Spring Cleaning Poll!

I have been spring cleaning like crazy this weekend, which means making the harrowing decision of which books to keep and which ones to get rid of. Very few times is it an easy choice, usually when the books were mediocre (goodbye Matched trilogy!). But too often it feels like giving up your own children.

All in all, 14 books got the ax, and I donated them to my local library. Many of them were old books of comic strips, so it felt nice knowing other children could enjoy them like I did.

I still prefer physical books and since I don’t own an e-reader, I make it a ritual to regularly go through my collection and thin the herd. Otherwise, they’ll just end up stacked everywhere, and the disorganization would drive me batty!

I do the same for my clothing, as I dropped off three full bags at Goodwill today. But let’s face it, if books are my children, then my clothes are mere godchildren. I’m much less sentimental toward them, and considering the wear and tear they go through, it’s pretty easy to let them go. (Note: this is probably why no one asks me to be the guardian of their kids! Lol)

Jokes aside, I thought that this would be a good chance to ask about your own spring cleaning! Answer the poll questions, and provide more details in the comments!


Because you can never get enough bookshelf porn!

So over at the Daily Mail is a wonderful story titled, “Shhh! World’s most stunning libraries captured in new book that will leave you lost for words,” but as much as I like that headline, what the article boils down to is what I call bookshelf porn. I’ve covered the topic before, and even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it, but the idea is simple: Sometimes you just want to ogle big, beautiful…bookshelves.

Dr. James Campbell of Cambridge University traveled for three years to over 80 libraries in 20 countries for his new book, The Library, the first of its kind to be published.

He discusses how he wants more people to appreciate the cultural significance of libraries, which are often threatened by a lack of interest and funding. He notes that in this technological age, public libraries are in fact more democratic, since you don’t need to have the privileges of a computer and Internet connection to experience them.

I think that his research promotes awareness of a crucial issue around the globe, and it reminds me to respect the beauty and power of the written word.

Most of all, I’m jealous of this amazing journey that he was able to take! But since we can’t make the same trek ourselves, I’ll share these exquisite photos. Ogle away, bookshelf porn addicts!

The Mafra Palace Library, in Mafra, Portugal

Biblioteca Joanina, in Coimbra, Portugal

The George Peabody Library, Baltimore

The library at Admont Abbey in Austria

UPDATE 10/24/13 9:37 a.m. PST: Apparently, I’m a terrible book blogger for not yet discovering bookshelfporn.com, which has been around since 2009! I begrudgingly thank Buzzfeed for informing me of this site, and will now fuel my addiction by obsessively scrolling and pinning these beauties!

Happy Friday! Here’s some bookshelf porn to celebrate!

I bet that title got you to pay attention!

Some people may find Pinterest a time-suck for only select demographics: women with ’90s nostalgia planning their mason-jar-obsessed barn wedding, fitness junkies with their “thinspiration” boards, or beauty fanatics pinning crazy nail art and ombre highlights.

Yes, we (almost 70% female) are on Pinterest looking at meals we’ll never make, places we’ll never go, and houses we’ll never afford. The social network is the ultimate 21st century dream board.

And although my job has shifted my priorities where they belong–more working and less pinning–I still love dropping by the site every now and then. I even recently converted my account from personal to professional, so please check out my Book Club Babe board!

Today, I’d like to share pictures from my favorite board, aptly named Bookshelf Porn. Every book lover fantasizes about their perfect library, with shelves packed from ceiling to floor. So without further ado, admire these wonders!

Library in the Loft

Spiral Staircase

Lines and Curves

Floating Shelves

And, of course, the secret bathroom so you never have to leave your library!

Please follow the links to the rest of the 50 pins on my Bookshelf Porn Pinterest board (don’t forget to repin if you’re a user too!), and post pics of your favorite libraries in the comments!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Philip Pullman Fights For Libraries

Philip Pullman signing a copy of Lyra's Oxford...

Philip Pullman signing a copy of Lyra’s Oxford…Image via Wikipedia

The Telegraph today discussed the fight to save the Kensal Rise Library in north-west London. If the High Court chooses to save it, Philip Pullman, author of my favorite series of all time–the His Dark Materials trilogy,will visit the library tonight and hold a fund-raiser. He’ll also read from his latest bestseller, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

Pullman stated:

Closing libraries is the behaviour of a debased culture. Libraries are not just a source of books. Many of us feel that they symbolise something more, that Britain is a civilised place. And when part of our civilisation is being destroyed, we have to stand up against the barbarians.

Libraries have been at risk of being closed in every country faced with budget cuts. Although I normally buy my books due to the lack of selection at my local libraries, whenever I’m looking for something new to read, I try to find it at the library first. This summer I borrowed Brave New World and The Age of Innocence, and now I would love to add them to my own book collection by purchasing them.

However, I know that many people don’t have the means to buy books, movies, or their own internet connection, and libraries are the perfect outlet for those in need. The digital divide has widened the rich-poor gap, and we need libraries to combat this issue. I donate the books I don’t read anymore to libraries, so someone else might have the opportunity to read them too.

To show you how important libraries are, the book I’m currently reading–The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins–was on the library wait-list over 100 people long! I decided to purchase the trilogy and give up my spot on the wait-list, so another person who might need it more could read it for free.

I’ve always loved Pullman’s passion and honesty, and I applaud his actions to save British libraries. I hope American authors will do the same here!