I joined the local library last week.
"Aha!" you say, "but aren't you a man of letters who reads copious quantities of literature? Surely you must belong to a library?"
The fact is that I got my first library membership when I was around the five mark. Since then I have sucked the words off pages from just about any library within reach. I was on first name terms with the librarians and the only problem lay in finding a book that I hadn't read.
That all stopped a few years ago. I don't know why. I just stopped going to the library and bought books new or secondhand instead. I suppose it gave me a wider choice, and for the new books at least, it was handy having them delivered by post.
I dropped into the local branch library on Friday, more to say Howya than anything else. There was a nice catty woman behind the desk, and it transpired that she was new to the place too. I showed her my ancient plastic library cards and she scanned them into her computer. Gone are the good old days of paper tickets and little card envelopes.
Yes, she had a record of my card number but no record of me. I had been deleted. She said that was no problem and that she would set me up again, but this required looking through a massive page of instructions on entering new members as she hadn't done it before.
Eventually after about twenty minutes of frantic typing, deleting, re-typing and desperate flicking through the manual she announced that I was now a member again. She then started telling me all the wonderful things I could do with my new membership.
I could borrow books [I had guessed that already] but there was a whole load of stuff I could do if I had a computer. I told her that I had one of those.
She looked pleased and announced I could then learn a language if I had a computer. Apparently there are 72 languages I can teach myself from the comfort of my armchair. I told her I had enough trouble with the one I use every day and that adding another would ony confuse me.
She said I could read magazines. Now the ony time I ever read magazines is in a waiting room, so the idea didn't really appeal as it had unpleasant associations.
She said I could do a course. Now this was more up my street. She said there were more than 400 courses I could take all in the comfort of home. She suggested I start by taking a course in Beginner's Computing. I coughed. I said that was an excellent idea but did they have advanced courses in C++, Boolian logic or database design? She coughed. She said she didn't know.
Anyhows I thanked her very much, grabbed a couple of books and left.
This morning I remembered the thing about the courses, so I went onto the website. I entered my card number and set up an account.
Well, bugger me with a broomstick but there are some good ones in there! There is a massive list of categories from Accounting to Writing Skills. I might have a bash at the latter some time. I could do with some improvement.
I think I'll start though with "Creating WordPress Websites".
I often wondered how that was done.