Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Read You Like A Poster

The whistle's officially been blown on another Labor Day. Once again, Americans have their noses back to their respective grindstones, and they're smelling the hell out of employment.

Outside of notable fashion changes, Labor Day also signals the end to summer vacation. Many of our readers have completed their undergraduate education, and were it not for the fact that a bunch of wiener kids are no longer running around at our favorite stores and mini golf courses, we would have forgotten about school altogether. So, yes, it is true -- the Nationwide school tour is officially back in season.

With millions of people now adhering to the rigid command of a ringing bell, our youth are taking upon many more responsibilities. As the annual traditions dictate: they must once again bring in sweeping revenues for their institution via sporting events and bake sales, flirt with each other next to lockers when no one is looking, and of course, start hitting the books.

Contrary to what the idiom would have you believe, this book beating occurs much more often at your local library rather than at a Rocky II style Italian boxing gymnasium.

Boxer: Yeah...with punches!

How do I know this? Well I've been spending a lot of time at local libraries lately. I tell myself it's so that I can have a quiet place to study, read, and take in literary culture, but mostly it's to scout the hot librarian talent. Some of these 50 plus women have got it goin' on.

Aside from candidates for a well read divorcée, the library has shown me a lot of other things. For example, did you know that the "shhh" was first spoken at a public library? (I don't think that's true, but doesn't it just (quietly) sound right?). Also, I've learned that hard cover books are wonderful for building a fort, while soft cover books work great as personal fans, pillows, or even kindling -- not that I'm for book burning, but Dickens taught me to want smores.

I have found, however, something unsettling in my expeditions.

Every library has its own decorative motif, this much is undeniable. A change in wallpaper, the alignment of shelves, and carpet color are all contributing factors to making the inside of a library unique. Yet they all have something in common: the READ posters.

Oh yes, you know the ones. Pictures of your favorite celebrity, a book, and the word "read" written in giant capital letters.

The discovery I've made on these motivational posters is pretty clear: Almost no one is reading. The people are just showcasing their talents, and making it fairly obvious that reading is not the reason why they got there. Most of the time they're just holding a closed book to their bodies.

Must be reading a Manual

Burn rubber, not books
and my personal favorite
"This couch goes so well with my skin tone"

He has no idea the book is there.

So I took my little dilemma over to the Sometimes Workshop, and asked the trusted artist of all our posts, Tom Glass, whether or not he could draw me up a READ poster with a beloved celebrity reading.

Baby, baby, baaaaaaby books

Even though these posters don't exactly show the benefits of reading, I really hope the American Library Association continues to make them. Let's be real, these things are a welcomed break from memorizing soon-to-be-forgotten test material.

As long as they don't harm anyone, they're okay in my book,
Tapan Jones