Shelf Life

As most of you know, my library account and I are in a special relationship. I try to keep the number of books I have checked out at any given time to under 20. I’m usually at my max allowed on my waiting list. I know my 16-digit library number by heart, my library card is on a cell phone app so I don’t need a separate card and of course I know all the hours that my local library is open.

I only buy about five books a year so that means I usually try every avenue to find a book when it comes to my attention. In addition to my regular account I also have an active interlibrary loan account. I even have the phone number of the gal who runs the ILL section of the Hennepin County system and have unbelievably talked her into extending the 3-week only loan allowance for an interlibrary selection.  Twice.

Obsessive is probably the word that is popping into most of your minds right now, but the library and I are very happy together.

Last week I picked up two ILL books that had come in and as I looked them over I realized that one had not been checked out since 1999 and the other hadn’t been checked out since 1988. For some reason this makes me very happy – I like to think I’m giving these books a little vacation from their regular shelf life.

What book would you like to go on vacation with?

93 thoughts on “Shelf Life”

  1. I’ll mention two books.

    The one I’m reading is a novel by Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You. She is categorized as a “romance novelist,” which might have put me off in earlier times. But I’m not defensive about preferring happy outcomes to books that end tragically, and Moyes writes in a way I find comfortable and comprehensible. Her current book is called the Horse Dancer. I start it with full confidence she’ll treat me nice.

    My next book will be Al Franken Giant of the Senate. I think the best response to the tragedy of the current political scene is laughter, and this book apparently supplies that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jojo Moyes is an interesting author–the “romance” tag is not an appropriate one, in my opinion, because there is so much more depth to the topics she takes on. I got turned on to Jojo by our own VS. That’s been a happy “romance.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m glad you two have enjoyed Jojo Moyes. I’ve read three or four of her books now and although I still think You Before Me is the best, they are all full of great characters and great thoughts about life and actually some fairly deep topics. I haven’t gone to see the movie You Before Me because it looks like they treated it to Hollywood style, but I’ll keep reading her books.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I recently read the Al Franken book. The humor is great; goodness knows we can use more humor. There was something about the book that I found depressing, but I won’t spoil it for you by telling you what it is.

      One of Al Franken’s recent Facebook posts had a video of him talking about health care. It starts out, “Health care is complicated. Of course nobody knew that until President Trump discovered that.. “

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes and what depressed me about the book was not him or his work or his character. It was some of his colleagues. There I went and told you.

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  2. i am tough on books
    if i leave it on the shelf it is ok but once it is targeted to be a take along it is going to be rode hard and put away wet. i dont intend to beat up my books but i dont take the care i would expect someone to if i loaned them a book for a quick read. i tend to throw them in the back seat and cram them into a briefcase for a stretch while reading them and the gogeared twisted splines that come out would make a book chiropractor wealthy.
    amazon is my forend and the thought of a little library or even a medium sized library at the edge of my yard is one that has corssed my mind. the new neighborhood doenst have any kids and thos it does have seem to drive their parents suv’s too fast. burbs… mark twains autobiography is on my to do list . art books. rothko dekooning … i am thinking sculpture these days so maybe some henry moore, calder or a book of bronze stuff or big old outdoor installations will jump up an bite me. i always remember the twilight zone episode with burgess merideth.
    my headboard bookshelf is in the garage waiting fo rme to reassemble it after a plane crash off the balcony in the move 6 weeks ago. so all my books are in front of me in boxes as i pull into the garage. i think of the titles i would like to get out and then that leads to another and another. nope anne lamott and david saderas are the ones i choose for my answer to this question. i love anne lamott, i love david saderius (thanks again pj) i should go get amazon editions of the books i want to read so i dont beat the autographed ones up i have on the pile.

