Bexar Biblio Revisited

Bexar Biblio Revisited
Slightly buggy software, but the price, as a resident of Bexar County? Free. Bonus: Bexar BiblioTech is an online library.

It works, it really works. I’ll complain that I’ve had to restart my iPad twice now as a result of the library software. Still, it works (after a fashion). Borrow a book for 14 days. At the end of the time, or before, it closes out, and the book is returned. No late fees. No hurried dash to the late-night return, none of that.

The promise of digital lifestyle, delivered. Bexar BiblioTech — one of the first major metropolitan book-less libraries. The first? I’m unclear on the concept and bragging rights, I think it was the first in a large metro area. Maybe the first altogether, other than, like, the Kindle Lending Library.

The software interface, better than Kindle, not as slick as Apple’s i-book, still, the library’s interface is quite functional. While the 3M-branded “cloud library” lacks the book and bookshelf metaphor, as far as readability is concerned, it functions well. Better, in my mind, as real page numbers are attached, and the material — the text — just scrolls. Perfect.

Not long ago, after several positives reviews, I picked up a discounted version of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Fast read, figured it was a book I’d like to keep in my library, as I’ve got a few by that author. It reads faster and easier as a library e-book. The deft prose, and quick, subtle wit — with an engaging storyline that is deceptively simple yet layered? Good read.

Following a similar path, laudatory views of the posthumous Mailer selected essays, the Mind of an Outlaw, prompted me to suggest it as possible birthday gift — family is always looking for ideas — Apple cards work well — and the Mailer book? It’s a good read, but not one I’d want to have and to hold. I checked it out of the digital library and perused it.

“Our search for the rebels of the generation led us to the hipster. The hipster is an enfant terrible turned inside out.”
From Norman Mailer’s curated collection, Mind of an Outlaw, titled, “The White Negro, 1957.”

And that was taken out of context, a quote from within a quote — the foibles of digital texts.

I’ve got one of Mailer’s books, perhaps his best, epic in scope and at the time, a true literary delight to read. That’s one that stays with me. After reading the digital copy of the selected essays, sure, good stuff in part, but no, I don’t want a hard copy.

Which is why Bexar BiblioTech is such a remarkable, functional, and useable community resource.

In a land where marketing, branding, and advertising always make something out to be something that it’s not? That Bexar Country digital library is exactly what it seems to be — and quite useful.

Love me a library, digital or otherwise.