David Cherry's blog

Every Day is Take Your Child to the Library Day

Mom and child reading at the librarymom and child sharing a bookThere are the big ones: your first kiss, your first car, your first paycheck; then there are the somewhat lesser firsts that somehow you remember just as well and almost as fondly. For a lot of Harris County Public Library’s customers, their first visit to a library is one of those. There’s something about a library that kids understand without much explaining. Children just naturally get the idea that books are made to be shared, and that life is full of possibilities, and that somehow those two notions are related.

We at Harris County Public Library think eve...

Need Help with the Kindle, Nook, or iPad Santa Brought? eReader FAQs and Support Are a Click Away.

Santa and eReader a la Vanna White

So Santa left you an eReader or tablet under the tree this year and you’re really excited because nothing sounds better to you right now than escaping the holiday hullaballoo into a good book, but you’ve never owned one that came with a user’s manual before.

Whether you just have general questions about downloading free eBooks and eAudiobooks from Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Catalog, or need step-by-step instructions in plain English, we have you covered with online FAQs and support, and if you would prefer a little face-to-face help, HCPL staff at all 26 branches can provide i...

Christmas for Curmudgeons, Or: How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love the Holidays

A flock of scroogesAnybody who’s been reading this blog at all regularly has picked up on, I’m sure, a certain misanthropic bent running just below its surface like a sewer line, and, for the most part, it’s not an act. Chances are pretty good that if I’m awake, I’m ranting. So you would think that this time of year would be my time to shine (so to speak) with all its factory-made good cheer and it’s nauseatingly first-world problems, but it’s not. The holidays are when the amateurs, the pikers, the poseurs and the part-time grumps come out to let us all know what wrong-headed sheep we are. In the last thirty or forty years, bah-humbugging has become an industry unto itself, and it’s gotten to the point now that the complaints against the holidays have become as raggedly clich&eacut...

Words in the Air: Poetry on Audio

Caedmon in stained glassAs most of us know, listening to poetry is nothing new. Poetry started out in the audio format. Rhyme and meter and many other poetic conventions were essentially mnemonic devices to help itinerant poets keep the story going so that they might earn a place by the fire for the night. Back then, a poet couldn’t read his stuff off the page making minimal eye-contact with the audience like we do now. For one thing, until relatively recently, there were no pages to read off of. For another, after getting conked on the head by a flying tankard or turkey leg hurled by some philistine in chain mail, poets figured out it paid to keep their hands free and their eyes peeled.

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A Heap o' Holiday Cheer: Programs for All Ages @ Your Library

Original illustrations from Dicken's A Christmas CarolChances are good that at some point between now and the ceremonial breaking of the first New Year's resolution, each and every one of us will temporarily give in to the bah-humbuggery that is as much a part of the season as the mistletoe, the eggnog and the annual Black Friday Feast of Immaculate Consumption. It’s natural and nothing to be ashamed of. A Christmas Carol remains so popular not because we are a nation of Tiny Tims, but because we all have at least a little Scrooge in us and we want to be reminded of the fact before the ghosts start waking us up at all hours to go flitting around the space-time cont...

Get the Scoop on your Favorite Reads with NextReads Newsletters

NextReads Logo What if we told you that you can get the latest news about the hottest titles and trends in the world of books delivered to your email inbox? What if that news was focused on just the type of books you like to read--whether that be romance, mystery, historical fiction, or other genre? What if it was compiled by the people who wrote the book on recommending books? What if all of it came in a spiffy, quick-reading newsletter format? What if signing up for the service took only seconds and it was all absolutely free?

We’re guessing you would say something like, “Golly gee, that sounds super!”

It is. It really is.


Can't wait to get started? Visit our NextReads Newsletter Subscription page...

Scary Monsters, Super Creeps: Poets Behaving Badly (or Not).

When Nosferatu's ShadowRimbaud was introduced to the leading lights of Parisian poetry, he managed to alienate dang near every one of them within minutes. After the group's tres gentile dinner, each poet stood and read his verse aloud. Rimbaud listened more or less politely for a time, then pronounced each man's poem...um...not good. Actually, he used a scatological term more appropriate to the barnyard than to a literary salon. That it turns out his assessment was by and large correct, makes it no less rude.

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Free Film Screenings with a Modern Day Marco Polo

HCPL hosts filmmaker Francis O’Donnell and free screenings of his Emmy®
Nominated Documentary, In the Footsteps of Marco Polo.

Still Photo from the documentary: In the Footsteps of Marco PoloWhat happens when two ordinary guys—one working as a wedding photographer, the other a former Marine turned artist--decide they need a little adventure in their lives? If they are Denis Belliveau and Francis O’Donnell, a 25,000 mile trek across Eurasia retracing the journey of 13th Century adventurer Marco Polo, and a PBS documentary that earns an

Fat Chance / Slim Chance: Random Thoughts on Randomness

Spin by Conor OgleI’ve been thinking a lot about the randomness of the universe lately…well, the randomness of my little corner of it anyway. When I was a kid I saw connections everywhere I looked. Odd events really did come in threes, knocking on wood was a sovereign corrective for unintentional hubris, and an involuntary shiver really did mean someone had just walked over my grave.

Now, I just see accident.

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