Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coolness discovered.

So I was reading through all the back issues of American Libraries Direct that are emailed to me weekly and I found this cool blog of a librarian up in Massachusetts. It's witty and I think the guy (yes, an actual male librarian) is pretty cute. So I thought I'd pass along the coolness. I like librarian blogs because I can relate to them. You may not, but give this one a look-see just once, just for kicks.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I'm done with my first semester of library school! All in all, it went well. I got my grade back for Intro to Information Technology-- A minus. I'm still waiting on my grade for Foundations of Librarianship, but I was more concerned about the other class. Next semester I'm taking a course in cataloging. But in the meantime, I'm on school break! I'm reading for pleasure! I'm currently engrossed in Murder in the Marais by Cara Black. A change for me-- I usually read Scandinavian crime fiction. In fact, I did a display table at work featuring Scandinavian crime fiction. But this mystery is set in France and I'm liking it a lot. I'm going to try and cram in as much pleasure reading as possible from now until January 26, which is the first day of spring semester.

More on Cara Black and her mysteries set in Paris.

Ex libris,


UPDATE: My grade for Foundations of Librarianship-- A plus.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rule of 50 and other Pearls of wisdom.

I had to write a biographical sketch for school on a figure in the library world, and I chose Nancy Pearl. What a cool woman. Nancy was the director of the Seattle Public Library and has written books on reader's advisory. She calls herself a promiscuous reader and I think that is a noble form of promiscuity. Her rule of 50 is such: Give a book 50 pages and if you don't like it, don't continue. If you are over the age of 50, subtract your age from 100 and that is how many pages you should read before deciding to continue. I like this idea. I also think that if you've had a library book out for months and months and haven't been reading it, it's obviously not engaging you, so return it. I have many books begun but they're jut sitting there with their bookmarks in them. I'm in school, but I've had these books out since waaaaay before then, so I can't use that as an excuse. Even reading a page a day is doable, but I'm just not. So I will be reading more promiscuously from now on.

Also, Nancy is the model for novelty store Archie McPhee's librarian action figure. I myself own the deluxe model.

More about Nancy Pearl.

Ex libris,


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Excellent service, that monorail kitteh.

I got this on I Can Has Cheezburger and, although I am more of a dog person, I love the lolcats. Especially library-related ones.

Ex libris,


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Banned Books Week!

Freedom to read is so important. Therefore, I wanted to post the most frequently challenged books for 2007. Here they are:

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

For more information about ALA's Banned Books Week, go here. In the meantime, go read, and be thankful you can read whatever you like.

Ex libris,


Monday, September 15, 2008

Kudos to library clerks!

I thought this article was awesome. This observant library clerk noticed some fishy activities and the offender was caught. :)

Also, I joined ALA and I feel all official now!

Ex libris,


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Just because we have comfy chairs doesn't mean the library is your living room.

I was working the circ desk today when a woman and her daughter came up, obviously shaken. They said that this creepy dude had been following them around and they were afraid he was going to follow them to their car. He had been crouching down to look at some books, but it became evident that he was...ah...pleasuring himself. In the stacks of the public library. Gross! I didn't get to speak to anyone else about it until a little later because we were so busy today. I feel bad. He basically got away with it. But I will not forget his face, creepy pedophile mustache and all. YOU HEAR ME, CREEPY DUDE? YOU WILL BE VANQUISHED!

Ex libris,


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yay for September!

