Chris’ Library World: Magazines

October 12, 2012

So there I was one day eagerly anticipating my sister bringing over my niece for a play date. Now that she can walk and has developed some hand eye coordination she’s a lot more fun to play with. I had all her favorite toys out, my running shoes on, and some band aids on hand in case our basketball game got a little rough. For a sixteen month old, the kid has some nails on her.

I was checking the regulation height of the four foot tall basket when boom she arrives. Wearing a Piston jersey she tears through the door at a good 1 or 2 mph. I brace myself for impact as she charges at me arms outstretched. I kneel like a catcher. Ten feet. Nine. Eight until impact. I squeeze my eyes shut. She let’s out a squeal. Three. Two. One. And nothing. One eye creeps open. She’s vanished. My eyes dart back and forth. She’s vanished. Then I hear it behind me. The unmistakable sound of paper ripping. I glance over my shoulder.

My niece has demolished the magazine stack. She now clutches a magazine in each hand. Tearing away pages with her fingers and teeth. A grin as big as the moon spreads across her baby face. “Oh how I love to hear the sweet sound of paper fibers being torn apart.”

“What are you doing,” I ask. Perplexed.

“I love it here,” she shouts. “You guys have magazines. Actual, honest to goodness, paper filled magazines.”

We save old magazines and keep them in a stack on the floor. The newer ones and the ones people still might want to read are higher up and out of her reach.

I snatch a corner of a National Geographic page out of the air. “Yeah. So?”

She pauses mid-rip. Eyes bore into me. “Yeah. So? This is fantastic. It’s the best ever.”

“You don’t have magazines at your house?”

She scowls. Takes a chunk out of Time. “Not anymore. No thanks to you.”

“Me? What did I do?”

“You had to tell my mom about Zinio.” Rip. She tears Good Housekeeping in two.

“Oh. You mean the online digital newsstand that you can get from the Mason County District Library website?”

“Yes that one. She has over eighty different magazines she can chose from. And she can read them off almost any Internet enabled devise including iPad, Kindles, computers, and smart phones. Why would she pay money for print editions when she can get the exact same magazine for free?”

“She probably wouldn’t. And I have to say the Mason County Library and their partner the Hart Public Library did a fine job of selecting titles. The variety of magazines available is incredible isn’t it? Anything from US Weekly, to Woodworker’s Journal, to Consumer Reports. And then there are those quirky ones like, Clean Eating and Dwell.”

“What’s Dwell?”

“I think it has something to with digging wells.”

“Ahh, makes sense,” she says tearing a corner off Parenting with her mouth and gumming it.

“Mmmm. Maybe I should tell your grandma about it.”

She freezes. A page from Cooking Light droops mid tear. “Please don’t.”

“I don’t know,” I say as I scratch my chin. “She could save a lot of money and be able to read the magazine anywhere she can take her cell phone.”

She drops the magazine. Launches at me. I fall back. She kneels on me. Grabs my shirt collar.

“I’ll do anything. I’ll pay you.”

“There, there,” I say as I pry her fingers from my shirt. “I won’t say anything.”

Her arms bear hug my neck. “Oh thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

She uses my stomach like a trampoline and catapults herself back onto the magazine pile. Scraps of paper fly and swirl around as he continues her tearing with zest.

I hate to see my niece cry, but I doubt we’ll be getting any new magazines. As soon as she leaves I’ll set up my mom with a Zinio account, which is easy enough. All you need is a library account and then just follow the step by step instructions from the library webpage.

I glance over to at my niece. She’s knee deep in pages and giggling like a mad scientist. I think I’ll supply her habit with a shoebox full of old magazines from the library every month. That should keep her happy. Besides how much longer can this phase last?

“I figured out what I want to be when I grow up Uncle Chris,” she shrieks as she goes all jiujutsu knives on a Sports Illustrated. “A confetti maker.”

I think I’m going to need bigger shoes.



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