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      1. i built the bookshelf to fit a particular spot int he basement of the house i thought was the place would stay. when i moved i found i lucked out and the dimensions fit the next spot too. the problem was i built it for the first location and i dint know you were supposed to build either a built in or a design to be moved. i did neither. i built an 11 foot long floor to ceiling shelving unit and while it is possible to separate the top and bottom sections the bottom is still big heavy and doesn’t turn corners well and the top gets flimsy when disconnected for the bottom
        i moved it successfully but the guys helping me were real vehement about how it could not be done. i literally had to tell them to shut up and move it. we took it out on the deck and got the ladder to allow it to be lowered to the lower deck then to the ground where it was carried to the
        truck. this house had no deck but the stair set up allowed it to be spun into the bedroom at the top of the stairs, so we lowered it down one deck and were in the process of lowering it to the ground when the wind picked it up and gave it a ride.
        i was going around to have it lowered to my arms and when i got there it was all over but the sweeping. i picked up the pieces and put them in the truck and then on one side of the new garage. now i have a rebuild project and i will make it a more manageable article for the moves to come.
        it seems kind of overkill to have a thousand books on your headboard but i like em there. hope to get back to it soon. i need the garage hole too

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        1. About 30 years ago, I built the bed frame we still use. When I built it, I left extra room at the head for a bookshelf headboard. It only took me until last year to get around to building the headboard. I like it so much, I regret not having done so sooner. The tricky part was matching the color of the headboard to the bed. When I built the bed, I finished it with a deep red aniline dye. Since then, the products and their color tints have changed.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. matching colors is hard but the beauty is if you don’t tell anyone they will never notice

          about 1% of the planet pays attention to that kind of stuff but that doesn’t keep it from driving you nuts does it? did you get close?

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        3. The bed frame is red oak. There’s enough variation in the wood color itself that the difference between the original frame and the headboard is negligible.

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        4. barnes and noble galleria line started 2 hrs early in the lower level and went up and down the aisles sisning up stairs
          jimmy started 2 hrs early when i got there he smiled looking up with thatvteinkle in his eyes said thanks and got another signed in the next 10 seconds
          quite a guy

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    1. Like you I am sometimes hard on books. But since most of the time the books don’t belong to me I have to try to be more careful. Several years ago I got a big plastic bin which now lives in the car and I tried to keep the library books in there as opposed to tossed all over the back seat.

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        1. Voice recognition hasn’t evolved enough apparently. Although truth be told I do occasionally have to pick up books from the back seat and put them in the bin.

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        2. my new job requires that i send a picture of my car every friday
          i picked this guy up at a hotel years ago and brought him to my house and my car was in its normal state. coffee cups papers coats and hats bits of last weeks lunch all placed in a spot where you dont sit on it but you get a view. he wasnt accustomed to dirt and commented on it at the time . i laughed it off and when i went to work for him he made a deal with me he thought would improve my life. he insists on a picture of a clean car every friday and a recap of my calendar with notes on meetings discussions thoughts on direction.
          interesting additions

          it made me feel good when i heard thurman on ted talking about how the dalai laml looked in his closet and said very messy but made him the first white guy buddhist monk even though he was very messy

          Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a sensitive topic with me, as Husband always brings two or three books with him when we travel, usually hard cover, often heavy, which he rarely if ever reads. He often brings too much stuff along, and between his books and his cpap machine and all the other things he thinks he needs, I find traveling an irritating experience. I refuse to carry the bag the books are packed in . Once, he left two library books in a hotel in Gilette, WY, and it cost more than a few dollars to get the hotel to mail the books to us. Grrr!

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    1. Carrying heavy books that are not read would be irritating. Chasing down lost library books would be more so. A girl has to set her limits, to be sure.

      PS, my sister left her wedding and engagement rings in a hotel room last year. Gone forever.

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    2. Almost every time the topic of Kindles or Fires or Books comes up people say “oh I much prefer that then dragging along a heavy book on a trip”. And that’s a world I just don’t understand. I just don’t have any problem dragging along books although I will admit to sometimes picking through my books for paperbacks when I’m traveling (but not always).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t understand the antipathy toward e-books. Once I begin reading a book I’m lost in the world it creates with words, and I’m never aware of the physical object delivering those words, a paper book or a screen.

        E-books have advantages in terms of compactness. My Kindle can carry an unlimited number of books to share with me. But I mostly indifferent to the delivery system. I use both paperbacks and e-books and enjoy both.

