Tag Archives: bookaneering

Even Pirates Need Vacations

This past weekend was Labor Day, where we honor the hard workers everywhere by not working at all! I was lucky enough to get a three-day weekend (thanks, government job with union benefits!) and traveled with my dad to the northern part of the South for a good old-fashioned family reunion.

We left Saturday morning, and headed toward Norfolk, Virginia for our first stop at my dad’s aunt and uncle’s house. I slept a lot of the way up, including when we passed “South of the Border”, a tourist attraction between South and North Carolina. We’ve never stopped there, but the billboards for it start about 160 miles south, and have silly sayings like “You never sausage a place! (You’re always a wiener at Pedro’s!)” Most of our trip consisted of singing loudly to the radio and jamming with air instruments, telling each other bad jokes, and reading the weird billboards.

Around 3:30pm, we “tuned in” to the Florida football game via the ESPN gamecast feature on dad’s smartphone. I get my passion for Florida sports mostly from my dad (he is also an alum) and I was in charge of reporting the play-by-play as he drove. There were a lot of agonizing moments as we waited for the page to refresh (not much 3G in the wilderness of North Carolina) and we made it to Virginia just in time to catch the fourth quarter. Aunt J watched us in amazement as we alternated between cheers and despair as the game ended and Florida squeaked out a win. Then we had a delicious dinner of chicken penne with veggies and watched more football until it was time for bed. In the morning we went for a run, and then out to brunch with Aunt J and Uncle G, and J’s daughter T and her husband C. Tragically, I left my beloved firm pillow at Aunt J’s, and it was not discovered missing until we were well on the way to North Carolina and the big reunion party. She did say she will mail it to me, for which I am eternally grateful! Thanks, Aunt J!

Sunday was the day of the reunion. We headed down into North Carolina and the Currituck Sound, to a house on the water that’s called “The Cottage”.

You Are Here

A map of where we were, complete with “You Are Here” sticker.

I haven’t been to visit this side of my family in about 14 years, and many I had never met, so I was a little nervous. However, everyone was incredibly welcoming and we all had a really great time telling stories, looking at old photos, eating awesome food and swimming and boating in the sound. Aunt B told me that she reads my blog and thinks it’s funny (Hi, B!) and my second cousin (?) M may come down for the 5K I’m running in November! I also bonded with some of the younger generation there, though we couldn’t quite figure out how we were related. We settled on the idea that I am their cousin-aunt and they are my cousin-nieces, because they are my father’s cousin’s daughter’s step-daughters. (confusing!) There were about fifty people in all, and we got a lot of photos that I can’t wait to see. Dad and I were the only ones there from our branch of the family, so we hammed it up a bit and took some silly pictures.

We stayed that night at the Cottage, then in the morning had a truly outstanding breakfast of homemade biscuits with sausage gravy and strawberry preserves. Then we hit the road to drive back to Florida.

The Cottage

The Cottage, featuring “Wild Dog” Cafe

On the way back I fell asleep again for the middle of the trip, including the way back through South of the Border (someday, Pedro!). There were a few great highlights though, including passing by a high school in Camden County, NC, that has a sign on their football field that said “Welcome to the SWAMP” (A little taste of home!) The school’s mascot, however, was the Bruins? Dad and I then scared ourselves with the idea of swamp-bears. Horrifying. In Elizabeth City, NC, we passed a billboard for a pizza place called “Itza Boutza Pizza”, which Dad found a lot funnier than I did. Dad also kept trying to come up with alternate definitions for “bookaneer”, like “when you schedule time for someone to listen to you, you book-an-ear”. Very funny, Dad. *eye-roll* I told him my favorite pirate joke: “What’s a pirate’s favorite movie rating? PG Thirrrteeeen” (Thanks for that goes to my old friend RO) I’ve got jokes too!

The trip was very relaxing, and it was nice to get away from the internet for a few days (though I did miss you, bookaneers!) Of course, getting back into the swing of things at the library today was lots of fun, since we were closed for Labor Day we had what seemed like three times the usual number of book drops and returns. It was a madhouse all day and the afternoon flew by. My favorite kind of day at the library!

Next time: bizarre tales, as promised, as well as some cute. Now I will leave you with an awesome picture of a beautiful place.

Sunrise over the Currituck Sound

Sunrise over the Currituck Sound. Gorgeous.

Keep bookaneering!



Filed under Outside the Library

Patron Interactions

I am “on desk” for most of my day at the library. The LA’s (library assistants) are the ones who run the check-out and returns/reserve pick-up desks. This means that I talk to pretty much all the patrons at one point or another during their visit to our beautiful library. Here are a few short stories of my patron interactions for the last week or so.

