Broke & Bookish Secret Santa

Happy November, everyone! I have to apologize for not posting in over a month. Truth be told, I’ve been uninspired lately. BUT, I just found The Broke and the Bookish‘s Secret Santa and I’m so excited that I wanted to share it with you. There’s not much time left, though, so sign up now if you’re interested!

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http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2015/10/6th-annual-broke-bookish-secret-santa.html

This is such a great idea! Send in your address and a list of books you’ve got on your TBR list (you can even send a link to your wish list), along with some other details, and you’re in. I just signed up and I’m really looking forward to it. Enjoy, good luck, and Merry Christmas!

To Buy, or to Borrow?

Which do you prefer? I almost always buy my books, unless I’m not sure it will be a good read, in which case I borrow it from the library. If I like the book I borrowed, I’ll probably buy it after reading it and add it to my collection. The question is, where will I buy it? Online, or from a physical bookstore?

The other day I was in a bookstore and saw a book I liked, but did not buy it, for various reasons. Yesterday, I decided to go back to the bookstore to purchase that book, but it was out of stock. Amazon, however, has the book, but unlike most of the time when the book is much cheaper on Amazon.com, it is the same price. I decided that I would forego the instant gratification of buying the book right then online, and would wait the extra few days until it’s in stock at the bookstore. But it’s so hard to wait!

Have you ever had to make that choice, between buying a book online, or waiting to buy a book from a physical bookstore? What did you do? I admit, most of the time, I do buy my books from the cheaper online source, but often price is the deciding factor. In this case, however, when the price was the same, I felt a moral obligation to support my local independent bookseller.

On the other hand, a lot of people choose to borrow books instead of buy them. What makes one choose borrowing or buying? For me, I love books and want to have a collection of my own. Do those who usually borrow not want their own collection?

What do you think? Do you buy or do you borrow? Do you buy online or from a bookstore? Is supporting the local indie bookstore a lost cause anyway?

Blogging Shout Out!

One of the great things about having a blog is the great community of bloggers you get to meet. I have really enjoyed finding and following new blogs, and I realized it is long past time to introduce three of my favorite blogs to you so you can get to know them too!

So Many Books – the agony and ecstasy of a reading life, by Stefanie Hollmichel.
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I enjoy reading this blog, and I really like the Bookish Quotes page – I think that’s a unique, personal touch that helps to set this blog apart from the rest. Stefanie has lists of all the books she has read over the years with active links to their reviews, as well as an alphabetical list of all the blog entries down the left-hand side of the page, so you can easily get to the post you’re looking for.

Words Read and Written – the ramblings of an Aussie Book Blogger by Jodie.
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This was one of the very first blog I started following. Jodie’s blog has thousands of followers (I can only dream of that!), and I find her posts engaging and easy to relate to. Along with reviews, she also often features author interviews, which are always interesting!

Dolce Bellezza – for literary and translated fiction is my newest find, and I’ve already added several books to my To Read list based on reviews from this blog.
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Bellezza is refreshing because there are books mentioned and reviewed here that I would not otherwise have heard of! And who doesn’t love discovering new books?!

I hope everyone checks out these blogs and enjoys them as much as I have. And who knows? You might discover your new favorite blog, or a book you never knew you were missing.

Biblio Body Art

I like books, obviously. I would even say without reserve that I love them. And there are a lot of people out there who share my enthusiasm, based on the number of Instagram profiles I’ve seen where people unabashedly proclaim their love for the codex. However, I think I can safely say that I will never love a book so much that I feel the need to put it in my skin. It turns out that I might be in the minority on that one, because there are a lot of pictures of book-related tattoos out there.

Let me say that even though I’m not a tattoo person, I do enjoy looking at interesting body art, and what could be more interesting than art about books?

44 Adorable Tattoo Designs for Book Lovers by Sortra.com :
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36 Stunning Book Tattoos That Are Surprisingly Badass at Buzzed.com:
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Literary Tattoos at POPSUGAR.com:
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I hope you enjoy these creative nods to literature as much as I did!

