I'm not a consistent blogger, but I'm a frequent blog-reader!
I've followed a few family and personal blogs here and there, thanks to the ease of the Google Reader app on both my computer and my Android. My reading world expanded tremendously, however, once I read This Book is Overdue and discovered the joy and amusement of librarian blogs. Perhaps I'm living vicariously through these people, imagining the Utopia that is accessing and handing the public information that helps them grow. Perhaps I need to find a better hobby.
If you're looking to start your list, you can take inspiration from This Book. I also recommend taking a look at the Salem Press Library blog awards and nominees... which I read about on a librarian blog (thanks, Swiss Army Librarian!).
Books read blogs. At least my latest library check-out seems to.
I browsed New Non-Fiction today and came across Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and felt inspired to write, if only in short inspirations reflective of her essays. So inspired was I that I fetched a laptop and brought it to bed (an absolute no-no, as evening screentime has been proven to curse efficient REM's).
And so my nocturnal writing begins (damn the insomniaciousness!).
Due to time constraints*, we skipped browsing at the library today and I ran in to grab what was waiting for me on reserve. One in particular had made its way through one-hundred-and-something holds to get into my hands and I wanted to be sure to grab it before the weekend and before anything tragic might happen to it**.
Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show was suggested in another blogger's blog, The Adventures of Jolly Goode Gal. I've had remarkable success with her reads and the title of the book struck my whimsy bone.
Next in the stack is the long-awaited Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Beth mentioned it as a possibility at book club and so I jotted it on a random scrap of paper. I came across it later as an Amazon recommends and so I previewed it on my Kindle. Verdict from the crumb: delicious. I immediately got in the virtual line to read the library's copy. (BTW, for those in reader land who have a spare copy, please know that the Tacoma Public Library has particular demand for the title and encourages folks to donate their used editions. Thanks for helping speed books into the hands of other citizens!)
The next book, The Report Card, leapt onto my list just yesterday after my daughter's teacher announced the class' next reading selection. Mwwwaaaaahahahaha.... my daughter suspects NOTHING and now I'll be able to have book discussions with her when she least suspects it!
Finally, I have On Rue Tatin. Katherine recommended this many months ago and I had it on a reading list, but never got around to actually requesting it. Her suggestions have always been top notch (Julie and Julia, My Life in France, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan), and I'm sure I'll wish I'd picked it up soon.
Hmmm... just three weeks? Really? I only have three weeks to read the stack?
*As in, so I could get home and blog about it forthwith.
I love the library and have since childhood. I remember begging Mrs. Harris for new selections away from the average picture books at Capital Elementary (now the Terry Miller Legislative Annex). I remember walking from my house, across the playground, and down Main Street to the public library on 4th (now the Juneau City Museum) to thumb the card catalogs, seek out the "hidden" best books, and check items out with my blue index card with the embedded metal identity strip. I remember when the library outgrew its shelving and moved the children's section down to the "Spam Can" annex (now a bank); I spent hours kneeling at the shelves under the street window, intent on making sure I'd read every Oz book. Rosanne Heidersdorf introduced me to the totally-awesome collection of shareware at the State library in the State Office Building (still the SOB!) and we continued to find the *newest* brick-out available.
Now that I'm in adulthood, members of our immediate family visit the public library several times a week. We are currently fortunate to have memberships in two library systems - city and the county. With the technology available, we have a constant rotation of literature held for us at our neighborhood branches.
In addition to the pile our librarian has set aside per our requests, I find recreation in collecting a variety of books I hadn't intended to browse. The "new" books (both fiction and non-fiction) get a once-over, the thematic displays are rounded, and I'll often walk down some Dewey Decimal aisle to see if something catches my eye. Sometimes I'm sure the book will change my life for the better. Others have adventures that will be more entertaining at prime time than the television. I have high hopes for my pile.
By the time I'm home with the loot, I feel as Carrie Bradshaw must after a bonus-check shoe spree; I can't believe I have such treasure at my whim! And it's mine for three entire weeks (and longer if nobody else is waiting)!
