57 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, February 16, 2019

  1. hi Jen,
    I just wanted to say that I absolutely love your books! You are one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read whatever you decide to publish next 🙂

    9+
  2. Hmmm. Seems odd that it’s the shortest month. Thank goodness for libraries. They have been excellent sanctuaries throughout my life.

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  3. February may be the shortest month, weather wise it can be the longest, especially, if it rains the whole month, here on the wet coast. Very thankful for libraries and librarians and quiet places to write.

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      1. Lots of snow, rain, and ice this year, very unusual. Foolishly changed to a metal roof. The melting snow slides off like an avalanche onto the clean drive way. Heavy mounds of snow. Shovel a path to door and don’t slam the door. Ha.

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  4. At my library, we do the blind date with a book thing. This year we had a theme of “lonely heart’s club.” The books selected had never been checked out. We wrap the books in plain paper and write on the outside a simple description like “biography: ship captain, travel, Antarctica.” It’s cute & fun.

    I also utilize our library and all of Michigan’s. We have an amazing interlibrary loan system! About 10 years ago, I was able to get an entire 12 book series of Harlequin romances (Welcome to Tyler) written by different authors and published in 1992 thru the Michigan system! I very impressed and grateful.

    17+
    1. My last library did that and it was fun. I did try a couple books that way. I love the idea of checking out a book that had never been checked out. Makes me sad to think of a book just sitting there waiting and waiting.

      I sure love the library. I wish they had longer hours on the weekends when I like to get up early and would go spend the morning there and sit and write and browse books but they don’t open until noon. I know I’m the weird one but…

      10+
      1. When I was in primary school, I devoured everything fiction in the library and always got a kick of finding books no one had taken out for years – or that had never been read. I miss date stamps in books!

        6+
  5. Still love the feeling of abundance in a public library. The libraries in my city are no longer quiet places, though. People on phones, kids running and shouting, everyone talking, even the librarians calling out across the open spaces. I miss the quiet. It seems like having just one class of public place that is quiet shouldn’t be too much to ask, even in today’s world.

    10+
    1. University libraries are usually quiet, but I love that our local library is a community space. There are quiet working areas, but also hang out areas for teenagers, a craft area for kids etc. We have a lovely library in our town, I feel really lucky.

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  6. Coincidentally, the Talking Book Library here in NL posted a notice on Twitter today about them looking for volunteer consultants for “older people with an increasing reading disability” (i.e. most likely visual impairment/blindness). You only need basic digital skills, social skills and an affinity for reading + speak Dutch well and fluently (check, check, check, check.) I was tempted to apply…until I fished out, from the job description, that you have to go to the possible clients yourself. The library would cover travelling costs according to their ad, but… I doubt that goes for mobility service, since that’s more expensive than public transport or gas-costs if you have your own car. I’m now trying to decide if I should write them an email and ask about it or just drop it altogether.

    During 8th class, when we were 14-15, my then-best-friend and I spent 1,5 week at a library during our Practical Work Experience-weeks. Admittedly we mostly got to make sure the daily papers were in their right places in the morning, copy things and (which was very fun) rewind the cassettes from returned talking books down in the cellar where they had their talking book-corner, but we very much enjoyed ourselves. We had cassette-rewinding competitions and laughed a lot. We were also present at the Reading Hour for the children and they asked me to sing a song for everyone. I blushed so hard I almost burned up, but I did sing. About a teddybear. Yep.
    Thinking of those library days makes me smile. Good times.

    11+
    1. I’d think it’s worth an email, Shass. You’ve obviously got first-hand experience; but it depends what they’re really expecting their volunteers to do – it occurred to me that they may be thinking of sighted volunteers who could read print to these people. But if they want someone who can explain their options, you’d be perfect.

      12+
  7. Okay, so I met up with the person mentioned previously. We seemed to get on well enough, but I don’t quite think I blew her mind or anything? I kept feeling doofy, like “why did I mention I’m an X when she’s a Y?” sorts of things.

