Footnotes from the Library

Lois Anderson

The month of February is the shortest month of the year but it celebrates two important holidays: Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. The latter was once two separate holidays honoring the birthday of Lincoln (February 12) and the birthday of Washington (February 22). Of course, with all of those holidays, and February being a short month, we now celebrate the two birthdays as President’s Day on the third Monday of February so we can have another three-day vacation weekend.

For library people, Valentine’s Day brings romance novels to mind, some of which line the shelves on the south wall. Even some of those slim western novels can get pretty steamy if you know what to look for! Just look for all the westerns on the east bank of shelves and make your choice.

Many an author began writing those thin romances before they hit the big time and found that the public would buy their style of writing if it actually told a story or caught you in a mystery, even though it might include a bit of “fluff” (that’s library talk for pages that include more than just wishful thinking). Many of these authors, including Debbie MacComber, have been number one on the bestseller lists and have had their work made into movies or seen on television.

As for the presidents, it seems that everyone who has ever worked for, reported on, read about or was related to the person in the White House wants to “tell all” about his or her experience. Even the First Ladies seem to want to get in on the action, some vicariously using a pet to tell the story (e.g., Millie’s Book, about Barbara Bush’s dog). Margaret Truman wrote a series of mysteries based on the time she was living in the White House when her dad was president (look in the mysteries section). For the scoop on more recent presidents, look in the biography or non-fiction sections for their tales.

For those who love to read, February means there are only 28 days to read all those books you want to finish before heading back up north. Remember to check your shelves before you go for any Sunbird Library books. Bring them back for those of us who stay year-round so we have some to read during those hot, hot days of summer. Please do not take any items with you as you head for cooler weather – we don’t want to wait for you to return them in the fall.