4/12/2015

20+ Ways to Amuse Yourself at the Public Library

I personally can't imagine ever running out of things to do at the library, but in honor of library week (2nd week in April), here's a tongue-in-cheek list of non-traditional ways to amuse yourself at the public library.
  1. Reposition books so that their names form sentences; ex., insert a copy of Forest in between two copies of Run.
  2. Wait until no one is watching. Turn all the nonfiction books about ghosts upsidedown
  3. Spray perfume between the pages of a romance book
  4. Leave mysterious notes pressed between the pages of particularly dated tests: ex., "Things to research: how much arsenic in rat poison? will coffee cover taste? what is fatal dose?"
  5. Pair wine books with cheese books
  6. Find out if anyone with your name has written a book. Volunteer to sign copies.
  7. Turn all the mysteries backwards, so their titles can't be seen
  8. Juxtaposition suggestive titles and abandon them at carols for the librarians to find; ex., Estate Law and Infamous Poisoning Trials; Teach Yourself to Fly and Managing Your Alcoholism; Spotting Forgeries and a newspaper article about that painting that recently sold for $16.8M
  9. Tear out the final chapter of the mystery books
  10. Replace all the books on the "We Recommend" shelf with your own recommendations
  11. Find the microfiche files for old newspapers and look up what was happening in the world exactly 100 years ago
  12. Find a college SAT prep book and take a practice test to see what you'd get now
  13. Browse the foreign language book section and teach yourself how to say something useless in various different languages; ex., "The father of my brother likes yams."
  14. Interlace desert cookbooks among the weight loss books
  15. Ask someone to watch your computer for a minute while you go to the bathroom. See how long it takes before they start looking pissed off
  16. Find a librarian and ask them if they can help you find "that book that was so popular a few years ago ... you think it had a blue cover ..."
  17. Remove all the books from the "New Fiction" section and replace them with tragically dated volumes from the '60s or '70s.
  18. Rearrange books on a shelf so that the first letters of their titles form an acronym; ex., "youareanerd"
  19. Invent a question so obscure, even the reference librarian can't figure it out
  20. Turn a study carol into a book display that pays homage to a bemusing passion; ex., beekeeping, pirate romances, or the history of gloves
  21. Play library bingo. Items to include on your card:
    1. child meeting with tutor
    2. homeless person sleeping
    3. child with stack of picture books taller than themselves
    4. someone furtively watching pron on library computer
    5. patron arguing that they turned in that overdue book "months ago"
    6. senior citizen reading something in large print


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