I Want a Vintage/ Antique Library Cart

First, you should know, they are far more expensive than you would expect. (I was surprised). A new cart is also very expensive, plus there will be some assembly required with almost all of them. I can do the assembly, but… I’d still rather have an old cart assembled by someone else long ago. I don’t mind some wear, authentic wear, not contrived to look worn and aged. Fake aging is too artificial. Besides, wouldn’t an old cart be much happier cleaned up and given a fresh coat of paint? I don’t want a sad cart.

This one was on a site from the UK. Even pricier but I really like the look of it.

This one was found by someone else and done over. I would rather have it painted a nice showy red – make it look glamorous.

I found a few vintage/ antique carts online. Most are too expensive once you consider the shipping and the dollar difference from anything in the US. Paying double the asking price just doesn’t seem fair. Even when they say free shipping, that doesn’t mean they will stick to it when it comes to me.

So, I will continue to poke around on the Internet from time to time and see what I find.

The best bargain I could find online for a new book cart was from Wayfair. The company is new to Canada (or at least new to me in Canada). They offer free shipping and likely it is free shipping when it originates here. But, why is the price so much different just over the colour? I like the plain silver better than the white or black. I just think it’s odd. It’s not an old cart though, so no history to it. Likely I’d have to put the wheels on, if not more assembly. So… it is tempting. I’ve begun trying to let go some of my books and the cart would help in sorting them. Plus, I could keep it for the books I use most often and whatever I have on hand in fiction to be read.

Book Clubs in Coffee Shops

I found a site asking Starbucks to add reading clubs/ books to their coffee shops. I think this is backwards. The book sellers need to bring in coffee, not the other way around. Coffee shops don’t have enough seating to really want a group of people hanging around and taking up space.

Smarter for a retail book seller to provide the coffee, books and space. Why don’t they evolve a room for public events? Make it cosy and enclose it (with glass doors to keep out sound but leave everyone a view). The store could promote the local book clubs. Offer members a discount on whatever the upcoming book is (and make sure they have it in stock ahead of time too).

The big chain book stores here (in Ontario) do have a coffee shop attached to them, a Starbucks. But, they don’t go the extra step of giving it a local group appeal. There isn’t enough seating and people are discouraged about shopping between the stores, due to theft, vandalism and accidents.

What do you think?

Donate Your Books to Prisons (in Canada)

Canadian resources/ organizations which send books (fiction and non-fiction in good condition, no hardcovers) to prisons/ inmates in Canada.

You can find out more from the post on PEN Canada – Prisoners’ Right to Read. There is also a mailing label you can print out to go along with any  books you send. Note – books can not be sent directly to an inmate, but publishers, libraries and organizations (see above) can do so.

Of course you can’t send any book, on any topic or anything which describes criminal activity. However, you can send books which will help inmates learn (or improve) their reading skills. You can also send non-fiction. Think about all those gardening, cooking, history and science books which you haven’t looked at in years.

Catalogue Your Books

This doesn’t really help me because I know I am not going to spend all that time digitally scanning my books or listing them on a web site (especially a secondary site which could disappear without notice).

I do agree with most of the reasons for cataloguing your books. I get annoyed with myself each time I realize I have two (three even in a couple of cases) copies of the same book.

Also, I did have a water tank burst and ruin a lot of books I had kept in the basement. Luckily the water left enough behind for me to estimate a value for the insurance. (But it doesn’t really replace the books and I spent the money on something else rather than looking to replace the damaged/ ruined books I had to throw out).

For me the smartest thing  would really be eliminating a lot of the books I am keeping (hoarding) on my shelves.

I don’t keep non-fiction books once I have read them. That small decision, several years ago, helped me lose a lot of clutter.

Having your library accessible in an app or doc means never forgetting what you already own and never purchasing unwanted duplicates.

If you ever lose the library due to fire, flood, or other disaster you can use the list to rebuild your collection and (depending on your insurance) possibly recuperate some of the money lost.

Share the list with your family/friends and they’ll never buy you a book you already own.

Track where/when you bought the book, and help preserve memories associated with the purchase.

STATS. Do you own more books by men or women; more sci-fi or historical; short story collections or novels; Americans or Brits? Inventory your entire library and find out.

