Friday, September 17, 2010

Library Loot: Inspiration

It's still too damn hot to make a proper visit to my library, but I can't stay away completely. Heather inspired me to climb those 118 steps a couple of days ago and brave the heat once more. In a recent post, she wrote about how she and her husband DNFed The Red Badge of Courage. Yep, they made Stephen Crane pack his Naturalist bags and exit their audiobook world.

In a flash of what seems to be reverse psychology, I was inspired, seeing a chance to tackle two challenges at once -- the Support Your Local Library Challenge and the Book/Movie Challenge. As luck would have it, my son bought me the 1951 film version starring Audie Murphy for Mother's Day last year and I haven't watched it yet. I also figured that wouldn't hurt me to do a reread since I read this book rather hurriedly in 1986 when I took Dr. Larry Shanahan's American Novel class.

Furthermore -- not that this influenced my decision or anything -- The Red Badge of Courage was published in 1895, which I was sure would make my Tough & Cool Inner BookSnob happy. Instead of a delighted squeal of thanks, all I heard some snide murmuring about how Crane's first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets was published two years earlier. Oh, Tuffi, stick it in your bustle! Bookbitch.
Navigating swiftly in the stifling stacks, I located the sole copy of The Red Badge of Courage at my library. This printing has Korean footnotes explaining particular (or peculiar) expressions in the novel. They're a little distracting, but I'll manage:

Note in the picture below that I wasn't exaggerating about the 118 steps. Now you can fully understand why I prefer to be greeted with air-conditioning when I get to the top, but I'll put up with pretty much anything...because...because... I love you, Library! Let's hug -- after the heat wave, of course.


Stephanie said...

Holy crap that is a lot of steps!

Michele said...

I love your library stories...especially in the summer, tee hee.

Teacher/Learner said...

Poor Bybee...that takes a lot of willpower to climb those steps & brave the heat all for the love of a library :oD

Eva said...

Ummmm...those steps look evil! Especially when you're carrying a load of books!

More power to you with Stephen Crane...I had to read Red Badge of Courage in high school and loathed it. But maybe I'd appreciate it more now!

Yay for the reappearance of Tuffi! :D

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I'm just thinking of climbing those stairs with a full bag of books to return...ouch.

Cat said...

Oh my - I can't imagine having to climb all those steps every time I felt like a library visit.

jenclair said...

Climbing those steps should do away with any rumors that readers are literary couch potatoes!