Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Great Loot at a Book Swap!

 photo IMG_0057_zpslvgrdocb.jpgI am a reader. Big time. It is in my blood.
Tonight, I described it to my friend Debbie, as such- I need books nearly the same way I need air.
Ever since I was young, I simply devoured books. On the rare occasion that I'm in a home without books, I feel lost. Books are just an important part of who I am.
I am always looking for reading material. If there's "nothing" to read, I will read the writing on boxes of cereal. When I pack to go away, I make sure to have a book with me, because what if the place that I'm going has no books? That's almost as bad as having no food I can eat!
Just kidding.
But only slightly.

I was a big fan of the library from when I was very young. The librarians at our local library branch and I were on a first name basis, friends even. As a teenager, I even volunteered at the library, shelving books in the Young Adult section.

I need books.

And I read books.

But in English.

The library system locally is nothing like the library system I grew up with. No interlibrary loans. No reserving books. Just pay for a yearly membership, browse, and take out a limited number of books that you find on the shelf that appeal to you. (You're allowed only a set amount per family per week. And a rather small amount at that.)

And of course, the books are nearly all in the local language. A few books in English, but not many.

For someone like myself who devours books, I really miss the libraries we had growing up.

Especially since books locally cost a fortune!

When I first came here, I would shop at the second hand book store. Which was hit and miss. But even those shopping trips ended up being pretty pricy, and then my house would fill up with these books that I didn't want anymore- other than a few rare books/authors, I read books once, then have no interest in rereading, so I don't want my shelves being filled up with these books that won't be read again.
So the bookstores buy back books, but for a fraction of the price that they sold it to you for. It ends up being like the "service" of a library, but paying a lot for that "service".

Which is why the fact that we have local book swaps is pretty awesome for me.

Everyone brings all the books they want to get rid of.

Everyone takes the books they want.

We pay a set fee (like $3) which goes to charity, and to be fair to everyone, you only take as many books as you brought.

So it ends up being like a library service, because I know that the books I take don't need to be stuck on my shelves forever or end up in the trash- I can simply take them back to the next swap, and then take some more books then. And since I am not paying for each individual book, I don't mind taking a chance on some books, and picking up some books that I might not have otherwise- because I may just like it after all- and if not- I'll bring it back to the next swap.

So here's the loot I got at tonight's swap- most of it books I haven't read yet, but one- Angels and Demons, I read and really liked, so I want to have it to keep for the future (Dan Brown's books generally get kept around here, as do Harry Potter and Girl with Dragon Tattoo series, among others...) so I got it despite it not being new to me.

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If you'll notice from the selection- I prefer non chic lit- I like fast paced stories that suck me into the action, whether Dan Brown, Grisham, Clancy, etc.... I literally get so sucked in to that kind of book that I can easily finish one of those in one day, and then look to start another one.

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And I also got a bunch of kids' books, most of which I'd never heard of before, but figured why not... But one of them I know my daughter Anneliese will love- Angelina Ballerina!

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Anneliese's favorite things in the whole wide world are princesses, ballerinas, and pink, so a book about a ballerina wearing pink? That will make her light up like the sun...

I can't wait to show her these books.

And to devour my books as well.

I think I'll start with the Dan Brown.

Are you a reader? What types of books do you like to read? Do you get lost in books, needing to surface for air, or are you someone who never gets too deeply into the books?
How do you generally get your books? Do you buy them, borrow them, etc?
Do you have a lot of bookshelves in your home?
Am I the only one who doesn't feel comfortable in a home without bookshelves?
What is your favorite type of book and who is your favorite author?


  1. This post really resonates with me on several levels. I have been an on and off reader over the years but now with a change in my life style ( it is much quieter these days and I moved to a small country town) I began to read again. When I lived in the big city I could literally get any book I wanted especially if I reserved it. It took me a long time to get used to the system here of what you see is what you get. People in town like "true crime" so there is lots of that at my library. I do go to the library for most of my books and spend lots of time combing the shelves and will find a few things every time. So library for me and especially for my daughter who is 4 ( and LOVES Angelina Ballerina BTW) where I will get 20 or so books at a time for her. It is free and then we never get caught with books we have read 100 times cluttering up our house. In fact I just returned from the library only 30 minutes ago :) I also look at thrift shops for books and if they are reasonable I will buy them or yard sales of course. I recently hosted a book swap and while I did not get too many there as you are at the mercy of the taste of others, I got a few. To me books and reading can be a free and therefore frugal pass time :)

  2. I need books!! Here are some of my book review posts. I do reread, if I liked the book, so I keep a lot of books in my house, but I try to go through them every few years to purge the ones that I don't really want to read again.

