Have library card, will travel …

eldrege-libraryAnd I don’t mean that in a figurative “see the world from the comfort of your armchair” kind of way!  I’m talking about extending a big thank-you to the Eldredge Public Library in Chatham for letting us use their services when we were there on vacation.

All it took was filling out a short form and a glance at my driver’s license, then I was a card-carrying member of the C.L.A.M.S (Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing) inter-library network.  How cool is that?!

The kids borrowed books and movies, spent some time playing games on the computers in the children’s room, and even put on a couple puppet shows for me.

I had brought several (several dozen that is) books down with us, so I didn’t borrow any.  I did check out their extensive genealogical catalog online, and enjoyed a little quiet “alone time” when the kids had their noses buried in books.literary-road-trip

I don’t know if GalleySmith will allow me to hitch a ride on the Literary Road Trip bus with this post, but I’ll share a list from the library – novels that feature Chatham as the setting.  I love to read fiction set in a place I’m visiting, do you? Have you read any of these? I’ll have to get a few of these before our next visit:

  • Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors
  • Chatham School Affair by Thomas Cook
  • Stepping Stones by Roger Denk
  • Being Mrs. Alcott by Nancy Geary
  • Dying to Sea by Frank Heavey
  • Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
  • Lavender Hour by Anne LeClaire
  • The Friendship Test by Elizabeth Noble

chatham-licenseI understand that Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, lives in town.  I should have picked up a copy of her book when I was vacationing!  And the wish list continues to grow …

27 comments to Have library card, will travel …

  • I haven’t read a single one of the books you listed, unfortunately. I think I read quite a bit, but sometimes I feel so under-read!

  • Great post. I make a point to visit the indie bookshops when vacationing in one place but haven’t visited the local library. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Yes, I do love reading books set in places that I have visited. What a great idea to use the library on vacation! I’ll have to remember that.

  • How nice to know that they let you use the library while you were on vacation! I figured it wasn’t allowed, so I have never asked. Next time I’ll know to give it a try.

  • I haven’t read any of the books you listed. But I’m with you — fun to read books that are situated in places you’ve visited or know well. Nice post!

  • I’ve been to this library! This is where I met Lisa Genova when she had a book event. A wonderful experience (and Still Alice is a great book – one of my faves of the year so far). I think I’ve read another book that had a Chatham setting: An Unfinished Marriage by Joan Erickson (at least Cape Cod, anyway.)

  • I love checking out the local library whereever I am vacationing. Last year I went to Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho and went to both little towns’ libraries. It is a great way to learn more about a place, too. In Ketchum the wonderful librarian showed me all kinds of photos of Ernest Hemingway and his family and friends that you don’t see anywhere! Thanks for another wonderful posting, D

  • I had no idea they would let you do such a thing. Hmmm…note to self. I have found that if you can find a book whose setting is where you are visiting, it enhances your experience (both reading and vacation experience) tenfold!

    I don’t know exactly where you live, but are you threatened by Bill? I’ve had my share of hurricane trauma and will say a prayer that you are not in harms way!

  • I haven’t read any of the books you listed, but that library is awesome to let you borrow while on vacation. Wonderful. I bet that genealogy catalog was fantastic. Sounds like a good time was had by everyone.

  • I have never thought about visiting a library on vacation. I haven’t read any of the books you listed, either. Next time we go somewhere, who know when that’ll be, I will try to find some books that are set there. I don’t know why I’ve never done that.

  • I think it’s fantastic that this library allowed you guys to get cards and borrow books even though you were only visitors. Sadly not all libraries are so courteous.
    I am also hanging my head in shame as I haven’t read a single book from the list you provided.

  • Part of the reason I like to go to places twice is that I learn a lot about it after I’ve been there, and then I want to read the books and go back!

  • When we first retired and started traveling libraries around the country were the few places (at that time) where we could get internet access to check our emails and pay our bills. Small town libraries seemed to be the most generous with time and knowledge about the local area. I like hearing about your experience too.

  • Ti

    How nice of that library to extend their services to you even though you were not a local.

    I love to visit libraries that are not local to me. The small ones seem to offer the most support and the librarians seem to have the best knowledge and advice.

