The Library book club that I facilitate met to discuss the month’s selected read, “Having and Being Had” by Eula Biss, and our discussion did not stop from the get-go. It was really a delightful example of the power of connection that a work of literature embodies. I bring this up because I have been thinking about connection and communication lately: connection and communication to one another and to ourselves.
Reading is clearly a solitary pursuit, most of the time. Parents read to their children all the time, we read articles to our friends that we find stimulating, or we read as a group, in passages, in a learning or workshop setting. So, reading is not just someone curled up in a quiet corner, lost in the world of their book, it’s social too. I am sure I am not telling you anything that you do not already know, but let’s turn to something that we may often overlook.
Living is isolating. The majority of the time, we are experiencing and living our lives entirely by ourselves, fact and point. This gives us plenty of time to get to know ourselves, but many of us are petrified of doing so or could use a little help finding the language or the tools to delve deep into that understanding. And it is so important that we know ourselves, because if we do not, we cannot truly connect with other people or even grow as an individual. As a man I admire, RuPaul Andre Charles, says “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?!” Amen, RuPaul!
Enter a book. One of the most excellent resources to learn about yourself or the language to begin that journey of self-discovery. Within its pages you can find yourself reflected through the words of another, give yourself the mental space and time to sit within yourself, or stumble upon something about yourself that you didn’t know was there — it brings our awareness to within. There is so much in our world that we may struggle to comprehend and reading can help us to understand, or at least empathize.
That brings us to one another. Wow! How much communication gets mussed between us all… That is what is so great about a book: it can show is a different perspective from our own and provide the starting point for us to dive into discussion about things that need to be discussed or clarified. Books help us connect and communicate with one another; they assist in shaping us into people who want to be better people to ourselves and to one another. (Of course, this is dependent on people being allowed and willing to read things that challenge them to think differently or look at a situation from a perspective other than their own, but that takes us to a different – though very much related – topic that we won’t go to right now.)
Do we put enough emphasis on reading? Of course, in my world, that is a backbone of practically every conversation, but… my vocation is within a Public Library and I am an avid reader, born from a family of readers and with friends that are readers. So, it comes as no surprise to me that others are not privy to some of the things that I voraciously keep tabs on like the banning of books in public school systems or the take over of public library by boards dead set on censoring public materials. Reading is not everyone’s “thing,” but the truth is, practically everyone is reading every day. Reading their friends Facebook shares; reading Twitter rants; reading news articles; reading the Chipotle menu; reading the stock market; reading the ingredients list on the can of organic pumpkin puree; whatever. We are reading all the time. Through those words, we are trying to communicate all the time. Do we realize that?
I suppose I am going to close my thoughts with the feeling of connection that I had during our book club discussion. As a spoke toward a question of conversation and looked from member to member, I was feeling seen, I was feeling heard and I was able to see the same feelings displayed in the expressions of my fellow book clubbers. And it was a humbling and uniting feeling. A feeling best expressed through the words of one of our members, “I’m really glad I came today! This was a great conversation!”
Agreed, Sylvie, agreed.
— Samantha Hanchett, Marketing Coordinator
*Please note that the opinions of “Thoughts” are just that and do not necessarily represent the views of the Thomas County Public Library.
Beginner Yin Yoga
Wednesday, March 30, 9.45 a.m.
A yoga class designed to stretch the deep connective tissues of the body, the joints and ligaments. Each pose is held for several minutes and the focus is on allowing the body to open at its natural pace. This is a low class that is suitable for all levels. Registration is appreciated.
Friends of the Library Book Sale
Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
For the kids:
Movie in the Library!
Monday, April 4, 2 p.m.
Come enjoy a movie screening in the stacks! We will be playing the stellar Disney animated film, “Charm.” Sing along with your favorite characters, enjoy some popcorn and a drink, and check out a book when you leave! Film rated PG. Intended for ages 4 and over with their caregivers.
Arts + Crafts
Tuesday, April 5, 10.30 a.m.
Get excited for spring with a planter painting party! Children will have the opportunity to design and paint their own teapot-shaped planter. Perfect for herbs or wildflowers. While supplies last. Intended for ages 4-11 with their caregivers.
Toddler + Tykes Story Time
Thursdays, 10.30 a.m.
Join us for an hour of read-aloud stories, rhymes and songs designed to encourage language and literacy development in your child. Story Time wraps up with a fun, simple art + craft activity. An excellent space to meet other caregivers and children in the community. Intended for ages 2-4 years with their caregivers.
Thursdays, 4 p.m.
Calling all child LEGO masters and first-timers! Our LEGO group meets every week to create and build whatever they can imagine. A great place to meet and mingle with other children interested in 3D creation. We also offer larger LEGO bricks for those who may find the smaller bricks tasty. Intended for ages 4-11 years with their caregivers.
For the teens:
Graphic Novel Book Club
Tuesday, March 29, 4 p.m.
Our Teen Department has a book club! And it’s dedicated to reading graphic novels. Spread the word — anyone between the ages of 12-17 who digs reading graphic novels and is interested in meeting others who are into the same thing, join today! Also, we have snacks. Currently reading: “Wynd,” by James Tynion IV. Contact Samantha B. at the library for more information.
At the branches:
Arts + Crafts
Monday-Thursday, April 4-7, Drop-In
Light the spark of creativity in your child with arts + crafts! Our art + crafts activities range from foam painting and paper crafts to jewelry and slime making. Drop in anytime during open hours (1.30-6 pm) to create with your child. All supplies provided by the library. Intended for ages 3-11.
Tuesdays, 2 p.m.
The Quiddler Club meets each Tuesday at our Boston Branch for an afternoon of the fast, fun word game that challenges you to make words with your hand of cards faster than your opponents. A great space to meet and mingle with others in your community! Intended for ages 18+.
Arts + Crafts/Scavenger Hunt
Monday-Thursday, April 4-7, Drop-in
Find the bunny’s lost carrots! Search the library for the rogue carrots and take part in a tissue paper, stained glass activity with an Easter-theme. Drop in any time during open hours (1.30-6 pm) to find all the carrots and earn a treat. Intended for ages 2-11.
“Fake,” by Erica Katz
“The Drowning Girls,” by Lisa Regan
“Cold Heart Creek,” by Lisa Regan
“A Safe House,” by Stuart Woods
“French Braid,” by Anne Tyler
A QUOTE TO THINK ABOUT:
“Silence, you know, is something that can’t be censored. And there are circumstances in which silence becomes subversive. That’s why they fill it with noise all the while.” — John Berger
Free Community Resource Directories.
Our 2020-2021 Community Resources Directories are available at your local library! Stop in anytime to grab a free copy full of useful and updated businesses and organizations to help you get what you need. These free Directories are available thanks in part to Hurst Boiler.
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