Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Biblio-Liberation Army Unite! A Report From The Front Line!

If you missed my post about Restoration Hardware mutilating books and reselling them as objets d'art, catch up here: Artful Biblioclasm?!

Saturday, my family spent the day in Tulsa with the main event being my fabulous birthday lunch at PF Chang's. Chang's is always one of my favorite restaurants but I had an ulterior motive in choosing it over any other. The restaurant is located in the ritzy Utica Square shopping center which just happens to house a Restoration Hardware store. No way could I pass up a chance for a little reconnaissance.

Just inside the door, this sight welcomes shoppers:

The store is very spartan; mainly furniture vignettes, a few shoppers and too many bored salespeople lurking about. Definitely a situation requiring stealth. I sat on the itchy Belgian linen sofa behind the basket and said to my five year old: You look so cute. Stand right there and let me take your picture.

Since my main quest was to scope out which books were being abused, I glanced though a few of the bundles in the basket. The twine isn't tight so the books can be pulled apart slightly to see titles/authors. Then, while hubby and son exclaimed over other objets d'art and engaged the salespeople, I glanced though bundles all over the store, jotting down titles and taking more photos-- some with no flash. Sneaky, huh... I knew reading thrillers would come in handy someday. ;o)

I was expecting to see very old hardbacks since the photos on the RH website showed discolored vintage looking books.

But you can see that the ones in the store are newish and most used to be paperbacks.

A few of the titles: Spartacus, Pilot's Wife, Fright Night, Night Star, Les Miserables. Also some non-fiction, self-help and spiritual.

A few of the authors: V.C. Andrews, Jackie Merritt, Robert James Waller, Rosamunde Pilcher.

That one with the large title is a Reader's Digest book.

Obviously no book is safe.

As unpleasant as it was to see these poor naked books, it could have been worse. I most dreaded seeing my beloved books or lots of classics. They are probably in bundles in other RH stores but at least I didn't see them... I didn't cause a scene or start a riot... and I didn't get thrown in the pokey.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kids Need Books! Help A Charity!

I Random RamblingsAdd Image

Jillian at Random Ramblings, Raila at Books Out Of The Bookshelves and Linna at 21 Pages are co-hosting the very worthy Help A Charity event. This event raises funds for the organizations First Book and Save the Children. To donate or learn more please click the Help A Charity badge in the sidebar. Even a dollar helps and each donator is automatically entered to win tons of books and swag in the Help A Charity international giveaway!

To raise awareness of the Importance of books and reading, Jillian asked several bloggy friends to contribute to a post regarding the impact of books and reading on childhood. To see what I and other bloggers had to say, please click the link.

Here is the same post on Raila's blog. Yes, the same post... but the colors pop and layout of the post is so attractive. I love how our photos overlap the corners of our answers. Wonder how Raila does that?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox... Literally

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Since kicking my ebay addiction for the third and hopefully last time a year ago, I rarely make the hike down to the mailbox. But last Saturday, I made an exception. After a miserable week of 105 degree temps, mother nature blessed us with an afternoon of desperately needed rain. Thinking to enjoy a cool respite and try out my latest rainboots (another addiction), out I went.... into a freaking sauna!!

Too sultry for my taste but as Nancy says...

these boots are made for walking so I persevered.

Was the bounty worth braving the humidity?
Most definitely!
(by the way, this photo isn't a plea for donations for a new mailbox-- this poor pitiful has survived several assaults and attracts less hooligans than a shiny new mailbox so it is a keeper)

So exciting...

but the huge gaping hole is a bit of a concern, wouldn't you say.

A peek revealed a bunged up spine. The possible condition of the books worried me but they all turned out to be tip-top.

