Tuesday, August 24

Did It Again

Several years ago I realized that I purchase too many books.  My shelves were full at home and bursting in my classroom.  There were boxes of hard and soft cover reading materials stored in my crawl space at home.  My purchased were made at local book stores, large book vendors, on my international adventures, and at the local 'we sell everything store' in the discount area.  Way too many books and I performed a self-intervention.

In retrospect, it was an unconscious creation of a new plan that would allow me to continue passing hours at bookstores, which I loved, and continue reading the multitude of books I found there but could not afford.  My brain needed the stimulation of new ideas; my fingers could not resist the reach and pull of a hard cover toward my body; my ears delighted in the crack of a new spine opening for the first time; and that smell....if you have never sunk your nose into the crevasse of a new book and gently curved its sides around your face as you deeply inhale...your life may be incomplete.  Oh the smell!  It was a process I was not willing to give up, so I developed this money saving process:

(Photo from media.photobucket.com)

1.  I take a pen and small pad or piece of paper and put it in my pocket.
2.  My eyes peruse the shelves, see and read interesting titles, pictures, and blurbs on dust jackets.

3.  Mentally I decide if I would actually read it and if I would actually take the time do to so.
4.  If no, book goes back on the shelf.
4a. If yes, I pull out the pen and paper and document the book's title, author and sometimes the ISBN number or publisher.
5.  While at the magazine rack, if I spy a website that sparks my interest I write them down.
6.  Upon leaving the store, I add the books to my "Books I Want to Read" on an Excel Spreadsheet.
7.  If I have the time, I will go online and research reviews and opinions of the books in which I am interested just to make sure that the book is worth my reading time.
8.  Books I am really excited about, I look up in my local library catalogue, check for the number of holds before me (popular books can have 30 - 50 holds on them), then put the book on hold or request a transfer to my preferred library branch to read ASAP.
9.  Fiction books that I can order on CD, I will listen to as I drive around in my car.  Non-fiction I would rather read and take notes so I prefer a printed copy.

In Winnipeg, at my local mall (Grant Park Shopping Centre), there is a McNally Robinson Booksellers.  I shake my head in fear of buying too many books and cheer on the inside as this means I have hours of shelve browsing to complete.  Today, I was in the store for 2.5 hours and came home with 13 book titles written down and 4 websites to peak through.

Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson.
A story of a man who travelled through Pakistan and Afghanistan establishing schools for girls.  His second book Stones Into Schools will be next.

Monty Haaviko crime novels - Michael Van Rooy
A local author who writes about an ex-criminal who is trying to go straight.

The Art of Choosing - Sheena Iyengar
How people make their choices and how they affect our lives.  Quoted in other books I have read.

Who Has Seen the Wind?W.O. Mitchell
A classic Canadian prairie book I have never read.

An Unexpected Break in the Weather - Deborah Schnitzer
Local Winnipeg author who seems interesting.

Payback - Margaret Atwood
Her ideas and search for the history of debt.

50 Photo Projects - Lee Frost, D&C Publishers
I had a hard time putting this one down but I am going to think about it for 30 days and see if I still want it (another money saving tactic I have learned recently).

You Are Not A Gadget: An Manifesto - Jaron Lanier
A memoir and critique of the internet and how it is changing how individuals think.

Moab is My WashpotStephen Fry's Autobiography
A talented and incredibly smart British entertainer whom I remember from my travels last year.

The Man Who Left Too Soon: Biography of Stieg Larsson - Barry Forshaw
Having just read the brilliant and disturbing Millennium series he wrote just before he died, I want follow this up with his biography.

My Booky Wook - Russel Brand
My indulgence as I read the autobiography of a man I developed a crush on while in the UK.

Living Oprah - Robyn Okrant
Even though it was only $9.99 on sale, I resisted as this is the lease exciting book I wrote down but may be worth a CD listen.

The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It - Victor Malarek
Years ago I wrote a paper on sex tourism and now that I am back in the field doing my Master's Degree, an update on the situation from the point of view of the men would be interesting.  Which also means I have to read his book titles, The Natashas, the view from the sex workers perspective.

1.  Photography Lenses - www.lensbaby.ca
2.  iPod App for Photo content releases - www.applicationgap.com
3.  www.livewhatyoulove.com
4.  A 4th website I found while researching the books above- www.theartofchoosing.com

There it is, my process of giving myself the time and enjoyment of discovering new books and websites, and a less expensive way of learning from each one.  Develop your own method, tweak this one, keep more money in your pocket and keep reading!

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