Are you in the mood to travel? First stop — the library

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 14, 2014

Something about the end of summer gets me in the mood for traveling. You’d think I’d be tired of it by then as my family and I make several car trips during the summer months. Perhaps it’s my way of extending the season or satisfying my wanderlust, but I tend to check out books this time of year that involve traveling. Thank goodness for Rowan Public Library and its many resources that feature treks across America.
Do you enjoy adventure? Do you like baseball? Answering yes to either question or to both means you’re sure to enjoy “I Don’t Care if We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever.” This book, written by friends Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster, is a fun read.
The goal to attend a game at all 30 major league ballparks is something many baseball fanatics — like Ben — wish to fulfill in their lifetime. Throw in a friend — Eric — who could not care less about baseball but who loves math and you get an algorithm that says attending 30 games at all 30 stadiums could be accomplished in exactly 30 days.
Unfortunately, the algorithm assumes everything will go smoothly and that Ben and Eric can abide by several strict rules: They must be present at the very first pitch, they must stay engaged during the game, and they must be present at the last pitch no matter how long a game may take to finish.
It doesn’t take long for the plan to go awry and the race to meet their goal in 30 days becomes quite compelling. There are some interesting tidbits about the ballparks Ben and Eric visit, but what was most enjoyable to me was the banter between the two friends on their journey.
“Life on Foot” is another book I’d recommend if the thought of traveling across the United States appeals to you. Nate Damm is the author and subject of the book, which tells the story of his journey across America. In 2011, this young man from Maine found himself drawn to walking across the country. Known by his friends and family as one who never fully committed to anything, Nate was hoping to prove them all wrong by completing such a difficult endeavor. Nate tells his story in a straightforward manner and it was fun reading about the characters he meets as he travels and the landscape that challenges him every step of the way.
Well, not all trips across America have to be real. I found an interesting fictional account in the book, “Seeing America,” written by Nancy Crocker. This book tells the story of three young men who journey in a Model T Ford from Missouri to Yellowstone in the year 1910. Since their journey takes place in the earliest years of automobile travel, there are numerous obstacles to overcome. The three travelers, while seeking to learn more about their country, find themselves discovering things about each other along the way.
Do you have the late summer season urge to travel? Check out Rowan Public Library’s collection of travel essays. Reading about someone else’s adventures may just scratch your itch to wander or perhaps give you some ideas about what to do next year.
Children’s story time: Weekly through Nov. 26. For more information, call 704-216-8234.
• Baby Time — Loosely interactive program introducing simple stories and songs to babies 6–23 months old with a parent or caregiver. Program lasts 30 minutes. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.
• Toddler Time — Focused on sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills for children ages 18–35 months with a parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.
• Tiny Tumblers — Loosely interactive program introducing simple stories, musical scarves and instruments for babies 6-23 months old with a parent or caregiver. The same program is offered two times per week; lasts 30 minutes. South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.
• Preschool Time — To encourage the exploration of books and build reading readiness skills for children ages 3-5 with a parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; South, Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m.
• Noodlehead Story Time — For children ages 4-8 to enjoy listening to silly books and tales together; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.
• Art programs — School-age children can learn different art terms and techniques and work on art projects; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.
Computer classes: Computer Basics, Sept. 25, 1 p.m., headquarters. The very basics, from discussing computer components to how programs are opened and closed. Free. Sessions are about 90 minutes. Class size is limited and on a first come, first served basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Storyteller Timmy Abell: Headquarters, Thursday, 7 p.m. Abell’s concerts are an interplay of music and storytelling and have been described as “spellbinding.” His storytelling includes adventure stories, tall tales, fairy tales and mountain Jack Tales often punctuated with music. Call 704-216-7728 for more details.
Teen Program: All programs 5:30-7 p.m. South, Sept. 23; East Sept. 29; Headquarters, Sept. 30. Celebrate the autumnal equinox with leaf-centered crafts. Teen programs are for middle school and high school students. Light refreshments included.
Book Bites Club: South Regional (only), Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m., “A Week in Winter,” by Maeve Binchy. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-7841.
Displays for September: headquarters, Daughters of American Revolution, Manga 200th anniversary by Robert Clyde Allen; South, student art by Carson High School; East, Alpha Beta.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.