So are you sitting on the edge of your seats, waiting to gasp in delight over the bookaliciousness? Oh, you want to know why a self-purported library girl is receiving books from B&N-- Well, it is my hubby's fault. (isn't it always)

He stumbled across the Barnes and Noble Online Summer Clearance and couldn't resist a boxed set of a Mad's Greatest Artists: The Completely Mad Don Martin. Regularly $150 on sale for $20 but he needed to order $25 worth to get free shipping which is where I come in.

I settled on these little jewels...

Aren't the covers pretty? For ages, I've longed for a hardcover collection of Jane Austen's works. The B&N classic hardcovers were $4.95 each and I was so tempted to order the entire set BUT the regular price is only $7.95. Thinking it might be to good to be true, I settled on one to see how the binding holds up. I'll keep you posted...

The other two paperbacks were $1.99 each. What a deal!

Actually, I almost didn't add the Religion Timeline since the other two met the $25 free shipping requirement. Didn't want to be piggy and really really haven't a 'square to spare' for more books but hubby said: Get it! He never limits his book buying and doesn't seem to mind book clutter so I thought: Why not? One teeny little book won't cause the house to burst at the seams... will it?

Ha, but three more might! No wonder hubby said 'get it'; he was sneaking in a few extras of his own. My books weren't needed for shipping after all but I'm not complaining... I love bookish lagniappes.

The Mad Magazine boxed set didn't arrive until a few days later. The books are gorgeous and hubby is enraptured. They will feature in a future post. In fact, hubby might even gush about them himself as a guest blogger but don't hold your breath... he suffers from a serious affliction... bone idleness. ;o)

By the way, the summer clearance is over at Barnes and Noble. There are still bargain books but not a $1.99 or $2.99 section. I don't know if each season has a big blowout sale but my eyes are peeled.

Top Ten Picks: Lesa's Favorite Quotes

Jillian's topic this week is favorite quotes from books, authors and writers. I do have a quote fetish but unlike some of the other memers this week, I've never marked quotes in books or jotted down a quote while reading. Do most of you do that?

Running across a favorite quote or passage in my beloved rereads feels like meeting a long lost friend. Some pop into my head at odd times as little nuggets of wisdom; some just make me laugh. In new reads, I do pause over particularly clever, profound or amusing turns of phrase but, honestly, it never occurred to me to write them down. It might be rewarding to give it a try though...

Book Quotes:

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. Thorin Oakenshield to Bilbo in The Hobbit

Courage is found in unlikely places. Gildor to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. Bilbo to birthday party guests in The Fellowship of the Ring

'I see', laughed Strider, 'I look foul and feel fair. Is that it? All that is gold does not glitter, not all those that wander are lost.' Strider/Aragorn in The Fellowship of the Ring

All of my quotes could easily come from The Hobbit and LoTR but I will save them for a post during my next reread.

These next two from Pride and Prejudice tickle me to no end:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

I take no leave of you, Miss Bennett. I send no compliments to your mother. Lady Catherine de Bourgh

I actually say this one for giggles when in a pretend huff. Of course, no one else gets it which only serves to escalate my amusement. But it is also therapeutic to think it when truly incensed-- makes me feel better anyway.

A couple from Gone With The Wind:

All wars are sacred... To those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn't make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and fine words from stay-at-home orators. Sometimes the rallying cry is 'Save the Tomb of Christ from the Heathen!' Sometimes it's 'Down with Popery!' and sometimes 'Liberty!' and sometimes 'Cotton, Slavery and States' Rights!' Rhett Butler in GWTW

Hunger gnawed at her empty stomach again and she said aloud: 'As God is my witness, and God is my witness, the Yankees aren't going to lick me. I'm going to live through this, and when it's over, I'm never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill - as God is my witness, I'm never going to be hungry again. Scarlett in GWTW

Author Quotes:
That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much. Robert Louis Stevenson

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. Mark Twain

And a few favorite pearls from a sassy gal:

Between two evils, I always picked the one I never tried before.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

It is better to be looked over than overlooked.

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Are Not!