#bookstagram

Pictures of books are a thing. Actually, they have been for a while now. Pictures of books have evidently been a thing since at least the summer of 2014. Collective Lifestyle’s article, Social Media Meets Book Nerds With Bookstagram, introduces the phenomenon, but says there were already 150,000 bookstagrams on Instagram by then. So, being in love with all things book-related as I am, I thought I’d try my hand at making a bookstagram. I’ve made two, actually, and they’re up on my Instagram account, shared to my Twitter feed, so I apologize if you’ve already seen them.

Here’s the first one, featuring A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows, and the coolest bookmark I’ve ever had (or seen!):
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Quirk Books just posted a neat article on July 21 entitled, How to Photograph Your Books for Instagramin which are lots of good tips for creating appealing bookstagrams to entice followers and grow your audience. Pointers like making sure there’s no messy background, and adopting a unique quirk or characteristic so people will recognize your signature style.

In my second bookstagram, featuring Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann, I replaced the latte with a book-themed candle, but kept my bookmouse companion:
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Book Riot’s article, A Brief Guide to Bookstagram, gives us “the scoop on all the hottest bookish hashtags” in case you haven’t yet taken the plunge yourself. And if you have made your own bookstagram, check out the article anyway, and maybe you’ll discover some new book-delights!

BIBLIOtherapy

Bibliotherapy is a concept that was brand new to me two and a half years ago when I began my degree in Library & Information Science. But after writing a short paper on its pioneer, Sadie Peterson Delaney, it is now a subject dear to my heart.

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(image retrieved from http://www.marksdailyapple.com/bibliotherapy/#axzz3efmm29TA)

Sadie Peterson Delaney (1889-1958) single-handedly pioneered and established the concept of bibliotherapy. She was tireless in her efforts using books to help the disabled, the mentally ill and the blind. She began her library career in 1920 at the New York Public Library and was committed to community outreach. She worked with children from all backgrounds and while she was there, developed an interest in helping the blind, so she learned both Braille and Moonpoint, a simpler version of embossed reading developed by William Moon in 1847. (Gubert, 1993)

In 1824 Delaney moved to Tuskegee, Alabama and stayed there until her death in 1958. While there, she was the chief librarian of the US Veterans’ Administration Hospital. When she arrived the library had 200 volumes and within one year, they had 4,000. Interestingly, some of the books she introduced first were fairy tales. She is quoted as saying, “there seemed no books suitable for mental patients,”(Gubert, 1993 p. 125) as though fairy tales were. Ms. Peterson clearly knew what she was doing, however, as she earned numerous domestic and international citations and recognitions, including selection by the Mitre Chambers in London, England as one of America’s important women in 1934. As a direct result of her many published articles, the ALA (American Library Association) formed its first committee studying bibliotherapy in 1939. (Finding Aid for Sadie Peterson Delaney Papers 1921-1958. Retrieved from: http://www.nypl.org/ead/3605)

Her aim was to aid wounded, crippled veterans who were bed-ridden and had no way of moving past the horrors they had endured during the first World War. Delaney even had books projected onto the ceiling for those who were completely immobile (Gubert, 1993). The ALA has a definition of the word on its website followed by over a page of articles on the topic and its wide range of possible patients, from troubled children to mentally ill adults. (Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/tools/bibliotherapy)

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(image retrieved from http://verve-academy.com/bibliotherapy/)

Bibliotherapy has not yet reached its full potential. It is far from mainstream, and the average person on the street has never heard of it (please correct me if I’m wrong!!). But, there have been some articles written about it, and here is one from the BBC, published on January 6, 2015: Bibliotherapy – Can you read yourself happy?

The Verve Academy: Bibliotherapy – A Novel Cure to Stress is a good article about a practicing bibliotherapist, Ella Berthoud.

Mark’s Daily Apple wrote a good article on the concept entitled, Bibliotherapy: The Power of Books in 2011.

So when you’re feeling stressed or if you think you might benefit from some therapy, don’t rule out bibliotherapy!

Quirky Videos to Brighten the Book-Lover’s Day

As the title of this post suggests, I wanted to give my readers some smiles and create a fun post. The videos below are endearing and quirky and I enjoyed them, so I hope you do too.

