It was my birthday last week. I found, to my delight, that the Book Thing of Baltimore had just reopened (they were closed for a year due to a fire). It is basically a free book exchange. The place holds over 200,000 donated books. I asked my husband if for my birthday treat, we could stop there (for several hours) on the way to visit family. He obliged- and I wasn\’t the only one who got books! We donated, too- my kids and I all cleared some space off our shelves. We gave the Book Thing three boxes full of books, and brought home five in return. My six-year-old picked out nine books (in good taste- some Little Critter, a few Golden Books and a picture book about collie puppies that I remember fondly from long ago), my teenager got about fifteen (YA fiction and some cookbooks- she\’s honing her skills), my husband found just over twenty- mostly on history and languages. I combed all my favorite sections: sci fi/fantasy, general fiction, travel, classics, biographies, gardening, biology, animals/nature, women\’s studies, anthropology and staff picks. Here\’s my glorious haul. I don\’t at all feel bad for adding so many piles to the floor in front of my TBR bookcase- it will probably be a year or more before we visit that place again.
The first two in this stack I have actually read, and been on the lookout to add to my collection. The rest, I am familiar with the authors so eager to try more of their work:
These are ones I instantly recognized because they\’re on my listed TBR:
A few oversize/ photography heavy books:
The ones I got just because they looked interesting:
and a few possible oops– I already had a copy of Thirteen Moons– promptly sent this one out in the mail thru Paperback Swap when we got home. I know I have tried Mary Renault several times and not really enjoyed it… and I am pretty sure I once had a copy of Wild Animus, tried it and discarded onto the swap shelf. I guess the cover blurb caught my eye for the same reason again!
The book love didn\’t stop there. I received a few gift cards- one for Powell\’s! -and after getting a few items for my aquarium, I mostly used the rest to round out my collection of Gerald Durrell. The first one arrived today- Ark on the Move (with photos!) Thumbing through it I fear I made a mistake: it has chapters about pink piegons and bats, so I think this is another case where one of his books was published under two different titles. I\’ve also ordered Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons– and I bet it\’s the same text. Will have to make a few returns… I wish I could find a list somewhere of his titles pointing out which have alternative titles.
While I was updating my LThing catalog today, I took the time to add in all the titles I have on my e-reader. I didn\’t realize so many. One hundred. I\’ve only read seventeen of them! It feels odd to put them in my catalog. Do you count e-books, when you\’re tallying up your books? They feel intangible: I often think- if my device suddenly quit working, or got lost or destroyed -all those books gone in an instant (I should copy all the files to my computer as backup). And yet there\’s a plus to that: if there were a fire, and I wasn\’t preoccupied with getting my kids safe out of the house, I\’d probably grab my sketchbooks and the e-reader. It would only save a fraction of my library, but it would be something. There\’s so much unread stuff on it because I tend to forget they\’re there. Upcoming travels, it will finally see some use again.