BTT ~ The Library Is the Heart of a Community

btt2

Suggested by Barbara:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

The trouble I have with borrowing books from the library is that I am horrible at reading them in a timely fashion and I can never decide on one book or two, so I just get all twenty; the result of these failings is that I end up with a lot of fines, my highest fine balance  being over a hundred dollars.  Instead of borrowing books from the library, I get books from BookMooch and PaperBackSwap, as well as buying them from the thrift stores and an occasional brand-new book from Wal-Mart (I used to be a permanent fixture at Waldenbooks, but Border’s shut our store down… I’m still grieving over that loss).

If I never brought home  another book, there are enough books in Mt. TBR’s inventory, and even more in the rest of my home library, to keep me busy for three or four years, maybe more.  What’s more, I also receive ARCs and books from publishers to review, so I doubt I’ll ever run out of books, barring a disaster like a fire or a book thief :-D

No, my main use of our local library is as a place to take my kids.  Our library has family movie events once a month, the last one we went to was “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” and shows for local artists and musicians.  They also have a monthly book sale, though the prices have gone up and up so I’ve gone less and less.  Our library also has a nice computer farm that occupy my kids, during which time I sit in a quiet corner away from everyone and read.

As we live about seven or so blocks from the library we walk there, which gives us time to enjoy the flowers and the world around us, as well as chat about whatever little thing crosses our minds.  A little over six years ago, we lived right behind the library and the kids went everyday, but now we go about once a week, sometimes more, and usually on Saturdays.  The library is a large part of our life, both as a source of entertainment as well as a backdrop for memories.

A few years ago, our library underwent a major renovation that brought the building into the 21st century.  With the installation of a gas fireplace and an open curving staircase with a glass ceiling and window walls, it went from a dreary cement box to one of the most beautiful libraries in our state and winning awards.  After the old one retired, the new director has enlarged the DVD, audio book, and music CD inventory a thousand percent, and has returned the library to public.

Some of my happiest childhood memories take place in a library, and I’m glad that I’m giving the same gift to my children. :-)

TSS -Mad Dash for the Finish Line!

The Sunday Salon.com

Happy Sunday! and Merry (almost) Christmas :-)

I have been a readin’ fool this week; I’m trying to reach my goal of 75 books by December 31st. I’ve really made progress this past week, but I’ve also been busy on Second Life, as well. I could probablyget more read if I stayed off SL, but I need balance between the two loves. At any rate, the following books were read and reviewed on Mt. TBR this week:

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil GaimanI am blown away by Gaiman’s ability to weave magic throughout his writing. A master at creating art, the pages of a book are his canvas and words his medium. I will definitely be reading more Gaiman in the new year!

Robot Dreamsby Sara Varon A very cute and touching graphic novel that tells a story of Dog and Robot without words. Great for a family of all ages to share, Robot Dreams shows the fragile and organic nature of friendships and relationships.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Unionby Michael Chabon  In this murder mystery, Chabon uses an alternate timeline to mix Jewish culture with the Arctic setting of Sitka, Alaska. Landsman is a maverick detective with personality failings and quirks, i.e. an alcoholic afraid of the dark. Yiddish Policemen’s is a story of the love children have for their fathers, and how age never dims their desire for their fathers’ acceptance and love.

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis  Last of the Narnias to be written, Lewis intended The Magician’s Nephew to be read first. It gives the background of the events to take place in the most widely known Narnia book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. However, I think I enjoyed reading it better having read the latter first.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis  The most widely known and read of all the Narnia tales, this book is one of my all-time favorites. This is the fourth time I’ve read it, not to mention having watched both the BBC TV production and the Disney movie version several times. Written as a Christian allegory of the work of Salvation, this story is still enjoyable without that as a reader’s focus.

Besides reading these books, I’ve also launched a second BookBucks Giveaway. After receiving a disconcerting email from Joshua Henkin about the potential narrowing of new book selection due to the decline in publishing profits, I wondered what I could do to bring this concern to more people. And what brings more people in than free money? Don’t forget to sign up for your chance to win a $25, $15, $10, and $5 gift card to your choice of Borders, Amazon or Barnes & Nobles!

