I love my local library.
Whenever I get stressed out, or when I need to take a break from my computer, or even when I just need to unwind for a few, I go to my local library.
I have been doing this ever since I was about ten or eleven, when I really began to enjoy reading. I had no real friends to speak of while growing up, so the library became the next best thing to being my friend.
I would go there and peruse the aisles of books, looking for something that peaked my curiosity. Even at that young age, the genres I would read were clearly defined and for the most part, have stayed that way thirty-five years later.
My favorite genres then were non-fiction and true crime. Still are to this day, although most of the true crime stuff that has been published for the past fifteen years has been more pop-culture oriented than anything else, therefore in my opinion, suck. Because of this, I have branched out into sub-genres of true crime that are really more suited for the college classroom than for regular consumption. As for non-fiction, I was more into historical non-fiction while growing up, but quickly branched out into other types.
Of all the non-fiction I've read (even today), there are two from the 80's that still stand out that I would highly recommend for reading today. One deals with Hollywood (no, not Ken Archer), specifically child actors. Richard Moore was a child actor in the late 30's/early 40's, who appeared in the Our Gang/Little Rascals comedy shorts. He went by the stage name of Dickie Moore, and usually played a clean cut rich kid. Anyways, his autobiography (which I thought was pretty good) was called "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, But Don't Have Sex or Take The Car". The title alone is what grabbed me to begin with.
The other one was autobiographical in nature as well. If you remember when Judge Judy first came on the scene, she had written a book I think shortly after her t.v. career took off. In it, she chronicled her days as a Family Court judge in New York. Again, I thought it was a good book and again, the title was what grabbed me to begin with. It was called, "Don't Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It's Raining."
The other genres I got into as I got older: westerns, fantasy, historical fiction, regular fiction and mystery, were ones that I explored in more detail in the following years, once those two initial genres started to wear out their welcome.
Nowadays, the first thing I do when I enter the library is make a beeline to the new title section. There I find most of the above mentioned genres that I frequently like to read. After checking out the new titles, the next thing I like to do is wander the aisles to see what I can find that interests me, which of late is becoming harder and harder to do.
After doing that for anywhere from ten minutes to a half hour (great way to lose yourself), I wind up calling it day, because as stated in the previous paragraph, trying to find something that interests me is becoming harder to do.
Most of the time lately, I leave with nothing to show for my efforts beyond having clean slate to start with again. I'm usually able to purge out whatever stress is bothering me, and I leave the library refreshed, rejuvenated and recharged.
So a question for everyone here is: What is your favorite thing to do at the library and does it help you to relax?