Rescue Home for Books

As I’ve said before, I like books. Actual printed books. Preferably previously owned. I like having them on my shelves. I like organizing them so they can have nice neighbors. I like carefully lending them to people I really like and trust, and also love books.

I like proving a good home for all my books (unless they are truly terrible, and then I just find someone willing to take them, sorry, Cum Laude), and sometimes that means re-binding or wrapping them up in those plastic thingies. Particularly paperbacks. Particularly books I am prone to throw into my already-too-big bag and take it with me everywhere (I’m looking at you, HP). Since my mother majored in Languages and has a TON of books, she taught me how to protect them when I was little. Basic stuff. Just cross your fingers some bubbles don’t magically appear somehow, and you’ll be fine.

I had lots of fun doing that as a kid (and still do), but one thing that I’ve kept with me is that she taught me to fold the corners cutting off a triangle and generally making it look weird. Case in point, my poor thrift shop “The Mummy“:

No bubbles!

No bubbles!

Inside corners, mom’s style.

And why is that remotely interesting? Around the same time, I’d ordered another Anne Rice book, also former thrift shop resident, “Memnoch the Devil” (I was going through an Anne Rice fase — as in I’d sit and read the first half of every novel she wrote, then sit it down and never open it again). It was fancier. Its previous owner was thoughtful enough to wrap it himself. And take a look how well it resisted:

A treasure amongst second hand shops: a well-kept book!

A treasure amongst second hand shops: a well-kept book!

See? Yellow-ed, but well-kept. Notice the corners. Squared.

I was so amazed at how well it had been treated that ’till this day, whenever I wrap a book, I do the square corners and congratulate Memnoch‘s previous owner.

His/Her's signature was obstructed by the shop's stamp :( But he/she is remembered.

His/Her’s signature was obstructed by the shop’s stamp :(
But he/she is remembered.

I know it may seem silly to some people. But isn’t it nice to think maybe your book will not only have a second (and third, and fourth) life but a little bit of you (perhaps a habit) will carry through?

If not that, than at least I hope my books will survive time as well as Memnoch. Also, I’ve once catalogued all my books in Before Previous Memnoch’s Owner and After PMO. (Long vacations.)

Today I wraped “Will Grayson , Will Grayson“.

New and shiny.

New and shiny.

Squared corners. Pro.

Squared corners. Pro.

Strangely, this whole paranoia with books’ covers began when I lent one to a friend who I didn’t know was veery carefree about books. It came back with the cover all hurt and dog-eared. I was appalled, tried to conceal just how much from her. I fixed it up with black marker and iron, then sealed it for eternity and ever since have been doing background checks before I lend books to anyone. Hah.

What about you? Any weird habits to protect your books? Or are you a hippie book-owner? (;

Early semester drama

The semester has just started (ok, it started a month ago) and I was super excited about the new subjects (ok, some new subjects) it brought with — but that didn’t bother a train of thought that cost me 6 slides on a very dynamic class. I will now share that fascinating conversation with myself. Just because I have pictures. And I got a fun cute eraser.

Here’s what my “desk” looked like during class:

The view.

The view.

Thoughts:

#1 “Oh wow, maybe this class will actually be pretty cool, I seem to be getting the hang of things, look at that notebook! Do you remember what it looked like last semester? Keep up the good work! o/”

#2 “Wait. Did I color coordinate my stuff with my pencil case?”

"Oh my, I think I did"

“Oh my, I think I did”

#3 “Is it weird that I hadn’t noticed that WHILST buying the stuff? Which I did in different days? It even matches my pendrive. And it is oold. Maybe I have a bit of OCB. Just a bit.”

#4 “OK, a miiinor bit. Remember what my room looks like?”

*half a minute goes by*

#5 “My eraser is cute.”

"Best gift my aunt ever gave me."

“It is adorable.”

#6 “Remember that beautiful MONO I had? I used it ’till it was a quarter of its original size, then I couldn’t hold it any more.”

#7 “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’VE USED UP ENOUGH OF THIS ERASER THAT IT DISAPPEARS INTO THE STRIPPED CASING?”

#8 “I’ll have to cut it??? But it’s STRIPED, I’ll never cut it straight enough! It has a fixed bottom, it’s not like MONO. It’ll be a nightmare. I’ll be staring at the uneven striping for the rest of the semester/year. It’ll be an OCB nightmare. Like that squirrel and the soap bar in ‘Let’s pretend this never happened‘…”

*half a minute of panic and anxiety*

#9 “It’s oookay, it is only an eraser. You can do it.”