In the coming week my plans for reading are: The remaining five Narnia books, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling, Brisingr(the third book in The Inheritance cycle) by Christopher Paolini, The Book Thiefby Markus Zusak, and Visions of Sugar Plums(Stephanie Plum Christmas novel) by Janet Evanovich. I also plan on finishing the books I’ve started but not completed this year: A Wrinkle in Timeby Madeline l’Engle, Bed, Bath and Beyond by J. D. Warren, and How to Be a Villianby Neil Zawacki. Okay, even without the kids here, this may be an ambitious list… lol.

As to Second Life, my vampire clan has split again and this time I’ve gone with the new family. Chosen Immortal is everything Treasured Vamps was suppose to be but has lost their way and become more about numbers, titles and politics. I’ve also moved from my old apartment to a floor in a friend’s castle. I’ve gained more space at about a tenth of the cost. I’m also going to be selling pictures and other things at a friend’s store, C&C’s Designs.

AND… due to an accidental purchase of a pregnancy pack, my avatar is now expecting. A $1500L mistake, I figured I’d just go ahead and use it… hate to spend the money and then throw it away. Currently, the little one’s name is “Mommy’s li’l Oops!”. It’s a boy (I have three girls in real life, by golly I’m having a boy this time ;-) ), and I’m not sure what to name him. Since BF is a werewolf, I had a half a thought to name him “Wolf”… lol… last name “Blitzstein”… That’s funny, because, unthinking, I made a comment the name “Wolf” worked well for the newsman Wolf Blitzer. Hahaha!

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Your Boogers – Factoid #5

Alright… no bugs, parasites or cannibalism today… Today’s factoid is something straight out of science fiction.

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Can a head live without a body?

In 1988, the U.S. government granted a patent for a device that would keep a severed head alive after being surgically removed from the body. The device has never been used, so it is uncertain how effective it would be. However, the creator of the device has been contacted by a number of people who want to know how soon the operation will be available and how much it will cost. Some of these people are dying or paralyzed, and many of them say that they would welcome the operation, if it meant that their minds would remain clear and they could still think, see, read, remember, talk, and listen.

The proposed procedure would involve attaching the decapitated head to a device essentially consisting of a series of plastic tubes. These tubes would be connected to the bottom of the head and neck and would provide oxygen and fluids, as well as maintaining blood circulation, to keep the head alive.

In 1973, an American brain surgeon called Dr. Robert White carried out the world’s first head transplant, using two monkeys. He decapitated both animals and successfully managed to stitch the head of one monkey onto the body of the other. The “hybrid” monkey regained consciousness, opened its eyes, and tried to bite a surgeon who put a finger in its mouth. It also ate, and it could follow people around the room with its eyes. However, the monkey was paralyzed from the neck down because its spinal cord had been severed, and it was impossible for the surgeons to reconnect the numerous nerves necessary for it to regain any bodily movement. The monkey survived for about seven days after the transplant.

White claimed that this surgery could benefit parapalegics, who may die as a result of the long-term medical complications that often accompany extensice paralysis. He believed that if these people were to receive new bodies, donated by patiens who were brain dead but otherwise physically healthy, it would give them a new chance of life, even though they would remain parapalegic.

There are some really strange video out there that demonstrate the mind-bending ability the brain has to survive. One video shows a dog’s head revived and responding to stimulus. The monkey vid’s on out there, as well, but the one I saw on YouTube had one of those “scream scenes” in it so be careful.

When I read this segment, my mind immediately went to Sarah Jessica Parker’s head on the body of her character’s pet chihauhau in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! (great movie if you haven’t seen it)

This post is part of the Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway. Don’t forget to enter at the original post for your official entry. Comments here count as a bonus entry :-D

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Your Boogers – Factoid #3

Question: Why do Texans wear pointy-toed cowboy boots? answer at the end of today’s factoid.

Oh no! Gonna vom

Does anything eat facial hair?