Hello, bloggy friends! The last couple of weeks I have been continually thwarted on blogging. Do you ever have weeks like that? It can be so maddening but I haven't been driven plumb crazy... even if the photo tells a different tale. ;o)

Two Sundays ago, I was happily drafting my very first In My Mailbox post when, out of the blue, lightning knocked out the internet! Really, out of the blue... it was raining not storming... not even any thunder then SPLICKTYSPLAT and that was all she wrote, folks.

Monday evening, the internet was up and running but the computer I blog on was still kaput. Apparently, the stray bolt burned out the nic card as well.

Have I offended the gods in some way? If so, Zeus, please take pity on me! I've read my Bullfinch's and I will finish the Percy Jackson series, on my honor!

By the time the computer was repaired, the first week of school was drawing to a close. Yes, my wallowing days are over. I'm not complaining. School is the perfect job for me (other than hosting my own travel/dining show, of course). Even though the first week of school is always fun, it is also completely exhausting. My energy level could only support reading and commenting on the posts of my lovely co-bloggers and bloggy friends... and I enjoyed every minute. You are all so talented and fascinating!

Guess you already know I hang out on the silly side of the street... which is a very good thing since I seem to be an absurdity attracting magnet. Get a load of this: it isn't exactly a biblio-blooper but you may get a kick out of it.

After twenty years of working in schools, I finally received a vile concerned note from a wacko disgruntled parent. On the third day of school no less... I hadn't even had time to disgruntle anyone!! Regardless, the parent threatened to turn me in to the State 'Bored'! Now, I take offense at that remark... in fact, I am highly offended! Why? Because, d*** it, I am extremely interesting!! Just ask any of my students!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Let's be honest... (Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert)

We have sacrificed way too much time on the alter of the mediocre book in hopes of finding one of “those” books. When younger, I was willing to read a few chapters in anticipation of the point where it would hook me, and by that time, whether it had done its job or not, I was committed.

I don’t have that kind of patience anymore.
Every last bit of it was exhausted by people who eat lunch while they’re talking on their cell phones, traveling one mile under the legal speed limit, in the fast lane, with their blinker on when I am late or even worse... have to go to the bathroom! ( For the mothers of young children among you, think, “Screaming entity in car seat” )

Like I said, spent, so a book has two pages to woo me, three if it buys me a glass of wine, otherwise, I’m outta there, thank you very much.
I’m only interested in a book that sweeps me off my feet. It has to transport me or transform me and nothing else will do.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s
Eat Pray Love is one of those books, those rare gifts that did both and now it’s a movie. I won’t see it, but on some level I’m glad, because it’s made more people want to read the book, though ‘I’m trying to be glad’, is closer to the truth. I searched and didn't find any reference to it by the bookish beauties who create this literary oasis, but if I missed it, I apologize for being redundant.

Assuming you don’t live under a rock but allowing for the possibility that you’ve been reeeeeally busy, it’s the true story of a woman’s life in metamorphosis and the transforming power of throwing yourself into your own life, consequences be danged to heck.

The almost too much longer version is: mid thirties, married, slight nervous breakdown, runs very far away from home, eats, starting to feel pretty good about it all, more travel, larger or smaller breakdown depending on how you look at it, a lot of praying followed by more traveling and finally love, both of herself and a man, in Italy, India and Bali, respectively.
The three countries are so pivotal to what happens to Gilbert that they become characters in a sense, but some how I don’t think of it as a travel book, though it did make me want very much to go to India. Road trip anyone?

Here is where I would insert the photo of my dog-eared, highlighted, tea and tear stained copy complete with margin notes, but I don’t own one. Even though I’ve lost count of the number of copies I’ve bought, I can’t include an original picture, because I keep giving them away, the last one just two days ago.

