Do unto library books as you’d have done for you.

I’ve found a disturbing trend in library books over the last couple of years: more and more crusty stuff inside. Boogers, spilled drinks & food, unidentified raised, crusty gunk. ūüėĖ And I’m not talking about the children’s book. Finding bodily fluids & ripped pages in children’s books are a given. Although parents should at least tape pages back together, for goodness sake.

I’m talking about adult books. Came across this stain in Playing for Pizza by John Grisham, one of my favorite authors. Yes, it’s dry, but it’s also raised! Can you see that?! Someone spilled a liquid thick enough to dry in 3-D and didn’t even bother to wipe off the excess. In fact, this goop bled through 8 pages before it and 4 pages after it.
When engrossed in a good book, I’ve been know to walk around, go to the bathroom and, yes, even eat while reading. And I’ve spilled my share of food and drink on library books, as well.

However, I mop them up immediately. I even get a fresh, wet towel to remove any residue. After removing as much goop as I can without removing the page itself, I prop the book up, open, and use other things to isolate the now wet page so it dries and does not affect any other pages.

And I bet most people would do the same thing if they had borrowed that book from a friend. But they don’t when they borrow it from the library. They don’t show the same respect and courtesy to a stranger who lives in the same vicinity as them and shares the same passions of reading and that particular author or genre.

They’re probably the same people who return scratched and inoperable DVDs and video game to the library without saying a word to the librarian. We don’t invest money in video games often so B loves to check out the games, all the other kids own, from the library. Imagine his disappointment when half of them don’t even work.

I’m not accusing anyone of damaging a DVD nor game disk. However, I am expecting you to have some courtesy, and instead of dropping that case with a broken disk in to the return slot inside the library, walk an additional 5-15 feet to a librarian and let them know it’s broken. They are so grateful to us when we do that! They don’t want broken items circulating and disappointing those they serve. They want to remove broken items and replace them with working ones.

You know, I used to pick off and clean up goop left on books by other borrowers, but not anymore. All 3 of us have food allergies and I don’t know what’s in that food. What if the person whose nose dripped on the page was sick when it happened? Uh-uh, we all need to clean up our own messes. Just think how disgusted you’d be if you turned the page and saw THIS.

“Do unto others as you’d have done to you.” Please.

The Sounds of Authors

I’ve told you before,¬†here, that I am not a fan of British authors and why. ¬†My mom recently gave me a book that she enjoyed and thought I might like reading it to myself or to B –¬†The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy. ¬†I’d never heard of it, but since I was out of library books, I took it with me on our recent Thanksgiving trip to Boston.

I picked it up Thanksgiving night when I had some time alone and started reading it. ¬†By the end of the 1st paragraph, I realized the author,¬†Megan Rix, was British. ¬†@@ Yes, I actually rolled my eyes when I realized she was British. ¬†But it was the only thing I had to read so I plowed on. ¬†I’m on chapter 2 and we have some things in common – infertility issues, in our 40s, never considered ourselves dog people – so I’m going to continue to read.

Once I realized she was British (BTW, it is PC to call them British? ¬†Do they prefer English? ¬†Do I, as an American, only call them British b/c that’s what they are called in all of our American History books and movies? ¬†Any thoughts?), I started “hearing” the words in my head with a British accent. ¬†Does that happen to you? ¬†It does to me every time. ¬†I don’t mean I read every book in my head with a British accent; I just do if the author is British. ¬†Or English‚Ķ ¬†And if I actually know what an author’s voice sounds like, I hear their voice in my head as I read.

I also read aloud to others with the same cadence and accent as an author, if I’ve heard them speak. ¬†The first book I ever read aloud to the hubs was in 1996 on a car trip. ¬†It was¬†Couplehood by Paul Reiser¬†and, since I was a fan of the TV show Mad About You, I knew how Mr. Reiser would sound if he was reading it. ¬†It makes reading more interesting, don’t you think? ¬†When you read about the Hundred Acre Woods, don’t you hear Pooh’s voice in your head? ¬†I would love to get a job recording audio books!

OK, that last statement was random. ¬†I better quit while I’m ahead. ¬†;o)

Using My Dad’s Favorite Childhood Books in Our American History Lessons

My parents, like most parents I’m sure, were hesitant and worried when we announced we were pulling their only grandchild out of public school to homeschool. ¬†But after seeing the positive changes in B’s stress level and personality, hearing him share what he learns and even teaching him some lessons themselves, they are our biggest supporters. ¬†Every June, my dad asks for my school supply wish list and provides us with what we need.

This past June, I told my parents we were going to take a break from world History and start on American History. ¬†To my surprise, when dad dropped off our requested school supplies there was also a box with the above pictured books in it. ¬†Twenty-six books (there are only 25 in the picture because we are currently reading about The Swamp Fox, Francis Marion) from the Childhoods of Famous Americans Series. ¬†My dad’s books¬†were published in the 1940s.