It's almost fall! The leaves here are beginning to turn very slowly. There are a few trees with some fiery tips, but that's it so far. Other things that are new:

-- I began my MLS on Tuesday, which is part of why I've been remiss in blogging. So far it's a good chunk of reading and I have an essay to work on. I am kind of nervous, but I always get back-to-school jitters. I can do it. :)
-- Two bits about Stephenie Meyer:
1. The FAQ for Breaking Dawn are posted on her website, and I think they're great at clearing up some of my questions about the book. Check it out and decide for yourself, but SPOIER WARNING!
2. Apparently, Stephenie's draft of Midnight Sun was posted without permission and then distributed all over the Internet, and now she doesn't know if she'll ever finish it. Some people can spoil things for everyone! Read what Stephenie wrote regarding this breach of copyright.
-- If you like reading my blog, please add yourself to my "Readers" list over there under my Etsy shop. I just added this new Google widget today and I think it's really cool. And, as always, feel free to comment.
-- I found this article about ways to catch up on reading that has some good advice. I don't like it when people are obnoxious in waiting rooms, either, and reading a book is a great way to pass the time anywhere.

That's all for now.

Ex libris,


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Legalize books, man!

This was the June 18 post on Toothpaste for Dinner, which is a pretty cool web comic.

What could be a better addiction than books?

Ex libris,


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Further thoughts on "Busted!" post

I wrote in a previous post that librarians judge patrons on the books they read and talk about them behind their backs. Also, I have posted a few patron stories of my own about silly things that have happened to me, mostly in the children's library. That article really made me nervous, so for my own peace of mind I want to put down some thoughts.

First: judging patrons by what they read. I think that "judging" may be the wrong word. Rather, I can learn a lot about people by what they borrow from the library. Some people are just into reading bestsellers while others read all the James Patterson they can get their hands on. (Side note: James Patterson is a machine. Every other day there is a new one.) Some patrons are into high literature while others just read fluff. There is a psychology experiment in there somewhere just waiting to be analyzed.

Second: talking about patrons behind their backs. I think in every job, especially where one serves the public, there is behind-the-back mumbling. It is the way of the world. In libraries, know that we talk about the good patrons as well as the difficult ones. And also, pay your fines. It would make us a lot less grumbly.

Third: blogging about patrons. I find this to be a rather harmless activity (although I am clearly spooked by what happened to that Michigan lady). I am not looking to make money from my blog, I am sharing experiences that I found amusing. It is kind of like those TV specials about "The World's Dumbest Criminals," except there is (usually) no crime involved, just silliness. Also, my blog isn't just about library patrons. It is about books and art and library school and reading and all sorts of book-related stuff.

Ok, so I've said my bit. What do you think? Am I wrong to discuss my work experiences in this way?


A woman in Michigan was fired from her library job for writing a book about all the nutty things that go on and all the colorful patrons she deals with. Or dealt with, since she was fired. This article was emailed to me and some other staff by Melissa, our A/V librarian. Hmm. That makes me a little bit paranoid. Number one, I don't write under a pseudonym. Number two, I write about amusing patrons. I realize I have not disclosed the library I work at, but it's not that tricky to figure out, methinks.

However, I am not looking to make money from my patron stories. Fact.

I will be more judicious.

Ex libris,


Saturday, August 23, 2008


The comic there is yesterday's daily strip from Unshelved, the library comic strip. It is so funny, but yesterday's particularly got me because of the officer's desire to leave quickly without cleaning up the mess she made. I have totally turned into a library nerd because my first thought was, "She doesn't know the Dewey Decimal System! She'd shelve everything wrong and I would have to track it all down!"

HA. Shelving supervisor I am!

Ex libris,


Reading while intoxicated.

My good friend Chris posted this hilarious video clip on my Facebook the other day, and I had to include it here.

Then my friend Michelle watched it and was like, "Oh no, Marissa will have to reshelve all those books!" And I would. But I might die laughing first if someone slid into a bookcase after reading while intoxicated.



Friday, August 22, 2008

Patron stories: Laying down the law

A Wisconsin woman was arrested for failing to pay her library fines. Apparently her fines amounted to about thirty dollars, but she ended up having to pay for bail in addition.

Thirty dollars? We have some patrons who owe us more than $100! We need some of those Wisconsin cops to show Connecticut cops how it's done.