Story One:

A very nice young couple comes into the library every few days to check out DVDs. I’ve spoken with the woman a few times since it is her card that they use, but the man is usually silent. They both have lots of tattoos, and she is petite, while he is very tall and has blond dreads and facial hair. The other day when they came in, I mentioned my opinion about one of the films they were returning, and he responded, and we spoke for a few minutes. I was surprised to learn that he has quite a severe stutter! No wonder he rarely talks! I never expected a tall, “tatted-up” guy with dreads to have a speech impediment, which just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover! (groan)

Story Two:

A teenage girl came to the desk with a stack of about 12 YA books. I gave her an impressed look, and she gave me a sheepish grin, saying “I like to read a lot. Like, a lot.” “Me, too,” I replied with a smile. I told her that when I was younger, when I got in trouble, I wouldn’t be sent to my room or denied TV time, but my parents would take my books away from me. A look of horror crept over her face and she cried “That’s…that’s just wrong!” I agreed that it was cruel and unusual. (Thanks, mom and dad!)

Story Three:

I frequently amuse myself by balancing books and other materials on my head and walking around the lobby area. I have very good posture and it makes people smile, so I don’t see anything wrong with it. A little girl came in with her father and saw me with a stack of DVDs on my head as I walked through the otherwise empty lobby to put them on the rack. I heard a “Daddy, look!” and I turned around and smiled at her. Her dad said something like “Pretty cool, huh?” I bent down and told the little girl conspiratorially that I was practicing to be a princess. She giggled and the two of them went downstairs. My coworker LL rolled her eyes at me and I informed her that I AM a princess, but it’s a very small country so she’s probably never heard of it. She laughed and we went back to work. (I am a pirate princess!)

Story Four:

An older gentleman dropped some books off at the returns desk. I thought he looked familiar, and so I checked his name as I started checking in his material. Sure enough, it was an old professor of mine from my undergrad days! I had Dr. R for an audiology class one summer, and it was one of the best classes I ever had. He had a great sense of humor and was a really great teacher. As it happened, I was on the check-out desk when he came up, and I asked him if he remembered me. He said he did and asked what I had been up to. I told him I had graduated and was working full time at the library and was hoping to start grad school in the spring. I asked how he’d been and he told me he had retired and was spending a lot of time in South Florida with his grandchildren, and was working on writing a book! When I asked what it was about he said it involves Jewish music during the Diaspora. He said he’s been spending a lot of time in the UF library (which has an excellent Judaica collection) and not as much in the public library, though he was checking out about eight mystery novels so I guess he has some time to relax and read a good book!


I’ve got a couple more stories but I think I’ll save them for another post. They are both kind of in the bizarre tag and this post is running a bit long so I’ll put them together and post again soon!

Keep bookaneering!


Filed under At the Library

Rain, Rain, Feel Free To Hang Out Awhile

So we’ve been canoeing around town the last couple of days here in Gainesville. The rain has been coming in fits and starts of torrential downpour and we’ve been under a Flash Flood Warning since yesterday. The worst part was when I was trying to run errands yesterday and got a flat tire. The rain fortunately stopped while the nice AAA tech was putting on the donut, but it started up again almost immediately afterward and I had to wait for almost two hours at the tire place to get the patch put on. We are expecting more rain for the rest of the week, and there is a tropical depression in the Caribbean right now that will probably bring more rain by week’s end. The best part is that it’s been under 80 degrees all day and it’s been GLORIOUS. The air smells like fall and I’m really enjoying the cooler weather. Normally it would be about 115 and drier than a desert this time of year so I will appreciate the cool and damp while I’ve got it.

Meanwhile, I did a search for The Bookaneer on Google just to see what I’d find. I knew that I wasn’t the only Bookaneer out there, as there is at least one store and another blog by the same name. Much to my surprise, there is also a sketch from a Sesame Street episode, where a Bookaneer Captain (played by Tina Fey) leads some Muppets (including a salty dog, haha), along with Elmo, on a search for the treasure found in books amid the shelves of the Sesame Street Library! A pirate after my own heart!


(As a note, that link leads to the Muppets Wiki, where I lost at least an hour and a half of time link-chasing through all the different entries. Click at your own risk!)

I’m so glad to know that I’m on the same page as Sesame Street which is a show that was incredibly influential in my wee pirate days (along with Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood). Keep pirating along, Bookaneers! Books hold the greatest treasures of all!

