Bookleggers: First Visit

A few months back, another BookCrosser released a book at a place called Lester’s, for a Bookleggers event. The journal prompted me to immediately find out more about Bookleggers. The name is ingenious for this little sleathy pop-up library. Visitors get a free book, or more if they bring some to trade or pay $2 per book. My first reaction was, this is such a cool idea! And, being a BookCrosser, my second thought was naturally that this would be a great place to release some books.

It is a bit tricky trying to find Bookleggers, as they are “a library on the run.” Their website doesn’t post a schedule, though they announce their upcoming events on twitter.

As their last two events happened on the last Thursday of the month at Lester’s, I presumed it would be their schedule, until by chance I checked my tweets and found that they would pop up the third Thursday of October at a bar called Blackbird Ordinary. Now, my clubbing and pubbing days were long behind since I got married, and it is hard to imagine a library inside a bar. Low lights, loud music, smoke, drinks… with some trepidation I ventured out anyway with a bunch of BookCrossing books.

Despite the fact that I downplayed the bar part, and up-played the books and library (spells BORING) part, my hubby must have sniffed something amiss as he offered to go with me rather than staying home after dinner. “Hmmm… they have bouncer? What kind of place is this library thing at? It looks seedy…” commented my hubby as we passed by the place, searching for parking spot. “Well, that’s a security guard… Library has security guards too… don’t they?” Thursday night at Brickell seems to be a busy night (so I told you we haven’t gone out in a long while…) and it was hard to find parking on the street, and flat evening rates in lots were too pricey for our purpose. Turns out a blessing that my hubby came along, so he could occupy an empty space under a No Parking sign while I went into Blackbird Ordinary.

It was easy enough to spot the impressive line of shelves, filled with books.

This is an official photo posted by Bookleggers, as mine come nowhere as nice.

There was a line of little candles, which I hold up to read the book spines.

The collection is very high quality, few romances or thrillers, but more on the literary, classics, and the like. They even sort them by fiction on top and non fiction below. A lot of great books! I was determined not to take home more books than I took out, and barely keep that resolution. I was hoping to find the BC books that was released a month or two back, but I forgot the title, and it felt a bit like cheating to hunt for it. One of the organizer did remember about some BookCrossing books being dropped off in the past.

Look at the nice stuff I got:

A few of them are wishlist books for my BookCrossing friends. There is a beautiful book on wine tasting, and a book about Natural History Museum. Can’t say it’s a wishlist book as I never knew it exists, but I enjoy visiting Natural History Museum wherever I go, so this book is my great find of the night! The Qadi book is a fiction based in Beuirot and came highly recommended by one of the organizers.

When I checked out at the library, (yes this is a library… no card to fill but you don’t just walk out with an armful of books) I was kindly reminded again that I could have taken more books and I had to politely but steadfastly decline. They stamped each book with a nice Bookleggers stamp.

I had so much fun, I am already starting to save up books for my next round of Bookleggers visit! Huge kudos to the guys who started this. A total labor of love – and serious labor too, with hundreds of books to tote around, set up and take down. Seriously, if you are in South Florida, check it out and give them some support!

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  

A Read-a-thon in memory of Holly

Yesterday I learned of the sad news that a BookCrosser and BookObsesser I know, NWPassage – real name Holly, passed away.  

While I have never met her in person, we’ve known each other via the online community.  Over the years, she had sent me books and I her.  

I read her blog, and her post on Dec 31 2011 brings tears to my eyes – 

“The internets tell me that following a diagnosis of stage IV stomach cancer, on average a person lives 6 months without treatment & a year with. So my six months are up. If I’d lived a hundred years ago, I’d probably be dead or nearly so by now. So everything from here on out is a gift from modern medical science. And I am grateful. But also greedy. I want more, all the life I can get, damnit! But I’ve also more or less, most days, come to terms with the fact that the length of my life is pretty much out of my control. True, that’s the way it is for most of us, but most people have the luxury of ignoring that fact at 33 – I don’t.

What this whole stupid fucking cancer experience has driven home to me, is that I love my life. I like vegging out, puttering around in a house I love. Cuddling with the most amazing man in the world on the couch, watching our stories. Harassing my cats. Curling with Team Awesome & hanging out with my friends. Going to work Monday through Friday with great people. Visiting my family. Traveling with my honey, whether it’s somewhere exotic or just to the next town. This is what I want, for as long as I can have it.

It’s funny, I always thought I had all this wasted potential, that someday if I just got my shit together I’d do something amazing. But maybe it’s OK to just enjoy this quiet little life, and never set the world on fire. Maybe just enjoying each day is more than enough.”

On BookObsessed, we decide to have a Read-a-thon in June in her memory.  For those of us who have books on our TBR shelf from her, we will read them during the Read-a-thon.  Otherwise, we will pick something that she liked, some books she had enjoyed reading, by checking her Permanent Collection shelf on BookCrossing.  We will also do a fundraising (usually by how many books the group will read) and donate the money to a cancer cause.

I can’t think of a more befitting way to honor a fellow booklover.  Please join us in this read-a-thon!  

Published in: on May 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

BookCrossing 10th Anniversary Convention

Okay, tally is in. I released 67 books and took home 42. Not as good as I’d like but hey it’s FEWER books!

I’d especially glad to have picked up:

A Moomin book. I only started reading them in the last couple of years. To be more accurate, I only found out that there are actually books where all those cute Japanese character goods come from. Really like the series, it’s more like grown up books with childlike illustration rather than children’s book.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Haven’t seen the movie, but heard great things about both the book and the movie.

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain
His latest book

The Road to McCarthy by Pete McCarthy
A BCer had brought it all the way from Ireland.

The Cave of the Yellow Dog by Byambasuren Davaa, Lisa Reisch
It was actually a trade with Goalie. I am so glad this book comes with lots of colored pages. Couldn’t stop looking at the beautiful pictures: the charming smiles of the little girls, the breathtaking vistas of the highland and the colorful attire of the Mongolians. Thank you!

Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson
I was delighted to find an audio CD at the book buffet, and even more so when I found out that it’s part of the Cannongate myth series.

Published in: on May 10, 2011 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment