Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Raining Soup

Do you ever borrow comic books from the library?

If you don't, you may want to look into it. It's a great way of trying out stuff you've always wanted to read but never did. I've gotten into all kinds of things thanks to the library, and some of it I've made a point of hunting down and buying my own copy later on. (Some of it, I read and said to myself, "Wow, I'm glad I didn't pay anything for that.")

To give you some idea, here's a partial list of some compilations and collections and serieses I first read thanks to the library:

New Frontier
All-Star Superman
Tom Strong
Marvel: 1602
JSA: Golden Age
Top Ten
One Piece
Jack Staff
Shutterbug Follies
Love and Rockets
Jack of Fables
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Kingdom Come
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken
Wimbledon Green
Robinson's Starman
Kirby's Fourth World
the recentish Shazam! and the Monster Society of Evil miniseries
Identity Crisis
JLA: Earth 2
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth
Pride of Baghdad
Louis Riel
Agents of Atlas
Batman: the Dark Knight Returns

The library can be a waterfall of comics! Go stick a bucket underneath!



Blogger kushiro said...

The library system in my city is starting to build a decent collection of graphic novels and TPBs. I've been able to check out some great books, such as Elk's Run, Alice in Sunderland, and American Born Chinese.

Unfortunately, it appears that the library administrators still have the "comics are for kids" mentality, so a lot of the TPBs are shelved in the juvenile section, which is in the children's wing of the building. Hard to browse and borrow without feeling like the staff thinks I'm either a creep or somehow intellectually immature.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Yeah, I'm sure some library systems are better than others in this respect.

But, a couple of things: first, can you use the online system to put stuff on hold for you so that you can just go to the hold shelf instead of into the children's wing? Saves a lot of time. Of course, it also means you don't get the advantage of browsing and finding stuff you didn't know about.

Second, though: I've gone into kids' sections all kinds of times looking for books and comic books for my own purposes. What's it to the staff? For all they know, I'm taking out stuff for my son, or little brother, or visiting cousin, or something. They're probably not paying attention anyway.

6:43 PM  
Blogger kushiro said...

Matthew E

I hadn't considered the online hold idea. Perhaps that would make things a bit smoother.

As to your other points, I agree. Completely valid, and I have thought the same things to myself. But when I walk in to that room (and it is definitely a separate room), the staff always asks how they can help me, and I get self-conscious. "Sure", they are thinking, "for your nephew. Ooookaaaay."

It's a feeling remarkably similar to being 16 and buying condoms at the drugstore, or the time I picked up some (ahem) "topical cream" for my dad.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, the other trick is to get a couple of highbrow books from the adult section - it helps if you're planning on reading them anyway, but it's not necessary - and carry them in with you, so that when you pick up a Tiny Titans collection (or whatever), you don't look juvenile; you look eclectic.

12:55 PM  
Blogger kushiro said...

Of course. Highbrow books in the library are the equivalent of toothpaste and magazines at the pharmacy. These are what I came in for; I just picked up the other stuff on a whim.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no. Skip the Proust. Go for a hot fad diet book and some manual about how to become a millionaire by buying up foreclosures. Then the staff will be so impressed with your natural virtue and gumption that they won't even notice all those "children's books" under your other arm.

-- cleome45

8:11 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That might work on some of the other library patrons, but it sure isn't going to work on librarians.

8:42 PM  

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