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Elisabeth's Writing Ramblings

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11:37 am: No More Freebies!
What's not to love about free books--right?? (Speaking of which--SO excited about ALA Annual Conference!! ARCs, here I come!)

Well, here's the thing. My fabulous library (which has a delightful used bookstore RIGHT INSIDE IT. If it had a coffee bar, I'd never go home) hosts some shelves outside where there are books for (practically) free. (I think a dime per book is requested--there's a tiny cash-box attached to the wall for your practically-free-book-buying convenience.)

(How am I doing with parentheses so far? Next post, I'll demonstrate the Great Value of--wait for it--em dashes.)

So the last time I returned books to the library, before it had actually opened, my only option was to browse the Practically Free Shelves for reading material. (The library was closed, you see. Its little bookstore, too.)

And here's what I now realize. Those books are practically free for a reason.

So now I've read the first two books in an early-80s "YA" "mystery" series. (And I use those quotation marks charitably. Because who among us knows a teenager who actually uses the word "perhaps" in everyday conversation???) Also a zany 70s book by a very, very well-known MG writer. (This book is NOT one of her well-known offerings. For good reason.) A WWII coming-of-age story where the Jewish family actually escapes before anything really awful happens. (It would have been an interesting read if not for the chronic--and random--flashbacks.) And a super-cheese MG mystery where the nice aunt dun it and the mean aunt didn't realize she was really that mean.

So forget those gift-bearing Greeks. What I really need to watch out for is book-gifting geeks. No more practically free books for me. I swear. I shall avoid the near occasion of the practically free shelves. And I refuse to feel guilty for placing my practically free purchases back on those shelves for some other desperate schmuck to pick up. So there.

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[User Picture]
From:christine444
Date:June 18th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, some of those old books are pretty laughable. Cover pictures, too. :>) Although I started reading YA ("problem") novels in the '80s, when I was interested in writing for young people. (I read adult nonfiction when I was a teen. I was an odd kid.)

I'm going to ALA, too--I hope. I sent my check to the Chicago office instead of MD by mistake, so I sent an e-mail to see if they got it. I hope so, because I have 3 ARCs on my need-to-grab list so far. :>)
[User Picture]
From:elisabethx
Date:June 18th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
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You're too good--I haven't even attempted to make an ARC list. I think that would make my arms/ back ache in advance! (I should be doing totebag exercises to prep!)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 19th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
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Me, too. :>) I grabbed almost everything in sight last time, in 2008, in 2 days. Ended up with a lot of books I wouldn't normally have read, but I thought I'd give them a try. This year, I'll be more selective.

Two of the ARCs on my want list are by LJ friends, and the other is Lois Lowry's follow-up novel to The Giver/Gathering Blue. I learned about that one at Amazon.com.
[User Picture]
From:christine444
Date:June 19th, 2012 04:33 am (UTC)
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Me, too. :>) I had the same problem with free books last time, in 2008--grabbed way too many, even ones in genres I don't care for. This time, I'll be more selective.

Two of the ARCs on my list are by LJ friends. The other is Lois Lowry's follow-up novel to The Giver/Gathering Blue. I learned about that one at Amazon.com.
[User Picture]
From:writerjenn
Date:June 18th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Well, they say one person's trash is another's treasure. I've picked up some books I adore for free at book exchanges, or underpriced at secondhand bookstores, and chortled gleefully at my terrific deal. I always wonder if the person who donated the book didn't know how good it was, or had different tastes from mine, or loved it but died?

Of course, on the free shelves there are also books I wouldn't touch. But that diversity of taste is exactly why you should put the books back without any guilt whatsoever. Someone somewhere might love them!
[User Picture]
From:elisabethx
Date:June 18th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Absolutely true--I've found faaabulous stuff in low/ no cost book piles. But wow--this has been a streak of low/ no quality lately. :)
[User Picture]
From:christine444
Date:July 6th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
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Happy Birthday! :>)

I just picked up a nonfiction book (research topic-related) at the library yesterday--for 10 cents. ;>)

Hope you had fun at ALA. I ended up with 24 books; about half of my '08 total (it seemed like they were almost hoarding ARCs this year...). But I did get most of the ones I really wanted.
[User Picture]
From:elisabethx
Date:July 9th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the birthday wishes!! My WP and I nabbed 68 books--whew! Have you been following all the ARC fallout online?? Scandalous!
[User Picture]
From:christine444
Date:July 9th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
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Yeah...I can't believe people are selling them on eBay, when most of them say "not for sale" right on the cover.

I also can't believe people were seen with multiple bags of ARCs. It was hard for me to get the 19 I came away with, so I'd like to know how they did it.

It was worth it, though, just for the ARC of Son by Lois Lowry (the sequel to The Giver). I already devoured it. :>)
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