    We have an excellent local library, and it has an ongoing used book sale! I've found lots of great books there for 50c or $1. I also go each year to a used book sale in another neighborhood's community center on that neighborhood's yard sale day (everyone who wants to have a sale has it at the same time, to increase customers) and typically find something good. It's unusual for me to buy a new book for myself, but I keep a running list of books I'd like and give the list to my family before each birthday and Christmas. When I buy new books for gifts, I try my local stores first, and then if I have to order online I use Better World Books.

  3. I love to's tv on paper for me. Give me a murder mystery or a really good detective story and I'm in bliss. Nothing beats a well thought out serial killer. Also adventure too. Anything that reminds me of Indiana Jones. I can get so into a book I can lose all focus but for the book, but life doesn't give ya too many moments like that in my world, so I can stop and start anytime.

    I only read at work during my breaks. My husband doesn't like my attention to be off him for more than a few minutes when we are together so reading at home is a no-no. However, because I can read while walking, I actually get quite a bit read (average 100 books a year). I get most of my books for free from co-workers cleaning out their shelves (they always think of me cos I always have a book nearby) and when I'm down to just hardbacks, I will visit the twice yearly booksale sponsored by the county library system cos paperbacks are only 50 cents. I'm working on building up a few authors that I know I will want to re-read again and again during the years (Clive Cussler, S. King, Douglas Preston, Anne Rice)

    My fave book and author is IMAGICA by Clive Barker. I read it about every decade and am always drawn into the story once again. It's magical, fantasy, religious, a true mystery of the cosmos kind of book.

    I do have many bookshelves in my home but less than 100 books since I never keep any book that doesn't interest me and I give what I can to family, friends and back to the library (for the next sale).

    I use to keep all hardbacks but then I realized, I don't like the weight of the books as I grow older and I can't take 'em with me so...adios.

    One thing is for certain, I won't be getting a kindle anytime soon, not until they make one to have that old book smell and it doesn't break when you drop it. - Mattie

    1. Clive Barker is amazing! One of my favorite authors ever! I have a Kindle and it has its uses - like I can store a bajillion books on there without any clutter! But, there is NOTHING in the world like the "smell" of a paper book or walking into a library/bookstore for that matter.

  4. I'm more of a "background person" -- I read a lot, and I post almost nothing. However, I'd like to recommend the model of "Little Free Library" (

    I am blessed to live in San Diego, California -- amazing weather, access to virtually anything a person could want (albeit expensive, which I can barely afford).

    And yet, our neighborhoods have developed "little libraries." A person walks down a street and finds a "mailbox" of books, free for the taking. The concept encourages what you mentioned in terms of "take one, leave one" but there are no actual restrictions. In fact, one day I left a note saying that I would like to borrow a book that would teach me basic home plumbing.... the next time I walked by, there were three books there on that subject!

    Sometimes the nearest Little Library is full; sometimes it is almost empty. Those of us who walk by do notice.... I used to buy books all the time; now I prefer to "rent" them first. I've found that the list of books that I want to own is MUCH smaller than the list of books I want to read! My neighborhood public library is wonderful about finding books for me.... and yet, I find myself drawn to the "little libraries" in the neighborhood.

    Be advised that I have no concept of how to build a little "book nest".... I own one hammer and one pair of pliers, and I usually hurt myself using either one. However, it might be an interesting experiment for you to build one and report on the results?

  5. I get where you're coming from - and I'm finding getting books from the library more difficult - now that I've moved from a city to a small town (and correspondingly smaller library). Add the fact that a few of the books are in Welsh (ie I've moved from England to West Wales) and...yikes. I am puzzled at you referring to books as being in the "local language" - as I thought you were in America??? What do I know - as someone living in Britain? But I thought THE language in America is English (so isn't that the case?).

    1. I am American, born and raised, but since I got married I have been living in another country, a non english speaking country. :-D

  6. Oooh, good haul!

    I love, love the Newton's Cannon series (am actually on Empire of Unreason now, second re-read). I read constantly.

    Mostly on e-reader now, where you can get for example 100 Classic Mysteries for $2 American. E-readers are great for those of us who need larger print.

    Back home, one small community built a lending library in one of those sheds you get at Home Depot, then got the fire department to let them put it in the firehall park.. Several families donated books, and one family maintained it. Last I heard, it was still going, though the original kids are all grown up now.

    Enjoy your reading!

  7. if you have an e-reader, or an e-reader app on your computer, you can download all the books you could ever want from I'm never without a book, or 12, on hand.

  8. I second getting an e-reader of some kind. There are newsletters like freebooksy and BookBub that send out daily emails with free e-books that all you have to do is download them. Amazon always has lots of free e-books.

    Because I drive a lot, I listen to audiobooks all the time. In California, you can get a library card for almost any library in the state as long as you live in California. I download audiobooks through Overdrive, which keeps track of what libraries I have cards for. Because I have cards for several local libraries, I am almost always able to at least put on a hold any audiobook I want.


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