1 Comment

Filed under Outside the Library

That Awkward Moment…

I was talking with my coworker (whom we shall call LB) and swapping silly patron tales. She’s been doing this a LOT longer than I have and has some really great stories! I was telling her about my blog and she gave me a story to share.

In the first few weeks of her employment as an LA (self-professed to be about a zillion years ago), she was answering the phones when she got a call from a patron who asked her quite seriously, “What books do you have?” LB very politely told the caller that they had many different kinds of books, could they be more specific? I told her that I would have said “All of them.”

We have lots of delightful patrons at the library (both in the sarcastic sense and in the genuine sense) but I feel closest to the ones that I bond with over books, music, or other topics. There is a young girl (we’ll call her DR) who comes in on a weekly basis with her mother and brother. The first time I saw her, I complimented her on her book choices. The next week she was back, and she very shyly asked if I was there every Friday. “Tuesday through Saturday!” I replied cheerfully. She said that she remembered my necklace. I asked her about the books she was checking out, since they were mostly about art. DR told me that she was taking the art class they were offering at the library. Now whenever she comes in, we wave at each other and talk about books and art together. She’s only 13 or so, and she reminds me a lot of myself at her age: shy, unsure of herself, but with a hidden awesomeness that is just waiting to burst through. As I told LB, I was really awkward in middle school, and in high school. Then I laughed and added that I guess I am still pretty awkward!

Last for the day, the ever popular Moment of Cute: I had a little girl, probably around age 8, and her mother come up to the check-out desk with a basket filled to the brim with books. They were all Juvenile fiction, and I asked the girl in an impressed voice if all those books were for her? She nodded vigorously, but didn’t say a word. I said, “Wow! You’re going to read all these books?” Another vigorous nod. Her mother added, “probably in a couple of weeks, too.” “You must really like reading!” I said, with a smile at her mother. Yet another fierce nod, lips still sealed. “Me too,” I replied, a big grin on my face. She smiled back. I wanted to tell her to read all should could, to devour everything she can find, that it would give her knowledge and knowledge is power and the more she reads the more powerful she becomes. I didn’t though, because I think that might be a little intense for an 8-year-old,  much less her parent, and the result might be a little TOO awkward! (I really hope she keeps that love of reading for life)
Stay tuned for more bookaneering!

Leave a comment

Filed under At the Library

We’ve Got Jokes

Yesterday, we had an LA meeting (where we discussed the Canada Problem, as everyone else now calls it, thanks to me), that included a tour of the third floor. The third floor at the Headquarters Library is Adult Services and the Teen Area, and they’ve been doing a massive revamp of the layout, as well as putting down new carpet and painting everywhere. It looks really great, though things are still a little out of order and confusing. Fortunately (unfortunately) it is no longer my job to keep the stacks organized, so I don’t have to deal with that headache (though I do kind of miss it). We’ve switched the Fiction and Non-fiction collections, bringing the more popular fiction collection to the front of the floor, while less-popular non-fiction is being relegated to the back stacks. In order to make this happen, we hired a moving company that only deals in the shifting of library collections, so our poor pages don’t have to break their backs trying to move everything around. They seem to be doing a fair job, and at least they are fast (though according to our tour guide they are not precisely very accurate).

After our meeting I was playfully (falsely) accused of flirting with the movers (scandal!), and I cracked the joke that I could use a bad library pick-up line such as “Hey baby, I hope you’re in a circulating collection because I’d like to CHECK you out!” I was promptly told that I was fired. I responded with “Hey baby, what’s your call number?” Groans ensued from everyone. Personally, I think a corny library pick-up line would probably work on me. Anyone got any to share?

Speaking of jokes, I was talking with my dad on the phone the other night and he came up with several great (awful) pirate-related library jokes! For example: What does a pirate librarian put on their Jolly Roger? A skull and cross-references!

I’ll post again soon!

Leave a comment

Filed under At the Library

Yo ho ho!

Hello, and welcome to TheBookaneer.net! I am the Bookaneer, and the idea behind this blog is to share my adventures as a Library Assistant in my local public library. The name comes from my superhero alter-ego Marina (doesn’t everyone have a superhero alter-ego?), who is a pirate who sails the seven seas looking for books, because knowledge, of course, is the true treasure.

Today is Book Lover’s Day! As a known Book Lover, I thought it would be incredibly appropriate to start a blog about libraries on such a nice holiday. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do, and I can’t wait to start sharing all of the delightful stories I collect every day. Won’t you join me?

1 Comment

Filed under Welcome