    I have no idea if we’ll ever hang out again, but she mentioned maybe trying to get together to see a movie sometime, even though we’re both busy so…I dunno. I guess we’ll see.

    8+
    1. Jennifer, I am now 70 and I have only a handful of people that I hang with or see on a regular basis who are not family. Just hang in there. Friends are important. I like my life and I like the friends I do have but it is a fraction of the number I had when I was younger. Friends take you out of yourself into a wider world. Much like a book – only warmer.

      Try not to fixate on details and go with the flow. She may be thinking “why did I mention I’m a Y when she’s an X”.

      12+
      1. Yes, definitely doing that. She did not seem fazed by any of my weird shit so that is a good thing…and mentioned trying to get together again later.

        8+
  8. I’ve just returned my library books, and resisted taking any out in case they got lost in the move. My friend went home at lunchtime: she’s done lots of painting and cleaning with me, so the house is ready for the carpet fitters on Monday, and pretty much for the movers on Thursday and Friday. I’m having a lazy afternoon: I haven’t been sleeping well. Want to get stuck into the packing tomorrow.

    Hoping the guy who’s coming on Monday morning will be able to stick the boiler back together. It’s still working, but it’s fallen apart and is being held together with cable ties. Neither the handyman nor the electrician could fix it: the plastic tabs holding the panels in place have broken. They must have become brittle over the years, due to the heat. It’s supposed to be a good make, but none of us is impressed with this reliance on plastic.

    13+
  9. As it happens I took my son out last night to celebrate his graduate school acceptances so far (and since he got into one really fab one to take away his whining privileges) and something reminded me of my days as a preteen volunteering at the children’s library where the librarian kept her pet skunk under the desk and let it waddle around when business was slow.

    You can’t do that with ebooks much as I rely on them.

    14+
    1. Ooh, I love the pet skunk. I wish I’d heard of it before creating the quirks of the librarian in my garlic farm series (coming out next year). I can so see Josefina with a pet skunk. Except she might need to dye the stripe pink, since she has an extreme fondness for that color. Hmm. I haven’t gotten editorial comments yet. Maybe ….

      8+
    2. Oh, I heard a story from someone in my knitting group about how her mother had a pet skunk (named Flower) that was de-scented, and the skunk would come out when a salesman was at the door and they’d freak out and the mom was all, “oh, yeah, I guess I should take care of that.”

      8+
  10. Big library fan. Probably I was the only kid who played librarian, still remember talking my mom into buying me one of those date stamps and an ink pad so I could play the role. Since she was the one who gave me the love of libraries, it wasn’t a tough talking into. Yay for library day:)

    6+
    1. You’ve made me remember that I turned my books into a ‘library’, too. My librarian ambitions were nipped in the bud when I was sacked from my part-time job in the town library for putting the books in the right place. (It turned out you were supposed to chuck them on at their approximate location, in order to finish as fast as possible.)

      3+
      1. Lol. Who would have thought being careful would lead to sacking. But relate to the book library at home. I have some childhood books in boxes and still laugh when I come across one with the slips of paper I taped to the inside back with my date stamp marks.

        6+
        1. I was a bookseller. My boss commented on me sitting there reading while I was supposed to be sorting the shelves. My response was, “Well, how do you think I know exactly where everything is??” He conceded the point and laughed. Awesome boss.

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  11. The Wapakoneta library saved my life when I was a kid. I will forever be grateful to libraries everywhere for that one alone.

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  12. When I was eight I developed a severe kidney infection, was hospitalized and pretty much invalided out for the next year or so. The small local library let me check out any book I wanted whether it was from the kids section or the adult section. I must have checked out 10 to 12 books a week. I read them so fast. I still mispronounce words like crazy because I was encountering words I had never heard said and had no idea what they sounded like. I love libraries whether in person or on line.

