By Jim McDonald
The technology age is upon us, and it has changed the way we live in many ways. Many of us remember the days of buying paper magazines (seriously, are you still doing that?). Today, we read the thoughts of complete strangers via the internet. Dick Tracy’s two way wrist radio is kid’s stuff compared to the way we hold the wealth of the world’s collective knowledge in the palm of our hand, thanks to the masterminds at Apple and Google. Considering how “the world has moved on” in the words of Roland Deschain, it’s interesting to consider what other changes have come our way. One primary example is your local public library.
I haven’t had a library card in years, but as I have children who I desperately need to be quietly amused on long car trips, I felt it was time to revisit my local mecca of literature. Lo and behold, the library is digital. “Say what,” you say? Yes, we all know print books are becoming irrelevant. They are antiquated technology on par with cave paintings, tribal skull elongation, and planking (thank God planking is dead). Walking into the building that was formerly ruled by the elderly gal with the stern gaze I found an area that looks much like that great coffee shop, Barnes And Noble. I walked past a small bistro (apparently it’s a BYOC environment, as although there were plenty of tables and seating, there was no one making coffee – what a shame), conference rooms, teleconference rooms, and rows of computers before seeing, at long last, books.
Upon acquiring a new library card, because the library is digital now, and it’s just easier to put you in the computer than try to reactivate your old library card, perhaps you could sell it to an antique store, but the gal at the circulation desk wants to touch it as much as she does a dead rat, I was introduced to the truth about the modern library. There’s no reason to ever go into a modern library. Seriously. I live in a small area, with a population that consists of three families, some farm animals, and a guy no one wants to admit has moved to town (guess which one I am). All the same, the most recent additions to the library’s catalog come in the form of e-books and audiobooks. Wait, I don’t need to leave my home to visit the library. Nope. It’s all online. Saddle up your Kindle and hit the electronic trails of internet enabled fiction. Sorry, I mean the library website, not CNN.com.
At this point I would like to share what I learned on first trip to the library’s e-book portal, and it may shock many men. After browsing the rather modest collection of electronic literature I offer the following:
- Libraries are primarily used by women. How do I know this? 90% of the fiction titles have some half-dressed, muscular dude on the front. Obviously, his ego is way out of control, because he has no idea that I have no interest in staring at his pecs.
- Women are constantly aroused. Why do I say this? See point number 1 for details. Women’s literature comes in two forms: hot, steamy, sexy romance and gardening. If your gal doesn’t have a garden, she’s probably ready at a moment’s notice. Obviously, they maintain control over the world’s male populace by being ready constantly, but exercising enough self-control to choose the time and place, giving them the upper hand in all matters marital. Touché girls. Well played.
- Women love Amish guys. Seriously, have you seen the plethora of Amish romance novels lately? I asked my wife if she wants to be Amish, or ever wonders what life would be like if she ended up with a man with a beard but no mustache. While she denies both, the local library says otherwise. Chicks dig men who dig the soil.
- Reference books and self-help books are roughly the same, and if they don’t reference Oprah Winfrey at least once they’re of no value to the local library. I don’t make the rules, I just mock them.
So, men, we have two choices. Rise up against our local library and demand books on spies, aliens, motorcycle repair, and demolition for fun and profit, or grow a beard (but not a mustache) and pick up a shovel. The things I have learned about the female of the species from my trip to the library are confusing, and frankly, I’m afraid to speak to girls again for the first time since high school. Not because I’m shy, but if the library collection has taught me anything it’s that girls are weird and are best avoided. I feel their brains have been addled by cooties, and ain’t nobody got time for that!
In closing, if you’re Amish, and a fan of Amish romance e-books, please email me and let me know what the allure is of this relatively new, and wholly confusing, genre of literature. I have a bevy of questions for you, such as how are you emailing me in the first place? Is this a recruiting tactic? Are the Amish now using the internet to lure unsuspecting women into the lifestyle? I fear the rabbit hole runs deep on this one, and the truth is out there, at your local library.