Take Another Look At Books

The Shelter Island Library is alive and well. The engraved bricks—a very clever fundraiser—are starting to show up on the new outdoor reading patio. You can still buy one if you’re interested, go to the website; readshelterisland.org, for more information.

One of the Island’s favorite annual events, the Used Book Sale is scheduled to start on Saturday, July 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I think it’s great that they still call them used books as opposed to “previously viewed” or “aged but never read.” I realize many young people aren’t too familiar with books outside of the school setting. Let me illuminate. We all know that books are used for reading and gaining knowledge, but there are so many more uses that the younger people just don’t know about.

1. Unlike an iPad, you can buy books with classic titles and leave them in obscure, but obvious places around your house to make people think you read the classics and are therefore erudite.

2. During an argument, nothing throws better than a hardcover book. It’s a great size, has good balance, and if it hits the target, it really hurts. And of course the beaned person will immediately see the error of their ways and capitulate—if not, they get the encyclopedias…

3. There are many excellent books on childrearing these days. Try the advice inside the book first, if that doesn’t work, clock the little s.o.b. in the back of the head with the book. Just remember to hit them with the flat side of the book so it doesn’t leave any marks.

4. A slim book, or one that’s halfway open can balance a wobbly table.

5. A stack of big books with a scarf over them makes a sturdy and attractive coffee table.

6. Keep a book in the car at all times in the summer so you have some form of beneficial distraction while you wait in ferry lines. Ferry lines are part of life here, complaining never shortens them, but a really good book does.

7. Cookbooks. I love cookbooks. I love to see what I could make if I had the time, money, motivation and special pots and pans.

8. Home Decoration books are the crack cocaine of books for women my age. We love to see what our houses could look like with money to burn, a gay friend to help, and a husband with a tool belt.

9. Exercise books. I always think of the quote from Fran Leibowitz when asked about exercising, she said, “Call it want you want, it’s still gym, and I don’t have to do it anymore.” I suggest you buy at least one exercise book in your life. Read it, get through the depression, and burn it.

10. Scrapbooks. I envy women who can produce nice scrapbooks. They have framed photos, pressed flowers, ephemera from social events. I have shoe boxes of pictures, scraps of paper, eviscerated roses that I tried to press. It looks like a project done by a homeless drunk.

11. “How to…” and “Do It Yourself” books are important for hiding secret papers from your husband or boyfriend. I’ve never met a man who will admit to reading any kind of “How to” book, hell, they won’t even read the instructions on putting together Ikea furniture. So if you need to hide any papers, get a “How to “ book and hide them in there. Fort Knox wouldn’t be safer.

So you see, there’s more to books than just the written word.

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