And ask the bartender where the library is. He directs them down the street three blocks to the Public Library and they thank him.
WRONG. ALL WRONG. The bartender has done a great disservice to literature and society and himself. It should have gone like this…
These three guys walk into a bar and ask the bartender where the library is. He directs them to the next room, where there is a wall of bookshelves full of books. Old, new, big, little. Picture books and books crammed with text. The library has a reading bench and pens and paper in trays . There are big chairs by windows with plenty of light. It is cool and comfortable.
The three guys go in, pick books from the shelf and sit down to read them. The bartender asks them what they’re drinking and they all order. As the afternoon wears on they read more and drink more and the till grows fatter from the cash. The readers do not fight or watch horse races on television. They do not swear or spit. They just read and drink. When closing time comes they are still mostly sober and perfectly satisfied…and will come back again and bring more money with them.
Keep books. Your bookkeeper will approve.
Note: Years later when the third guy writes a seminal novel and the second guy writes a definitive scientific text and the first guy becomes a gossip columnist, they all mention the bar during interviews…and the place is overwhelmed by literary customers eager to imbibe either culture or beer. If you want good advertising, get good advertisers.