Just call me a bibliophile…

There are few things I love more in the world than books. I am like a kid in a candy store when I visit the library or a bookstore. I have been having a love affair with books and libraries my entire life. As a child, I would ride, walk or take the bus across town to the Council Bluffs Library. I remember the smell of wet newspapers with great fondness. The library basement use to flood from time to time and the newspapers would get damp and the entire library smelled like wet papers all the time. That awful smell is at the root of many of my fondest childhood memories.

The Council Bluffs Library system acquired a book mobile-a large bus with shelves filled with books.  This was a very happy day for me.  The mobile library came within blocks of my house filled with the promise of adventures, new friends and places to explore.

I first moved to Des Moines in 1993.  As I was looking for a place to live, I was sold by Civic Center Court Apartments in part because of the Des Moines Public Library just across the street.  There was much to do in order to settle into a new city but one of the first things I did was to sign up for my library card.  I have used that card thousands of times for books, magazines, digital books, maps, CDS, movies and experiences.

A few years ago, I received a call from the library asking if they could pass on my name to the Des Moines Register.  The Register was hoping to do a story on SUPER READERS.  They went on to explain to me that they had run a list to inquire which users had checked out the most items.  I was third on the list.  For most people, this would not have been a big deal, but for me it was like receiving an Oscar or Pulitzer.

I spent so much time at the library that Mayor Preston Daniels asked me to be a Des Moines Public Library Trustee.  I spent twelve years on the Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees.

My girls have grown up at the library.  There is not a week that goes by that I don’t utilize the library.  I have long been a believer that the public library system in this country is the greatest gift to all of us.

My 50 at 50 list contains three different items that are tied to my love of my books.  Over Spring Break – we went to Nashville Tennessee.  Part of our trip included visiting Independently-owned book stores.  We visited five different stores- one in Nashville, two in St Louis Missouri, one in Kansas City Missouri and one in Kansas City, Kansas.  Each store possessed its very own focus and personality.  I was most excited to visit Parnassus Books in Nashville because it is owned by one of my favorite authors-Ann Patchett. In Greek mythology Mount Parnassus was the home of literature, learning, and music.  The store boasts many visiting authors and a large selection of Tennessee authors. 

We travel quite a bit and I know that as I am planning visits to cities, countries, states and towns that I am going to continue visiting independent bookstores wherever my path takes me. 

The List…

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.