Ex libris,


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teens and tweens

I was shelving over in the teen library today and I was overwhelmed by all the materials available. When I was growing up (which wasn't too long ago but things change so quickly) there was not really a genre for teenagers. There was Judy Blume and that was about it. Now there is so much available for so many reading levels and interests. I like to think that adults and their older kids are reading together and some dialogue is happening, because a lot of adults seem to like the young adult genre.

I sort of skipped from younger books to adult mysteries. I remember picking up a Mary Higgins Clark book in the sixth grade. Once high school rolled around, I was in honors and AP English, so I read the books for those classes, and in college I read just about every genre of literature for my English major. I wish there had been the teen/young adult genre when I was younger. I am reading these books now in order to make up for lost time, I suppose! I read The Book Thief last winter and it was so excellent. Another good one was Life as We Knew It. Teenagers now seem so much more worldly than they were ten years ago, and literature has adapted to them. It sounds old-ladyish to say it, but I hope they appreciate all the materials available now. It will be interesting to see how things change in the next ten years.

Ex libris,


Blogging librarians

As I troll around the interwebs, I keep finding more and more blogging librarians. I love it! My blog list keeps getting added to. I love to hear other people's patron stories and other ridiculousness. I think working in a library still has this quaint image, but man, it isn't true. It is a busy, hard, noisy job. That is why everyone blogs...because if we didn't, we'd kill the patrons and maybe each other. (I still want to get a blow gun with poison darts to take people out.)

If the patrons only knew, right?
We judge you by the books you read.
We have heard every story about why your books are late.
We know you took the book to the beach because it is full of sand.
We know you let your kids use our DVDs as coasters because they are sticky with apple juice.

We talk about you behind your backs.

And we blog about you, too!


Ex libris,


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Librarian - My Morning Jacket

I first heard of My Morning Jacket when I picked up one of those free iTunes download cards at Starbucks a few weeks ago. The song was "I'm Amazed" and I liked it. I thought, "Good choice, Starbucks." I always pick up the free download cards but this was the first one I'd actually downloaded, so I was happy that it was a good one.

Then last night, I was searching around for a pair of librarian glasses. I was several pages into the Google results when I saw the result for My Morning Jacket's song "Librarian." I thought, "Aren't those the free iTunes download guys? They have a song about librarians?" So I read through the lyrics and I downloaded the song and let me just say...wow. It is such a resonant, beautiful song. I fell in love. Take a look or a listen and discover it for yourself. I won't go into deep song analysis because I think you should hear it yourself first, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Now I have to check out the rest of their tunes. Good job, My Morning Jacket! Bravo! (And aren't they lookers, as well?)

Ex libris,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book explosion!

I got to work today and WHOA! The carts were overflowing. I freaked out a little bit because this is the fullest they've been since I became shelving supervisor in June. Everything will eventually get shelved, but it is a big mess right now. I put out an APB for all my shelvers to come in and help if they can. Everyone is returning from vacation and dropping their books off, and summer reading is winding down also. The children's carts are the worst because people take out tons of books at a time.

In other shelving news, one of our shelvers resigned on Saturday, so we're down a pair of hands. However, we'll be hiring two new shelvers for the fall, so that is great.

It ebbs and flows.

Ex libris,


Monday, August 18, 2008

Waiting game

So I registered on 1001 Journals for Journal 3031 out of Maine. The theme is "Look what I found!" I find all sorts of stuff in the library, so I'm excited to add my finds to this journal. Hopefully this will revive me a little bit. Now I must wait.

Ex libris,


Bookmaking attention

Last week at work I gave out two business cards. That's epic. The first one was to a library patron who had work in the library's current art exhibit. I bought a piece of his and he came to check out his books and I told him that I was the buyer. Then I pointed out my pieces in the show (both within sight of the circulation desk) and he asked for my card.

The second instance was the next day. I was walking from children's to the circ desk and a woman was looking at one of my books and we got into a long conversation about bookmaking. Apparently her daughter is a bookmaking instructor and we chatted about how I got started and how her daughter went to North Bennet Street School and how I have an Etsy shop and it was awesome. And I gave her my card.