These books were and still are very precious to my dad. ¬†He loved reading them when he was a child. ¬†My Nana had even written in some of them the dates on which the books were given – birthdays and Christmases starting in 1956. ¬†He lectured both me and B about being careful with them, not drawing in them nor bending the pages. ¬†I’m so grateful he has shared these with us!

The ones we have range in time from James Oglethorpe through John F. Kennedy.  They narrate the childhoods of these men for most of the book and then at the end explain what they accomplished as adults.

The illustrations inside are simple, yet beautiful.  Look at the book, on the right, closed.  The pages are all different widths and uneven, a testament to their age.  :o)

I love books, love the smell of them, the feel of them.  These books are such a blessing and we are reading them when the subject of the book fits into the time period of American History we are covering.

"The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, A Christmas Story" by Lemony Snicket

Until yesterday, I had never read a Lemony Snicket book. ¬†Do you read any of his books to your children or do your children read them? ¬†After B’s gymnastics class yesterday afternoon, we stopped at the library to pick up a book I had placed on hold. ¬†B wanted to peruse the children’s section, so we headed over there. ¬†I found this book, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, A Christmas Story,¬†on display and decided to check it out – it was short, I was intrigued and B kept laughing over his own attempts to pronounce the word “latke”. ¬†I read it as soon as we got home and we were both laughing hysterically! ¬†Fun way for children to learn about Hanukkah and why it’s celebrated. ¬†I recommend you check it out!

Hi, I’m Jess, and I’m an e-Book Downloading Addict

That’s me! ¬†I am addicted to downloading free e-books, mostly from Amazon. ¬†Notice I didn’t say¬†reading¬†free e-books, but downloading¬†them. ¬†I have downloaded 134 books and haven’t read a single one! ¬†I have read approx 20 pages of one book, but that’s it. ¬†After downloaded another book today, I opened up the Kindle application on my computer (I don’t have a Kindle and truly appreciate that Kindle lets people like me have access to their application) to peruse my books and I was reminded, again, why¬†I don’t read any of my books – I’m overwhelmed.

I get overwhelmed quite easily and, because of that, I am not a good multi-tasker. ¬†The only time I multi-task is when I’m on the computer and listening to the TV at the same time or cooking dinner (an entree and a side or two at the same time). ¬†This long list of of books, with varying topics, leave me overwhelmed and after a couple of scrolls down, I inevitably close out the application. ¬†But today, I noticed the word “Collections” on the left-hand side and clicked on the +. ¬†Ta-da!¬† Lists! ¬†I can organize my e-books into like files, making it less overwhelming for me. ¬†Now, instead of scrolling through 134 books which can only be sorted by title, author or recently viewed, I can look at my 16 Collections, which only take up half of the main page! ¬†Woohoo! ¬†Much easier to go right to the subject I’m interested in to select a book. ¬†:o)
In case you’re interested, my Collections are History/Social Studies; Recipes; Health; Animals; Religious; Fun; Fiction; Non-Fiction for¬†The Hubs & Me; Non-Fiction for B; Business; Money-Saving; Homeschool; For the Home; Math; Gardening; Language Arts.

Paper Back Swap

I know I’ve written about before. It’s even on My Favorite Things tab. I post books I want to pass onto others. I get a message when someone wants one of my books. I log into my PBS account, print off a shipping label, wrap the book and mail it off at the cheap media mail rate. I’ve only spent more than $2.48 to mail a book once. I get one credit for every book I send, which I use to receive books from others. The person sending me the book pays for shipping and I pay nothing.

Yesterday, I received 2 requests for books I own, one of which, I had receiced from another PBS user and am now forwarding it on since I’m done (Fifty Shades). I used to go to the post office to buy postage and ship the books, but now I buy the postage online through PBS and it is printed on the label for me!

I fell so happy, putting those books in the mailbox, closing the door and lifting the red flag for our mail carrier. I know the joy of opening my mailbox and seeing a book I’ve requested arrive. I really enjoy being united in the love of reading with total strangers, all over the country! One PBS member sent me a very nice thank you message last year. She lives in Alaska and said very few other PBS members will send her books due to higher postage for the greater distance (it was $3.28 to send that book). It brought joy to her by sending her a book and she brought joy to me by expressing her appreciation. We all need daily joy and can provide it to anyone, anywhere.

(Wrote this on my phone through the Blogger app while at B’s last handwriting lesson. Don’t think I’ll be doing this often!)