1.  Uptown Funk parody, Unread Books

2.  What happens in a bookstore at night? The Joy of Books

3. The Fabulous Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

4. All About That Bass parody, All About Them Books

Print is Putting Up a Good Fight

Even though I have a degree in library science and am well-versed in the changes that libraries are experiencing as they transition more and more of their resources from print to digital, in my heart of hearts, I remain devoted to print.

So with my bias strongly in tact, I wanted to find some sources that back me up; some stats that show I’m not alone.

  1. Released on February 27, 2015 by Huffingtonpost.comSorry eBooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better. Wonderful title aside, this article has interesting points relating to emotional connection, the belief that all good info is NOT online, and more.
  2. On March 26, 2015, digitalbookworld.com released New Survey Finds Millennial Readers Clinging to PrintSome interesting book stats on the 18 – 34 age bracket.
  3. Comics Should Be Good blog, hosted on comicbookresources.com, released She Has No Head! – Print vs. Digital on April 20, 2015. The author flat-out states that she prefers print (kudos to you, my friend!), and there are some interesting comments and feedback that present arguments both for and against comics in digital format.
  4. From npr.org on May 28, 2015 comes Technology of Books Has Changed, But Bookstores are Hanging In There. The article is a heart-warming exploration of an independent bookstore in Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill Books. A few words from a customer and other professionals add to the print versus digital books debate.

At the end of 2014 and into the beginning of 2015, there was much talk of the resurgence of print, and speculation about eBook sales slowing. Now that we are well into 2015, I am interested to see what end-of-year stats for this year will show!

The Best Positions for Reading, and How to Know if You Should Lend

As you can see from my Twitter feed, I just found a delightful post by the Times of India that prescribes the best way to position yourself for the utmost enjoyment of your book. 5 Postures to Read Books Perfectly sums it up quite nicely with information about leg height, foot support and more. For the best reading experience possible, check it out:
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This infographic will help take the agony out of that eternal question, “Should I lend them the book?” We have all wanted to lend someone a book at some point. We really want to share the insight that we gleaned from a certain book, and there are many factors that go into the decision to part with a book. What if they fold pages or damage the spine? Or, worse, what if we never get the book back? But they are such a good friend, and this book would really help them.. And so it goes. BUT, the infographic I found yesterday is a real help and I hope that the scenarios contained within it will help all of you in your future book-lending decisions. From BuzzFeed Books comes the wonderfully insightful, helpful infographic, “Should You Give Someone A Book?” created by Jon Adams.

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Science and Infographics Explain the Heavenly Aroma of Old Books

The other day I saw an Infographic about the unmistakable smell of Old Books, and I liked it so much I felt I should put together a post on the subject. Upon searching for appropriate articles and graphics to attach here, I also found the most amazing thing ever. It’s probably not new to most of my readers, but.. BOOK AND PAPER-SCENTED CANDLES AND PERFUMES! Listed on ebookfriendly.com, I personally love the idea of burning a candle called Ex Libris, or Oxford Library.
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*image retrieved from http://ebookfriendly.com/book-smell-perfumes-candles/#book-smell-candles

But I’m already off track. On September 26, 2014, Lisa Winter wrote, Where Does the Smell of Old Books Come From? for IFL Science. To paraphrase, the article says that “volatile organic compounds” break down over the years, causing that smell which makes bibliophiles grow weak in the knees. The article is a nice, quick read and explains why there really is an old book smell.

This next article, What Causes “Old Book Smell”? by Matt Soniak for mental_floss is also fairly short, but has a little more detail to it, and adds some interesting tidbits like, “a book’s smell is also influenced by its environment . . . which is why some books have hints of cigarette smoke, others smell a little like coffee, and still others, cat dander.”

And if articles just don’t do it for you, these Infographics definitely will:
1. Compound Interest has a great one, “What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books?” I like how it addresses the bells of old and new books, because new books definitely have a distinctive smell too. Click on the picture below for the full Infographic:
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2. This Infographic, published on June 3, 2014 by the Daily Mail, is similar to the one above, but who can resist another book-related Infographic?
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