Rowling at it again

No, she is not out to sue anyone this time, but write another story. And the problem is, it actually sounds like a story that might be mildly interesting. Though she said she would not write another Harry Potter story, apparently that does not mean writing stories about his family members and in this case, James Potter and Sirius Black.

Story at The Guardian


Throwing out books

This last weekend has been spent mostly re-organizing my room and I’m still not completed. I have come to the conclusion I have too many books (but this doesn’t stop me from bringing home at least six more books home tonight). On Thursday I was given a set of OED (Oxford English Dictionary). I was esctatic!! (see there are two exclamation points). With this gift I had to find shelf space (which I did not have) so I went out in pursuit of a new bookshelf. That took two days and while I did not get what I wanted exactly, I have new shelves and an OED resting on them.

The Library is cleaning out our reference section. We wanted to make a larger study area and since most of reference materials are online, we extensively weeded. And now I have been sifting through the weeded materials to see what is valuable and what is not. The glaring problem with reference materials is that they are always dated. Encyclopedia sets and dictionarys are useful only so long as a new edition does not come out. Some materials stay valuable no matter if a new edition comes out, but your average person is going to buy the newer material rather than the older. I did pick up a few more books than just the OED including:

Websters Geographical Dictionary
Readers Digest of Books
Cambridge Concise Bibliography of English Literature
Dictionary of English Literature by Watts
Granger’s Index to Poetry
Websters Dictionary
Rogers Theasuras
Ultimate Science Fiction Encyclopedia

There are so many other reference books I could bring home with me, except that it is easier to use the web and electronic materials, besides saving the shelf space! Currently we are trying to sell some of the material here, but with the undergraduate students gone, I don’t think we will sell much. We have so many Music reference materials (including Oxford Companion), Art materials (also including Oxford Companion), and Theater, but even if the undergradaute students were here, they wouldn’t be interested in those books. That makes me a little bit sad. On a lighter note, I was able to throw away (actually recycle) several books that were completely useless and dated (like Guinnes World Record books, College guides, Scholarship guides, etc). I didn’t feel guilty in the slightest in helping destroy these books. And I wasn’t burning them.

Remodeling Libraries

Here at the TMC Library we are in the process of renovation. I get the chance to redecorate a part of the Library as we take out some shelves. With the digitizing of books, we can safely take out some of the physical books since these volumes are available online. This is great news as our library is so small. We are adding several new couches (including a soft red leather sofa and love-seat!) and furniture. As the Library is crowded we not only try to find ways to add books to the collection, but also to make room for students and people to come study at our library. Several stacks of books are spread throughout the Library as we move shelves around. Shelves hide how many books are actually in a collection. Thankfully we have all summer to complete the process before our undergraduate students come back and that the couches actually are color-coordinated! The Library has never looked better (and thankfully it is always looking better).

Book Sales

Last weekend was the famed annual Altadena Library Book Sale.  I have been going to this sale since I was in highschool.  When I first went years ago, I was excited to find a 18?? copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Besides being an ancient book (especially as a highschooler where anything beyond a year or two was ancient), I loved the artwork of the flowers upon the pale blue hardback.  It never fails that I can find something to be excited about.  This year I found a hard back copy of the Complete Plays and Poems of Tennyson, several books by Cormac McCarthy, a complete book of stories by Flannery O’Connor, a hardback of Inkheart by Funke, and several other books.  As with most things, some years are better than others, and this happened to be one of those.  And I didn’t get into any fights with the booksellers.  I actually was talking to a couple and what fascinated me was the fact that they would call themselves book-lovers.  Some were as one man separated his own books and the books he wanted to sell, while others you had to wonder as they grabbed only books that promised to make them a profit. 

Now it is time to start reading and for the past couple of days I keep wandering from book to book, wondering where to start.  I think I can live with this though. 

The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis

Finished this book today and I still not quite sure what to think.  I knew it’d be a book about a man who turns into a bug, but other than that I did not have many other expectations.  I do know that lately I have read several books with happy endings, so I think I was hoping for some sort of a redemption.  Mostly this book feels like the author himself was not settled with the ideas about reality; like he still had unanswered questions. 

On the Care of Books

“Books are like children in more ways than one; in their response to care and attention in early life, for one thing, and in their response to heredity and environment, for another…The book’s early life will be happier, its maturity longer, its final disappearance more distant if, like the child, it has found its lines cast among kindly and sympathetic friends and parents. Hygienic living conditions, proper prophylaxis, prevention of disease, are for both more important than medication or drugs. Thoughtful and skillful attention by competent, well trained, experienced physicians and surgeons is necessary for both.”
-Henry Miller Lydenberg & John Archer in The Care and Repair of Books

I just found this amusing. Throughout the book the author’s tones appear informational and witty; just enough to keep the reader interested.

Alfred and Alma Hitchcock's Literary Habits

“My parents had quite a library in London, and it got even larger in the States. They had a complete collection of famous trials, novels by Somerset Maugham, plays by William Shakespeare, complete works of Jonathan Gallsworthy, John Buchan, Charles Dickens, J.M. Barrie, and George Bernard Shaw. The Shaw book collection is very special; the first volume (Immaturity) was inscribed by the author to my mother…But whether it was in England or in America, each time my father received a book or a script to consider as a potential project, he immediately gave it to my mother to read first. If she didn’t like it, it was instantly rejected. If she liked it, she would pass it on to him. Interestingly, most of my father’s films are based on existing material: novels, plays, short stories. Very few were original screenplays.”

~Pat Hitchcock O’Connell on her parents literary habits