Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I've been up to

Stacks at the Cincinnati Mercantile Library

As you might have noticed, Dear Readers, I've been absent from the blog this past week-and-a-half.  Don't worry, nothing's wrong, I've just been trying (frantically) to wrap up some writing related stuff before May 30.  Otherwise known as D-Day in the Knipper household.  Elsewhere, it's probably known simply as The Last Day of School. 

If you don't have kids, you might not understand why this date strikes fear into my heart.  Well, let me explain it.  Kids at home = no writing for me.  Kids at school = I get to write. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids.  They are without a doubt the best part of my life.  However, kids are black holes of neediness.  I can't accomplish anything if they are home.  I think sitting in front of my computer trying to write sends out some kind of signal (you know, like a high-pitched whistle only dogs can hear.)  As soon as my fingers touch the keyboard, they're at my elbow, with skinned knees, boy problems, or important updates on Dragon Vale. 

Needless to say, my work suffers in the summer.  So I'm trying to cram in as much as possible now.  My editor has my revisions and I probably won't hear back from her for a few weeks, so I'm working on the second novel.  Which means research.  Which means library time.  Which is where I've been the past several days. 

Lucky for me, we live near some great libraries.  Including the Cincinnati Mercantile Library.  Oh my goodness.  If you live anywhere near Cincinnati, you have to check it out.  Really.  It's like walking into Hogwarts.  (The picture at the beginning of this post is of the stacks.  I don't know if you can tell, but the call numbers are hand written in on little chalk boards.) 

It's in downtown Cincinnati, on the top two floors of the Mercantile building.  You walk into the building and there's a bank of elevators.  It looks like any other city office building until you notice an elevator tucked into the left corner of the room.  Look up and you see a sign that reads: Express Elevator to the Library. 

As if a private elevator to the library isn't fantastic enough, this small library is full of really old books.  And if you're a member, you get to take them home!  Look what I found last week:

I don't know if you can tell but the date is 1889.  Before me, the last person who checked out this book did so in 1931.  That's 81 years ago.

This is where my inner geek shows.  I get excited about this kind of thing.  But then, I suppose you do too, otherwise you wouldn't be here.

Anyway, I'm going back to the Mercantile Library later this week, and I'll try to get a picture of the elevator.  Because really, a library with its own private express elevator--how cool is that?


  1. That's so cool! I once saw a first edition of Darwin's The Origin of the Species, but I wasn't allowed to touch it (though admittedly, that may say more about me than about the delicacy of the book).

    And I didn't realize you were from Ohio. Though I live in SoCal, I'm actually from Bowling Green. Small world!

  2. It is isn't it? I actually live in Kentucky, but we're just across the river from Cincinnati. We have the best of both worlds! Small towns and big cities.

    Are you in Bowling Green, OH or KY? My grandmother lived in Bowling Green, KY for several years.

    1. Oops! I always forget the fact that Cincinnati is so close to KY.

      I'm actually from Bowling Green, Ohio. But I've heard a lot about Bowling Green, KY. We once had some people rob a bank in Bowling Green, Ohio and get caught in Bowling Green, KY. It was really quite poetic. ;)

  3. I used to fantasize (as a child) on finding a really old book that no one had read tucked away in the dark corners of a library. I'd pretend it bestowed magical powers.

    1. Oh my goodness! I used to do the same thing. (Okay, if I'm truthful, there's no "used to" about it. I still do it....)