    13+
    1. When I was eleven we moved to a new town and the local library had a 5 books at a time limit! This was devastating to me because in the small town where I had lived all the librarians were thrilled when anybody checked anything out, and I was their best customer. After months of badgering my parents to drive me to the library every day, I only succeeded about three times a week, the new town’s librarians created a new rule specifically for me, I could check out only as many books as I could carry at once. From the tips of my fingers to my chin I could fit twelve to fourteen hardcover books, depending on thickness.

      And boy can I relate to the mispronouncing words that I’ve read hundreds of times but never heard anyone else say before 🙂

      6+
    2. I mispronounce words for the same reason!

      When people call me on it, my explanation is that I read a wider range of words than I hear used.

      Mind you, my mother still gives me grief about my initial pronunciation of gymkhana, some 40 years later.

      3+
  13. There was a great episode recently on … not sure which NPR show unfortunately, maybe This American Life, but I don’t think so … where a kid who’d been homeless and pretty much lived in a library got to meet the librarian from that library who was her role model for eventually becoming a librarian herself! It was lovely.

    9+
  14. Love library’s! Also love the little free library in my neighborhood, and as I had a new release on Wednesday, I’ll take a walk this afternoon and pop one in there.

    6+
      1. Ha ha. I know. I suck at promo. It’s The Legend of Crying Girl Creek. Rural Australian setting, a ghost, a curse, a skeptic and a believer, and of course, a romance.

        10+
  15. Our school had the best school librarian ever. I wanted to be Mrs. Jeffries when I grew up. When you were in 5th and 6th grade you were allowed to be a library volunteer. I shelved books in the biography section. Once she asked me to read a book to see if the library should still keep a copy. I don’t remember what it was called but it was set in Tibet and I was transported to another time and place.

    I still go to my public library at least once a week.

    5+
  16. I love my library. Don’t know what I’d have done without it. Most of the books I read come from the library. Sometimes, if I love a book very much, I’d buy it, like all the Crusie books, for example, so I could reread them whenever I want, but my first introduction to any author starts at the library.
    Sadly, not many self-pubs could be found in our library system. Those, I have to buy before reading, and more often than not, they’re money wasted. 🙁

    4+
    1. The rule of thumb (aka Sturgeon’s Law) is that “90% of everything is crud*.” It came up in a “literary” discussion where some self-described critic asserted that 90% of science fiction was crud*. Based on that “law,” you can imagine what a slush pile/in box looks like at any publisher’s office.

      As I understand it, every publisher has a limited number of books they can publish in any time frame, and they’re trying to weed out the poor ones so what they do publish sells. Some excellent story tellers have been turned down because they didn’t have a slot to put them in. By the same token, we have been spared a vaster number of lesser stories. Think about some of the stinkers you may have read, or started to read, and if they are from a major house, they’re supposed to be in the top 10%.

      Self-published books from an unknown author are a crap* shoot. I tout Marion Harmon’s books, and he’s self-published. He’s good. LMBujold self-publishes, now, because she’s semi-retired and doesn’t feel like putting up with the publishers anymore. Also, most of the SP books are novella length, and publishers want novels.

      A lot of my reading, recently, came from The Fussy Librarian. Free ebooks, many of the “loss leaders” to hook you (me) on a series. Some of them are 90 percenters, but some aren’t, and for free I can take a chance.

      * Crud, or crap, or some other pejorative.

      3+
  17. My love affair with libraries and reading began the summer of 1963. Navy families go where the Navy sends the active duty member, my step-dad in this case. So we moved from Key West, Florida (he was on the USS Bushnell AS-15 for 5 years) to the United States Navy Mine Defense Lab in Panama City, Florida (for three years.)

    Summer. 12 years old. New home. Know nobody. No friends. Nothing to do. Mom finally said, “I have had enough of this crap!” Well, she didn’t say it out loud, but come on – mothers. She took me to the Naval Base Library. She asked the kindly old librarian (must have been *at least* in her twenties) what 12 year olds were reading those days, and she guided us to the Science Fiction and Fantasy bookcase.

