I’m a Library Cheater

It’s time to come clean with you guys. I’m doing something that’s so terrible, so horrible that I might have to have my librarian status revoked. Seriously, you will not be able to believe what a terrible person I am. So prepare yourself. Take a deep break. Okay.

I’m cheating on my local library. *gasp*

I know! I know!!! What kind of monster am I?

It gets worse. I’m using a serious loophole in the system to use multiple libraries. Eek.

So here’s the deal. We moved back to my hometown in March, literally in the first week of the Covid outbreak here in Texas. We’re in a major metropolitan area, but the suburb I’m living in operates its own library. Its own small library. Much, MUCH smaller than the big city library my previous town was in a consortium with. What can I say? I’m a spoiled brat.

Continue reading “I’m a Library Cheater”

Review: The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Genre: Non-Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

This book was completely different than I was expecting. Now that I’m re-reading the synopsis I see I can’t blame THAT for misleading me, but for some reason I had it in my head that this was going to be a true-crime book similar to The Orchid Thief. And while there were some elements of that present, that is not the proper way to characterize this book. Instead, this was Orlean’s love-letter to the Los Angeles Public Library.

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FINALLY a Librarian!


So I mentioned about a month ago that back in September I was offered my dream job as a librarian at my elementary school. However, as a teacher I am under contract, and was waiting for my school district to hire someone to replace me (IF they could find someone…). Well! This past week they finally released me from my contract.


Thursday is my last day! Then on Friday I get to have a get-to-know-you day at my new school. My official first day won’t be until after Christmas, but I get to go to a sing-along and a club day and meet the kids and the teachers.


I’m also so nervous. I got this job mainly on passion, but I’ve never actually worked in a library, and the library and information science degree gives you shockingly little preparation for practical things like, you know, software. Thankfully there are a ton of other librarians in the district, and I think one of them might show me around on the first day and help with with POs and things like that. But still. NERVOUS.

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How I Use the Library to Buy Smarter

In the last 12 months I have become a much more regular library user than I have been in the past. It’s been some combination of getting really into this book blog, reading more, and *finally* running out of unread books on my bookshelf.

I find a lot of book bloggers (and especially bookstagrammers) are surprised when they find out that I get most of my books from the library these days. Library books look a lot less gorgeous on your bookstagram (stupid plastic covers…), and they offer very little re-read value. Not to mention I can’t snap any more pictures of them in a themed post for my bookstagram after I give them back.

Mostly, I think, people are surprised because book bloggers buy A LOT of books. Hardly a week goes by where I don’t hear about somebody who accidentally cheated on their book buying ban.

But guys, here’s the thing. I do still buy plenty of books! I’m just using the library to help me buy smarter.

Let me explain.

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Future Librarian

YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that I had applied to Grad School but that the program was full. I was crossing my fingers that some people might choose the other university that offers the same degree and open up room for me, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t happen and feeling down. But on Sunday morning I opened my email, and lo and behold! I AM ACCEPTED!

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So. As of Monday I am officially enrolled for a degree in Library Science. I’m going to be a librarian!!!! I am over the moon about this for many, many reasons, too many to go into at length. But I must say to all of you:

Thank you.

It is this blog and the people in this community that really brought out my passion in books and made me realize that what I want to spend all day every day doing is sharing that love with kids. Being a teacher is great, but I don’t know that it’s right for me. Thanks to you all (and a real-life friend) I think I’ve discovered that a school library is a much better fit. Continue reading “Future Librarian”

The Library Lover’s Book Tag

I saw this tag on Jillian the Bookish Butterfly. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time at the library and reading a lot of library books, so it really caught my attention! Libraries are amazing resources for more than just books, and I think one of the best things we can do as book bloggers is promote libraries. So here I go!

How often do you visit your local library?

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It depends on the time of year and how quickly I read my books. During summer vacation I’m at the library at least once a week. However, during the school year it takes me much longer to read books, and I also get gifted books for my birthday and Christmas. I might visit once or twice a month, maybe even less. Continue reading “The Library Lover’s Book Tag”


I had a bit of an … experience at the library yesterday.

So, my library is teamed up with the libraries from a couple of nearby cities, including the BIG city with like, 10 branches or something. That’s really cool because it means that if MY library doesn’t have a book, one of the other branches might. I can order it to be shipped to my location and picked up at my convenience, or I can go right to their branch and use my library card there. So cool!


Continue reading “Traumatized”

Review: A Discovery of Witches

519HBWFqfyL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Series: All Souls Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4.5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

The first hundred pages of “A Discovery of Witches” had me saying things like “the best book I’ve read this year,” and “FINALLY! A fantasy novel that isn’t in love with vampires!” I loved the beginning, which was mostly about Diana doing research in a library and wishing she wasn’t a witch. I know several people who love libraries and love scholarly research, so all the stuff about manuscripts and Oxford had me nearly drooling. I was fascinated with the idea of Diana being born with power, but choosing to live without it because she wanted her work (and life) to have meaning. She didn’t want everything in life handed to her just because she was a Bishop and just because she knew magic. Some things, Diana knows, aren’t worth anything unless you’ve put in the work to earn them. When Diana first met Matthew, the mysterious vampire, and she was frightened of him nearly to panic, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing there would be no wishy washy, lovey dovey, GOOD vampires in this book.

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