No one wants Dad to run out of books!

The COVID-19 pandemic has put libraries nationwide in uncharted territory. We miss our customers, we miss interacting with them, and we miss hosting programs that educate and inspire.

We've created this blog series, Stories from Before, chronicling the stories of customers who ♥ all the Library offers, be it Storytime or Summer Reading, Books By Mail, English Language Classes, and much more. We hope these uplifting stories can help us all get through these challenging times and think about a brighter future.

No one wants Dad to run out of audiobooks: Books by Mail customer says "It's a lifesaver"

Books by Mail is a service for customers who are visually impaired or who cannot read due to a physical disability. The Library delivers large print and audiobooks to them.

For 97 year old Larry Haag, it’s a lifesaver. “I’d be lost without it,” he says.

Larry has been receiving audiobooks at the Beehive Homes of Marana for 3 years. He estimates he’s read more than 200 books in that time. Perhaps more impressive, though, are the hours spent listening, which top 4,560!

“I have a routine,” he says. “After I eat lunch, I go outside for an hour, and then I read until suppertime. Sometimes I read up to 5 hours every day.”

“I’ll be honest, I don’t read as much when football is on,” he chuckles.

Larry enjoys mysteries and detective stories. When he first signed up for the program, his daughter Kathy sent Library staff a list of a few of his favorites. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing, or reading. “The people who select my books are doing a fantastic job!

“I love Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, James Patterson. Right now, I’m reading Brad Meltzer’s The Inner Circle—it’s a good one,” he says.

He’s got a Hamilton Buhl tape player—the best of the best. He needs it! As he says, “I wear ‘em out.” Kathy chimes in, “When his first one broke, they sent a replacement free of charge. Thank goodness, too. Dad can’t be without books.”

Kathy laughs. “Every now and then, he’ll have to wait a day or two until his next ones arrive. I have a friend who works at the post office, so sometimes I check in with her.” I always tell her, “Gotta keep Dad fully stocked with books!”

Recalling a funny memory, Kathy says: “One time, his CDs got stuck in the mailbox slot. I actually ended up asking the mailperson to come out to retrieve the books. I joked, “You don’t want Dad to run out of books!””

Larry is a former engineer with AT&T. He’s traveled the world, and loves to build and learn new things. He lived most of his life in Reading, PA, but always found time for the Library. “My eyesight got bad, so I had to switch to large print,” he reminisces, “but then I couldn’t see those so I switched to audiobooks.”

He sure loves his audiobooks, but like most people, he has a stance on books he doesn’t like. “If I don’t like it, I move on. I give it one hour, but there’s just not enough time for bad books.”

At 97, Larry is boisterous and genuine, with an infectious laugh and lovable smile. When asked if he’d say he loves his Library, he exclaims, “If I didn’t have these books I’d go crazy.”

Did you know?

  • Last year, the Library distributed 1,860 books through this service!
  • Learning more about Books By Mail is easy! Call (520) 594-5415 for more information.