Tag: bookshelves

Book sales is something where I let myself splurge. It’s supporting the library! Their prices have gone up in past years but gladly my husband’s income has kept pace so I’m allowed to indulge a bit. I pretty much just picked up everything that looked in any way interesting to me, and bought it. Came home with only three regrets- two books I forgot I already owned (not pictured here), and one that my kid owns and would have let me borrow. The blue one on bottom of righthand pile is George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin. I read all his books a very long time ago when young. Not sure if I’ll like them now, but I’m curious to try and see. The rest of these are all new to me, though quite a few are on my TBR, so I snapped ’em up.

I also got a few gardening books, and this abridged copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species. I have another full copy of that, but the illustrations in this one looked great so I couldn’t pass it up.

And this stack is from a week earlier, when I took myself to the used bookstore next town over. I spent almost the same amount of money as at the library sale, and got a fraction number of books. So the library sale is still a really good deal! And now my personal library tops 2,000 books wooo hooooo.

I went with my kid to the local library sale. Not at my usual branch, but a smaller one nearby. The sale is smaller, too. This year it was – rather disappointing. For me! We filled a cloth shopping bag for $10, but most of those were books my kid picked out. Personally I brought home seven books, and only two of those actually added to my library. Wow. Pickings were slim enough, we were there on the second day of the sale and either not much got donated, or a lot of people came on friday. I passed over many many great titles that I already own, but chose a hardback copy of Roadless Area to replace my paperback, and a hardbound, very worn first edition of Bambi with the exact same illustrations I fondly recall from my first reading of it out of a public library when I was around ten. Even though I already have a copy of that. It feels like insurance, for such a favorite. The other duplicates were mistakes! I got two books I already own but had forgotten they were on my shelves. Oops.

The ones that are actually new to me: Peter and the Starcatchers (which I thought was on my TBR? but it’s not) and The Church Cat by Mark Bryant- shorts stories that looked like they might be good. Just because it’s cats you know.

I’ve never had such a small library sale haul. Here’s hoping the one in fall, at my regular library branch, will be better. Although really, maybe it’s a good thing that my acquisition rate is slowing down. And my daughter sure was happy to find a lot of crafting and knitting books, fairy stories, some mild horror and romance, and a Harry Potter cookbook!

(Now I’m wondering: are there fewer books donated to the library sale, because people stick them in those little free libraries instead? we have several in town)

Yesterday, took a drive to visit a nice used bookstore. This is what I brought home! Swallows and Amazons has been on my out-of-print want-to-find radar for a while, Further Adventures of Lad is an old favorite from childhood I was happy to re-encounter, the rest just look good and I’m hoping I’ll like them!

Here’s more book piles: my middle-schooler decided to clean out her bookcase. She feels she’s outgrown the picture books, and was ready to donate them but I said no-o-o, we can’t give away Curious George or Toot and Puddle! The Little House is a treasure! I’m not letting you get rid of Oley the Sea Monster. And we have to keep all the Frances books (and so on- I exclaimed my way all through the entire pile while sorting).

So there’s a huge stack in the hallway (another pile is getting donated but it’s much smaller) while I figure out where to shelve them elsewhere in the house (those in my own room are full to overflowing again). Time to get some reading done, and get those book piles tidied up!

I just have to decide now, if I want to add all these picture book titles to my LibraryThing catalog. Would make sense to do so.

Well, the summer reading program has definitely got me using our library again!

I tried to find books for the challenge which are already on my TBR backlog- and then got overeager- oh yes, I do want to read that one, and that one, and this one too . . . !

The challenge only asks me to read one graphic novel, one book a librarian recommended, check out and use one cookbook, etc. I borrowed eight graphic novels, four cookbooks, three recommended titles, and a few others just on a whim. Hope I can read them all before the due dates!

