10 Things to Do in a Library

Next time you’re in a library and need a break, feel free to use this as a reference.

10 Things to Do in a Library

1. Add new words to the dictionary, like ironidox, n., used when you’re not sure whether something is a paradox or just ironic.

2. Rewrite those parts of novels you find most obnoxious.  Let K reach the castle, insert yourself into Hamlet so you can slap some sense into that prince, give Stevie Dedalus a girlfriend.

3. Ask the librarian where to find information on bears native to California.

4. Compose love poetry for P. G. Wodehouse (without whom you feel oh so alone like a stone is weighing down your poor heart and tearing it apart) and copy it onto one of the bathroom stalls.  Add a snarky comment to the final stanza in disguised handwriting, along with a doodle of a muscled Shakespeare breaking a heart in half.

5. Ask the librarian where to find information on bear meat.

6. Shelve the books according to what you find aesthetically pleasing.  Teal books next to red, alternating heights, anything even remotely flowery and cute tossed in the back with the encyclopedias.

7. Or even better, arrange them chronologically.  It takes longer, but you’ll feel smart when you watch someone else realize they have no idea if Dickens came before or after Keats.

8. Ask the librarian if she will post a flier advertising for fellow bear hunters looking to form a coalition, of which you plan to be the team leader since you are the only one with a broadsword (you hope).  Promise them bear jerky in exchange for their cooperation and forget to tell them that bear meat is poisonous.

9.  Make a list of not-so-super powers (Background Music Man, Mild Weather Woman, a villain who can travel through time at the rate of one-second-per-second) and assign them to authors of varying literary merit.  Edit their biographies with this newly discovered information in mind and provide introductions explaining how personal history changes the meaning of each work.

10. Rewrite the entire literary cannon.  Regard everything fictional as historical fact.  Put yourself into this world and jump from one book to another.  Tell Dante that Milton rather disagrees with his portrayal of Lucifer and then spend the afternoon shopping in Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes (make sure to grab the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder – it’ll come in handy later when you run into Gatsby and need a distraction so he’ll stop showing off his massive shirt collection).  Leave remnants of yourself in every book you read, scribbles of personality, and ignore the people who call it irreverent and try to rub you out.  You’re just engaging with the text, right?



  1. Your bear incident left you traumatized, didn’t it.

    I have a katana and some good strong rope. Can I join your party?

  2. This is mildly reminiscent of Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit (a list of performance pieces)

    Tuna fish sandwich piece:
    Imagine one thousand suns in the sky at the same time. Let them shine for one hour. Then, let them gradually melt into the sky.
    Make one tuna fish sandwich and eat.

    My school recently opened a new library and because of this list, I will never be bored!

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