Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Books and Public Transit

This afternoon I went to the Cambridge to visit the library and get some work done at the Starbucks in Harvard Square. The Cambridge Public Library is by far my favorite library of all time right behind UMass Amherst's W.E.B. Du Bois library (tall, quiet, and oddly labyrinthian) and the Boston Public Library (beautiful and old in the way that a lot of stuffy European buildings are beautiful and old). What really makes the CPL my favorite is the graphic novel section. Tucked away in the basement beyond romantic fiction and right across from science fiction, their graphic novel section is so large and so comprehensive and so very incredible. Since you can take out up to 150 books at a time, I am merely limited by the size of my messenger bag.

Today I decided to also try something different and take out a few 'word' books. These are books consisting of hundreds of pages of text and often only one large graphic (on the cover).
1. Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
2. I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman

The Starbucks in Harvard Square is a very pleasant and cozy place to work. So many electrical outlets. So many leather seats. And just across the street is the Harvard campus.

Around one o'clock, when I first got to the T station, the main lobby was entirely empty except for one woman and myself. Before I put my ticket into the machine to get through the woman asked if she could double-up on my ticket since she couldn't afford her own. "Yeah, sure" (with an implied "Whatever") was my response since you'd have to be pretty self righteous not to I suppose (or assume). By holding up my end of the deal I had to do literally nothing, which is just as much as I would have done if she hadn't asked me. The whole thing sat with me in a funny way.

When I did get on the orange line I ended up sitting in a cart full of southern tourists. They were talking loudly and being tourists. Five woman and one man. Middle aged. One of the women told the other one that her biggest mistake in life was getting married at eighteen. She didn't say it like it was something that made her sad. It was more of an offhand remark. Her friend replied by saying "Yeah, but that's not something you should say to people". And I suppose it isn't.

Speak easy,

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