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 😀

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. 🙂

Advertisements

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. 😀

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 -Reco Me This, and Reco Me That

Today’s topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT’s recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the “special sauce” recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?
I have looked at the recommendations feature on LibraryThing, but I’ve never went by it.  And the anti-recommender is the anti-Christ when it comes to telling my what I won’t like… I wrote a post about that a few weeks back called Does A Christian Have a Brain?  if read more on that.  The special sauce is interesting but, again, I don’t use it.
Actually, the three ways I find out about the books I’d like to read is:
1.  BookMooch Recommendations -though I’m not entirely sure if it just throws out a bunch of books or if it’s really guessing at what I’d like.  The thing suggests books I’ve mooched and posted, so I don’t know if it has a brain.  At least LT’s algorithm sorta-kinda makes some sense.
2.  ARC sources such as Shelf Awareness, publishers’ and authors’ emails offering me books, and other “free” book places.  Hey, of course I’m gonna take free books!
3.  From my fellow LT’ers and bloggers.  I take your recommendations over an automated guesser any day!  At least you have a soul.  At least you have emotions.  At least you have some sense of aesthetics.  What’s the bot going to tell me?  Because I have Nietzche I won’t like The Purpose Driven Life… which I actually do have in my library?  Yeah…. whatever. (that goes back to the unsuggester is the anti-Christ.)
4.  Jan and Obie at my Waldenbooks… they know me so well! And Jan’s only been wrong once.  She suggested Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral, but I thought it was just mneh.
5.  My momma.  Though, lately her taster is running on the off-side for me.  Lately she’s been reading about some retired old ladies running a B&B and solving crimes or something… I don’t know, maybe they are killing the guests.  I forget.  Maybe I watch too much Law & Order and read too much Stephen King.
6.  Then, of course, there’s just little me, touching-feeling-looking at the actual book on the shelf and reading the back cover.  However, with Mt. TBR and Mt. TBarc at capacity, I can’t even go to the mall for fear I’ll be drawn into Waldens and won’t be able to resist the lovely books… they want to come home with me…. they jump on the counter and make me buy them….
Okay, that’s enough silliness.