Hey You

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Yes you, sitting there scrolling and scrolling down whatever social media is your time killer of choice. What are you doing with your time? Where is your life headed? Do you want to sit there day after day, hour after hour, looking at memes, reading whiny posts from your depressed friends who are sitting there doing the same thing you are doing?

Stop it.

Get up and find a life with living. Turn that computer off, toss that phone across the room or simply look up!

Look up. See that? Life is happening and you are missing it.

If you have a dream or desire to do something different with your life, something radical, do it. Even if it is a simple as trying a new hairstyle or hobby, try it.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are stupid or unimportant. Your dreams and wants are just as valid as any ideas that anyone on this earth may have. Take the chance. You might end up being the best at whatever it is. You may succeed in ways you had could not have imagined you could.

Look up, move yourself and live a life!

The one thing that is certain, if you don’t do it, if you keep doing the same old things you always do, you will miss out on unlimited possibilities. up

Life may just turn out amazing if you look up.

I dare you.

 

Why I Threw out my TBR List…Sort of….

FullSizeRenderA librarian without a To Be Read list full of books is unheard of where I live. A bibliophile without a stack of TBR books and a list of recommendations of well over one hundred books is a myth. That person exists where the unicorns live.

I have a TBR list of about 265 books. I also have four stacks of books on the floor of my home library, two small stacks in the living room and a medium size stack on my nightstand. I will die before I read all my TBR books in all those locations.

I thought about the fact that every day I add to my list or a buy more books. I felt more and more insane at the thought of how I would possibly read all the books I own, much less manage to read through the list I have too. I guess I could weed the list. Maybe cut it down to manageable chunks of books. I could even categorize them and tackle the most loved and desired first. The amount of the time and work this would take was a daunting thought.

Then it hit me, just get rid of the list and read the first thing that I grab. Read what speaks to me at that moment in that moment. So I was looking at the list. Staring it down like one does a spider you are about to smack with a shoe. It was glaring back with its catchy titles, best seller snobbery and award-winning charmers. As I went to delete the list, I could not do it. I was thinking, what if a person recommends a book and I remember it is on my list. I may need the list to jog my memory. Do I own it? Is it at the library? What was that title? Was it the one with the blue cover? Deleting the list would not work for me. I think I actually saw my list give a smug smile of victory.

I came to the conclusion that I would not be a slave to the TBR list. I will use it for inspiration, but not as a dictator that will force me to read things I may change my mind about reading. My list did not own me, so I consciously changed my thoughts about my TBR list.

As a result, I feel free to read things I pick up at random. I don’t have to check the list to get permission to read it. I do not feel compelled to check the reviews before I read it. I just pick it up buy it or check it out from the library. Then I unapologetically read the book.  I do not feel obligated to write down every title someone passionately suggest even if they say I must read the latest book they can’t stop talking about. If it sounds interesting and I see it, I can pick it up or not. I am not obligated to consult the authority of the list. I am no longer a captive of the TBR list.

I am a free reader.

 

Stuff

I mentioned before in a recent blog post that I want to downsize my life. I have now devised a plan. I am starting with my phone and other electronics…why are we so dependent on screens? I am downgrading my phone. Really, what one person needs a smart phone, a tablet, two computers, DVR, and two TVs? Seems insane. I hope that the result will be more real in your face time with my friends and family. More real conversations, with real connecting.

I am also looking at other things. I have over one hundred purses, tote bags, and other carrying devices of various shapes and sizes. Oh and shoes! I am up to 70 plus pairs of shoes! Half of which hurt my feet and I don’t wear them.  My library is just a smidgen less that a thousand books.(Well, that is a library not a horde.)  Of course I have a husband with things too. Between us we have three out buildings with stuff. Two small sheds and one barn! We live in a three bedroom house full of stuff. When did things become so important in our lives? OK, in all fairness, some of what we have in storage we inherited from his mother, God rest her soul and our daughter who when she moved out didn’t take all her things, so there is that.

Even though we have a lot of stuff we are very clean and organized people. I can find most everything when I need it. Boxes are labeled and stacked. Books are cataloged as a librarian’s home library should be. There is just so much of it. I have that crazy thought process that all this stuff is stored neatly, not in the way and what if we need it one day. Yeah, that is just crazy. We live in a society that if we need something I can zip down to that bog box store on the corner and get it if we don’t have it. There are so many people in this world, in my town who have nothing and I have too much.

