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Male Literacy
or
Why Men Should Join a Library

I was recently told by a friend that a male acquaintance of his "...has never married, although he enjoys female company. He seems to prefer joining a library to buying a book." 

This struck me as a colourful analogy and provoked some unprecedented thinking. As a result, I offer the following observations on this literary topic with neither apology nor further explanation:-

There are many advantages to joining a library:-

  • Library costs are far more reasonable than those of a book shop. More book for your buck.
  • If you start reading a book borrowed from the library, only to find that you're not really enjoying it, you can return it without even bothering to finish it. And, most importantly, without feeling guilty.
  • You can borrow all kinds of books that you would never dream of buying - even if you could afford them.
  • If you enjoy a particular library book you can pass it on to your pals without having to worry about losing it.
  • You can have the latest glamorous "coffee table" books on display in your home without bankrupting yourself.
  • If the fancy takes you, it's easy to borrow a cheap paperback thriller from the library for an occasional change.
  • You can always have a quick browse in a corner of the library to see if a book is really worth borrowing. In fact most libraries actively encourage it by providing comfortable accommodation.
  • You don't necessarily have to take a library book home with you. If you're a quick reader, or if its an inconsequential book, you can finish it off there and then.
  • If you think you can handle them there's nothing to stop you borrowing several library books at once.
  • When you're ill in bed, you can ask one of your pals to pop into the library and pick up something for you.
  • And he can take it back to the library when you're finished with it.
  • You can even ask your more reliable pals if they think a particular book is worth borrowing from the library.
  • One week you can borrow "Car Maintenance at Home" and the next "Needlework for Fun and Profit" - and its nobody's business but yours.
  • If your library book is overdue it's no big deal. Payment of a trivial fine will solve the problem.
  • If you can't find what you're looking for, your friendly librarian is always on hand to assist.
  • If the library hasn't got what you want, they'll get it for you.
  • If they can't get it for you, it's probably because it just doesn't exist.
  • When a book becomes old and tattered it's the librarian's problem.
  • If you're a speed reader with a voracious appetite, you can borrow as many books as you want from the library as often as you want.
  • Your thirsts for knowledge and entertainment will be much easier to quench in a library.
  • Libraries cater for all tastes - so you should eventually find something that satisfies you.
  • As you mature and your tastes change, so you can simply move to a different section of the library.

At the same time there are also disadvantages to joining a library...

  • A library is not open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Copyright 2001 Barry Downs

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