  • I love running across blogs that talk about libraries in vacation spots. Just spent some time looking at Catham on Google Earth. I now know where I want to go on our next vacation. So charming. I’ve only read Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark. It was one of my favorites of hers. I’m going to pick up a few of the others you listed so I can read them before taking my vacation. (Dreaming, don’t you know?! but dreams do come true.) I still can do the reading even if I never get there in person.

    If you ever visit Salt Lake City, UT you need to check out the downtown library. It’s not old and quaint but it is quite remarkable.

  • Kathy – I hear you on the reading lists! I often feel like I’m the only person who hasn’t read [insert title here!]

    Mary – we love to visit the local bookshops, too. I love the IndieBound iPhone app; it even gave me walking/driving directions.

    Amy – even if you’re not in a place long enough to bother with getting a card, the library is often a great source of local history & info

    Lit Housewife – I’m sure it depends on the town. I called a month or so before vacation to see if it was possible (and did I need to arrange it ahead of time). No, easy-peasy!

    Beth F – and the reverse holds true for me, too. If details about a place are way off, I get frustrated!

    Care – I’ve got to read STILL ALICE! Lucky you, to attend a reading.

    Denise – great point about the special collections at the local library – some have wonderful pieces of art, too. Sounds like you had a nice treat on that vacation.

    Sandy – I think we’re out of Bill’s path (but he’s on the move!), thanks for asking.

    Serena – One of my family names is ELDRIDGE, and ELDREDGE is a big name in Chatham … no connection that I know of.

    Carol – if you can’t find any books set in your vacation spot (Google?), try putting it out in a blog post.

    lilly – so many books, so little time …

    rhapsody – I like the way you justify a return vacation :)

    Margot – I imagine you can get a good feel for a town by how you’re treated as a visitor at the local library … do you find that to be true?

    Ti – Do you do this when vacationing, too?

    Booklogged – thanks for the tip on the SLC library … I’ve never been to that city. As a genealogist, I dream of visiting there some day (as you said, you’ve got to have dreams!)

  • How wonderful that they let you use their facilities while you were there! I think my local library has a similar policy, but you have to pay something like $90 for the privilege so it’s really only feasible if you’re staying in the area for a long, long time.

  • I always try to visit a library when touring a new town. Love the pictures Dawn.

  • can I come along on your next vacation? It sounds like my type of trip … I would have to fight hard to get my crew in a bookstore!

  • Wah! How come other people’s libraries are cooler than mine?

    And CLAMS? That’s just perfect…almost makes me want to move there. :-D

  • I love the idea of reading books about where you are. We are full-time RVers and have been so happily surprised that we’ve been able to use and check out books from local libraries in so many places where we’ve stayed. I’ve written a little about libraries and books, but not as well as you do! Plus I love the title of your blog — and can just hear my grandmother telling me that exact same thing. (a million years ago).

    (here from BPOTW)

  • Thanks for the idea of checking out libraries in towns one may visit. I will keep that in the back of my mind. Also, I like to visit new places and “new books” Thank you

  • Pam

    Visiting from BPOTW. As a confirmed book worm and Library Assistant I couldn’t resist reading your post this week. I also visit the libraries in places that I’m visiting. I’ve never thought to ask to check out any materials, however. I am a real library lover and I usually just like to look around and take pictures of the outside (especially of charming small town libraries or impressive looking European ones). And I must say, that the library I work in, does not allow vacationers to check out materials (of course, it’s not in a tourist town). We will allow long term temporary residents to get a card, however. And I, too, love to read books about places I’ve visited. It adds a whole new dimension to the story. Great post!

  • I would have never guessed you could do that on vacation. Thanks for the tip and heads up!

  • How nice that there is still a remnant of the ‘good ol’ days’ left in the world!

  • THat looks like the most adorable library ever! How cute?
    Sounds like a lovely experience and it’s great they were so friendly.

  • I’m a librarian, and I know that we try to accommodate visitors – why not? The most beautiful library I’ve seen in my travels is in Nyack, NY. It’s across the street from a house that Carson McCullers lived in.

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