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April 28th, 2006

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10:44 am - pits and bieces: how squeamish ossifrage got kissed by norman mineta and led the war for kidness
000. I finally figured out what it was I liked about Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta: He's the type of civil servant who has the perfect name for public buildings. And whadya know: In 2001, the San José, California airport was renamed Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport. A far cry better than, say, the Norman Mineta Traffic Administration Building or the Norman Y. Mineta Waste Reclamation Facility.

001. Say what you will about the silliness of the Da Vinci Code (conveniently out of litigation just before its film debut!) but you gotta admire the judge presiding over the copyright infringement case, who encoded his own secret message into his official ruling. Even funnier is the fact that, after the code was cracked, the judge said "I hate crosswords and do not do Sudoku as I do not have the patience."

010. More and more of the fiction offerings I see on used bookstore shelves feature titles spelled out in super-thin sans serif fonts winding around dotted lines, passing daisies or other such clip art, and all placed over bright stripes of blues, greens, yellows and pinks. It's like little chick-lit crocuses and tulips sprouting up all over! Awwww! I didn't notice them in such abundance this time last year, when the students usually start cleaning out their bookshelves and other such folks have similar fits of spring cleaning, but this year, the crocuses are out in full force.

011. I don't particularly like feeling that used bookstores are the places where books go when their reader doesn't love them anymore, but that's just the object empathy talking. I'd much prefer to think that the books just decided to get up and go themselves to find new friends. Then again, I can't escape the constant nudging of the personal: The used copy of Skinny Malinky Leads The War For Kidness that I received this week from an online used seller is signed by the author "to Barbara and Alvaro, with love." I wonder how they knew Stanley Kiesel, and I wonder what happened to Barbara and/or Alvaro that prompted them to give the book up. And I wonder what route the book took to eventually make it to me. So maybe giving it that kind of tragic abandonment history gives it that much-needed mystique.

By the way, I think I like the first book better; the second is darker as some previous folks said, and in growing darker (much like Harry Potter!) the book loses a great deal of the non-conformist whimsy that I loved about the first. Still, it was nice to see some familiar names again, and perhaps there's a bit of closure there, too.

100. I'm proud to state that this journal is still and forevermore free from any mentions of Kaavya Viswanathan. Oh.

Aw, damn...

(11 comments | Leave a comment)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:April 28th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
Only one sequel, and while I liked the first book better, I am glad the second was writ.
[User Picture]
Date:April 28th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)
I find sudoku tedious, and do not have the patience for it, although I love other sorts of puzzle.
Date:April 28th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
This entry reminds me of the old joke that there are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.
[User Picture]
Date:April 29th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
hee hee hee
[User Picture]
Date:April 28th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)

Unloved books

I bought from half.com a copy of _The Children of Willesden Lane_ which is a biography of sorts, a daughter (Mona Golabek) writing about her mother's life as a Jewish girl who was sent to London to escape the holocaust. Her mother played the piano beautifully, and in part of the story it mentions her recording a record of her playing to send to her boyfriend who had joined the army and was off at war. Anyway, inside the book was a cd that someone had burned, a copy of that very album. The book is inscribed by the author: "To Stephen...How can I ever thank you? What joy you gave me... to hear my beloved Mother. You brought tears to my heart.. now I hope Lisa's story will enter your heart. In friendship and with gratitude, Mona Golabek."

I guess the story never entered his heart. Or, it entered his heart and killed him and whoever took care of the estate decided to sell the book. How else would that end up on half.com for three bucks? (the description never mentioned the inscription or cd. That was a pleasant surprise when I received the book.)
[User Picture]
Date:April 28th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
When I send books to used bookstores, it's because I still love them enough to hope that they make it to someone else who might appreciate them. Or at least read them! If I didn't feel that way, I'd probably just recycle the paper.

Even books that I end up not liking... I figure, the right person for that book is out there somewhere.
[User Picture]
Date:April 28th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)
You have a good point there, about sending the books off to someone else who might like em. Perhaps I can work out my whole Velveteen Novella complex with that as a mantra.
[User Picture]
Date:April 29th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
If I really love a book, I pass it on to someone I know will like it. God love the internet, or that would be much more difficult. If I love it and don't know anybody else who will, I abandon it somewhere in hopes it will find a home.

If I hate it, I shred it.

Anything else on the scale goes to the Crazylady Book Store where it can live in a heap with others, maybe meet it's long lost twin or soul mate, and the be picked up by another obsessive book person.
[User Picture]
Date:April 29th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)

sorry for the double

i just had to add...one time, a good friend of mine moved out of state and gave me back every single book I had lent her since 10th grade. I didn't have room for them. Some of them, I had gotten replacemetn copies for. I tried to make her keep them and she was all, no, these are yours, look, you wrote in them. It was like adopting a stray cat and then she has kittens under your bed. I had to take them to the used book store before they crowded the other books off the shelves.
[User Picture]
Date:April 29th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
I prefer to think used books come from collections that belonged to people who have died and some ignorant and uncaring family member at least had the decency to send the books to a used bookstore.

I have one that says "Dear Chris - Enjoy this book!!! Happy Birthday! Love from, Philip" in middle-school aged type handwriting.
maybe they were cousins & Chris didn't like Philip. It's also the 4th book in a series, so maybe that's why he didn't keep it.
it still makes me sad.
[User Picture]
Date:May 1st, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
I have one that was an engagement present. I really don't want to think about how that one ended up in the Oxfam bookshop.

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