Friday, February 20, 2009

Love of the Letter, and More

Today 0prah listed a little article on her website about how to get books for less. I thought that you might like to see it, so I linked it below.

My favorite way to get books is to go to used stores, where I come home with more than both arms can carry. When I can't do that, I go online at Barnes and Noble or Amazon and look for a book. Usually there is a place to click for used versions. I find books in great condition, often for as low as $1.99 and they shipping is usually about $3. It is rare anymore that I buy a book new. But I do visit new bookstores often, and utilize their discount systems. I have spent money on books, papers and pens than probably any other thing in my life, including food.

I love libraries, but I use them for atmosphere, for writing, sitting, just being there. I seek them out when I travel, especailly to small towns and other countries. Of course I prefer the ones with long wooden tables and lamps with green glass shades... or the ones with rickety shelves and uneven floors, because those often have little corners tucked away. I find those corners, and if I'm lucky enough that they have several, I take great pains to choose my spot carfefully, like I choose a new journal when it's time. The spot will reflect my mood at the time, and there I curl up, lost in my thoughts as if I were a child who has a secret, safe place to hide or dream.

To be in a library when it's raining is the best.

But to take a book out for me means I have to have time to read the book NOW, or in a certain amount of days, and I no longer have that kind of time. But that's not why I don't take books out more. Taking books out means I have to return them, and I just don't want to.

I do like to OWN books, to buy and keep them. I like every spare space stacked with books. I like the idea of a room in the home as a library, with all the walls having floor to ceiling books, unless one wall would be devoted to wood burning fireplace. I see thick, cozy chairs in the center of that room, with soft, warm blankets thrown over the arms, maybe even footrests. I remember once in New York or Boston, where apartment space is a premium, going into someone's bathroom to find books stacked vertically, flat against the wall, their spines facing out, and in every room on and additional, akwardly hand built single shelf just above the doorways that ran the entire circumference of each room. Their home was clearly not so much a place to eat and sleep but to house the contents of their mind and heart, on display. I loved that and have never forgotten it.

I like to give books as gifts, and I feel every book given or received should have something written on the inside sheaf. Not only will this conjour up memories once it's opened, no matter how many years later, during a moment of rest in a move, when splitting possessions in a divorce, when being sorted after someone has passed away, but also when someone like me sticks my index finger on it's spine to pull it out from among other books on a dusty shelf in a used store many years from then, the date and the names and the sentiments will be seen and in that moment, given new life.

The 0prah article lists ways to swap and trade with others, and suggest a place that operates like Netflix does with movies. Miss 0 has done more to revitalize reading, authors and the publishing industry than anyone could and that is a very good thing. However, I read an article in Harpers Magazine this month that talks about the death of all that.

Let's not let books go the way of the handwritten letter. Buy, borrow, trade, write, read, ask for and GIVE books!

To see the 0prah article CLICK HERE or check out

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thank You Blog Pals-O-Mine

On the first of the year, Sandy, from Indigo Goddess started a little group of birthday elves from the circle of friends she's made in blogland. It's like Secret Santa, kind of... Anyway, mine was the first on the list, and I was floored by the thoughtfulness and accuracy of these gifts, from people I have never met.

Melissa, of A Magickal Melis, sent me this amazingly beautiful journal that she made herself and a card with tons of really meaningful, joy filled statements -- such powerful affirmations. I was just blown away. Did she know that I collect journals and have kept them most of my life? Did she know the kinds of things she wrote were just what I needed to read?

Maggie from The Bee Charmer sent me the perfect thing too -- a nose and glasses, a set of lips (with candy on the other end) and a funny card. I guess she saw into my soul at some point to know this worked for me! I say it was a perfect fit as I have a rather large, though oft-clandestine funny bone.
Either that or she saw my Thanksgiving post and it gave me away.

How could I be so well known and so well treated by folks I've never met or not known for long?

There's a LOT of GOOD out there people. Tap into it, spread some of your own around!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dive In

For lack of attention a thousand forms of loveliness elude us every day.
—Evelyn Underhill

What will you pay attention to today?