So now I must make things for my shop tout de suite.

Ex libris,


Saturday, August 16, 2008

A curious dualism.

I was just speaking to Lesley, who works in the children's library with me. Apparently there was an article about Tomi Ungerer in the New York Times a few weeks ago. He wrote and illustrated a bunch of children's books, which I knew, but I did not know that he also did erotic books. Interesting combination, no?

He illustrated Flat Stanley, which is a huge favorite of mine, in addition to writing and illustrating his own books. And erotica. There is an increased interest in his work now since the article (which is why there are a pile of his books sitting on one of our carts waiting to be shelved). However, I'm surprised that there aren't any "concerned parents" getting all huffy about the erotic books. Now, we don't have any of those sexy tomes in our library, but I'm sure there are some folks who would like to ban all his books in case there is anything subversive in them. It will be interesting to see how this develops (or if it develops at all), especially since a number of his children's books are being republished in the fall.

Check out the article. It's quite interesting and he seems like a cool guy. I love artists.

Also, if you do a Google image search for Tomi Ungerer, you can see some of his work (including some of the naughty bits).

Ex libris,


Friday, August 15, 2008

New look

I have been playing with my blog template, as you can see. I liked the one I had but I couldn't resist trying something new. So I'll leave it this way for now and see how it goes. I like all the red, but the other one felt much more journal-y to me. Come back soon, it'll probably be different!

Ex libris,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Finding the creative spirit...again.

I have been in such a creative rut lately. I haven't made a book in I can't tell you how long. Also, my studio space is all put away in preparation for the baby shower we're having for my sister over Labor Day weekend, so I don't have anything visually stimulating to set me off.

I feel like I have a lot of stuff to work with but I'm afraid of ruining something and not making it "cool" enough. For example, I have a packet of letters I bought at the Clignacourt flea market in Paris in 2004, but if I use them I won't have them any longer and what if I make something from them that turns out awful? Silly, I know, but I can't shake the creative apprehension.

This book Artist's Journals and Sketchbooks is pretty awesome and has lots of image transfer ideas and ways to be spontaneous. I think I am overthinking things too much in my desire for precision. Also, I don't have the bookmaking drive that I once had. I have fallen into the trap of yarn. Even though I love knitting and crocheting, I feel like I've lost a part of myself since I haven't made a book in awhile. And since it's been awhile, part of me feels like I might as well give it up because I won't ever get back the mad skillz I once had.

Altered Books, Collaborative Journals, and Other Adventures in Bookmaking is a great resource too. My former art professor Maryjean Viano Crowe is featured in it, and I always get jazzed by looking at her work. She basically taught me everything I know about bookmaking. It is because of her that I got to intern at The Center for Book Arts in New York and I've been in a number of exhibitions.

I think I may have the cure for my creativity ailment, however: 1001 Journals. I was walking over to Starbucks the other day and I saw a bumper sticker for 1000 Journals, and when I went to the website it redirected me. How cool is this website? It is a bunch of collaborative journals! Two years ago I tried to get a round robin book going among some friends, but it was dead in the water and I still don't have the book back. I think I may register on 1001 Journals and start collaborating with strangers because other people always have the coolest techniques. Then I can do a little work at a time and hopefully put my creative spirit back together. And I'll be able to work without pulling out all my supplies, and I'll have to be spontaneous because I'll have to send the book along to the next person.

I'll let you know what happens.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Patron stories: Directionally challenged

This just happened while I was sitting here at the children's desk.

Patron: Is this the circulation desk?
Me: No, it's out there. (points)
Patron: Out where you check out?
Me: Um...yeah.

Checking out implies circulation, yes? Where books circulate in and out of the library?