There are bugs that will eat just about anything, including facial hair. The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, is a large, brown, winged cockroach, about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) long. This cockroach is commonly found in the southern United States in tropical climates, and will often be found living in sewers. It will eat practically anything including leather, book-bindings, glue, flakes of dead skin, and soiled clothing. It has also been known to munch on the eyelashes, eyebrows, fingernails, and even toenails of people while they are asleep.

OMG, I am actually having to choke back the vom right now. Seriously, several things went through my head as I copied this factoid. Huge winged cockroaches like from the horror movies. They’ll eat book-bindings, oh no, not the books! They eat eyelashes and eyebrows Oh no, not the eyelashes and eyebrows again! I wonder if they’ll eat the mites, though… Gawd, I’d rather have the mites! Then the things they do while their victims sleep! I remember hearing stories at the meat packing plant *lots of roaches there, btw!* about people who didn’t clean their earplugs going to the doctor for an earache only to have a baby roach pulled out of their ear. AND children living in filthy conditions who have sores from where the bugs had been nibbling on them as they slept.

hand me a bucket!GAG!!!!!!!!!!

This post is part of the Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway. Don’t forget to enter at the original post for your official entry. Comments here count as a bonus entry :-D

Answer: So they can kill the cockroaches in the corners! -Dan Rather on the Late Show with David Letterman

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Your Boogers -Factoid #2

When Ol’ Blue Eyes sang, ” Ive got you under my skin”, I am sure he was NOT talking about this:

Demodex Mite

However, this little critter is the subject of today’s factoid.

Do bugs live in eyelashes?

Most people don’t like the idea that bugs can live on their skin and hair. However, the truth is that many bugs do, and they live with us in harmony, most of the time. By the time we reach late adulthood, most of us have wiggly, microscopic, wormlike mites called demodex mites living in the roots of our eyelashes. If you pull out one of your eyelashes and examine it under a strong magnifying glass, or better, a microscope, there is a good chance you will see one of these tiny mites clinging to the base of the lash. They can also live in our skin pores and the hair follicles on our face, such as the eyebrows.

These mites are cigar shaped, a third of a millimeter (a tiny fraction of an inch) long, and have eight stubby little legs situated at the front of their long, so they waddle along fairly slowly. When one of these mites reaches a hair, it burrows headfirst down into the follicle. Their bodies are layered with scales, which help to anchor them into the follicle, and their needlelike mouths eat dead skin and oil that is produced by the skin. Fortunately, although the mites eat, they don’t actually poo in the follicles.

An individual female can lay a number of eggs in a single follicle. When mature, the mites leave the follicle, mate, and find a new follicle into which they lay their eggs. Each mite can live for several weeks, and mites can be transferred between humans if two people’s hair, eyebrows, or the sebacceous glands on their noses come into close contact.

Mites living on our eyelashes are usually quite harmless, and most people are totally unaware of the little squatters living in their hair follicles. However, if too many accumulate in a single hair follicle, they can cause itching, certain skin disorders, or an eyelash to fall out. As many as twenty-five eyelash mites have been found huddled together in a single follicle! There are some great pictures of these mites in a variety of poses on the Internet.

Okay, now I’m itching like crazy!

This post is part of the Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway. Don’t forget to enter at the original post for your official entry. Comments here count as a bonus entry :-D

Tuesday Thingers – Favorite Bookstore

Today’s question: Favorite bookstores. What’s your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?

My favorite bookstore is my local Waldenbooks. I do not buy books online (unless BookMooch, PaperBackSwap and the occasional ebay book purchase count). I prefer to touch them, smell them and look at them… are they a tome or a quick read, etc. I live in a small town and Waldens is the only new books bookstore here.

But even if it wasn’t, I love Jan, Sally and Obie so much I’d still shop there if I had ten bookstores to choose from. And I think that is also some of the reason I shop there. It’s wonderful to go into the store and see their smiling faces. They always ask what I’ve been reading and are quick to help me find whatever I need. They give great suggestions, and take mine as well… I’m still bugging them to read The Gargoyle.