And what do I read? I emphasis the description above: VARIETY. I read children's and adult fiction. Cookbooks and foreign travel. Magazines for hobbies I may never try. News journals and black culture periodicals. Political commentary from both sides of the aisle. Narrative histories. Humorous essays. New DVD releases and old BBC shows that sound vaguely familiar. CDs in every genre... it costs me nothing extra to keep trying/reading/listening/looking!
Oh, and library books! Er, to clarify - books about libraries, librarians, and their patrons! To self-reflect on my own literary needs and interests and compare them to the world at large is fascinating! And there's the future of libraries to consider, their funding, their technologies, and their continuing place in society.
Anyway, here's today's haul:
We weren't at our "holds" branch so these selections were pure whim. The book on top is In Tahoma's Shadow, a book of poetry that includes entries and edits from friends. I don't typically care for poetry ("fun to write; awful to read"), but I am nonetheless curious what was submitted from our fair city.
The next, Bitch on a Budget, was too fun of a title to pass. That's right - I do judge a book by its cover! It's not too far from similar reading interests I've had in the past; I'm particularly a fan of Amy Dacyczyin's Tightwad Gazette.
Take a Hike Seattle? I know you don't automatically think of me on a trail, eating granola, and consulting a map. Believe it or not, I *do* own a pair of hiking boots. Some of you might be shocked to learn I spent the better part of a college year in the woods (literally and figuratively) while pursuing a forestry degree. It's amazing what you can learn through a person's blog... Anyway, we're trying to get the most of the outdoors before the weather turns and I thought this might offer some easy family-friendly ideas. Unfortunately, first glance reveals a focus on Seattle. (OK, well, duh - it does have "Seattle" prominently in the title.)
From the jacket, it appears we have a "prince-and-the-pauper" reinvented in modern day Just Like Me Only Better. I classify it as "candy fiction" in which I can find easy amusement for a day or so. I love having these handy!
Did I mention a curiousity for business books? The Google Way is only the latest. Someone had a great idea that somehow worked better than others. I want to know their secrets! (For more secret revelations, I recommend Timothy Ferriss' Four-Hour Work Week, though be prepared for a decent amount of arrogance.) Don't judge me as a complete work nut because the principals in many of these books will apply in all types of organizational situations. Or maybe I'm just a borne leader for seeing it that way! *grin*
At the bottom you can barely make out the spines of a couple of issues of ReadyMade from this year. I couldn't digest the annual cost once my free subscription ran out last year, but the photo layouts inspire me to... think I could create the projects they describe. Perhaps this is just a form of craft voyeurism? (Hey, if you're one of the actual doers, I recommend picking up a copy of the hand-held Make zine during your next library visit.)
By the time I got home, my spouse had made a regular visit to the other library system and picked up my holds. "Just in time," I remarked and took a picture. He's useful that way.
Here we have World Without End, the follow-up to reading club favorite, Pillars of the Earth (BTW, my two cents is that the Starz version doesn't. even. compare.) I'm eager to pick it up, but realize it will take a dedicated stretch of time if it's as involved as its predecessor.
Finally, we have my second business pick of the week, featuring one of my favorite shoesellers, Zappos, in Delivering Happiness. I never used to care much for mail-order apparel, but Zappos, and then Endless, brought my desire for great shoes (honest, I'm not channeling Carrie Bradshaw this time!) into my home and made the shopping experience exponentially better! How did they know me so well? I intend to read and find out.
And now, to quit my writing tonight so I can begin with someone else's!
I just finished This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, by Marilyn Johnson. I chose it because I read Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library, by Don Borchet, last year, enjoying the behind-the-scenes look at a local library, and wishing I could join the librarian ranks... the fun parts, at least!
While I rolled my eyes at Johnson's liberal leanings in her book, it was nonetheless an interesting layman's perspective of "library 2.0," and all that libraries offer beyond the casual use I personally enjoy. I'm enthused enough to look further into some of her web-based references, which I'll park here for my easy access:
Library-related blogs (in no particular order)