Thursday, August 06, 2009

How Many Library Books is Too Many?

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moar funny pictures

Made a run to the library today. Brought back another haul. Nearly filled the wheeled bag. I only returned six items--four books and two DVD. So, seeing how the shelves allocated for my library books in our room were already stuffed to overflowing, the priority this evening was to make space for them and unpack the bag before Ed needed the bed. I don't know how I managed. Well, OK, I do kinda know. I commandeered some of Ed's shelf. Though I did try to limit it to the books I thought he might be interested in.

And of course I had to browse in the books while I was at it. Not just today's batch but the previous three or four batches. Then after Ed was asleep, I started updating my library book info in my WhizFolder Reading Journal. I used to make physical bibliography slips for each book the first time I brought them home. Then when I got WhizFolder last year, I started keeping records in it but it was kind of hit and miss and disorganized because I didn't establish a good system or new habits. I'm trying to rectify that now.

One problem I identified was the difficulty in copying the info off the books via keyboard. I don't have a good place to prop a book where I can read the info off as I type. So it seemed I would have to make the bib slips first and then type the info in but that was so redundant and a waste of paper. Then last month I realized (why did it take me so long?) that I could copy/paste directly from the library's online catalog, using the list of items out in my account.

I have 44 items out on my card and 9 on Ed's.

See what I had before today in the inventory post I did a couple weeks ago. Of course a few of those have been returned since then especially many of the DVD as they have only a one week check out which can be renewed twice as long as the item hasn't been requested whereas books go for three weeks with two renewals.

Today's haul:

Title: Shakespearean songs and consort music...
Author: Deller Consort.
Publisher: Harmonia Mundi France, [1982?]
Format: Music CD

Title: Witches and Jesuits : Shakespeare's Macbeth
Author: Wills, Garry, 1934-
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Title: Standing in the light : my life as a pantheist
Author: Russell, Sharman Apt.
Publisher: Basic Books, c2008.

Title: Standing in the light : a Lakota way of seeing
Author: Young Bear, Severt, 1934-1993.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press, c1994.

Title: Flannery : a life of Flannery O'Connor
Author: Gooch, Brad, 1952-
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co., c2009.

Title: The habit of being : letters
Author: O'Connor, Flannery.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, c1979.

Title: The clown in the belfry : writings on faith and fiction
Author: Buechner, Frederick, 1926-
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco, c1992.
(contains essay re Flannery O'Connor's work)

Title: The life you save may be your own : an American pilgrimage
Author: Elie, Paul.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004, c2003.
(tells the story of the friendship and cross influence between Flannery O'Connor, Walter Percy and Thomas Merton)

Title: The complete stories.
Author: O'Connor, Flannery.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1971

Title: Collected stories : A friend of Kafka to Passions
Author: Singer, Isaac Bashevis, 1904-
Publisher: Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam, c2004.

Title: The Sisters Club
Author: McDonald, Megan
Publisher: American Girl, c2003.

Title: The gravedigger : a novel
Author: Grandbois, Peter.
Publisher: Chronicle Books, c2006.

Title: When you are engulfed in flames
Author: Sedaris, David.
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co., 2008.

Title: Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage : stories
Author: Munro, Alice.
Publisher: Vintage Contemporaries, 2002

The bulk of today's haul is related to research for WIP. The Shakespeare material, including Sister's Club, is for the FOS story world but especially for Faye, Julia, Wilma and Estelle's parts.

The Sister's Club is a chapter book for girls age 8-12 which I sent for when it popped up in my Shakespeare search in the catalog because the girls in the story use Shakespeare's insults and swear words. Since I have three grown women doing something similar in my story I had to see how this author handled it. I started the book while still in the library. It's a fun, easy read. I still enjoy stories written for this age group. I should read more of them.

The two books titled, Standing in the Light are for my novel Spring Fever which has one character with Native American heratage and another who's pantheist.

The five books by and about Flannery O'Connor are prep for a story I'm considering for this year's NaNoWriMo novel. It's the story of a middle school girl who is a Flannery fan and does a term paper about Flannery which her teacher accuses her of plagiarizing and gives her a C only because he doesn't want to take the time to prove it and threatens her with being held back a full school year if she challenges the grade and makes him have to track down the source she copied. She is innocent of the charge but too afraid to challenge him so she fumes and plots revenge instead.

I've been playing with this story concept for years. It is based on something that happened to me for real in sixth grade. Though my term paper was on Jenny Lind the famous 19th century singer about whom I'd read a 600 page footnoted tome. I had been reading college level books for over a year by then and I know now that can explain why I wrote with more sophistication than my teacher (who was fresh out of teacher's school) could account for in a 12 year old. I let that incident strangle my writing voice for over a decade.

When I was going to college in 1986 I walked by a table in the library where four women in the teacher's program were working on their term papers and blatantly copying directly out of journals and books. They were even talking and laughing about it. I felt myself go hot with what took me several minutes to recognize as rage and trace to that incident in sixth grade. Shortly after that I found myself toying with the idea of writing a story in which the girl accused of plagiarism tracks down her accuser's own college thesis and proves he had plagiarized it.

My working title is: Must Everything That Rises be Submerged. Which is a play on the Flannery O'Connor story Everything That Rises Must Converge.

So how many library books is too many?

0 tell me a story:

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