Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fun Facts

This blog post is going to be an assortment of fun facts about libraries, books, and reading. I hope you learn something new from it!

  1. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the United States. 
  2. There are libraries around the world where you can check-out humans as a living book and listen to their stories. There are 150 such libraries around the world
  3. The Guinness Book of World Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries
  4.  Haskell Free Library is built on the US/Canadian border. Exiting the library through the opposite entrance requires one to report to the country’s customs thereafter. 
  5. A 124,500 square foot abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, has been turned into the largest single-floor public library in the United States.
  6. The Oakland Library in California maintains a “tool lending library” of 3500 tools to lend out to the community.
  7. When asked what book he’d like to have with him on a desert island, G. K. Chesterton replied, ‘Thomas’s Guide to Practical Shipbuilding.’
  8. Author James Frazer had to move out of his room at Great Court, London because the floor was threatening to give way under the weight of his books.
  9. The Japanese word ‘tsundoku’ means ‘buying a load of books and then not getting round to reading them’.
  10. Bibliosmia‘ is the enjoyment of the smell of old books.


Gifts for the Book Lover in Your Life

We all know at least one. Someone who is so obsessed with books it's not even funny anymore. What gift do you get for them? The following list will provide some options.


For the people who want to know exactly where they left off.

Personal Library Kit

For the ones who always wanted to be a librarian.

Literary Scarf

To keep you warm and provide some reading material.


To keep your drink warm and warn off others.


To set the above mug down on.


For those who want to smell like old books.


For those who want their whole house to smell like books.

Gift Card

And if worse comes to worse, just grab them one of these.

Tattoos Inspired by Books

Tattoos: visible proof of our love for a specific person or thing. So how would a book lover choose to show their devotion to the written word? The sky is the limit, there are a multitude of tattoos that one could get, though they usually fall under one of several headings. 

Book Quotes
Quotes taken directly from the pages and transferred to skin

Book Illustrations
Illustrations from the books themselves

Book Images
Tattoos of books and reading in general

Any combination of the above

How about it? Did any of these images inspire you? Let me know.

Banned Books

Books are usually challenged or banned to protect children from ideas and information that are deemed too difficult for them to deal with. In theory this seems reasonable, but in reality it restricts access of the materials to all which is a bad thing. Only parents or guardians should have the right to restrict what their own children can read. Over the years many books have been banned for a variety of reasons. Here is just a sampling:

Book: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Reason: Too depressing.

Book: Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
Reason: Teaches children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.

Book: Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling
Reason: They promote witchcraft, set bad examples, and are too dark.

Book: A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein
Reason: A suggestive illustration that might encourage kids to break dishes so they won't have to dry them.

Reading Pet Peeves

We all have them, those little tics that set us off no matter how small or trivial it seems to other people. In this blog I'll talk about my top three pet peeves as relates to reading and books.

1) Dog Eared Books

This always drives me crazy. I know a lot of people do it to save their page, but I can't stand it. Whenever I come across a page that has been dog eared I compulsively have to flatten it out. If you want to mark your page get a bookmark, they make a variety of them. You can even use a scrap of paper if necessary.

2) The Book Borrower that Never Returns the Book

The key word is borrow. I'm letting you borrow my book, I'm not giving it to you. You can't keep it forever. I'm one of those people who will read books over and over, so eventually I will want to read my book again which is hard to do when I don't have it. If you like the book so much, buy your own copy.

3) The Over-The-Shoulder Reader

I don't like people leaning over my shoulder for any reason. There is such a thing as personal space and if I can feel your breath on the back of my neck, you are in my personal space. It's uncomfortable having someone leaning over your shoulder reading what you're reading. Reading isn't a group activity, if that's what your looking for go join a sports team.

Unique Libraries, International Edition

To continue from where my last blog left off, I decided to do an international edition of unique and interesting libraries. The first one is:

Trinity College Library - Dublin, Ireland

This library was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. It's Long Room contains over 200,000 of the library's oldest books as well as busts of famous writers and one of the oldest harps in Ireland. The Trinity College Library is also home to The Book of Kells.

Bishan Public Library - Bishan, Singapore

The Bishan Public Library covers 4,000 square meters and was designed to look like a tree house. The pods on one side building protrude out of the wall and are supposed to resemble books on a bookshelf. The pods are actually private reading spaces.

Alexandria Library - Alexandria, Egypt

The library was opened in 2002 after 10 years of planning and construction. It was built with the original Royal Library of Alexandria, built over 2,300 years ago, in mind. Aside from the libraries, there are four museums also housed in the building.

Jose Vasconcelos Library - Mexico City, Mexico

The library is glass and concrete, designed by Alberto Kalach. The design makes it appear that the book shelves are hanging in midair while in the center of the library is a giant whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling.

Unique Libraries

This blog is going to be dedicated to libraries around the country that are unique and interesting in one way or another. First up is:

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was founded in 1800 and is the largest library in the world. It contains more than 160 millions items housed on 838 miles of bookshelves! Each day the library gets 15,000 items and 12,000 items are added to the collections daily. 

