Friday, July 08, 2005

Library Cards

I've started going to the library to get my writing done. It's reached the point where attempting to do so amid the distractions of home is downright foolhardy.

So far I've used the Rancho Park and Westwood branch libraries. They're pretty, new-looking and well-maintained, but very small. They look more like high school libraries than city libraries--the Pleasanton Library is massive compared to these. The actual floor space devoted to, you know, shelving books is astonishingly meager.

Even so, I'm startled to realize how unfamiliar I've become with the whole concept of a library. You mean I can borrow anything here, for free? Why have I been buying books all these years? Oh, right, because the corner bookstore puts the selection at these library branches to shame. But still, not bad for free.

The Rancho Park library has some Batman collections that have come out since I stopped buying the books, so I'll be checking those out to see if those storylines were as bad as people online said they were.

Both have a surprising amount of manga, but only Westwood had Excel Saga and Initial D. I got two volumes of each.

Excel Saga gets tiresome quickly. It's hard to follow and the jokes mostly don't play well in print. Also, for most of the book, they use the authentic Japanese sound effect, which you can look up in an index in the back. This is great if you want to hold your finger on a page and flip back and forth to learn when a waterfall is going pshpshpsh but it seems pointless to me.

Initial D doesn't translate the sound effects either, but at least they don't annoy you with the option of constant page-flipping. This book I'm enjoying, enough that I'll do another post on it soon.


Kevin said...

You can try the Brentwood branch. It has a pretty reasonable amount of books. Although it also has creepy homeless people that hang out in the Young Adult section and stare at you when you try and reach for the Superman trades. Brr..

LA's Central Library is also worth a trip. The actual books are shelved there, for shipment to branch libraries based on LAPL's excellent request system. It's also a good place to people watch.

If you don't mind some noise, there's a neat new Literary-type cafe with couches at Gayley and Kinross.

C said...

I will get library recommendations in your area when I go to class next weekend. i hear beverly hills public is nice. 444 North Rexford Dr. when in doubt, remember stick to LA public, not LA county