So begins a journey of cleaning out, prioritizing, donating, selling and simplifying. If you need something, you may want to ask me if I have one, chances are I might.

Wish me luck.

 

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S.King

As YA fiction goes this was right up there with reality TV. It’s hard-core true life. Vera, a high school senior, is coping with the death of her best friend, the departure of her mother when she was twelve and the distance of her father. All the while trying to work part-time to save for a college future so she doesn’t end up like her parents. Sounds about normal, right? Add a mix of booze and low self-esteem and hold on for the ride. The characters could be your friends or family. It is all told through Vera’s first person narrative. With raw realism a twisted story evolves around a fairly normal teenage. I know adults that would have cracked dealing with what she had to endure.

I like the style and humor. The characters are witty and very developed, surprisingly so especially given that one protagonists is dead at the beginning of the story. The layout of short chapters mirrors the way Vera’s mind works. She doesn’t think ahead and is living in the moment through most of the book. Not for young teens, but young adults can relate to Vera. I haven’t been a teenager in a long time and I had no trouble relating  to her. The mother in me often wanted to yell at her and discipline her too!

Great book, edgy story that will stay with you long after you finish it.

Why do we love books?

This world is divided into three types of people. Those who love to read, those who don’t love reading or even like reading and those who haven’t learned to read. For those who haven’t learned to read it could be that they are too small yet or just have never had the opportunity. For those who do not like reading, they see reading as a chore, often something that is forced upon them. For those who love reading there is in their ranks levels of reading love. Some just casually read and say they enjoy it. Then there are those who see reading as essential as breathing. I am in that latter group. I am one of those who cannot go a day or sometimes an hour without picking up a book, magazine, web page or a cereal box without reading….I have to read something. Compulsive, certainly. Crazy, insane and not normal,  maybe. The only other alternative to reading is writing or working in the library. By working in the library I am constantly reminded that reading is close at hand and knowing that will suffice my reading obsession for a time. By writing I am reading and rereading as I spin the tale in my head and that is just as gratifying as reading some other author’s words, almost.

Why do people love reading? What makes the act of holding a book in your hand and reading the printed words on a page so valuable that we often do it for hours and hours on end. How is it that language is such a seductive thing that we must read what others put to paper or screen in such quantities to match the stars in the sky?

I have vowed to read 50 books this year and I am far behind schedule. It is not that I am slacking in my love for reading or my desire. I am just a busy person like you. The trick is balancing your love for books and the rest of your life. That can be tricky. When the balancing act gets heavy on the book obsession side then you could be considered insane. If you aren’t careful your family could have you committed.

I decided to risk the padded cell and men in the white coats. I chose to read every spare second I can get. I chose to stack books in every free corner in my house. I chose to live, breathe and love books.

 

Decisions To Make

I have a decision to make that is giving the bibliophile in me a panic. My goal was to build a personal library of one thousand books. Not just any books but books I loved and books that are quality. I am close to reaching my goal. I am up to 882 books. The problem is that I was not a librarian when I made that goal. Now that I have become a librarian and have seen the inside of that world from the other side of the stacks, I am not so sure my goal is a responsible one. There are books everywhere thousands of books. The library offers books to patrons free of charge. The funds available for libraries is always in jeopardy and is something that librarians have to justify to others who may or may not love the library. Crazy I know but not everyone supports libraries. Maybe I should just donate my books and visit them at the library.

The other thing is space. I am out of book space. Well I am out of legitimate book space. I could stack them up all over the house, but then I would be on an episode of hoarders in a flash. I know my family.

I have not bought a book in years by browsing a bookstore. Nor do I order them for myself on Amazon.I just stay out of the stores, mostly. (Christmas gift cards excluded.) I do subscribe to Book Riots Quarterly Box. That is my gift to me for the MLIS I received in December. I won’t keep getting it forever. Actually plan to stop that after the next one. Other than that, I get all my books from the library or from friends.

So, how do I balance my love of books and my desire to be a responsible librarian? That is a difficult question to answer. The bibliophile in me is like a certain little hobbit, my precious books, and doesn’t want to let them go. The grown up librarian side of me says, but you work where books are and you have access to interlibrary loan, get over it.

Now that I have sufficiently whined to you about my problem, what do you think, my fellow book lovers?

(P. S. Please use the comment feature on this blog post to respond if you want to.)