This week, my 12-year-old son told me he needed to go to the library to pick out a non-fiction book for a report. He said, “It has to be a REAL book, not kids’ book with a ton of pictures.” That meant we had to venture into the adult non-fiction section.
This is kind of a slippery slope for me. Whenever I innocently ‘browse’ the non-fiction section, I get sucked in. There are way too many cool topics I want to read about. I could spend hours hopping around the stacks, checking out various titles and getting inspiration for my writing.
After we spent a little while browsing (mostly in the areas of science and current events), my son’s stack of ‘maybes’ included books on the following topics:
- A “body farm,” where scientists study forensics by observing how dead bodies decompose naturally.
- The fight against deadly diseases like West Nile Virus and Ebola, based on first person accounts from the CDC.
- The looming fresh water crisis that America will face in the 21st century
- A study on how brain synapses create and maintain personality
- An historical study of the evolution of poisons and the development of forensic science in early 20th century New York.
My son decided to choose the deadly disease book, but I checked the rest out. I figure I’ll look through them over the next few weeks, jotting down any ideas for future stories. I already started the last one on the list (The Poisoner’s Handbook) and it’s proving to be a great read.
I know the Internet is a helpful tool for research, but, to me, nothing beats spending an hour in the library and ‘discovering’ books. The best part is, I can take a huge pile of them home for a month, at no cost.
I’ve used the library for lots of other resources as well: illustrated books of fairy tales, audiobooks for road trips, DVDs, CDs, and writing magazines. When my kids were little, we went to the library on a regular basis, especially on cold winter days. The kids would pick out a huge stack of picture books and we’d curl up in a cozy chair and read the stories out loud.
What’s your favorite thing about the library?
If you’d like to join the Thursday’s Children Blog Hop, or see what’s inspiring everyone else, click here to enter your link and view the list of blogs.