Thanks for visiting. We aren't actively blogging here anymore. Please visit us on our new site.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Isn't It Romantic?

Valentine's Day
is one holiday guaranteed to prove whether you are a lover or a fighter. No one can deny that an entire segment of the retail industry has flourished because of this observance - greeting cards, those inexplicably omnipresent and yet tasteless candy hearts, chocolates in enormous, heart-shaped boxes, glow-in-the-dark roses and fuzzy wuzzy teddy bears...Valentine's inspires the shopper in us, but tastefulness is not necessarily part of the scenario! Since the nature of romantic relationships is fleeting and often filled with heartbreak, it's not surprising that an anti-Valentine market has sprung up as well. (Don't believe me? Check out "Bittersweets," touted as "Valentine's Day Candy for the Rest of Us.")

Being something of a hopeless romantic myself, I was curious to find out where my library colleagues stood on this whole Valentine's thing. I sent out an All Staff memo, inquiring about my coworkers' favorite love stories and love songs. Given the small number of responses I received, I guess library folks fall more into the "fighter" category. :) Still, I thought I'd share the favorite love stories and songs of our library staff with you and encourage you lovers out there to send in your own choices. Since the hottest book search subject in the city of Des Plaines is, you guessed it, Love stories, I know there are some romantics out there! Don't let me down!

For those of you weighing in on the cynical side, you may enjoy the video available up at the top of this post. It's definitely a 21st century look at love with all its pitfalls and flaws. So, feeling ironic this February 14th? Watch our video. (Watch it anyway - it should make you laugh.) Feeling idealistic? Read on for our favorite love stories, then type in your own in our "Comments" section. By the way, the blue links below will take you to those items in our Library Catalog - place a hold, pick up your item and share our faves with us! We'll tackle our favorite love songs later this week - after all, we don't want to spoil all the romance in just one day.

Love Stories: I really thought a building full of LIBRARIANS would come up with some classic love stories, but alas, submissions were few. And how's this for strange: our new Head of Public Information, Heather Imhoff, chose the same novel I would have picked, Possession: A Romance by English author A.S. Byatt! (Heather knows greatness when she sees it, which makes me doubly glad we have her on board.) Since I don't want to seem a copycat, I will also nominate Emily Brontë's Gothic masterpiece,Wuthering Heights and a contemporary favorite, Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. Hmmm. I seem to like my love with a heaping helping of "doomed."

A different member of the Bronte family, Charlotte Brontë, wrote the novel Jane Eyre, the choice of Readers' Services staffer Laura Adler. Youth Services Librarian Kelli Phillips says that her choice is Dr. Zhivago, a novel by Boris Pasternak made into a classic film starring Omar Sharif. Even the name Omar Sharif sounds romantic, doesn't it? Marge Scholl, in our Administrative Services area, admires a real life love story, that of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and George VI. Bowes-Lyon is better known to all the world as Britain's beloved Queen Mother Elizabeth, who passed away in 2002 at the age of 101.

One thing I never expected: that our male staff members would be so outspoken in proclaiming their true love. Both Dan Klobnak, IT Services, and Bob Blanchard (or is that Neil?), Reference Librarian, said that their favorite love stories are their own: when they met and fell in love with the women that they married. Awww. Dan describes his as such:
The magic of stepping off a plane in Florida, approaching the baggage claim, start chatting up this very attractive woman who it turns out was in town for the same conference, who somehow found me appealing (despite my "trying to smuggle hash out of Turkey in 'Midnight Express' sweat issues with the humidity), found out she lives in Illinois, hung out all the time, fell in love and got married (there's a few gun battles to keep the guys interested in this chick flick premise).
Awww. Bob sums up the new beginning he made with his wife with some selected lines from Dante Alighieri ("La Vita Nuova," found in The 100 Best Love Poems of All Time.):
In that book which is
My memory ...
On the first page
That is the chapter when
I first met you
Appear the words ...
Here begins a new life.
What's your favorite love story? Click on "Comments" down below and let us know. Stay tuned later this week when we talk about our favorite love songs.

1 comment:

  1. This is a little embarrassing, but the love stories that make me cry every time are fairy tales. Belle and her Beast - who doesn't believe that gruff, unshaven guy in the corner is really a prince? The little mermaid, dreaming of a world she can never enter? *sigh*


Please feel free to post your comments and thoughts. We love to hear from you.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.