There was a period of two and a half years starting back in the spring of 2003 when I had no money coming in. I’d had surgery and had to file for disability. I was turned down twice and didn’t get the designation until I appeared before a judge. I’d had a foot amputation, but wasn’t considered disabled(a recent friend had his leg taken off above the knee and was denied disability for that same reason; he wasn’t disabled).
I think they do that, disqualifying, just to see how many people will give up and quit trying. I was stubborn though. I’d worked a good many years, and worked hard, so I didn’t feel like I was asking for something I wasn’t entitled to receive.
I finally got it in the fall of 2006.
The upshot of that was, for that time between 2003 and 2006, I had no money coming into the house. I had to watch where my funds went. Buying books was one thing that stopped(along with cable).
That’s when I began haunting the library once more. For many years, I bought my own books and never set foot there(yea, stupid, I know). I began catching up on a great many series titles I’d never read. I exhausted the library system of all the 87th Precinct, Nero Wolfe, Ellery Queen, The Saint, and Perry Mason, having books brought in from all the various libraries in the county.
That was the first time I used computers for anything other than my former profession. The only computer I had at home was a beat-up old Texas Instrument model long since packed away in a closet. I keep a notebook with all the books I’m interested in by author and series, checking them off as I tracked them down.
I guess most libraries have racks up front for new books. I kept up with that as well. That’s where I discovered new favorites like Bill Crider and Ed Gorman.
My high water mark during those two and a half years was the summer of 2005. In checking my records, I see that during those 92 days I read 102 novels. Mostly mysteries, with a sprinkling of science fiction(I have noticed a dearth of SF novels in the system; mostly the old masters like Heinlein and Clarke, but not a lot of newer stuff.
The library was my savior during that time. I don’t think I was exaggerating a lot when I tell people I might have gone round the bend if I couldn’t read for two and a half years. LOL!
In addition to books, I began using their computers to begin my first explorations of the internet. As a result, the first things I got when the money came in was a new computer and cable(more for Roadrunner than anything else).
I’ve been chugging along enjoying myself ever since.