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Happy Library Week!

We’re nearing the end of National Library Week, and this year’s theme is “Libraries Transform.” Indeed they do. Our local Mansfield Library Express has recently opened a reading room for patrons to enjoy, and readers can have any books in the system delivered there for easy pick up.

I love the luxury of a good library book and knowing I can give it back when I’m done. I could never house all the books I read, but with a library card, I can access anything I want.

If… Continue reading

The Librarians and One Reader

1. My first public library librarian in St. Paul, Minnesota handed me A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and whenever I went back to the library, I would start by finding that book on the shelf, my familiar cornerstone.

Two people study near windows at the Uconn Library.

The UConn Library

2. When my middle school librarian urged me to browse, I discovered two things: George MacDonald’s The Light Princess and that I could find good books myself.

3. My high school librarian showed me how to use the subject, author, and title sections of the… Continue reading

Read Anything Good Lately?

I read for fun.  I love to drop into a good story or follow a curious argument.  Some books I devour fast, like a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, and some I savor slowly, like the chocolate cappuccino brownies my sister made lately with my daughter, two nieces and two nephews.  The one I ate was rich, smooth, full of careful love, and I can still taste it.

It's easy and free to catalogue your library on Goodreads.

My favorite place to read?  The hammock in… Continue reading

99 Favorite Reads, Picked by Teens

The teens who named their favorite books for this list include athletes, honors students, non-readers, incarcerated girls, a prom queen, loners, computer game players, gay and straight teens, teens from the coasts and in between, teens of many races, artists, and writers.  Their choices made the list (alphabetically) regardless if the books were award-winners, banned, popular, controversial, new, or classic.  The sole criteria: these books are favorites. 1. Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak 2. M.T. Anderson, Feed 3. Anonymous, Go Ask Alice 4. Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, The… Continue reading

The Shelves Paradox

Why do I have more books than can fit on my shelves?  If I want to locate Fahrenheit 451, (which surely I must own), after I look through the main shelves in our library and living room, I also have to check the shelf in my upstairs office, the shelves in my son’s and daughter’s rooms, another bookshelf and three more boxes in the attic, and one box in the basement.  Then I check my Kindle, too.

This is not a system.  This is a happy meandering… Continue reading

The Missing, the Lost, and the Stolen

Now and then, when I’m taking a quick break from writing, I go to WorldCat.org, the free website that catalogues books in libraries worldwide, to see if anybody’s reading my book.  Birthmarked is listed in 720 libraries.  That seems like a lot to me.  For a frame of reference, Harry Potter I (1998) is in 5,021 libraries, and Printz-winning Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker (2010) is in 1625.

WorldCat.org NY Public Library, Birthmarked

One amusing thing about the site is that it organizes the libraries by distance… Continue reading