I usually run in terror from the bookstore because I know I cannot resist! So I haven’t shopped as much lately. Last time I had to go in was to order Josette’s book since she can’t use the Borders gift card in Malaysia, and I walked out spending about $30… I went in to just orderpeople! I suppose electricity isn’t completely necessary… I could read my books by candle light… but I havegrown fond of it, you know. (TV runs on it and TV keeps kids quiet… puter runs on it, and puter keeps me in books!)

LibraryThing has nothing for my bookstore, so it’s fairly useless for finding events. It has Borders in Ann Arbor, but I’m not driving 3 1/2 hours to some book signing, no matter whose pen the scrawl comes from. I do occasionally attend the events at my store… but again, I can’t walk away for less than $20. The last even was the Breaking Dawn party. I went to the Mummy 3 instead. :-D

By the way, Borders is where I get my gift cards for my giveaways, and where I got the Boogers you can win along with a $10 gift card! Enter to win at Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway!

EDIT: I’ve got a shirt for you, readerville:
True Bibliophile

Tuesday Thingers- I’ll swap ya Tuesday for a Sundae

Tuesday Thingers

Today’s topic: Book-swapping. Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT’s book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

I certainly do book-swapping, how else could I have such a magnificent Mt. TBR? I’m grateful for BookMooch, because without it I wouldn’t have found LibraryThing, and without LT I wouldn’t be blogging. I heard about BookMooch on NBC’s Today Show, when they’d had a segment on free and almost free sites on the internet. The name “BookMooch” was catchy and easy to remember, which is a good thing because it was a week or so before I finally got around to signing up.

From BookMooch, I found LibraryThing through the “LibraryThing add” button. After a month or so on LT, I found out about PaperBackSwap, which is different enough from BookMooch to warrant both accounts. I’m very thankful for LibraryThing, because through the “other places to find ARCs” thread (now ARC Junkies group… YaY!) I found a lot of opportunities to get ARCs, and finally graduated to a blog, and more books than I could read in 2 years snowed in and alone!

I like the LT swap column fair enough, though it’s rarely accurate, and includes the UK only sites in the “books available” numbers. I do participate and enjoy the BookMooching group on LT. My current favorite BM thread is the “Book search for friends” one.

I not only enjoy getting books, but also sending them out to people who I know have been dying to read a book I’ve enjoyed, usually… though there was one book I was so glad to get out of my house (it was the worse book I’ve ever read).

Don’t forget to enter to win a $20 Borders Gift Card… or a $10… and now that there are over 500 entries, a $5 gift card is on the table! If we hit 600, I’ll add another $10, and at 700 another $5! That’ll make $50 in My First Ever Giveaway!

The Sunday Salon – over 3000 served

The Sunday Salon.com

 

This has been a very busy week!  Reading, blogging, and real life has been a driven affair.  I’ve read and reviewed Dough: A Memoir by Mort Zachter and Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m also halfway through The White Mary by Kira Salak, which is a really good book… Right now, I’m in the Krit Village eating cassowary bird meat and admiring a Krit boy’s magic object: A Pulitzer Prize gold medal. And I’m nibbling on Why You Shouldn’t Eat Your Boogers by Francesca Gould… It’s quite the conversation starter, though not dinner reading.

I know, I know… last Sunday I said it was only going to be ARCs this week, as I am behind on them, and I hadn’t intended to read all of Rant, but I wanted a book on CD while I was working in the kitchen (I read and listen along) and got caught up in it. It’s really weird and mind-bending, and I like that kind of reading. ALSO, not dinner reading. The Booger book is in my purse to read while out and about.

Next up on the report: I managed to knock out three ARCs (well, two and a half with White Mary only half finished), and got three in the mail last week: Surviving Ben’s Suicide by C. Comfort Shields, Stealing Athena by Karen Essex, and Tan Lines by J.J. Salem. Well at least I’m even. This week, the plan is One More Yearby Sana Krasikov, Tan Lines by J.J. Salem, and The Aviary Gate by Kate Hickman. It would be lovely to be able to fit a fourth in there, but next week’s the County Fair, and I doubt I’ll find any peace until it’s over. “PLEASE MOM!! Can we go?!?”

