Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Geek the Library

So, I kept seeing "I Geek..." billboards and web ads and finally decided to google "I Geek" to figure out what it was all about. In visiting the site, I figured out that it's a campaign to raise support for public libraries. I only viewed the site for about 3 minutes but in this time I remembered something I'd forgotten over the past few years. I LOVE reading novels.

I moved to Savannah, GA in the fall of my senior year of college to complete my internship responsibilities. My apartment was a block away from my two favorite places at the time---Zaxby's and the mall. I didn't have internet access in the apartment so I visited the library several times a week to use the internet services there.

There was no cable in the apartment so my free time was spent sleeping, reading my Bible and watching Good Times on DVD. My roommate and I had decided, quite spontaneously, to move to Savannah together because she'd be accepted to graduate school and we both wanted to avoid the hour commute. Although we'd been hall mates and co workers for our entire college career, the relationship had never quite extended beyond the realm of "associate," and I had no illusions that this would change just because we were splitting rent and utilities. I definitely didn't want to depend on our relationship as a way to quench the boredom associated with my Friday and Saturday evenings. I decided after the first few trips to use the internet that I would get a library card so I could read in my free time.

Time passed, I completed my intership, I walked across the stage and I landed my first job. For a reason that will probably be blogged about at a later date, I abandoned the library and fiction writing. The only time I'd retreat to fiction was to revisit old friends like 1984, Native Son or the Invisible Man that I already owned. The only time I'd go to the libary is if I couldn't find a book of interest at the Barnes and Noble in Oglethorpe Mall. Months would pass between my fiction reading. I traded in Ellison, Wright and Chopin for Augustine, Sproul and Bahnsen. My desire to read Black Boy and short stories by Hurston were replaced with a desire to read Matthew Henry's commentaries or Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest.

Last week, for the first time in 3 years, due in part to the I Geek campaign, visited the library. I didn't check out a book about religion or politics, management or sales. I decided that I would only get fiction. By the time I finished, I had 6 friends to take home and explore. The first book I chose to read was Sarah's Psalm. I found the book as I was searching for another book. I liked the cover, so I thought I'd like the story. I'm only a few pages from finishing the book and realize that had it not been for my fiction hiatus, I would be drawn to adopt some of the views that are championed in the story. The Lord has used all my reading about Christian theology to challenge me and my understanding of Him through his word. Afterall, whenever I didn't understand or agree with something I was reading ABOUT the Bible, I'd search the Bible. Whenever I needed clarity regarded a passage in the Bible, I'd consult a commentary. 

I appreciate the I Geek campaign for reminding me about my love for reading fiction. Good novels had kept me company for years and I hung them out to dry...but only for a time. There is nothing wrong with reading a little fiction as long as there is balance. I'm going to go ahead end this abruptly as I know I've gone on TOO long. Now go check out some books...

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