New York Public Library

The actual name of the library is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library, but that's too much of a mouthful. The New York Public Library has been used in several movies such as Spider-Man. The two stone lions at the entrance are called Patience and Fortitude and to add more space, the library was extended under Bryant Park.

Salt Lake City Main Branch

The library was designed by Moshe Safdie, an internationally-acclaimed architect and opened in 2003. The library holds more than 500,000 items, shops, reading galleries, and a 300-seat auditorium. The library also has a roof-top garden.

Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library

This library is located on the campus of Vassar College. The library is a enormous Gothic structure houses over 1,000,000 books and a massive microfilm collection. The library is best known for it's stained glass window which shows the first woman to earn a doctorate in Europe, Elena Cornaro Piscopia. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Best Places to Read

          Everywhere you go there is an opportunity to read. Obviously, some places are better than others when it comes to reading. For example, I can no longer read in a car without being carsick and when I was younger I loved to read at home basketball games, even though my mom said I was being rude. So here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of the best places to read a book.

          In a reading nook

You can just snuggle up with a good book and prepare for a lazy day.

          In a hammock

                             You're laying in the shade of a tree, gently rocking in the breeze

      In a comfy chair

You're curled up in a chair, letting your mind escape to far off places.

          On a swing

          You're basking in the sun as you gently rock back and forth.

         By the beach or pool

          You can relax and soak up some sun as you soak up some knowledge.

          What are some of your favorite places to read a book? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Favorite Book: A Timeline

          In my last blog I was asked what favorite book was and as I thought about it, I realized this was not going to be a straightforward answer so I decided to dedicate my next blog to the question.

          At first I tried to narrow it down to my all-time favorite book, but eventually came to the conclusion that it’s impossible for me to do. So instead, this blog will be a list of the books that have been my favorite at various points in my life. Everything from Dr. Seuss all the way to Nora Roberts.

          We’ll start at the beginning. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom reading me a bedtime story. In those very early years, my favorite books were the Dr. Seuss books, like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. I even had a Green Eggs and Ham board game. Little Golden Books were also some of my favorite books at that age, especially The Poky Little Puppy and The Monster at the End of This Book.

          A few years later, I had progressed to the Junie B. Jones books, my favorite being Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake. I’m pretty sure I got it through a Scholastic book order. By this point I was learning to read by myself, but bedtime rituals were sacred things not to be messed with, so Mom had to read them to me. I loved this series because it was so funny. Not only was I laughing, but my older brother would listen in and he would laugh too.
          I can’t remember any favorite books in particular for several years, but by the time 4th and 5th grade rolled around I was reading Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. I can thank my older brother for introducing me to these books. I remember being bored out of my mind with nothing to read, so I decided to snoop through his room to see if I could find anything interesting. And I did. I started both series because I couldn’t find anything better to read, and I am glad I couldn’t. To this day, both series hold a special place in my heart.
         In the next few years I discovered a whole new genre, romance. I spent one whole year reading all the Nora Roberts books that were out at the time. Eventually I got sick and tired of all the straight up romance. I learned that if I was going to read a romance, it had to involve new elements and genres. Whether that took the form of mystery or supernatural didn’t matter as long as there was something besides the romance. I found a new author named Sherrilyn Kenyon who put a new twist on vampires and combined it with world mythology and bad-ass characters and I am still a big fan of hers today.
          Eventually, I started reading YA novels. It was at that point that I started the Percy Jackson series. They in turn led me to The Mortal Instruments and Cassandra Clare.
          This brings us to the present point. Since I’ve started college, I haven’t had as much time to find new authors and books to fall in love with. I’m lucky if I stay caught up with all the book series and TV shows I’m watching.
          I hope you all enjoyed this blog and check back next week for another installment. Leave any questions or comments below! Thanks!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

An Introduction

          I guess my first blog post should be an introduction and an explanation of why I chose to blog about libraries and books. Some of my earliest memories are of reading with my mom. It was part of my bedtime ritual; get into my pjs, brush my teeth, and choose a book for mom to read to me. This tradition continued for many years, eventually I began to read to my mom. Also among some of my earliest memories are trips to the local library. We used to go once or twice a month and I can remember sitting in the aisles of the children’s section, reading book after book. As I got older and could read faster, we went more frequently to the library. By the time I was in high school, we went every week, and every week I got a new sackful of books to be devoured in the coming days.

                                                The library I went to as a child.

          The library was always one of my favoite places to go to and before I could drive myself, I would badger my mom to make sure she hadn't forgotten that we needed to make a trip. It got to the point where the librarians knew me by name and even now, when I only go back a couple times a year, some of the older librarians still recognize me and ask how I'm doing.

          When I started college, I got a job as a student worker at the library. I think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made because it helped me realize that this is what I wanted to do, to work in a library and become a librarian. So when I graduate this Spring, I plan to go on to graduate school and get my MLS, my Master of Library Science.