As an author and as a musical performer, I’ve done gigs in bars, coffeehouses, folk clubs, theaters, churches, synagogues, meeting houses, church halls, college halls, concert halls, book stores, at festivals, and aboard sailing ships. They all can be great places for a gig, but I do like me a good old library!

Like so many other readers and writers, I’ve enjoyed a long love affair with libraries, something I talked about in my interview with Brendan Dowling for the Public Library Association.   

Had the nearby Lovett Library (pictured above) in my Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia not undergone expansion when I was a kid—creating a high dirt mound beside the construction site—I don’t know where I would have learned how to ride a two-wheel bicycle. I took off the training wheels and rolled down from that mound, all of a sudden experiencing forward motion with sufficient balance to get me as far as a tree. Too excited to attempt a steering adjustment, I hit the tree, which flipped me right over the handlebars onto the grass, none the worse for it, and ready to try it again.  

In time, I spent afternoons in that library doing homework and exploring its beckoning shelves. Today, I live less than a five-minute walk from the Camden Public Library (pictured above), situated on a hill overlooking one of the most picturesque harbors on the coast of Maine. As with the library of my youth and the many others that have welcomed me since childhood, this institution offers and encourages the solitary, quiet intellectual explorations we associate with libraries—but it also promotes social and intellectual connection. Libraries truly are gathering places. Here’s a massive Shout-Out to the dedicated people who make Camden Public Library work, and to their brother and sister librarians everywhere!

With the launch of Mortal Things, I’ve found myself talking about the book in all sorts of virtual and literal settings. Radio programs and podcasts. Bookstores and bars, again. And libraries, of course. I loved meeting with strangers and friends at Rockland Public Library in October, and I am excited about doing a “conversation with” event on February 9 at 6:30 PM with fellow Rockland Shakespeare Society member Joseph Coté at Camden’s library, where he will interview me about the novel and about the writing process. Check the library’s website for info about the live Zoom broadcast. 

In the months ahead, I will be doing other book events at Maine libraries, and I am looking forward to bringing Mortal Things to fellow library lovers. Here are some of the upcoming events.

  • Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, Maine. Thursday, March 16 at 7 PM
  • Blue Hill Public Library, Maine. Thursday, May 25 at 7 PM
  • South Portland Public Library, Maine. Thursday, June 22 at 6 PM

And like a magnet, Philadelphia keeps pulling me back. I’ll be signing copies of Mortal Things at the Mermaid Inn (pictured above and below) in Chestnut Hill on the evenings of Friday and Saturday, February 17-18 when my band, Sacred CowBoys, plays there. So come on out and dance to the NOLA grooves, then go home with band CDs AND with a novel that features a scene that takes place at the very same Mermaid Inn.

Thanks for reading this post, If you like it, I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter @nedbachus, at, and Like the Facebook Page, Open Admissions.

Mortal Things, my new novel, is available through Amazon:

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