AND NOW, an update on the $20 Borders gift card giveaway! The response has been overwhelming for My First Ever Giveaway! As of right now, there are a total of 465 entries… which means it’s now a $20 and $10 Borders gift card giveaway! When it hits 500, I’ll add a $5 gift card, and since I’m certain we’ll hit that, HERE IS THE NEW SCOOP:

If it hits 600 entries, I will add a second $10 Borders gift card! That will make 4 prizes totalling FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS!

So my question is, any suggestions on what should be pictured on the gift cards?  They have “The Giving Tree” and “Spiderwick Cronicles fairies” and a couple others at my Waldenbooks. 

AND DON’T FORGET TO ENTER TO WIN! 

You could be a winner!

Booking Through Thursday -Doomsday

Booking Through Thursday

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?

Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an Internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buyingfrom some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

Let’s see… my favorite place to go for books is the Internet.  Requesting ARCs and reviewer copies from the Publishers and authors and accepting them from the same, as well.  When it comes to the idea of the  Internet suddenly going out of business, I think I’m safe.   Barring the EMP that results from nuclear war, I don’t think I have to worry about the ‘net going away without warning.

HOWEVER, if I don’t pay my bill, I could lose my access at home.  Mild withdraw might ensue (probably wouldensue), but there is still the library’s computer farm.  One hour a day, surrounded by pimply-faced, obnoxiously loud teenagers whose favorite phrases are, “dude! that’s so gay,” and “you’re an F-ing A-hole (without the hyphens.. you know what I mean)”, and whose favorite site is YouTube.  These little “patrons” are why our local library had to hire an off-duty police officer to patrol the library, but that is a rant for another day.

Back to the question at hand… in the interest of full participation, I’m going to use a more likely scenario.  What if Borders suddenly, and without warning, shut down my Waldenbooks?  That would seriously suck.  I would be forced to troll the Wal-mart book rack for the new releases (have you seen their “selection”?), or pay full sticker at the grocery store… YIKES!  I ain’t paid $30 for a new book since college!  I get pissy about it if I have to pay $15 (like Kafka on the Shore, which I still have not read, and I think I had a coupon for THAT, too.   I would be forced to waiting and hoping for it to pop up on BookMooch or PBS, and now with the new reserve system on BM I might never see one.

Thanks for this question…. now I’ll have nightmares for a week.  My one consolation is that Mt. TBR would keep me in the read for a year or so, long enough for a Books-a-million to move to town (not likely, since there’s a store 30 minutes away, and people in my town will drive there).

Don’t forget to sign up to win a $20 Borders gift card!

MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!!

Borders Gift Card

 $20 GIFT CARD FOR BORDERS

 Welcome to my FIRST EVER BLOG GIVEAWAY!!!

This is my first blog giveaway, and I’m excited to be doing it!  I want to say thanks to everyone who reads and comments on my blog, and to share the love I went to Waldenbooks today and got a $20 Gift Card.  The one I’ve got has the Lorax on it and he says “I speak for the trees”.   They didn’t have a picture of it at the BordersOnline store… bummer.  But anyway, I want to GIVE a lucky reader FREE BOOK MONEY!!

 LoraxThe Lorax speaks for the treesSo, to the rules: 

    1.  Leave a comment on this post as your official entry.  If you don’t leave a comment here, then I won’t know you’ve entered.

    2.  You will get an extra entry per comment anywhere else on my blog.  Remember to comment here first, though!

    3.  Post a link to the contest on your blog and get 5 extra entries.  Make sure to let me know you’ve posted the link so I can credit you.

4.  Open to anyone, anywhere, so long as you have a way to get mail.  I will mail the card to the winner, so you have to be able to get it. :-D

5.  All entries must be received by July 31st.  I will draw the winning name August 1st and post it. 

6.  If I have a large enough response for this, I will choose a second or third winner and award $10 and $5 gift cards accordingly.

 

You could be a winner!

UPDATE: The contest has ended and the winners have been posted… Check them out!

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