a library story






I went back to the town —





I went to high school in.

Okay not really the town I went to high school in. A town on a long highway lined by small towns where I lived and one of those towns, I went to high school in. And another, I lived in.  Actually, many of them I lived in.

It was a long road.  Highway 101. And the towns were very small. Lining Highway 101.  Far north.

It had been years since I was there.

I was appalled the library had moved off the main street to some back street. It wasn’t even in a real building. It was in a trailer. Surrounded by gravel. Like, real gravel. Small town gravel. This is what they do for parking lots in small towns when they don’t pave them. And if you don’t know what that means, well, that means you don’t know small towns.

I thought, Well this is where I am from, the library should at least have my book. So I went in and donated some copies of my book.



The librarian asked me to sign the books. I wasn’t sure how to sign books to a library. I am used to signing books to people.

I think I put something funny down like, To my friends and fans at the library, Love Max. Then I went on about my business trying to take care of things family while I was there. Very few of which worked out.

Later I was living on a mountain. There’s not much to do on a mountain besides chop wood, feed the fire, and make sure the water lines are still open. Or catch poison oak crawling through underbrush to fix water lines. Or — well this is not about mountain living.

This is a library story.

I hit the library for books.

At the library, they told me, You have to have a street address or something to prove an address. A utility bill or something. And I said, Well I got nothing, I’m on a mountain, no street address, no utilities, all mail is going to general delivery, I guess I am toes up here at the library.

Then the librarian who was there when I brought in books to donate came out and said, Wait, aren’t you the author who donated books?

And I said, Yes.

And she said, She’s okay. Give her a library card. And books.

I read about 500 books out of that library for the three months I was on that mountain. And was really glad I had donated those books.


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