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Copyright © 2013 by James Hampton

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Not long after my fiancée broke off our engagement, I married the public library. Or maybe I should say I remarried it. I had been an avid reader in my youth—mainly of detective stories but also of tales of the eerie, the alien, and the macabre—and it was a pleasure to return to that shadowed world as an adult. I don’t necessarily think it was because my personal problems had put me in a sinister frame of mind, as a friend of mine once jokingly suggested (or at least I hope it was jokingly). I think it was just a way of reconnecting with a simpler time in my life—before our present age of digitized cinematic violence—when you had to use a little imagination to get the chills you wanted from a story. Plus, a library card offers inexpensive entertainment. I had changed jobs twice during the challenging economic years between 2007 and 2011, I simply didn’t have the resources for golf, or video games, or electronics.

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