The Portsmouth Athenaeum, in New Hampshire, has made my “book/library/shop that I must visit one day” list. How much fun would it be to peruse these stacks and hang out in their reading room for an afternoon? So cool.
The Athenaeum is a non-profit “membership” library where people pay dues to use the stacks and attend events. And folks have been doing that since 1817 when the library was founded. There is so much history here.
I love the bookcases and tables. You can click through these photos to see the virtual tour page for the Portsmouth Athenaeum (it uses a shockwave viewer, so you may need a plug-in to scroll around), but it’s totally worth it if you like books and books about books.
There seems to be quite a history to the idea of a “member supported” library. It was quite the model for sharing books and knowledge 150 years ago. You could belong to a travel library, philosophy library, general lending library, etc. Whatever your interests were and you could afford. Almost like private clubs to a degree I imagine.
Libraries have changed (for the better, I think) quite a bit over the years, but it sure is fun to look at these old stacks and think about how it used to be. Maybe I’ll make it up there one day to see it in person.
Here are three local Birmingham author signings that may be worth a visit. It’s great to see McCammon still cranking out the books. I think we’re not too far off before A Boy’s Life is considered a classic. So check your calendar and see if any of these book signing interest you.
Thursday, June 11th starting at 4:00pm – Robert McCammon will be at the Alabama Booksmith signing his new book The Border. This one has aliens!
Friday, June 12th starting at 9:00pm – Dr. Ruth Westheimer will be in town signing her new book The Dr. Is In. This is a ticketed event, so call ahead. It’s being held at the Terrific New Theater on 2nd Ave. North.
Saturday, June 13th from 2:00pm – 3:00pm – Dr. Donald E. Wilson, Professor of History Emeritus at Samford University signing his new book Alabama Bomber Boys: 70th Anniversary Memorial Edition at Books-A-Million, Brookwood Village.
The folks at Type books up in Ontario produced this stop motion video, called The Joy of Books almost three years ago and it’s still a good one.
What is it about sitting back and watching all the books go ’round? I also have to say that the whole “shelve your books by color” contingent is bolstered – it really works when the rainbow of book spines are moving along to the beat.
Creative people are cool. Creative book people are +1 beyond that though.
This weekend there is a massive used-book sale at the Hoover Library. Looks like hardback books will be $1 a piece and paperbacks will run cheaper. Definitely worth checking out.
The sale will be open on Saturday, June 21st, 10:00 a.m–5:30 p.m. and then open again on Sunday, June 22nd, 2:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
The sale will take place at the Plaza near the Friends of the Hoover Library Bookstore. But be sure while you are there to check out the “extra book room” downstairs. This room is usually full and the books found here are all for sale and always $1. But this weekend it sounds like the $1 fun is spread out through all of their books.