Books books books

Look within the covers

Look within the covers

I just got back from Goodwill and found some fabulous additions to my home library. It’s amazing that for usually under two bucks a pop, I can stock my shelves with some of the greatest literature, the most informative digests, or the trashiest novels known to man. 

Other than borrowing books from the library, I can think of no finer source of reading material than my local thrift store.  How many hundreds of dollars have I saved over the years by merely taking the few extra moments to peruse the jumbled aisles for a treasure or two?  It staggers my mind. 

I am grateful for stores like Goodwill who see fit to lovingly set up shelves for those of us wanting to expand our minds, learn a new recipe, or just while away a few beachside hours.  Without the tireless work of these charities, I’d hazard a guess that many thousands of pounds of paper, not even mentioning the information written uponthem, would head to the landfills. 

And I am even more grateful to those folks going through their home bookshelves, sorting out what they no longer want, and making the effort to transport these books to their respective charity of choice.  Without them, so many others may not have the opportunity to be introduced to the likes of Huckleberry Finn, Jackie Collins, Sherlock Holmes, Julia Child, and even Maurice Sendak. 

So thanks to  you all, for today I decorated my life just a wee bit more, while parting with less than $10.00 for the whole lot.  I’ll brew up a cup of Darjeeling in honor of your altruism while I curl up in my bookreading chair. 

Now if I could just remember where I put my fuzzy bunny slippers….

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Published in: on 2009/08/11 at 10:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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Junk Collectors

Junk Collectors School

Junk Collectors School

 

We are all junk collectors.  Even those who don’t outright admit it will testify to their ubiquitous junk drawer choc-a-bloc with rubber bands, pencils, straws, outdated coupons, Chinese takeout sauce packages, matches, candles, or any one of another million of modern society’s objects.  Some, like Jake, in the book above, are experts. And his junktiquing protege, Andy, wants to be just like him.  There’s so much in this world that others have cast off, and oftentimes it takes a special set of eyes to see the beauty in things left unloved and unwanted.  Repurposing and recycling happens to all of us ultimately, whether it starts off as an intended activity or the reusing of an item happens simply by chance.  How many of us have truly bought a new car? Most of us in this economy can only afford used, or as the dealers prefer to call them, “preowned.” 

Isn’t much of what we touch preowned?  Was the first house we bought a pre-fab McMansion in a nice suburb?  I think not.  Life evolves for us in Western society, and we are in a continual state of upgrading and improving our lot in life, sometimes to please ourselves, sometimes to impress others, and sometimes for reasons we don’t yet truly comprehend.  Aren’t the nicest  homes we’ve visited filled not with beautiful new drapes, priceless rugs, or costly fixtures but rather possessing instead the qualities of what we value inherently as a human being? I am talking about basic niceties like a warm hearth, a handknitted shawl, a steaming mug of cocoa, a careworn sofa, familiar books or vintage LPs, a collection of old cards and photographs, comfy slippers, and the quiet familiarity of our oldest friends and closest family.  I daresay most of these things’ value lie not in the pricetag but rather in the warmth and attachment we all feel when sharing them? 

If I am a junk collector because I save some pennies and display an antique photograph of my great-great grandmother, within a thrift-store frame, then so be it.  If I am a purveyor of secondhand and have no compunction in scouring the yards and garages of my neighbors looking for the perfect jelly jar, then I guess I am guilty as charged. 

But like Andy, I would be honored to graduate from Junk Collector School, to share in the wit and wisdom of those traveling life’s path before me, and hopefully gather some beauty along the way.

Published in: on 2009/08/06 at 12:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Go to the Library

Celebrating Banned Books Week

Celebrating Banned Books Week

You! Yes, I mean you! It’s time to visit an old friend. Get off the couch, unplug the phone, put down the remote, step away from the net, and take a walk down to your local library. It’s time to reconnect with some old pals.

http://www.loc.gov/index.html

Wands at the Ready

I get mine at Ollivander's

I get mine at Ollivander's

I just stood in line with 300 of my fellow Potter-lovers and saw the sixth instalment last night. It was amazing, if not too short for my liking. The filmmakers simply cannot crunch enough of Jo Rowling’s imagination into one film to satisfy any of us fanatical readers. Were they to do it, it’d be a 5-hour movie, and while I’d sit through it, I am not sure many movie houses or production companies could afford such an epic.

My sorting hat’s off to you, Ms Rowling, once again for enchanting millions and leading us into a world of fantasy, intrigue, and ultimately hope and love. We are all fortunate to have been able to tap into your brain and see the wonders within.

Now if I could just have some of her good writing fortune! Maybe I need my wand or some of that felix felicis potion!

Second Hand Roses: Lessons From the Junktiquing Road

Window to the world

Window to the world

I am in the process of marketing my book, Second Hand Roses: Lessons From the Junktiquing Road.  In my humble opinion, it is a one-of-a-kind, poignant, sometimes humorous, extremely timely collection of essays documenting my forays into the world of all things secondhand.

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your boss, tell the mailman, tell anybody who’ll listen….it’s the quintessential companion to all of those remanded to the aisles of thrift stores as we all face our unique travails in this brave new economic world!

Come read some excerpts and let me know what you think!  Be honest!