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Library Loot: February 16th to 22nd

February 22, 2013

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

I don’t have a video for you this week, as a combination of topsy turvy sleeping and post-flare up resting means I haven’t looked presentable enough to record one since I got home from the library Tuesday evening. Moreover, I only brought three books home this week, so it would have been the shortest video ever. Instead, I’ll just write a bit about them.

A Good Horse Has No Color
Two interlibrary loans arrived: the first is a travelogue about Iceland by one of my favourite nonfiction authors, Nancy Marie Brown. It’s entitled A Good Horse Has No Color, and I am ridiculously excited about it because I loved her other Icelandic book (The Far Traveller) so much and it combines travel and animal love and I’m assuming at least a bit of cold weather. As I daydream about moving north myself, and enjoy a cooler than usual winter here, it’s nice to read about other’s adventures. I find travelogues such a tricky area; it seems I end up loathing as many as I love, and hence I usually eye a travelogue balefully for awhile before picking it up with more than a bit of trepidation. But since Brown is already a ‘proven’ writer for me I feel nothing but glee at the prospect of reading this. It had to travel all the way from Portland, Oregon to get to me too!

Women Without Men by Shahrnush Parsipur
The other interlibrary loan, which just came from another town in Texas, is Women Without Men by Shahrnush Parsipur. I first read this Iranian novella in 2005 or 2006 (aka pre-blogging), and I really loved it. As always, I wish I reread more, so when I was thinking about this and wishing I had a copy for myself I decided to go ahead and revisit it. It’ll be interesting going back to it, as I’m a far more intellectually aware feminist now than I was then.

The Traitor in the Tunnel by YS Lee
Finally, after complaining about my lack of go-to POC comfort authors, I remembered I hadn’t yet read the most recent in Y.S. Lee’s Victorian mystery series, The Traitor in the Tunnel. Lee is a Singapore professor who specialises in Victorian literature, so she’s excellent at the historical context. She’s also created a fascinating sleuth, who while benefitting from a kind of feminist’s dream of a female-only London-based spy agency that takes in girls off the street and turns them into the perfect spies (since no one notices domestics) also faces very real challenges, including having to pass for white. The series is a wonderful combination of fun, smarts, and historical authenticity with nods to twenty-first century readers interested in women’s issues (how’s that for a mouthful?), and I hope Lee has many future books planned. So of course I had to request it! I’ll save it for a rainy day, but it’s nice to see it there on my shelves!

That reminds me, I had a comment during my absence regarding my library’s fifty checkouts policy. It’s true, I can have fifty books out at any one time, which is actually a step down from my previous public library system (which allowed unlimited book checkouts)! And I usually take advantage of this to the fullest, sometimes I even use my mother’s or niece’s account to sneak a few extras in (although usually this is to get around my library’s limit of twenty-five hold requests). I know it sounds greedy, and it likely is, but as the library is a car drive away, and I can’t often drive my car due to illnesses, I like having a variety of books on hand to suit my various reading moods. Oh, I can also have fifteen digital books out at once, although I usually only max that out when my arthritis is particularly bad and I have to resort to Nook-only reading for awhile. So all told, my library can supply me with sixty-five books at any point in time: you can see why it’s so easy for me to resist buying books or accepting review copies!

P.S. I wanted to take my own photograph of my loot, but sadly there are giant yellow stickers covering over half of the cover on each of the interlibrary loans. Oh well!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2013 10:34 am

    I hope nobody told you that 50 books at a time is greedy. I mean, maybe if you’re cleaning out the New Fiction shelf every time you go, but otherwise NO. Libraries want you to check out books! The more books the better! We depend on numbers for funding, you know. If someone really needs a book that you have checked out, we have holds for that. :)

    My own library’s limit is 100, and I have often reached it. But then I have two kids and I homeschool, so usually 60% or more is not actually for me.

  2. February 22, 2013 1:08 pm

    Ricklibrarian who blogs about being a librarian and books in general, once did a post suggesting an end to due dates. The argument against due dates was based on the idea that the more books a library has in the hands of patrons, the more books they can keep on their actual shelves. So by checking out fifty books at a time, you help the library by making more shelf space available for books that have not been checked out.