*another half a minute goes by*

#10 “OK, let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. Now get on with it.”

*six slides have gone past*

Nick & Norah

The other day I ended up rewatching this movie called “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”, which is one of those movies set in one crazy night in New York City. I love this movie. Everytime I watch it, I end up rewatching it the following night. Which is why I refrain from it, actually.

Yeah, it’s Cera and that girl from 2Broke Girls. Still good.

Everything just works so well together — the characters are fun, the pace is fast, the set is seductively urban, the soundtrack is friggin’ fantastic, and I always have a great time watching this eventful night. Probably because I’m not really the sort of girl who’d have this kind of night. You know, wander around the city in the early morning with friends (or really new acquaintances) looking for a band/drunk friend.

Looking for Caroline.

Two years ago, when I first watched the movie, I bought the book it was based on (same title, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan) — I’m one of those annoying people who go “BUT THE BOOK IS SO MUCH BETTER!” in the movies, so every time I find a movie that I really like that’s based on a book I assume the book must be awesome.

This is not the case.

Just look at it, so tiny and helpless…

I have fun reading it, because it’s too short to resist, and it’s fast enough to keep you through it, but oh-my, is the movie better. Since I’ve never been there, or hung around NYC types, I don’t know if it’s either the movie or the book that better portrays American city kids, but that’s A LOT of “fuck”s. I mean, there are more “fuck”s in this book than “phony”s in Catcher in the Rye. YEAH.

Every time I read it I wonder if people actually talk like that somewhere.

(Here’s the trailer, if you’re a trailer person.)

They´re heeeere!

(This is one of those I-don´t-have-much-to-say-but-I´m-so-excited-my-books-got-here moments. Lots of pictures coming your way.)

The lovely books I ordered on Better World Books have arrived sooner than expected!

And in a big, green bag.

Thanks, BWB! ;)

Here are the new members of the happy family:

A couple for next semester, a couple for mindless fun at the beeach (which won´t be cold, against all odds), aand the recommendation Tanya gave me, sometime ago.

Remember the evil suggestion?
It looks great, can´t wait to read it!

But for the moment (a week and a half away from the winter holidays, going through finals), I´ll sit with the heavy textbooks and enjoy the library´s view.

Bye!

SSG review (spoiler-free)

(I never know how to title reviews.)

You know those little praise blurb thingies that all books seem to have (eventhough you´ve never heard of the people doing the praising and secretly wonder if they exist)? On the back of my edition of “Secret Society Girl” it says:

“A warning label should be put on the cover of this book: Get comfortable, because once you pick it up, you won´t be able to put it down.”

–Cara Lockwood, bestselling author of I Do (but I Don´t)

Well, Cara Lockwood, I´d have to agree with you. Most of my Friday was filled with reading this book.

It not only lived up to my expectation of it – easy, fun chick flick set in college – but surpassed it with really interesting and likable characters. But let me start this right.

First, take a good look at this cover, please.

We´ll get back to it later.

In case you haven´t picked this up before: “Secret Society Girl” is the first book of the Ivy League Series, by Diana Peterfreund. It is set in Eli University, an Ivy league fictional university, focusing on junior Amy Haskell, editor of the literary magazine, who´s expecting to be “tapped” into a literary society but instead gets pulled into a more… er… traditional one.

She, herself, is a pretty nice character – hard working, focused, moral compass pointing north-west, lives with Lydia, pre-Law, a bit jealous, but a good friend. But they are not the ones I felt compelled to share with my friends. Nope. I wrote a huge email to another Seth Cohen-loving friend telling her about Brandon Weare, a nerd-y, a quarter Asian, and generally awesome, Good Guy.

Good Guys always get me in books/movies. Can´t help it. Even if they are named Brandon Weare (discussed and agreed – that´s not a name for a Seth Cohen-type character!). Which is why I´ll probably end up reading the rest of the series.

He´s not the only good character around. But there isn´t much shared about the others (sometimes series bug me). There are four other girls: Odile, a former actress/singer and with an answer to everything; Demetria, a feisty activist; Jennifer, a religious computer genious who´s a bit conceived; and Clarissa, the legacy, responsible for some mushy stuff in the end (that I actually enjoyed). And other boys, Malcolm, who´s lovely (I wish I had a Malcolm in my life), and George, the playboy – they are always fun to read about.

