up the book I was pointing at in the photo…

Why no pictures of these fantastic libraries???

1) Camera-breaking rain. 

2) I am trying to paint a picture with words, because that is the kind of practice needed before I can decide if I have what it takes to be an author.  Comments on this topic would be much appreciated… 

10 thoughts on “Thirty-Four.

  1. Well written and thoroughly enjoyable post. . Your description of each library put a good picture in my mind. That’s what I love about libraries and books. It’s where you can read peacefully and let your mind form your own pictures. Holding a book is so much nicer than surfing the Internet. Guess all those trips to our Neptune library made a lasting impression on you. Yay!!


    1. Your absolutely right about holding a book being far superior to the internet. The internet is endless- you can never find the end, and that also means you never have a gauge to see how far along you are, or if you are near completion of anything. None of us wants to be stuck in the middle of a corn maze forever, but researching something on the internet is exactly that: the endless middle.


  2. Excellent post. Painted a picture clearly. I could practically see the libraries through your descriptions. Loved the experience. But than again, I’m a sucker for libraries. 😊


    1. Great! Now the interesting part will be when I actually post a picture or two of the libraries… I wonder how they will be similar or differ from everyone’s imagination?

      Susan has some books I need for you to get at the library. : )


  3. I did not need a photograph to see a picture of the three libraries. Your words painted a picture in my mind. It seems like the older libraries have a lot of caricature. Does that sound right? I love reading your writings, and by that I say, is what all authors want, to have the reader enjoy their writing. Good Job.


    1. car·i·ca·tureˈkerikəCHər,ˈkerikəˌCHo͝or/noun1.a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

      You’re looking for ‘charachter,’ but I understand what you mean. Really I just posted the definition because I wanted to see if the funny letters would copy and paste onto this comment system. ; ) Thank you for the comment though- the most important part is hearing that what I am trying to say is reaching you properly, and that’s what I am most interested in.


  4. I love the library in my little town. Quaint, friendly, and small, but they can interlibtary loan any book in the system. The new modern library in Dover is a cold structure built to house technology. It dwarfs the human and the book. I hate it.

    For a great books on writing try Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. For a book on cultivating a relationship with your Muse try Steven Pressfield’s War of Art


    1. That is exactly how our library system works here, as well. The quaint, friendly, and small aspects are only gifts a building can offer with its age and experience, I believe. New is new.. but with time comes the fine wine. Your library in Dover is ours in Wayne, it appears- but I’m glad that the Dover library is not your only resource.

      I did not think this passage would take off the way it did- I was really just out on errands. But I guess the subject matter really hit home to everyone, so I will definitely need to go back and show a little more of the better libraries we have here.

      Most importantly, thank you for sharing the book suggestions. I will see if they have them at B&N…no…scratch that. B&N only sells the newest-yet-largely-untested books and timeless classics…but nothing in between that has so much meat in it. Instead, I will use the library. : )

      ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’


  5. Excellent post! I thoroughly enjoy reading everything you write with your photographs. I build pictures in my mind that become more and more detailed as I read on. The way you write pulls the reader in to feel and experience everything that your photographs show, such that they’re no longer two-dimensional. I feel like I’m able to "travel" to places I might not otherwise have seen. It’s also a lovely insight into the mind and man behind the lens. Sometimes you’re sharing a wonderful adventure or a fascinating piece of history. Sometimes it’s an experience, like the photo of Joey getting a bath. I was smiling reading through that one, and imagining Joey’s post-bath happiness and the silliness that often goes with it. 😉 And sometimes you’re just sharing you, like the photo of the bird with the purple berries, and the fact that you selected that image for Mom’s birthday. (Spectacular photo, by the way. One of my favorites.)

    Thank you for taking on this project and sharing a year of your life, not to mention your amazing photography. It is truly inspiring. 🙂


    1. Wow thanks Ali. : ) I see some of that inspiration may have worked with your recent photo adds on facebook (Why is it called facebook? It’s neither a face nor a book. It’s a memescreen.). Good job on adding the pictures though- I completely understand the undertaking it is to go through and cultivate to goods!

      Sometimes when I am out and about I feel great about this whole project, and other times I sometimes feel like "who really cares, anyway." But reading this comment lets me know that there is some sort of purpose to all this- even if I can’t quite explain it or even understand it myself. It helps me have more great thoughts and less negative thoughts while I’m out there. : )

      I wonder now if that might be the point of this: We do what we do to bring each other together, not for the purpose of a project but for the purpose of community. The project is the means to the true purpose.

      I’m happy that I am painting a picture with the words, too. I know with work I could refine the passages and make them even better, but for now I just need to get some stuff out there to see if I feel like I can qualify myself to work harder on a more long-term project. I have been toying with the idea of writing a book for some time now and this project is helping me with the process a bit.

      So I say all that to say this: thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it is helping me in told and untold ways that will in turn keep this project moving forward so I can share more stories with you all.

      -Little big bro.


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