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        1. I don’t have any particular antipathy to e-books – I’m just addicted to physical books (she says while she listens to an audio book on her computer).

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    3. i brought a set of weights camping one time. ill never hear the end of it. if i would have used them it would have been ok but i felt like climbuing mountains every day made the ewight lifting moot. we kept taking the weights out to get at the big blue tupperware covered boxes full of pans and cooking stuff in the trailer. i love a well rounded camp site. and a homey hotel room. books on the bedside table in the hotel make it feel like home.

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        1. i had a collection of small rocks for aquariums i collected in the vw van on my national parks tour (hours and hours by the glacial lakes and then again on out trip to alaska. i used the alaska ones in aquaruims now but the old vw van rocks are severely misplaced

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      1. When my daughter was on her college swim team, they would go every year at spring break to Hawaii for “training”. She once brought a set of weights with her in her carry-on bag. I suspect the airline would frown on that now. I’m sure she never used them there. Don’t ask me what she was thinking…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. she was thinking about getting in shape

          gotta love a coach that finds a way to go to hawaii for spring training

          i think we ought to have baboon trail training on maui this february
          vs can you set that up?

          Liked by 1 person

    4. Husband says I am being mean and misrepresenting him,, and insists that he reads the books in the morning in the hotel lobby or at breakfast while I am sleeping in.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I am still getting myself back to the habit of visually reading books after my busy, busy years when I could not do that. I have to line up several more books to read. On my audio account I have 2 non-fiction books I am anticipating: Born to Run–Springsteen, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me–Sherman Alexie. Right now I am listening to “The Spoonbenders” about a family of psychics who assisted the CIA during WWII. Very strange but right up my alley and not a crime story. I find it is way too easy to read too much crime fiction because the stories are always compelled forward in an interesting fashion. It holds my attention, but I don’t like spending too much time in those crime-driven worlds.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I appreciate this question…not for the ability to answer…rather the referrals given.

    Ive never been a great ‘reader’…dyslexia I blame…but when I do recieve a book that interests me=is well written and subject intriguing-I can loose myself and rarely come up for air. Well I do break away but not for long. cynthiaofmahtowa has lent me books to read from her library and some she passes on for me to read and pass on further…usually to our little ‘Twice Told Tales’…used books reasonably priced volunteer book store in Mahtowa.

    I will be looking to check out audio books from Arrowhead library system for our upcoming move. We will be on our way to Tucson the first of Aug. To have a book(s) read to me will be a delight as I drive our car while husband drives the rental truck of ‘belongings’ to our new home.

    I thank you for any and all recommendations!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sometimes I get an extra copy of a book I’m reading from the library, Then I can keep the one I own on the nightstand, and put the library copy in the car, so any time I find myself with some time in a waiting room or a restaurant, there is a copy close by, without having to think ahead and schlep the book from the house to the car and back. Keeping your place can be a challenge, but it works for me.

    I’d like to bring Lorrie Moore’s A Gate At the Stairs on a vacation. I’ve had it for ages but haven’t gotten to it yet. For more on Lorrie Moore:
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/17/lorrie-moore-writer-crush-bim-adewunmi

    Liked by 3 people

  7. It’s going to be, Raven Rock: The Government’s Secret Plan To Save Itself-While the Rest of Us Die.
    The June 21st Fresh Air broadcast is worth everyone’s time to listen to. It is frightening to know that there is not a single person between Trump and his launching a nuclear strike.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I often have a difficult time deciding what to bring on vacation, and end up bringing too much. I would bring “The Orchardist” (!) by Amanda Coplin if I hadn’t just finished it – very different kind of character study…

    I belong to three book clubs, and before next meetings I would LIKE to have read
    – “Robert Frost: The Aim was Song” by Jean Gould.
    – “The Book of Joy” by the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
    – I’ll re-skim “Plainsong” for BBC, and what was the other one for August? ________________