Source: 8 Reasons to Catalog Your Books (and How to Do It)

Using Deep Captions

4. Use “deep captions”Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig into your whole article.

Source: 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content – Copyblogger –

This was the most interesting point for me because I don’t use any captions. But, I do read them on other sites, especially when I’m skim reading. Most people are skim reading. I know it’s not just me any more. Ha! to those who laughed at me for admitting it back then. I was just an early adopter, yet again. Not that I promote skim reading as a good thing. There are times I’ve missed the relevant point due to skim reading. But, that is partially the fault of the writer. We should be writing for skim readers these days. We know most people are skimming, not reading your every word.

Write for the skimmers and maybe they will become readers.

Meanwhile… I’m going to think about writing captions. But, I’d have to add more images for that to work and I’ve been trying to skip the images unless they really have some relevance. As a skim reader and a web publisher, I’m really tired of images there for the sake of having an image with the post. I still think an image should be included in a post for a reason other than adding colour to your post.  Otherwise you could just post a generic image with a link to your site.

Start a Personal Book Buying Ban

I have more books than I can read. I may have more books than I can read in my lifetime. I’ve done the math: amount of pages I can read in a day divided by the approximate amount of pages I have on my bookshelves. At the time I assumed 100 pages a day. I was 20-something and my life was different then. Now, depending on the book I’m reading and how obligated I feel to finish it or how much I actually like reading it… I may read 20 pages a day.

I’ve been better at limiting the fiction books. I finish them and take them to the secondhand bookstore. There, I can trade several books for one new (unread by me) book. This works well as long as I keep taking books in and don’t buy too many new fiction books at the big, shiny bookstores. Of course, the fresh, unread by anyone, books from the bookstores are tempting. Not only are they newly published but I can give myself the excuse of reading with a latte at the bookstore.

Non-fiction books are another story. I buy more than I need. Always thinking I will read and study them and use what I have learned. Good intentions. But, I end up with a lot of books I’d like to read sitting on my bookshelves. I have to work at not buying more non-fiction.

One thing I have learned is to know what I already have. Including which edition. I really get annoyed with myself when I find I have bought the same book twice.

4. The TBR is your friend. Treat your TBR like a pop up bookstore. Don’t agonize, just pick one. But here’s the trick: if you don’t like it, move on quickly to the next book until you find one that scratches your new book itch. The problem with the TBR is that it can feel like a chore, whereas a new book is thrilling. So don’t force yourself to stick with something if it isn’t working. Keep plowing through until you hit on one that you can’t put down.

3. Review your shelves and donate books you no longer need. This sounds counterintuitive, but it reduces the TBR and provides a visceral reminder of how much privilege is implied by the idea of having to work hard not to buy something that many people consider a luxury, in comparison to medicine, food, or rent.

2. Reorganize your book shelves. Maybe according to date, or color, or some other funky scheme. Or at least dust them. I guarantee you’ll have a new appreciation for what you already own. And it might pique your interest in a forgotten, unread purchase, or send you down several miles of memory lanes with old favorites.

Source: 10 Painless Ways to Stick to Your Book Buying Ban

Leaving Blog Readers in a Bottomless Scrolling Pit

Many blogs have begun using the infinite scroll which means their blog posts go on endlessly, bottomless. It may be good for keeping people reading your site longer, preventing bounces. But… please throw your readers a lifeline – add a link back to the top of your site.

I was reading WP Decoder earlier and sent a note:

With infinite scrolling it would also be nice if people provided a floating link to get back to the top/ start. I wanted to look for your Twitter link after reading far down your bottomless posts. (I was in 2013). Not everyone knows basic things like keyboard shortcuts these days.

A floating link is best because it will stick with people as they read. Plus, it jumps around a bit and tends to get noticed.

The Canadian Book Challenge

9th Canadian Book Challenge Logo flag

The Canadian Book Challenge is an annual online reading challenge in which participants from Canada and around the world aim to read and review 13 or more Canadian books in a one year span: Canada Day to Canada Day. Reviews must be posted online and participants are asked to share links to their reviews with other participants. More on reviews below.(It’s also a lot of fun and collectively we’ve read and reviewed thousands of Canadian titles! Actually, the whole books, not just the titles.)

Source: The Book Mine Set: The 9th Canadian Book Challenge

For those who aren’t Canadian, do you read books by regional authors? When did you last try someone local?