    Still…50 books! ;-)

  3. February 23, 2013 5:15 am

    My library limit is 60 items at a time and for the longest time I was right up there all the time. The reality is that I was never going to get all those books read so I have dropped down to around 40 (only!) but it wouldn’t take much for meto get back up there!

    Enjoy your loot!

  4. Ioana permalink
    February 23, 2013 5:18 am

    I’m jealous of you! My university’s library allows me 3 books at a time (have to return them in 10 days) and my library at home allows also 3 at a time (for 3 weeks). This is why I want to buy an eareader as soon as I get my scholarship money (hopefully soon enough!).

    Besides, you shouldn’t be apologetic or anything, if they allow you to take that many books, it is because they can.That must be a big library by the way! :)

  5. Sam permalink
    February 23, 2013 8:43 am

    At my library (where I also work) we can check out 25 items at once for 2 weeks. 50 books would be awesome and my supervisor and I have discussed asking the director about extending checkout times. I’m torn about getting rid of overdue fees. On one hand they are a pain to deal with and we don’t get to keep that money anyway (it’s has to be handed over to the county and goes into the general fund), but on the other hand you have some patrons who would never bring your stuff back if there wasn’t that incentive.

  6. February 23, 2013 11:21 am

    fifty is great mine is only 16 books but that is enough I always lose track of them when I moving books round and end up paying ,lots of fines lol ,all the best stu

  7. February 23, 2013 11:36 am

    My library allows 200 books at a time and 30 holds. I never have THAT many out, though I do have over 30 right now. Most go back unread (unfortunately) but you never know when something that caught your eye in a blog review falls into your hands at the right moment. As a library employee I don’t have to pay overdue fines (lucky me) but I do try to get them back on time…or renew them enough until I decide I’m not going to read them. Then they go on my Goodreads “to read” list.

  8. purplemoonmyst permalink
    February 23, 2013 12:05 pm

    My library allows you to check out 75 books at one time.Never think you are being greedy. The books are there to be checked out.My problem is i forget what is due when and end up paying fees. I have started to plot the due dates on a google calender though.

  9. February 25, 2013 8:26 am

    I had no idea non-academic interlibrary loans could come from so far afield! My university’s library would bring in books from other countries if students requested them, but i always thought public libraries stuck to places in the same province or state.

    I just checked my library’s website, and it doesn’t seem like they place a limit on the number of books you can borrow at one time. That’s a new thing, I think, as I remember being limited to twenty-five when I was a kid. (Although that might have been my mother’s restirction, not the library’s…) They do limit you to 35 holds at once, which is more than I usually need. I only have three right now, since I’m trying super-duper hard to get through the books I’ve purchased (used).

    I love the point other commenters have made, though, that it actually helps your library if you have tons of books out. Maybe I’ll give into the urge next time I’m tempted to borrow absolutely everything I see. :)

  10. forestofthedead permalink
    February 27, 2013 11:01 am

    Wow, 50 books at once?!?
    I only get to take 2 from the adult library and 5 from the kids library. It’s so difficult to decide what to take now, and what to leave for the next time. But than again, the library isn’t very close to my home, so even if I could take 50 books, I probably never would.
    Anyways, I’m jealous :)

  11. February 28, 2013 10:19 am

    Wow, wow, that’s a lot of books! I understand the need for choice though, especially when you can’t drive to the library that often, as it’s always the books you don’t have that you suddenly want to read when you’ve stocked up.

  12. February 28, 2013 4:40 pm

    I think it is a smart use of resources to stock up on library books as you do!

  13. March 12, 2013 6:16 pm

    I’ve just added YS Lee to my to-buy list, which I already had, but now it’s at the top!! It sounds amazing, I wonder why I’ve only heard a little buzz about the series? Thank you so much, Eva. I’m also checking out the book about Iceland, as it’s a place I long to go see one day.


  1. Library Loot (2 March 2013) | Olduvai Reads

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