Patron stories: Late start on summer reading

Last week, a woman came into the children's library while my pal Ketti and I were on the desk. She looked a little confused, so I said, "Can I help you?" She said, "Yeaaah, umm, my daughter got a reading list at the end of school? And we can't find it? Do you have a copy of it?"

I think the schools should stop giving out the lists because everyone loses them. We have all of them for the local schools in a large white binder, which I pointed out to this woman.

A minute later, she's back up at the desk with the binder in her hands. She says, "Soooo, what do I do now? Do I have to, like, remember the books and then find them? Or do you maybe have a piece of paper I can write them down on?"

Ketti and I gave each other a look. Was this woman for real? It's like she had never been in a library before. I think maybe that was true. Ketti said that she could photocopy the list or write down the books and then use the card catalog to find them on the shelves. She might as well have been speaking Greek.

The patron also needed the list on which to write down her daughter's books. Apparently, they lost that too and the daughter was upset that she might not have the right paper when school starts again in a few weeks. And then here was the clincher for me: "My daughter has to read TWO books!"

I almost died. Now, I know everyone is not a reader, but two books over the course of two months? It was like someone had asked her daughter to eat a plate of maggots.

They found their books and the woman thanked me, which was nice because a lot of people have zero manners. I found it so amusing that she thought she'd have to remember the books and then hunt for them. TWO of them no less. But at least she made the effort to come to the library and get started on summer reading, even though it was late.

Patrons are funny.

Ex libris,


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dewey is love.

The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr was the perfect post-Breaking Dawn read for me! Obviously tailored to librarians, but delightfully so. It is humorous, heartwarming, with a bit of mystery thrown in. It shows that there truly is someone out there for everyone. Also, each chapter theme is introduced with a recommendation for more reading on the subject directing the reader to the correct Dewey number. Very fun, lighthearted, quick read.

Josephine Carr's website for the book

Ex libris,


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I finished Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn yesterday. There are all sorts of reviews clogging up the Internet, but I couldn't avoid adding my thoughts here because I couldn't find a review that described how I felt now that the Twilight Saga is over (from Bella's point of view, anyway).


