Friends of the Redwood Libraries

Your FRL Board—Ray King Bio

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Your FRL Board—Ray King Bio, courtesy of Judith McGinty

frl_raypic_140426sLike all of us who volunteer with Friends of the Redwood Libraries, Ray King has had a life-long love of books. He had his first library card in the library in Dayton, Ohio. The first “chapter book” he read was Tom Swift and his Electric Locomotive. He doesn’t remember if it was the first adult book he read, but he says The Decameron by Boccaccio had a great effect on him. (Isn’t it interesting how these milestones stick with us?)

Ray and his wife, Gail, have lived in Humboldt County since “the year of the big storm that blew down a bunch of trees in Sequoia Park”. Yvonne Kassatkin, an FRL Board member and Serendipity volunteer, encouraged him to volunteer in the store, enticed him to work book sales, then delivered him to the Board. Ray is now the President of the Board of Directors of the Friends, and oversees operations in the Serendipity Book Store. He’s always on hand for the quarterly book sales, always on the lookout for new volunteers, and always looking for new ideas for getting the word out about Serendipity. Ray also publishes the bi-weekly email newsletter for Serendipity customers. You can sign up for the newsletter in the store. In addition to discount coupons it’s the place to find announcements about new donations and special offers.
Ray’s favorite category is vintage fiction, and he’s especially attracted to graphic covers. He says he’s a binge reader. His interests float and when he gets addicted to a category he binges on it for a while—like reading the whole Hornblower series (swashbuckling at sea), or Asimov’s “Foundation” series (swashbuckling in space). He couldn’t answer “What one book would you take to a desert island?” but he said the one book he “has to own” is Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. He also loves The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Ray would like to turn them into graphic novels. Ray admits he likes to play with images compiled from early magazines and pulp book covers.

When asked why libraries are important Ray, after due consideration, said, “They’re better than bars.” It’s a turn-on to find some special book, or turn someone else on with a bonus of supporting our community. That’s why I volunteer.