Traverse City Record-Eagle

Generation Why

May 2, 2011

Hitchhike through some book pages

A trip to the library yields great treasures

Going to the library is like hitchhiking. Being blown off track while hitchhiking lets you observe parts of the country you have never seen. While searching at a library, one side step can lead you to a book that is out of the ordinary but informative.

During a recent venture to the Traverse Area District Library, where I felt much like a hitchhiker, I fully realized my love of discovery associated with the written word.

I first headed for the audio section to check for "Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten" on DVD. They didn't possess, it but I was not about to give up on this segment of the library just yet. My eyes fell upon a DVD case's spine with the name "Gonzo."

The back of the case informed me that Gonzo is actually Hunter S. Thompson and that he was a radical, influential journalist famous for writing the drug-induced hallucinations that manifested themselves into the novel "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Journalism? Drug-induced hallucinations? My time in the audio section of the county library came to an abrupt end; it was off to the reference section to locate a biography on the mysterious Mr. Thompson.

My enthusiasm over finding this book came to a halt as I realized I had no idea how to locate it. The reference section is dominated by each group of related books being categorized by numbers. This is a tradition I was not well versed in.

But I didn't let that discourage me. I figured aimless wandering around this new world would lead me to, if not Gonzo, something worthwhile and bound by pages.

As I shuffled away, a large red book caught my eye. "The Complete Works of Allen Ginsberg." Ginsberg was a beat writer and best friends with Jack Kerouac. I found this extremely interesting because at the time I was in the middle of Kerouac's "On the Road."

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