Ok, so. Before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me just say that I liked Breaking Dawn. A lot. I had mixed feelings while reading, but at the conclusion, I was satisfied.
Now the nitty-gritty. In skimming online reviews, I have found that there is a lot of uproar about Bella and Edward finally having sex and, subsequently, a half human/half vampire child. I find that Stephenie Meyer is being accused of condoning teenage sex and pregnancy. I say this is bullshit. The bargain was made in Eclipse that Edward wanted to marry Bella and then they would do the deed + love each other forever. Well, hello, they got married. And then they had (tastefully written and, in my opinion, hott) sex. They were both true to their word. To say that Meyer is suggesting that teenagers go get it on is absurd. Sure, Bella is a little young (ok, a lot young) to be getting married, but she is sure that Edward is right for her, and vice versa. She makes a commitment. In these times where twelve-year-olds are giving blowjobs on the school bus, Bella is honorable. Plus, I think that kids who are readers are probably better informed and more conscientious than kids who avoid reading like the plague, and therefore don't read Bella's actions as a blueprint for their own lives.
As a result of their actions, Bella gets unexpectedly pregnant. (Male vampires are able to father children, who knew?) While I was originally a bit surprised by this development, I looked at how many pages were left in the book and thought, ok, well SOMETHING has to happen, so this is it. Bella's decision to keep the baby despite Edward's protestations show her making the right choices for her. AGAIN. So tell me how that is a bad example? Personally, I think the right to choose is important. While I don't know what I would do given the same circumstances, I think that having the option is a good one. Meyer doesn't make Bella's decision into some big pro-life rally. She simply shows Bella taking responsibility and choosing what she thinks is best.
I was a bit disturbed by the parasitic, accelerated pregnancy that Bella endured. It was definitely macabre. I thought Meyer should've told that particular part of the story from Bella or Edward's point of view, not Jacob's. Also, I thought it a little silly that Bella didn't really flinch at the idea of drinking blood. In Twilight, she passes out in biology from a finger prick. She needed to show some aversion. Again, better achieved from her point of view. The delivery of the baby seemed like a scene out of Carrie or Alien to me. I suppose it couldn't be more tender since the child was draining Bella's life. However, I wanted Edward's changing her into a vampire to be more passionate and less frantic. Looking back, it falls in line with the rest of the story, but at the time I was disappointed.
Now, about Meyer condoning teen pregnancy. Again, I find that a silly accusation. Bella is married. She is not sleeping around with the football team or whatever, and oops, baby. It was unexpected, but again, there was a commitment between Bella and Edward and they were going to be together forever. And you know what? It's fiction. These are circumstances that will never happen in real life.
I am amused that there is a backlash against the name of the baby, Renesmee Carlie. In some reviews, it is being compared to the name of Harry Potter's child, Albus Severus, in atrocity. I don't love the name Renesmee but I like the sentiment behind it. I'm not wild about Albus Severus either, but it fits the story. It's better than all they Madisynne Meckenzee Cierra SueVanna kids that are walking around and will never learn to spell properly because their names are intentionally mispelled. Renesmee grew on me. Not loving the Carlie part, but again, it fits the story. Go here if you want to read a ton of hilarious, terrible baby names.
Next bit: Bella as a vampire. As soon as she became a vampire, she was much less real to me. Clearly, that was going to be the case. I like that she discovers her abilities and we discover them with her, but a teeny part of me wanted her to still be a little clumsy. Just at first. Her lack of bloodlust I found a little frustrating, though. Newborns are supposed to be vicious, and I had hoped she'd almost attack someone, namely, Jessica the fickle friend. I found it a little too convenient that she had so much self-control. There needed to be a little more action there for my taste. Maybe just the desire for blood explored a little more. However, the vampire sex drive I thoroughly enjoyed. It's true, I live vicariously through fictional characters, which is a little depressing. And I was feeling down on myself for still being a virgin while all the vampire love was happening. But I snapped out of it. Again, it is just a book. I like how Meyer makes me care so much. I forget that it is fantasy sometimes.
I do wish that there was a bit more mothering between Bella and Renesmee. It seemed a little forced. I do think it rocks that Jacob imprinted on Renesmee, though. I called that one, and I think it tied up Jacob's story well. Phew. And Renesmee sounds like the cutest child ever. But I wanted more mommy time between her and Bella. It was like, "Hey, I just had a baby and turned into a vampire. Let me go take down some elk!" Wouldn't you insist on seeing the baby, especially since you almost died carrying her?
The gigantic vampire gathering was interesting. I was expecting the Volturi to fight and not just off Irina. But maybe in the future?
The reunion with Charlie seemed a little forced as well, as did the obtaining of the forged documents. Hmm. I don't think they were out of place, but I do think they could've been blended in more smoothly.
So what's next? I have to lend out my copy of Twilight to my friend Eileen, so I can't reread the whole series right away. I am taking a break from the supernatural for now, but I do intend to read the saga all the way through. I am also looking forward to the movie version of Twilight in December. My final thoughts on Breaking Dawn: a bit contrived in a few spots, but in hindsight blends in very well with the series as a whole. Meyer has created some amazing characters and has left the door open just a tiny bit to continue if she chooses. I think continuing from Bella's perspective would be forced, but I look forward to Edward's story in Midnight Sun. I'd also like to see an Edward-centric version of Breaking Dawn. Meyer also does a good job indicating the commitment Bella and Edward have for each other. Again, not suggesting that everyone finds their soulmate at 17, but to wait until you are ready.
P.S. The release party I helped organize went really well! Yay, success.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I just added my Etsy shop to my blog. It is over there on the side under "About Me." I love Etsy and have pretty decent luck with it. It's been awhile since I added anything new, but I have ideas and will hopefully put them into action soon when I get a minute!
My shop is named PunkAndEuie and I primarily make books. Check it out!