A while ago I said to my husband, why don\’t we put shelves behind the bed? where there\’s empty space between the headboard that leans back, and the air duct that juts out. I looked for a long time and couldn\’t find any ready-made bookcase that would fit at just 9\” deep. So he finally built some for me:

I held things up, moved cords for the drill around, painted. Took us about two days. Then spent a few hours rearranging my library to make use of it! Which was the fun part. These are all TBR books. First row in:

and the rest:

(And it\’s only half-I have eight other shelves of TBR). Happily this got them all off the floor, and allowed me to rearrange the permanent books so none are double-stacked or horizontally wedged in. As you can see in before and after pics below, of another wall in my bedroom. The stack on the floor in the corner is mostly books I read since the pandemic started. I had no place left to shelve them into the permanent collection.

Now there\’s space and then some! It\’s so nice they all have a bit of breathing room too.

What’s a birthday, without a few new books? I placed an order mid-October with Powell’s, and the last of them finally arrived today. I’m just delighted. Thank you to my husband, my parents and my in-laws who all enabled this little splurge!

I miss the library. My kids do, too. Third-grader is bemoaning the fact that she\’s read all the books on her shelves and has nothing new (this is true). Well, except the Magic Treehouse series. She tried a few, didn\’t really care for them. So I put them up on the book swapping site I belong to, and let her pick some titles for herself. Half a dozen on the way now!

Then I decided to support an independent used bookstore, and made an online purchase. I looked for titles by some of my favorite authors that I\’ve been wanting to try (most of which are not available at the library anyway). Did the same on the swapping site. Here\’s all those:

Discovered a fellow member with very similar taste in reading material. Who was offering two-for-one on the paperbacks. So I also chose a ton of unknowns, just for the heck of it. (I have lots of points on that site to use up). In the mood for juvenile fiction, so ended up with this lot, which came today:

Finally, picked these out for my kid. I might read some of them, too! She just got a new book for her birthday, so has something to read now. A family member gave her a gift card and guess what, she used it to order a book by her favorite author- however it\’s not out in print until July. Now she has more books while waiting for the one she really wants (seventh in the Upside-Down Magic series).

Of course, I\’ll always let her borrow age-appropriate books from my shelves, but she\’s not quite as keen on animal stories as I am . . .

A peek at one of my TBR shelves, although the focus when I took the photo was a plant (this was on my garden blog).

Some time ago I rearranged all my TBR shelves (there\’s twelve now, with three additional stacks on the floor). Mostly by subject- so if I was in the mood for fiction, fantasy, a memoir or natural history, it would be easy to find something. But I also shelved all the books I\’ve heard about from other bloggers, and those already on my written TBR from other sources, together. Figured it would give me some motivation to read ones I can cross off an actual list. This selection comprises four shelves out of the twelve. Sadly, I keep looking at them but have not felt like picking any up yet. Still working my way through stacks of Audubon and Defenders of Wildlife. Tried to read more of Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell last night, made it through only three pages.

Like many of you, I thought I was going to make a large dent in my TBR shelves these weeks, but have found it difficult to maintain focus and enjoy books. Instead I\’ve been reading periodicals.

Three of these we have regular subscriptions to- National Geographic, Tropical Fish Hobbyist and Amazonas. The rest I got free once off CL– two large cloth shopping bags full. I gladly took it because most were exactly the subject matter I enjoy- environment and nature. Audubon, World Wildlife, Nature Conservancy, National Parks, Sierra, Defenders of Wildlife and more. The stack of them all on my bedroom floor is literally more than a foot high. I assumed when I picked these up it would take me years to get through them all- dipping in here and there, between regular books. Now it\’s kind of my mainstay. For how long I don\’t know.

They\’re all relatively recent- I think the oldest issue is from 2016- and it\’s nice that a lot of them have stories about positive change and progress. Monarch butterfly numbers on the rise. Wolves and cougars repopulating into new areas of the country. Land set aside for wildlife, species protected, operations harming ecosystems altered or shut down. Of course a lot is about things that need to be done, raising alarm for problems around the world. But I am glad to read the positive stories- people do care, and a lot of good is happening out there.