Reading Fifty Shades of Grey: My need for a dictionary and it’s similarity to another bestselling series

We got this book a few months ago, hoping to read it together at night after B went to bed.  *snort*  The hubs could not last more than a paragraph and a half before falling asleep!  So, last week I decided to start reading the book on my own and by Chapter 5 I had come to two conclusions:

  1. I must keep a dictionary with me while I read, and
  2. It’s quite¬†similar to the Twilight¬†books!
Here are just a few examples of words in Fifty Shades of Gray that cause me to have a dictionary handy:
  • Castigating
  • Taciturn
  • Fisting (The dictionary was no help with this one, so I had to consult Wikipedia. ¬†Holy crap! How does it even get in¬†there?! ¬†And why¬†would you want yourself that¬†stretched out?!)
  • Mercurial
Here are the similarities I have found between Fifty Shades and Twilight:
  • Written in the 1st person, solely from the POV of the¬†main¬†female character
  • Both novels take place in the Pacific Northwest
  • Anastasia and Bella are young, innocent, inexperienced, clumsy and skinny brunettes
  • They both have two male friends that want to be more, one of whom is all-American (Paul and Mike), the other being a minority (Jose and Jacob)
  • They both have flighty moms with a long list of fervent and then abandoned passions, multiple marriages and a keen insight into men when their daughter’s wish they weren’t so on the mark
  • They both want these men but the men won’t touch them
  • They both like classic literature and compare their relationships to one story in particular (Tess of the d’Urbervilles¬†and¬†Romeo & Juliet)
  • Christian and Edward are older in spirit than their age, they’re worldly, rich, brooding, wish they could read Anastasia’s and Bella’s minds, warn these ladies to stay away from them but they themselves cannot stay away from these ladies and rescue the ladies from harm.
  • Both men have the¬†same¬†hair – style and color!
  • Both men like to sniff these ladies,¬†are hiding a deep, dark secret and have a fun-loving, teasing brother
  • Both men demand any physical relationship must be on their terms.
But then, there are similarities in other forms of entertainment, as well. ¬†Most romantic comedies follow the same plot. ¬†Most “heaving bosom books” (what my aunt calls historical romances because of the pictures on the front covers) are the same – innocent girl, experienced man, one’s rich, one’s poor, he’s rude, she hates him, passion ignites, he takes, she gives, their pride keeps them apart, many tears ensue and then they get together in the end.
Oh, well. ¬†I’m happy to¬†not¬†be reading curriculum, researching curriculum or reading non-fiction about how to assist my son with functioning in this world.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

I find a lot of reading material at Costco. ¬†I peruse the many titles, read the covers and when I see one I want to read, I make a note of it and check it out of the library. ¬†The Postmistress by Sarah Blake was my most recent find. ¬†I was intrigued to find out what secrets the postmistress and the doctor’s wife were hiding. ¬†Unfortunately, there was a third female character, a reporter, and the plot was split evenly among the three women. ¬†I did not care for the reporter’s story line. ¬†It was not until halfway through the book that her story got remotely interesting to me because a link between the reporter and the doctor’s wife was established. ¬†The last fifth of the book, when all three women were in the same town and interacting, was the most interesting part and I dragged my way through the first four fifths. The book gave me something to read while traveling this past week, but I would not recommend it.
I do want to share something from the book that stood out to me, though – how the reporter was told the job was done. ¬†“Seek Truth. ¬†Report It. ¬†Minimize Harm.” ¬†Reporters’ integrities were based on their unbiased observations. ¬†They stayed out of the way, didn’t get involved, and reported the facts, as they saw or heard them, to the people. ¬†That’s it. ¬†I miss that integrity in news. ¬†I remember when it still existed, when I was younger. ¬†It is no more and we all suffer from it, in my opinion.


"I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections"

I’ve found another kindred spirit in a new book I started yesterday, “I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections” by Nora Ephron. ¬†By page 7, she had me; she was talking about¬†me. ¬†Sad that I have the same memory affliction at 30 years her junior, but comforting to know I’m not the only one. ¬†And it’s always good to be able to relate to someone and laugh about your common experiences. ¬†Funny book so far!

I Just Finished "I Don’t Know How She Does It"!

W.O.W. ¬†What a fantastic book! ¬†I can’t wait to talk about it with my readers who have picked it up since I started reading it. ¬†As you know, I checked it out of the library and¬†posted here¬†how affected I was by just the 1st two chapters. ¬†I was about to start chapter 26 when¬†my own copy arrived in the mail from my brother. ¬†My highlighter has been by my side and put to good use from then on! ¬†Now that I am finished with the book, I am going to read it again from the beginning, so I can highlight what I want from the 1st 25 chapters!

Such a powerful book for everyone, not just mothers.  Dads, men who employ mothers, men employed by mothers, any man with a mother in his life can benefit from this book.  This is an accurate picture of what it is like.  Even I, as a mom, one who has been a SAHM and a WOHM, did not fully comprehend nor acknowledge how unequal we still are to men!  Not only in the workplace but also at home!

I can’t recommend this book enough.

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