Back Beat: Why the neighborhood library and Lady Jane are best friends forever

By Tim Osburn

Lady Jane is a bibliophile. The home we share is filled with books. They are scattered hither and yon throughout the house, but concentrated mostly in our upstairs office.

Tim Osburn

Tim Osburn

Seven six-foot-tall bookshelves line every wall of the room and are stuffed (sometimes two deep) with books of all descriptions.
Mind you, I’m not complaining. Reading requires a conscious participation in the endeavor, unlike watching television. The one downside is that it takes no physical effort to read (I suppose with a sensitive enough brain scanner you could measure the calories expended).
I suppose this relative inertia could be negated by reading while at the gym on the treadmill. But that’s a subject for another day…
I have never tried to ascertain exactly how much time she spends reading, but it is considerable. On the stand next to the bed, there is always a stack of books. The light stays on all night.
Sometimes, when she finally falls asleep, the book having dropped from her hands, it will poke me in the side as I toss and turn. I have gotten used to it.
Reading is an integral part of Lady Jane’s existence. Her reading preferences are eclectic, but British murder mysteries constitute the bulk of the material on her list.
True crime, history, science, almost any subject imaginable will be in the queue at some point or another. And this makes her a very erudite individual. She’s no dummy.
Thank goodness we live right across the road from the library. She orders her books online, they pull them out and we visit the library two or three times a week to pick up and drop off. Did I mention it’s free?
I try to read more myself, but I could never match Lady Jane. She should be the poster girl for the American Library Association. Or perhaps a spokesperson for some giant publishing company.
Surely there should be a way she can make money at this!

Tim Osburn is a new guest columnist. He’s retired from Southwestern Bell and works as a substitute teacher and as drummer for Lonesome Hank and the Heartaches, a Kansas City band. Tim can be reached by email at

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