Finns love word play and Finnish, despite its’ complexity and sometimes mind-boggling grammar is perfect for word play. Take my library card for instance.Front and centre you can see the words HelMet. Short for Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries. Helmet is also a proper word in Finnish (the plural form of helmi which means pearl in Finnish). What better place to find pearls of wisdom than a library!
This card has pride of place in the front of my wallet: I’ve used this to borrow books and cd’s regularly. Should I be so inclined I could also borrow movies. We have a perfectly good video shop (although really it should be called DVD shop these days) just around the corner which has a much more current selection than the library … so they get my movie business!
I am actually tempted to borrow some of the sports gear they have: boules anyone? or perhaps you’d like to try your hand (arms!) at Nordic stick walking? They had a great booklet that I took last summer that had all the cycling routes in southern Finland. It was quite nice reading the route notes and working out on the map where I might possibly end up after a couple of hours in the saddle.
If you are looking for value for money you can’t go past the library. For a fifty cent fee my book will be transferred from any branch to the library closest to me. If I was feeling really lazy I could wait for the bookmobile which parks at the end of the street twice a week! Late returns are 20 cents per day… I’ve had to pay my fair share of fines.
Book-Club are on Christmas break now and so we have two books to read, plus one maybe which I’ve grabbed from the library already. The library doesn’t always stock the books we read in all of the languages we could be reading in (we are native English, Finnish and Swedish readers), so sometime Book Depository (free delivery world-wide) or Amazon (say no more) have to come to the rescue. The two compulsory books are still in transit, stuck no doubt in the Christmas post rush.