Cut Your Losses

From the front page of the February 23, 1882 issue of The Chatham Record.

Feel your pockets after even saying hello to a shrewd pedler [sic]. If you feel any coins at all, count them.

a-shrewd-peddlerA Shrewd Pedler [sic].

Sharp dealing is confined to neither place nor people. In a small German town an inn-keeper, to get rid of a book-peddler’s importunities, bought an almanac from him and, putting it in his pocket, left the inn, his wife just then coming in to take his place, The woman was then persuaded to buy an almanac, not knowing that her husband had one already. The husband shortly returning and discovering the trick, sent his porter to the railway station after the peddler, with a message that he wished to see the latter on important business.”Oh, yes,” said the peddler, “I know, he wants one of my almanacs, but I really can’t miss my train for that. You can give me a quarter and take the almanac to him.” The porter paid the money and carried the third almanac to the inn-keeper. Imagine the sensations of the victim!




eBook Friday: The Price of Salt, or Carol

The Price of Salt, or Carol by Patricia Highsmith

A great American writer…Highsmith’s writing is wicked…it puts a spell on you.” —Entertainment Weekly

Patricia Highsmith’s story of romantic obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1952 and touted as “the novel of a love that society forbids,” the book soon became a cult classic.

Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith’s own life, Carol tells the riveting drama of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by a gorgeous epiphany—the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to gravitate toward the alluring suburban housewife, who is trapped in a marriage as stultifying as Therese’s job. They fall in love and set out across the United States, ensnared by society’s confines and the imminent disapproval of others, yet propelled by their infatuation. Carol is a brilliantly written story that may surprise Highsmith fans and will delight those discovering her work.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


eBook Friday: Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin

A New York Times bestselling phenomenon, this deliciously funny read-aloud from the creators of Robo-Sauce and Secret Pizza Party will make you laugh until spicy salsa comes out of your nose.

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

The award-winning team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri has created an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


Did you know you can schedule one-on-one appointments with our reference librarians?

pinYou’ve probably seen our reference librarians at the reference desk, ready to help patrons who walk up or call with questions. But did you know that you can schedule one-on-one appointments with our reference librarians for up to thirty minutes?

There are many reasons to book some uninterrupted time with a reference librarian. Maybe you just got a tablet for Christmas and want to learn to borrow eBooks or eAudiobooks from the library. Maybe you would like to better understand how to research a topic using the library’s databases. Or perhaps you’d like to learn more about one of the library’s many online resources such as Pronunciator or NoveList Plus.

Whatever the question, give us a call at 919-545-8086 or email us. Let us know when you can visit and what you want to discuss. If it is something we think we can help with, we’ll set up a time to meet.

Remember that you can also chat with a reference librarian online from any page of our website!  Just look for the orange “Ask a Librarian” tab in the lower right corner of the page.

Talk to you soon!

eBook Friday: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Inspired by The Hobbit, and begun in 1937, The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy that Tolkien created to provide “the necessary background of history for Elvish tongues.” From these academic aspirations was born one of the most popular and imaginative works in English literature. The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between powers of good and evil. In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien’s great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universe-hobbits, elves, and wizards-step colorfully forth from the pages. Rob Inglis’ narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.

* this audiobook is available through OneClickDigital


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
or  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Don’t Eat Your Greens



This public service announcement is from the February 14, 1884 edition of The Chatham Record. Apparently in the late nineteenth century even your wallpaper could kill you.

Poisonous Wall Paper

The following emanating from a firm of practical manufacturers, of Edingburg, may be a useful contribution to the discussion on the subject of poisonous colors in wall papers: “In a long and practical experience as color manufacturers, we have never known arsenic used in the manufacture of any color suitable for wall paper except emerald green. This bright and beautiful color has never been equaled by any no-arsenical green; bit it is expensive, and of very poor covering properties. For greens, blacks, blues, browns, reds, yellows, etc., either dry or in oil, the color maker has no need to use arsenic, and we cannot conceive what object would be served by his doing go, and certainly he would not do so in reducing a color to a tint with white. Years ago, a yellow was used called ‘king’s,’ or ‘canary’ yellow, containing arsenic; but it is long out of date, and was only used by coach painters. The whole matter rests upon the medium by which the tint or color is fixed to the paper or wall, and the volatility of any component part. Even emerald green is perfectly harmless if properly secured by oil or varnish; but when in used in cheap and showy papers where there is little or no fixed material, we can understand there is danger if exposed to undue heat. In better class papers it is seldom used. In regard to abstaining from the use of poisonous metallic substances in the manufacture of wall papers, we can only say, that, unless scraped off and eaten, they are perfectly harmless.”


Or as Strunk and White would put it: Happy Valentine’s Day, and don’t eat your wallpaper!


eBook Friday: A Dog’s Purpose

A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: North Carolina General Assembly

mastheadIf you’ve kicked off 2017 with the resolution to get involved in local politics, wish to keep closer tabs on the General Assembly, or simply want to feel more engaged by being “in the know,” this resource is for you!

The official North Carolina General Assembly website is a one-stop shop for all things NC politics. It can be used as a tool to track bills, find and communicate with your state House and Senate members, and to follow chamber activity, meetings and issues before the General Assembly. The site also makes accessible broadcasts from live, real-time audio of daily House and Senate sessions, press conferences, and meetings held in the Appropriations and Finance Committee Rooms. Finally, a Citizen’s Guide found through the top navigation bar walks political newcomers through the basics of NC and US government branches, commonly asked questions, and other information to encourage informed and aware citizens. So no matter what your level of knowledge or previous experience in the realm of politics, this site can be a handy tool to jump in headfirst!

To find your way to the NC General Assembly home page, point your browser to All sections of the site can be accessed through the blue navigation bar at the top, or by using the four search bars in the top right corner. If your time is limited and you want to skip directly to legislation and bills, you can go straight to No sign-in is required to access this resource.

Maybe It Was the Punch

This item from the January 30, 1902 edition of The Chatham Record attributes a man’s erratic behavior directly to his exposure to a “Santificationist evangelist”.


It doesn’t sound the like Dr. Caveness explicitly links Mr. Cox’s outbursts to his exposure to the evangelist. We may have a journalistic game of telephone going here.