I’m using my roommate’s laptop computer in the reading room of the ny public library. here’s what i’ll say about the NYPL, as expressed through the failings of people in this room with me:
far too many people have come here not to read books but to make weird, unnecessary eye contact with other people as they try to read books or look at the internet.
if you don’t have your own laptop or that of an associate, you are SOL. you get, in my experience, 30 minutes of computer time (just IE time, actually, you can’t use any other program) for every 1.5 hours of waiting. and while i’m complaining about computers, this computer has an annoying habit of arbitrarily relocating the cursor while you are typing. so if there are random words scattered around or this narrative (such as it is) seems a bit disjointed, i have an excuse.
Another problem i would point out, at least as far as the main branch of the NYPL is concerned, is that you can’t actually look for books yourself, as far as I can tell. you have to bring your books to a counter and then some guy or robot goes and gets it out of what must be a scrooge-mcduck like pool filled with books. it could also be that i don’t really understand how one gets a book out of this branch of the library. i mentioned this because i am going to find and read a copy of Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick. and I had hoped this library might have been more willing to provide me with a copy at little to no charge. today’s failure to get the Guralnick taken into account, we are left to the not terrible booby prize of finishing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which is very good but almost is setting my brain on fire and making me feel like dying.
Speaking of, (feeling like dying) I’ve made some really epochal progress in that realm in the past two weeks. my apologies to anyone who has gotten to exprience my moaning and wailing in that period. Getting a job, or just being given job-like sums of money by kind-hearted smallscale philanthropists, would probably solve the problem entirely. As it is I need to find a way to make ends meet for the immediate future. I suppose I should probably go to a temp agency forthwith, and I suppose I will, but I dont suppose that Im going to get any more dignified or bright-eyed anywhere in the process. more later when i get more internet time.