    They say the Golden Age of Science Fiction is twelve. I went home with six books. The first was Step to the Stars, by Lester del Rey. Devoured them. Wanted more. I went through everything on that bookcase before the end of summer, and discovered that we were only three or four miles from the Jefferson County Library – and I owned a bike.

    When we moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in ’66, the first place I located was the library. The same when we moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in ’68.

    20 years in the Navy. I discovered that there weren’t only base libraries, but ship’s libraries, and I learned to leave my books in that library when I left that ship for another.

    Children. (Two.) I tried to share my love of reading, but they always seemed to have other things to do. The late wife and I took them with us when we went to libraries until they were too old to drag along.

    The late wife expanded my reading to mysteries, especially if the protagonist was female. My love of romances was due to a ship’s library running out of SF&F, and possessing a small romance section. I think they were all Betty Neals?

    The last several times I set foot in a library were all to donate the remains of my hardback collection, for which I had no space, or my paperbacks when the space shrank further. My current “library” is on the cloud, on the hard drive, on various CDs or DVDs, and on thumb drives. Also on my Kindles. I really need to visit the local library. Do they still issue cards?

    7+
    1. Yes, they do. I’m also a military brat (USAF) so as they say, I reach you. Always find the library! Free books! Movies! Museum passes!

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    2. Yes. And here you can apply for your library card on-line. And once you have your library card, you can not only check out paper but kindle, e-pub, overdrive, audio, MP3 audio and who knows what all. This is why when you have recommended something, I sometimes respond within a short time with a thanks, I’ve checked it out. They also have on-line movies, music, magazines and newspapers but I am not sure how to get all of those because I pretty much stopped at books.

      4+
  18. The best (my all time favorite ) job I ever had was working as a clerk in my community library. I was the children’s librarian’s assistant and worked the children’s desk. I also helped her with the summer reading programs. I said then (and still believe) that I got paid to have fun. Sadly, it came to an end 10 years later as my then husband received a promotion that entailed relocating to the area where I live now. It was too far to commute (a 2 hour drive) so I had to resign.

    6+
  19. The first thing I do every time I move (every 2-3 years) is join the local library. I have a collection of cards from at least three different states.

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  20. Since nobody else mentioned it, I will. One of my favorite libraries is the library at Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork. I especially love the Librarian.

    Ook.

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    1. Gary, there’s a point in Feet of Clay (I think) where Nobby becomes nobility and is asked to be King. He likes the idea at first but then thinks about Sam Vimes’ reaction and decides against it because he’ll go “totally librarian poo”. I use that phrase sometimes and NOBODY GETS IT.

      Ook.

      4+
      1. I often think that phrases like that are like a secret handshake. If someone gives the correct response, then you’re in the same club.

        “The vessel with the pestle…”
        “Go that way, really fast…”
        “Have fun stormin’ da castle!…”

        2+
  21. In high school during inclement weather I would go to the school library to wait for the local bus (too far to walk in snow or rain) so the book that always caught my attention was the photography of Matthew Brady. With one eye on the clock so as not to get too lost in the photos I was drawn into the faces of the ninetieth century America.

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  22. Has anybody read “The Invisible Library” books (a 3 book series) by Genevieve Cogman? Have had it recommended to me as a “fun, time-traveling fantasy detective adventure series” (compared to Neil Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones…) ?? Haven’t tracked them down yet, wondering if anybody here already has? ?? 🙂

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    1. Yes, I’ve read them all. They are fun romps through time and space. Maybe there’s a sample on Amazon so you can see if you might like them?

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  23. Thank you! Ok, they sound like a good time (aka an enjoyable read)! And that’s a good idea, I think I’ll look at Amazon, and (if no sample there,) then for one of those sites where you can peek inside the book for a chapter or a scene… (now are they available as actual book-books or only digital?) ??

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