The San Antonio Library:
I started going to the library because I was doing research. One set of upcoming horoscopes is based on a slim volume of Texas Folk Remedies. Think folk remedies for retrograde planets.
When I lived close to Austin’s Book People, I used the store like a library, but then, too, I’d come home with more material for an already over-stuffed book collection. What to keep, what to toss? Trips to the used bookstore just made it worse, while waiting, I could easily spend more than I was making on any sale.
I was killing time when Mercury was retrograde, didn’t want to buy a guide book to New Mexico, so I spent part of an afternoon in the library. Time well-spent. I didn’t find what I was looking for but I did happen across material that I was much richer for seeing.
That single trip to that library, downtown San Antonio, yielded the Monastery just north of Abiquiu, NM. Evil flowers and Ghost Ranch.
I think of it as the whole enchilada because of the color. It’s also a fairly prominent feature in Bexar County’s downtown.
In another bookstore, there was a copy of “Write Good or Die.” I think it was on the discount table. I picked it up, looked at it, leafed through the entries, a self-published author with a collection of essays about writing and publishing. Not worth a purchase. A little later, online, I found a free copy of the text in eBook form. Loaded it and waded through portions along the road. Glad I didn’t buy it.
When I travel, I tend to ferret out the local establishments, I tend to stray from the between path. There are Rough Guides, Lonely Planet Guides, and other off-the-beaten -path guides. Rick Steve, I think that was one set of European guides. None of them contain enough material for me to warrant a purchase; however, sorting through a stack of them does yield some useable information.
I’ve loitered in the bookstore, leafing through a handful of guides, I was especially curious about some of my West Texas haunts, what the guides said.
James Joyce’s Ulysses is an epic I’ve made reference to a number of times. One of the masterpieces of modern fiction, it’s one of the few books I should read only, I haven’t finished it yet. A quick library search pulled up several non-linear sources of literary criticism. Regrettably, all that did was reinforce my desire to read the weighty tome.
The side project has numerous images of the San Antonio Library. In transit, it is an interesting image. While it’s a tremendously analog format for research, the serendipitous nature of the search is wonderful.
They also have fast, free inter-web, and a bonus: excellent coffee shop.