Tag Archives: Relationships

How to be Happy While Single

Tucked away in our circulating Dewey collection is one of my very favorite old library books, Jean Van Evera’s 1949 gem of manners, etiquette, and relationship advice, How to be Happy While Single.

It’s full of information on everything from choosing an apartment to mending a broken heart, and  while some of the advice is very dated, most of it is either quite liberal (for its day) or just plain hilarious. Here are a few delightful quotes to pique your interest.

On the importance of telephones: (A man) can always go to the corner drugstore to make his calls but a girl can hardly drop in her nickel, call everyone she knows, and say: “I was wondering if you’ve been trying to reach me to take me to the Persian Room for dinner,” or, “Were you planning to invite me to the Peninsula for the weekend?” (p. 29)

On drinking: The girl who gets good and looped but rarely, will find her friends and associates tolerant, sympathetic, amused, maternal and paternal, but if she makes a practice of it, her social life will peter out. Or else she will find it is carried on in strange places with very strange people.  (p. 74)

On when to call: You don’t call a man at his office unless you have something specific, brief, and impersonal to say. Frequently he is unable to converse privately, or he may have a suspicion that his secretary has not replaced her extension phone. (p. 88)

On affairs: The idea of an affair looks good on paper, like those pension plans which pay everybody $200 a month. But sex pour le sport does not work out well for a woman. If she can get by unharmed, she is very strong-minded, very callous, or possibly, in good practice. (p. 128)

On reading: Not so long ago, as time is measured, reading was considered a useless feminine accomplishment. Even today there exists among many women the mistaken notion that merely knowing words, sentences and paragraphs means that they know how to read. (p. 145)

And remember, even though it’s hidden on the eighth stack, How to be Happy While Single is a circulating book – so request it, check it out, and enjoy!

– Amy


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Non-fiction fix: Loads of lovely love

Today is my parents’ 38th wedding anniversary – how cool is that?  Staying with the same person for more than three decades is no mean feat, especially since the complexities of loving and being loved are among the thorniest mysteries of being alive.

Whether you’re happily married, single and satisfied, desperately seeking somebody, or all up in your companion animals, the library’s got loads of lovely love for you. Here’s sample of the helpful advice, warm fuzzies and snarky laughter waiting for you in our collection:

A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend, Felicity Huffman and Patricia Wolff. With their tongues wedged so firmly in their cheeks they look like squirrels hoarding nuts for winter, Huffman and Wolff offer suggestions for men who want to be good boyfriends. It’s a bit like training for The A Team, apparently. Who knew? If their advice works out for you, you can move on to The Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook and Why Did I Marry You Anyway?.

Career Renegade, Jonathan Fields. Life is short, and you spend most of it at work. Shouldn’t you be doing something you love? See also Living Your Heart’s Desire and A Life at Work for some thoughts about crafting a career with soul and spirit.

One Big Happy Family, Rebecca Walker. It’s a complicated world, and there are as many ways to relate to a person as there are individuals to love. Walker’s collection showcases the triumphs and challenges of non-traditional family structures by giving a voice to the people who embody them.  See also Opening Up, Together Forever and Best Date Ever.

The Powerful Bond Between People and Pets, P. Elizabeth Anderson. Ever wonder why people lavish so much money and time on critters that can’t talk back (in human language)? Anderson, a clinical psychologist, examines the compelling pull of a fuzzy face on the human heart, and shows how that bond plays out in various social contexts.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, Jack Canfield. You may be down, but you don’t have to be out. This particular serving of Canfield’s signature soup is designed to give you the gumption to heal up, then get up and get back in the game. Those who prefer a more tough-love approach to healing might enjoy the “cover your bases” approach of The Sweet Potato Queens’ Wedding Planner and Divorce Guide.  Before you know it, you’ll be ready to take another shot at marriage (or, possibly, not).

With all due respect to my mom and dad, the thought of spending more than thirty years with the same person kind of gives me the wiggins. I’m open to the possibility that I could change my mind, especially for the right person. But for now, life seems pretty good.  I’ve got two adorable cats, one interesting gentleman caller (who, incidentally, doesn’t need the Huffman book), and a career I adore.  On top of that, the career part involves working in a 114-year-old building packed to the brim with fabulous co-workers (plus more books and materials than they’ll let me check out at any one time), and helping all of you find interesting and educational books to read.  Who could ask for anything more?

Your turn, constant reader:  who, or what, do you love?

–Leigh Anne

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Big Day in Film, Comics, Sports, Poetry, Cooking, Music, Graphic Novels, Literature etc.

So, where, oh, where, do all these ideas for blog posts come from anyway, you might ask?

Well, when you work for an institution that nominally acts as a portal of all human knowledge, how hard can it really be? I thought I might talk about what I’m reading currently, a volume of poetry and travel writings by the Japanese master poet, Basho, or the graphic novel V for Vendetta by the modern master of the (comic) universe, Alan Moore, or an obscure volume of gothic short stories by the Welsh master of the macabre, Arthur Machen. But since I haven’t finished any of those (grist for future posts!), I thought I’d take a look-see if there has been anything notable about today, August 25th, historically speaking. And indeed there is. So without any further muss, fuss or babble, here’s a list of things we can celebrate today via materials in the library’s rich treasure trove of goods:

  • Birthday of American short story impresario, Bret Harte
  • 95th birthday anniversary of Pogo creator and satirist, Walt Kelly

So, if you are suffering from blogger’s dilemma (aka what will I post about today), how exactly do you find all this stuff out? In the spirit of disclosure (although running directly counter to one of the Wizard of Oz’s most remembered lines, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!“), you simply go to or call your local library and ask for the annual Chase’s Calendar of Events, an encyclopedia size tome listing all of the above (and much, much more) for every single day of the year.


PS If you want that obscure volume by Arthur Machen, interlibrary loan is the way to go.

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