    On my nightstand are
    – “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” by Dai Sijie.
    – “To Play the Fool” by Laurie R. King, and
    – “Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn (but it keeps falling to the bottom of the stack).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I bought Chris’s book Castle Danger in e-book form, but I also requested it from the St. Paul library system, and they bought one copy. I just looked & someone has it checked out currently. So I did my part to help with promotion.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I mostly use the library for books I am not likely to want to keep, namely fiction. Invariably, the books I want from the library are on a wait list, so when my turn comes up, I feel pressured to drop whatever I am currently reading to take up the library book. I realize I don’t really have to feel that urgent, since I usually finish the library book in a couple of days, but I nevertheless feel a little oppressed by the idea that the clock’s ticking.
    I probably read 10 nonfiction books for every fiction. I read for information and understanding as well as for entertainment. Often, a book I am reading will overlap in subject matter with other books I have read and I like to be able to go back and compare and contrast perspectives. That’s why I tend to retain the books I have found satisfying. I also prefer hardcovers to paperbacks purely for tactile reasons.
    When I travel, I often bring at least one hardcover– whatever I happen to be currently reading. I also keep a selection of titles that interest me but are not ones I want to own in hardcover on my iPad.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have categories for books. One important category is the “waiting room or restaurant book.” Because I don’t travel with my reader glasses, that means the book has to have sizable type so I can read it without the glasses. And since this category of books gets started and then put down over and over, the story has to be easy to follow. Memoir works for me, or good mysteries (like the books of Henning Mankell).

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        1. they have glasses that have these things that wrap around your ears
          then you don’t miss all the other details of the worldceither

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  12. at david sadarus i stood in line before the talk to get his signature and it reminded me of the time i stood in line for jimmy carter at a barnes and noble shelf after shelf of stuff i’d love to read
    i’m easy

    Liked by 2 people

      1. barnes and noble galleria line started 2 hrs early in the lower level and went up and down the aisles sisning up stairs
        jimmy started 2 hrs early when i got there he smiled looking up with thatvteinkle in his eyes said thanks and got another signed in the next 10 seconds
        quite a guy

        that’s where i it was supposed to go

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  13. I mostly read e-books and most of those are library books. I like the weight of the e-reader and how I can read it in a dark room. I like being able to check out library books at midnight. I like having a wide choice of books to read when I’m away from home without having to bring a large box of books.

    I need to have a certain amount of library books checked out on my e-reader; if I have less than 5 checked out, it makes me uneasy. I also “have” to have several on hold.

    I’m not very systematic about how I decide what to read. It’s whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. So I would bring on vacation whatever books I happen to have checked out from the library.

    Not a very good answer. If I went on vacation, here’s what’s checked out on my e-reader today: Persuasion (Jane Austen helps me fall asleep); The Red Notebook; Mary Coin; Margot; Blue Asylum; The Secret Keeper; The Lake House. Most of these I have no idea what they’re like but the description sounds good. Of course, lots of times the descriptions sound good, but when I start reading, I find I don’t like the author’s style or voice or I’m just not in the mood and I stop reading after 5 or 10 pages. I expect that will happen to at least one of these books.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’m reading a book by theatrical designer Lester Polakov called ‘We live to fly (crossed out) Paint again’
    He was a B26 bombadiar in WWII and I’m enjoying the way he blends the stories together.
    Plus the way he writes about how much in life is CHANCE or CHOICE.
    I ordered an autographed copy. (He died in 2006).
    And I’m enjoying it so much I ordered another one to give a young designer friend of mine.
    And that one was signed too!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I’m a sporadic reader. I sometimes go long stretches where I hardly open a book, and then, when the spirit moves me, I’ll read voraciously. Up next is Timothy Snyder’s excellent, concise “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.” A must read, from what I’m told.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. OT – only photographers will understand this, but when I woke up this morning and saw the overcast sky and the beautiful, beautiful light outside, I felt very happy. (Jacque, you should be happy, too.)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The lighting was great except for a small burst of sunlight, the subject was wonderful, I remembered to have a charged battery and a fresh memory card, the setting was good, the closest thing to a disaster was when I got on the stool and it wobbled enough that I almost fell off (it’s only 6 inches or so off the ground, so no biggie). If I didn’t get some good shots out of that, then something is wrong with me.

        Liked by 1 person

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