Instead, here are my 109 beads, one for each chapter. I think Mrs. Baja Greenawalt would understand.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Holly's Heart by Beverly Lewis

After reading one of my Mary Kate and Ashley books for about the fifth time in a row, I was getting fed up with the lack of reading material. I rang my friend Maria, asking desperately for a book to read. She lent me Holly’s Heart, a teenage fiction Christian book. It has five stories in it, all linked together. Holly is a young writer whose Dad walked out on her, her mom and her little sister, Carrie. The book is quite Jesus-y, but very well written so it makes up for that. That is if you think being Jesus-y is a bad thing, which some people do, and some people don't. So yeah, you don't have to be a loyal church-goer to read the book.

Holly talks about boys, besties*, school, and family. I think it has really good advice in it, as well as being entertaining.
In case you're wondering how honest you are, there is a very interesting quiz at the back of book two. Beware, if you're not honest enough you shall be shunned by Beverly Lewis and sentenced to reading Ephesians 4 and 5.
*besties= teenage talk for best friends.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Oh Dear! The Accidental Florist by Jill Churchill

Well, after staying up way too late way too often, I was looking forward to crawling into bed early with a cozy, one of my favourite genres. From our library I had taken a punt on the new-to-me Jill Churchill's The Accidental Florist.

I was so disappointed. The details I thought would be significant, for example, the process of buying flowers in a shop across from the murder scene, never came to anything. You might think the cat on the cover had something to do with the resolution, like Lilian Jackson Braun's clever cat characters,
but no.

I kept imagining the ways things might tie together, but in the end the murder was solved 'off camera' by someone else using only a suggestion by the protagonist.

All the events and details were just... details. The book really wasn't about the murder, rather it was about the protagonist adding on to her house and planning a wedding. It was cozy to the point of being claustrophobic.

Churchill has written at least 16 books in this series, so someone must like them. I suppose if you are a fan, each book is like an installment in a soap opera. Like catching up with old friends. But I am not a fan, so I was bored. I hate to be critical, but there you have it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Artful Biblioclasm?!

Restoration Hardware sells lovely expensive things but they used to be so cool in an authentic sort of way-- kind of the way Banana Republic used to be cool. Even so, it is a treat to browse through the RH catalog and store...

Check out the literary accents Restoration Hardware is now offering as objets d'art.

Isn't this corbel bookend attractive.... but it will set you back sixty-nine dollars.

Wouldn't it be fun to spell out words with these letters?

Price range: ten to sixty-nine dollars

These accents would most likely please most bookworms but wait till you get a load of the next one...

Book Bundles: twenty-nine dollars

Shocking, isn't it. And no, it isn't a fakey reproduction. Those are actual old books whose covers have been ripped off... then the poor naked things have been bound together with jute.

RH says: Liberated from their covers, stitched and bound with jute twine, the foxed and faded pages of old books become objêts d'art.
Rich with texture and intrigue
Each bundle is unique; let us pick one for you
Set them on a table, use them as antiquarian accents amid your library tomes, or stack them beneath a console

Liberated... Seriously?! And really, what do they mean by intrigue-- maybe between the pages.

So I say: Shame on RH for torturing defenseless books! Let's boycott!

But aren't the letters cute... especially the 'at' and ampersand. Maybe I should reconsider the boycott...

No, no, a million times no! The boycott stands!

Wonder who would even buy such a thing? Hopefully, no bookworms. If a nonbookish person bought a single book bundle, I might say 'live and let live' but if I walked into a home and saw a whole bookcase full... well, lets just say it wouldn't be pretty!

And I'm really wondering about the titles, aren't you?

What do you think of the book bundles? If you like them, say so. I won't think less of you, really...

Tuesday Tickles!

My blonde nonbookish cousin posted this cute video on Facebook last week. It was new to me but appears that the video is three years old and might have been part of a commercial. Have you seen it before? No doubt, I am just behind the times. Anyway, it tickled me so I am sharing the giggle.

Oh, I can relate to this library video. Can you? Do libraries in your area make commercials? I've never seen one on any of the Tulsa tv channels but it is a good idea, don't you think.
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