I was travelling over the holidays. It wasn\’t intended to be a bookish trip (aside from the fact that I finally got through some books on my e-reader). We had quite a few flights and I didn\’t want to haul books around, plus I didn\’t anticipate finding many English books in the Spanish- and Dutch-speaking countries we visited (or at least, slim chance that among the small English selection there\’d be anything I actually wanted). But in spite of that I brought two home:

The first is a YA (or J Fic?) graphic novel El Zoo Petrificado by Joris Chamblain (The Petrified Zoo). Turns out the original isn\’t Spanish but French, so this is already a translation. I looked it up when I got home and there doesn\’t seem to be an English version yet. We were in a small newstand/gift shop in a main bus station on Gran Canaria, killing some time and making a purchase to get change for the bus. Picked out a few items for the kids as souvenirs, and this book kept catching my eye. I thumbed through it in the shop- it appears to be about some kids who together with an old man start painting animals on the walls of a derelict zoo- and then I don\’t know what happens. I was really intrigued by the artwork and apparent subject matter, and I thought I just might be able to understand enough of it to enjoy it rather than struggle at translating every other word, since it\’s written for youth. We\’ll see! If I do manage to read it, this will be the first foreign-language book featured on my blog.

The second book has quite another story. On our last day abroad we stayed in a nice but very futuristic-feeling airport hotel, Citizen M. It had lots of large, open areas set up like living room spaces, to relax or eat in. With tons of floor-to ceiling shelves full of fake plants, classy bric-a-brac and books. It looked like someone just bought a ton of unwanted, cheap books secondhand to fill these shelves and make it look homey. But book nerd that I am, I actually scanned the titles while eating, and found this one by Peter Dickinson that caught my interest because it has similar subject matter to another book I\’m reading right now (Elegy Beach by Peter S. Beagle); in both stories the alteration of the world is called The Change. I like the illustrations, too (but the cover image is pretty awful).

I read the first few chapters while my husband watched the news, and then approached a staff member on the way back to our room. I asked if the books were decorative only, or if I could read this one? He shrugged: Oh, sure, you may keep it for yourself. He probably thought it was funny or odd I wanted this old, juvenile apocalyptic fiction. But I was tickled pink.

Here\’s another foreign book I\’ve newly acquired. This one is a gift I received in the mail, from the Netherlands. One of my vector artworks is being used by a village association in Westenschouwen to represent their legend of a mermaid. My drawing was included in their book of the village history, and they sent me a copy of it! I\’ve asked my husband to read and translate it to me a bit at a time- so far we\’ve gotten through the introduction (he is fluent in Dutch, whereas I know about four words). I have written more about it over here, on my art blog.

Not to be outdone, my husband also picked up a new book while we were at a museum in Galdar. There was a countertop next to the lockers with a row of books and a notice about Book Crossing! None were in English, but my husband happily picked out a German crime/thriller, and left in its place a Dutch paperback he\’d finished reading earlier on the plane.

On a different note, I was disappointed to find I can\’t do book splurges from Loudoun County surplus anymore. There was a little storefront just outside of town where unwanted stuff from government offices was sold off. Including tons of books weeded out of school libraries. I used to go there once every other year or so, and I could fill up three or four boxes of books for what amounted to thirty dollars- it ended up being less than twenty cents a book. I hadn\’t been in a long time (since I got so much from The Book Thing recently, and a large regional library sale earlier in the year). I was looking forward to taking my older daughter this vacation week. But it\’s now closed. They now only conduct online auctions, and unfortunately I don\’t want to buy huge lots of books unseen. I\’m not in the business anymore of selling off used ones on Amzn (tried that already, didn\’t work out for me). Well, I guess it\’s better to not overdo it on the used books anyhow. There are two tall piles in my bedroom already since I ran out of shelf space, and I need to work at getting the floor cleared again!


All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it


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