6/19/2008 04:20:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich /

I'm bored so I'm going to discuss something at random and see what happens. You can skip all this if you're busy. I had my car serviced on Monday as you know. While I was waiting, a dude from the servicing desk and I got to chatting. He was Kenyan and was interested in what I was reading. It was Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope. From politics we then moved on to marriage somehow. It was a two year service my car was having you see, so it involved a lengthy tinkering.

"My boss said to me once," said the service desk Kenyan dude, "why buy a book when you can join a library." This was his boss's hilarious metaphor for marriage versus bachelorhood. I didn't know who his boss was, but I suspected he was the kind of chap who when asked if he has kids, always answers, "not that I know of" followed by a wink and an over-exaggerated laugh which betrays his implied promiscuity. In real terms of course the fat sweaty bastard's only real sexual experiences were either paid for or were highly regrettable encounters with some of the ugliest women in his village.

The reason I bring this up, quite literally as I feel kinda queasy now, is not because I want to discuss marriage, but I would like to discuss libraries. Why don't people join libraries anymore? How is it possible for example in my wee area that a single book shop can survive when there are two adequately stocked libraries in close proximity? It hasn't even got a coffee shop.

Why do people buy books when they can just borrow them for free? I do it and I'm not sure why. I do like giving books I've enjoyed to my chums so they can enjoy them...but I could just as easily recommend they check the book out of a library themselves.

There's only a few novels I can think of that I've read more than once. So it can only be a matter of wanting to show off. A book case full of books suggests intelligence. Or maybe it's kept as a trophy. Keeping a book reminds you you read it and there's a sense of accomplishment there? I hope not. I'm afraid this is very very silly. Are we now that dumb that reading is considered a challenge? Some books are a challenge to be fair to us all, but I hope we're not now patting ourselves on the back just for reading anything.

It's really about time I had another fish finger sandwich so I'll end here - and there's nothing sexual about that, Kenyan man's boss, if you're reading this. In the meantime let's all join a library shall we? Go on, for me.


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