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Celebrate International Tabletop Gaming Day: Books, Movies, and More that will get you Gaming!

29 May

June 1st is International Tabletop Gaming Day. With our modern world where technology feels like it can isolate as well as connect us, now seems the perfect time to gather round and spend time bonding with family and friends while gaming.

Role Playing Games: Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons Art
One of my favorite bonding activities as a kid was playing Dungeons and Dragons with my dad and my sister on the weekends. It was like getting to take part in some of my favorite fantasy novels. I’ve been brushing up on the basics and look forward to playing the game with my son and husband. In the Elfish Gene: Dungeons and Dragons and Growing Up Strange, Mark Barrowcliff looks back at his own youth and his role playing experiences; you can borrow it from Hoopla.

If you are interested in playing D&D yourself, BCCLS libraries have you covered with  Guides and Monster Manuals. Plus you can borrow items looking back on D&D’s history such as Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History which looks at the evolving artwork associated with the game. You can also borrow the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series (sweet Saturday Morning Nostalgia) on DVD. A few BCCLS Libraries also have the live action film adaptation, but like many critics and fans, I found the movie disappointing and not an accurate representation of the game.

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom edited by Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox contains essays on different philosophical concepts that can be understood through and about the game including topics like ethics, morality, and metaphysical questions on topics like the boundary between magic and science. The final section focuses on game theory. If you enjoy this pop culture take on philosophy you can checkout others in the series which uses everything Monty Python to Zelda to deepen our understanding of the things we love and the world around us.

If you’ve never played an RPG before you can get insight (and entertainment) from the many web series that are now online such as the extremely popular Critical Role featuring the high fantasy of Dungeon and Dragons.  Sirens of the Realm is a lot of fun; imagine if the Go-Go’s  or the Bangles were fantasy bards. My current personal favorite is the urban fantasy of Vampire The Masquerade: LA Nights; its third season starts streaming on Twitch on June 1, but you can watch previous episodes from season one and two on YouTube; watch the first episode now.

If you like D&D than you should love the book we are reading for our next Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Group here at the library, Nicholas Eames’s Kings of the Wyld!  Eames even drew some inspiration from the game.  Stop by the Reference Desk to pick up a copy or Hoboken Residents checkout an ebook version from eLibraryNJ; join us for the discussion on June 17 at 6 PM.  Before hand we will be watching episodes of a fun classic fantasy series starting at 4 PM.

Board Games: Clue and Monopoly
clue Monopoly
Lacking the competitive gene, unlike my younger sister a Monopoly fanatic, I wasn’t as much of a board game fan as a kid. There were a few exceptions though and my hands down favorite game was always Clue. I’ve always loved mysteries even at a young age and Clue for me was less about winning than getting to play detective and figure out which of the characters was guilty.  Now I enjoy playing board games with my son, many of which I’m pleased to see now are more about team work than winning.

My sister and I both loved the Clue movie adaptation which we watched probably about 50 times at least; you can borrow it on DVD from BCCLS Libraries. When it was shown in the theaters it had one of three different endings; you can view them all. You can also borrow a Clue comic book adaptation from Hoopla.

If you are more a Monopoly fan you can check out the Emmy Award winning documentary, Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story on DVD or streaming from Kanopy.

During the Teen Department’s Games in the Garden event, our beautiful garden space is open to teens every Thursday from 4 PM-5 PM where they can play a variety of our board games.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

The Question of Youth vs Young: P.S. I Love You

15 May


What is the difference really? I love challenging subjective vs norm definitions.

Recently I found myself re-watching a movie called P.S. I Love You. A little background without spoilers, it’s basically a rom com film about a woman who loses her husband too early in life and for his last act of love he left her birthday gifts to come for after he passed that she could follow in order to help her cope with his loss.

What I find interesting is how you can watch movies so many times in life and certain things won’t hit you until you’ve reached a certain age or gone through something in life that’ll make a single statement you once brushed off seem so deep and relevant to you.

There is this scene in the movie where the female protagonist is talking to a male costar and he says:

“We’re so arrogant, aren’t we? So afraid of age, we do everything we can to prevent it. We don’t realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone. Someone who doesn’t drive you to commit murder or doesn’t humiliate you beyond repair.”

It just so happens that this quote comes directly from the book P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. This alone brings me that aha moment because it survived the process of scripting and not only made it to the big screen, but it also made an impression on me. So, it is this very line that lit a spark in that dark corner of my mind that almost laid unoccupied.

It’s an interesting observation. So simple and yet so fleeting to some – but so deep and just hit me right in the feels. We forget sometimes how grateful we should be to live. We try so hard to fight it, ultimately wasting our time and life preventing us actually living so that we can live longer. Doesn’t that just get you right in the chest? The irony that most of our adult lives we spend trying to stay younger, look younger, when we should realize that really growing old is the best gift we can be given.

To interject but also make my point in a different way – there’s this line in this song by Adam Levine that I heard in a movie called Begin Again, but you may also get it on CD – both from the motion picture soundtrack or from Maroon 5’s album V.

“God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young” from “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine

Books like Cracking the Aging Code: The New Science of Growing Old – and What It Means for Staying Young by Josh Mitteldorf or The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful by Yumi Sakugawa are available from BCCLS libraries. But doesn’t the question really stand, “What makes you young?”

We live in this world where youth and being young is basically something to worship and idolized. But we forget the value and the gratitude one should have to be able to grow old. To experience and learn.

Why is youth wasted on the young? Such an inane question but it strikes true and then sparks another question, what is youth? But aren’t we all existing and growing and developing until we aren’t anymore? Aren’t we all youth? Constantly maturing.  Watch or read P.S. I Love You and see what you think!  You can borrow it as an ebook from eLibraryNJ.  Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite book about aging or what it means to be young.

Written by:
Sherissa Salas
Adult Programming Assistant

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