library meme

Yesterday, I saw an Internet meme that extolled all the virtues of public libraries. Unlike political memes spouting statistics and information with questionable origin, I found this meme useful.

Ahhhh, libraries.

Sometimes, I like to joke with people that I judge a potential town to dwell in based on its library. When I lived in Michigan, even the small towns had decent libraries. Bridgeport, Michigan, on the south side of Saginaw, had a good one. Locals used it a lot to look for jobs.

Vassar, Michigan, where I lived for about four years, had a small but quaint library. The town I live in now, Fredericksburg, Texas, has a historical library. Pioneer Memorial Library used to be the county courthouse. Even now, it’s fun to go in to relax and read. I often will check out books, knowing I won’t have the time to read them all. And sometimes, it’s fun to take a book off the shelf and browse through it.

The quietness upstairs, the long wooden tables with the comfortable wooden chairs suggest it’s a place where it’s not only easy to research, but easy to retain what you’ve learned. A library is my second-favorite place on earth to be, the first being a great, Bible-teaching church.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time in a library.

Richard Zowie is a writer. Post comments here or e-mail him at

Richard’s endless reading list

We all have our pleasure activities. I have a few, myself. Venturing into bookstores and libraries. Going into cooking supply stores and admiring all the utensils I’d love to have for the day I can afford to have a fully-equipped kitchen. It can also be fun to go out on walks into the woods to just relax, let your thoughts run free and look for any interesting items. I remember long ago taking a walk along some dilapidated train tracks near my home in Beeville, Texas. Just my Dad, me and my brother-in-law. We found lots of power line insulators, which my Dad loves to collect. (I have a few of them myself today).

And here’s another thing I love to do: go to a library, get their monthly popular reads magazine and make note of all the books in there that interest me.

So far, there are about 100 books on my list. And growing. My problem is most of the books I really want to read aren’t at my local library. They have to be ordered from other libraries, and that takes time.

Still, the pursuit is very fun.

Maybe someday I’ll be stuck for 50 years in the San Antonio Central Library. Ahhhh.

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Writer’s Market 2011

The library in the town where I live said they will be ordering it and hope to have it in about a week. Currently, the most recent copy they had was 2006.

Another library in a nearby town said the most recent copy they had of Writer’s Market was 2001.

Even 2006 is antiquated: you’d be surprised by how many magazines and publishing companies that have since gone out of business or operate under a different name, different phone number, different website.

Once I locate the 2011 edition, I plan to pore over it with some freelance ideas in mind and take note and start sending them my ideas.

Richard Zowie tries to stay busy in his writing life and believes it’s far better to be busy than unemployed. Post comments here or e-mail him at

I need to renew my subscriptions to ‘Writer’s Digest’ and ‘The Writer’!

…But I can’t.


Both subscriptions are due for renewal, and to renew both for a year would cost me a combined $70. It’s just not in the budget right now, and I can’t justify taking money away from rent, internet or phone (all of which are sorely needed) to pay them. So, I have two choices:

1. Let them go indefinitely. This would be great if any of the local libraries carried Writer’s Digest or The Writer. Alas, they don’t. In our area, maybe two libraries carry The Writer. But the libraries all do seem to offer periodicals like People, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated and other publications. If I chose to drop any hope of renewal, I’d have to go to the websites and gleen what I could.

2. Renew them when money comes in. We’re hoping to file our tax returns in a few weeks, so conceivably, getting my subscriptions renewed could become a belated birthday present to myself (I’ll turn 37 on February 6).

Number 2 sounds better.

Richard Zowie is an active blogger with several blogs. Post comments below or e-mail him at