Library Card

Got my NYC Library card today in the mail, and immediately went to their ebook section to see how that works and what they had.   You check the books out electronically in Adobe DRM form.  (You need to have Adobe software which is a free install) and you import it into Adobe Digital Editions which does it’s thing; and then you can import the book into the Sony ebook library.  The book is set to lock-up after 21 days.

It’s just like the physical library.  A finite number of copies are  available, and when those are checked out, you can’t get them.  You can put in a request to be notified when they become available (which means that someone’s electronic version has expired).  The top best sellers are all checked out.

But I found my beloved Nero Wolfe books and quickly downloaded and installed two books of short stories with Nero and of course Archie.  An interesting fact about the Wolfe series is that Rex Stout didn’t begin to write them until he was in his early 50s.  Those sorts of things always give me hope.

I can remember how amazed I was to discover that Joseph Conrad didn’t even speak English until he was in his late 20’s (maybe later, I don’t remember) and went on to become one of the greatest writers in the English language.

On the other hand, when I was working in movies, I was aghast to find out that Orson Welles was 29 when he directed Citizen Kane; and if you want to go down that road, Mozart had us all beat by the time he was eight.

On the other hand, for many reasons, Welles never was able to top that though my second favorite film – Touch of Evil – is fantastic.  The first long tracking shots is worth the price of admission.  When I go to the movies, I’m usually satisfied if there’s even one shot that’s never been done before; and with most modern films, I’m usually disappointed although they have all that CGI stuff to play with.  The Welles extra long tracking shot was simply done in one take in Touch of Evil.  Given the size of the camera, and that the steadicam didn’t exist yet – mind-blowing.

I do  like to think that people can change at any time in their life (as I’ve done many times before).  Raymond Chandler was another guy that fit that mold as he was a succesful business guy long before he ever published anything and did most of his famous yarns in his 40’s and 50’s.

And when all else fails – there’s always Grandma Moses to hang on to.

If you have an imagination – that is one of the last things to go (as opposed to physical stuff.  And for most of us, when we look back, all we see are the detours and false starts.  So maybe we took a stab at something before we were ready.  The only harm in that is if you get so discouraged that you never go back to it.

So have a good weekend everyone – and remember:  It’s never too late, but it may be too early.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

4 thoughts on “Library Card”

  1. I always found Conrad rather dry, if not unreadable and today you have explained why that might be so.

    On the other hand I’ve got some old audiotapes of the Nero Wolfe and Archie stories that I still listen to and enjoy.

    It’s amazing how old detective stories still comand such a large following. A few years back I discovered that websites about Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey are capable of crashing their servers.

    Is it a craving for the macabre, or an craving for elegance I wonder?

    How is your friend Lester? I can tell you go back a long way and are worried for him.

    All good wishes,


    PS WordPress is currently available in Turkey, but YouTube and UStream TV remain banned. I would feel much more secure were your esteemed blog safely ensconced on its own server!

  2. Hi Stephen,
    Lester had me nervous for a while, but with today’s post I see what he’s up to. He’s taken a bunch of my photos and he’s writing some sort of crazy sci-fi fiction thing based on them.

    I spoke with him yesterday – and he had me fooled for a while until I started to see my own photos showing up on his blog. So I wouldn’t worry about him – he’s just being his old creative self.


    I have read just about every Nero Wolfe book I could get my hands on – including some early ones which aren’t very good (before he wrote the Nero Wolfe ones).

    I like Stout the best – but I also go through a whole bunch of others that I enjoy including Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, etc. I wish there were more Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ve read and re-read every one.

    I love mysteries – and that screenplay that Lester and I (or is it me) wrote – was also a mystery. I think that’s what Lester is doing now in his blog.

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