There are two cons to this book: 1) It is very clearly written to be a series (it hints at some other plots that aren´t developed), and this very clearly is just an introduction to the characters and the Ivy league secret society club world the author created, meaning there isn´t a reaally strong plot line and the twists aren´t all that great, even if they are surrounded by entertaining elements; and 2) It is clearly targeted at Gossip Girl fans, it´s not just the cover – even if the characters have more depth and display some meaningful human connection, the author isn´t very subtle about the premise of the series. My example?

“Connubial Bliss reports,” he replied. “One of the most important days in a Knight´s Rose & Grave experience. You stand up in front of all your brothers and basically give them a rundown of your sexual experiences to date.”

(page 126)

Whaaat? Am I completely mistaken and this is normal and happens in other groups or is this just an invitation to read the other books and find out about all the characters´ sexual history? Come oon.

But anyway, I can´t tell you what the major plot-line is, because I think it would be kind of spoiler-ly, but what I can tell you is that there are some very articulate characters here, which is kind of new for teeny books, and they manage to make pretty compelling arguments. To the opposition. Who says some pretty revolting stuff. Which made me go YEAH! in my head several times.

I wish I could be in a society like that, if only to try to absorb a little of their wittiness/eloquence.

The biggest plus in the book, the one that overcomes the cons by itself, is the genuine feeling of brotherhood (and sisterhood) that the characters manage to show in a very seductive way. They make you want to be in a secret society and have that kind of relationship, and isn´t making you want to be a part of the story the main reason we read fiction?

So I´m pretty sure I´ll stick through and read the rest.

But about that cover – I was amazed, I noticed the preppy look but I did not notice the pin until I read more of the story. Which is kind of the point they make in the book (“You only notice if you´re looking.”), was just wondering if I was alone there.

Oh, and there´s something else! I even dog-eared it, it bothered me so much. There´s ONE sequence in the book that I reeally didn´t like. And it´s kind of in the beginning, in the initiation thing. If you read it, you´ll know what I´m talking about. And if you´re anything like me, you´ll probably consider putting it down and finding something else. But don´t. If you ignore that section, the book comes up nicely. Promise.

I did have to tell a friend about it when it happened, Thursday,  though. And everytime he bumped into me with the book on the following day he asked me if it had happened yet. He can´t fathom why girls like to read this sort of book, incident or no incident. But that´s another story.

Oh, the temptation…

People are mean.

I know I´ve said this a bit too often, but I really am busy. I´ve spent my Saturday trying to find out why rubeanic acid reacts with acetone to develop chromatograms of Ni, Cu and Co solutions. And I´ve only found answers in a freaky German book from 1859. I think I found it, since I speak zero German and Google translater doesn´t want to help me.

But anyway, I´m busy.

And yet, people keep on throwing books at me.

Okay, maybe sometimes they only show their books and comment on the amazing time they had with them and I do my Best-book-carrier look and they end up lending them to me. But still….

The pile gets bigger!

I´ve given up on “Sushi” for the moment, cheated on “Artemis Fowl” with “Specials“, felt too guilty about it after reading this, got back to Artemis, and then yesterday, waiting on my desk, was the most delightful of surprises:

It got here! It got here!

I ordered this over a month ago on Better World Books and just when I´d given up, and was beginning to think Dad was right, saying they were too good to be true, it arrived! And it´s a bit worn and seemingly read. If it had the previous owner´s notes/name it would be perfection.

(Can´t say “perfection” without thinking about Chandler in that bank during the blackout, being offered gum by that famous girl. I miss Friends.)

Anyhow, today mom and I visited one of mom´s friends – book lovers beware, she used to run a library at her house, now she settles for giving select people handfuls of books to “pass around to people we like”. Mom got some 9 thrillers, I got “Committed“, by the same author of “Eat, Pray, Love“, and  “The Girls from Ames“, which I´d never heard about — it looks like a terrific read.

Not that I´ll give in to temptation and take a peak. I cannot. I will not. Rubeanic acid, Laplacian transforms and capacitors await me this week. No time for books.

Eventhough “Artemis Fowl” is getting pretty good.

 

 

“Artemis Fowl” was recommended to me by Aylee at Recovering Potter Addict, I think (though I can´t for the life of me find her comment). Thanks!!

“Secret Society Girl” was recommended to me Kay from The Infinite Shelf, thanks in advance :D