Ex libris,


Thursday, July 17, 2008


I sit here basking in the aftereffects of The House of Paper by Carlos Maria Dominguez. My friend Ketti recommended this one to me, and I'm thrilled that she did. Here is a book-- a small book of only about one hundred pages-- that explores the lengths of bibliomania and how books can be destructive to one's self. That is a boring sentence I just wrote and does not do the book any sort of justice whatsoever, but I am so taken by the book that I can't even write about it. Here is a review from Fine Books & Collections magazine that gives a better summary than I could. Clearly there is a reason why I am not a book reviewer by profession. :)

"To build up a library is to create a life. It's never just a random collection of books." from The House of Paper by Carlos Maria Domiguez, page 35.

Ex libris,


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Books about books.

Just this morning, I finished Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. It is an excellent book about books. Sometimes b-a-b can be very dry. I imagine the whole genre only appeals to bibliophiles like myself. Fadiman's book, however, is lively and engaging. I found myself laughing aloud (at the hairdresser, no less, so I got weird looks).

I picked up the book while I was shelving at work. I was initially taken by the title because ex libris is a favorite phrase of mine. It's Latin for "from the library (of)". I find it curious that the books about books come right after computer manuals in Dewey, but that's a different story. Anyway, I checked the book out to add to my HUGE stack of library books. I like to mix up fiction and nonfiction so I always have an option of what to read.

A favorite part:

on shopping in secondhand bookstores:
"'Alas,' wrote Henry Ward Beecher. 'Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore!'...In secondhand bookstores, each volume is one-of-a-kind, neither replaceable from a publisher's warehouse nor visually identical to its original siblings, which have accreted individuality with every change of ownership. If I don't buy the book now, I may never have another chance. And therefore, like Beecher, who believed the temptations of drink were paltry compared with the temptations of books, I am weak."

I am extraordinarily weak when it comes to secondhand bookstores. I also relate to Fadiman in the way that she is a compulsive proofreader/officer of the grammar police, she has a particular pen she likes to write with, and she treats her books roughly as a sign of intimacy. It was a great read!

Check it out.

Ex libris,


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Twilight Saga

I never thought I could get sucked into a series the way I did with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, but it has happened with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga.

I was skeptical when Jenn, a friend of mine/teen librarian extraordinaire, suggested the first in the series, Twilight.  I then read New Moon and Eclipse and I am officially hooked.  Meyer's characterizations are so real and she makes the idea of vampires among us plausible.  She also has this amazing way of creating such heat and sexual tension between Bella and Edward, the two main characters.  However, she doesn't make the book a teen sex fest.  Indeed, there is no more than some intense kissing in the first three books.  Whether this is a reflection of Meyer's Mormon faith or just the storyline, I don't know.  But I find it a refreshing change from all the other media that is geared toward teens. 

Breaking Dawn, the fourth and last in the series, is being released on August 2.  I pretty much volunteered to co-run a release party for the new book at the library I work at, and I am so excited about it.  I was so gung ho that I got some other library employees reading the books, and methinks they are going to help out, too.  We're going to have a trivia contest, a scavenger hunt, some crafty goodness, a lot of red food, and we're giving the book out at the stroke of midnight.  It is going to ROCK.

I don't think Meyer's series will take away from the success of Rowling's Harry Potter because it is a different audience.  I do think Stephenie Meyer is going to go far in her literary career.  In my impatience for Breaking Dawn, I picked up her first adult novel The Host and I'm enjoying it.  It is much more sci-fi than fantasy (think "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" circa 1956), but not unpleasantly so as I find most sci-fi to be.

I highly recommend the Twilight saga for some fun, intense fantasy reading!

Ex libris,


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Be bookish.

I like books.  Making them, reading them, buying them.  I work in a library and I do some bookbinding, so it would be safe to say that books are pretty much everything.  This blog is about--you guessed it--books.  So enjoy.

Ex libris,