Thursday, September 30, 2010


Bibliotherapy, to put it simply,  is dealing with your issues through reading.  Most of us probably practice some element of it, at least subconciously; for example, reading a humorous book to cheer up, or when we identify with a character in a novel that leads us to an insight about ourselves.

But it can also be a directed therapy, especially as The School of Life practices it. As their website describes it:
Make an appointment with one of our bibliotherapists to discuss your reading life – past, present and future. Perhaps you’re looking for a set of travel novels to inspire your next adventure, or you'd like to fathom an aspect of a current relationship through a short collection of essays. Maybe you’re feeling nostalgic and would like to spend six months revisiting classics from your childhood, or you’re seeking change and the opportunity to explore new worlds through a sampling of contemporary literature.

Whatever your concerns, dreams or challenges, we'll take exceptional care and effort to create a reading prescription that's perfect for you.
They're located in London so a quick pop-in is a bit out of the question, but they do phone consultations over Skype for £40.

ReadyMade Magazine editors put them to the test and it's interesting seeing what they were "prescribed" (and why):
 The books pictured above are for an editor who "loves Moby Dick, yearns to grow herbs on her fire escape, and publish her own book"; you can see the rationale behind each recommendation here.

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library even has two books on the subject, one mostly for fun and another taking a more serious approach:
Bibliotherapy: the Girl's Guide to Books for Every Phase of Our Lives

Reading to Heal: How to Use Bibliotherapy to Improve Your Life

(There are more books in the library catalog if you're interested in bibliotherapy for children - it seems to be an especially helpful therapy when used with young people.)

Maybe I'll be a bibliotherapist in my next life - if my next life will also give me the ability to remember (and thus recommend!) the books I've read. I don't think telling people to read the book with the red cover about "the girl who does that thing in that place" will bring me too many clients *grin*.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Banned Books Week

The last week in September is always Banned Book Week: a good time to be thankful for intellectual  freedom and the First Amendment! 

Here are some great links if you're interested in learning more: 

And if you've ever read Harry Potter,  Animal Farm, or the American Heritage Dictionary (click here to read more about that one!), or hundreds of other books (including many of the classics), you too can say:  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thank you!

We had a very successful book sale this weekend - we made $1,900 for the Ocee Library, thanks to your purchases.

Here's a few pictures, in case you missed the sale:
Getting it all set up - the quiet before the storm
Happy shoppers
We had so many kids' books this time...
...we had to expand onto the patio.
But that gave at least one happy reader a good place to perch :)
In addition to raising almost two thousand dollars for the Ocee library, we were also able to donate leftover books to a prison, a school system in Alabama, a center for the sight-impaired (books on tape), Books for Africa (through Chattahoochee High School), North Fulton Community Charities, and Goodwill. We also recycled those books that had finally outlived their usefulness. I'm proud of all the hard work our volunteers put into not only making the book sale happen, but to finding a good home for the many unpurchased books afterward.

Just a few of our many volunteers who make it all possible

 Our volunteers are the heart of the Friends of Ocee - it takes a lot of unpaid manhours to make a book sale happen, and we're lucky to have a great team. We're always looking for more help though, so email us if you have a few hours to spare:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

From the September Southern Living

...comes this tip on decorating with books:

And I happen to know just where you can get some extra books to read or decorate with...
Our Book Sale!
It starts tomorrow Friday Sept. 24 at 1 PM and ends at 5 PM,
opening again on Saturday Sept. 25 from 10-3, 
when we'll have Bag Day: all the books you can 
fit inside one of our plastic grocery bags for $5.

There's no better bargain in town!

PS If you need some ideas on how to use books in your interior design, there are even books (of course!) on the subject:

     Decorating with Books                      At Home with Books
 So no excuses - just come buy books, books, books and you can figure out what to do with them later *grin*!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Curling up with a good book

Literally.  I'm not sure how comfortable it is in there for long periods of time, but it is a rather clever idea. It's called "The Cave Bookshelf" and will run you a cool $7,000* (plus shipping - from England!).  You can read more about it here.

*There is a kid's version for a mere $5,000, in case the adult version seems too pricey :)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Library Art

I stumbled across the following print, entitled "Library Ladies":
and this one, called "Paige Volunteers at the Library":
at Janet Hill's Etsy shop. She sells these, and a few other book related ("Paige Reads Peyton Place", "Paige the Reader has New Books")    giclee prints for $26 (size: 8" x 8").

I'm not sure the Ocee Friends look quite so glamorous as we volunteer, but I might have to buy one of these just to have the mental picture in my mind as we toil at our next book sale!

Speaking of book sales, don't forget:

Friday 9/24   1-5
Saturday 9/25  10-3 

See you there!

Update from the Library Director

John Szabo, the Atlanta-Fulton County Library Director, sent out the following message to all Friends groups:

"Fulton County has taken important steps toward Phase I of the Library Capital Improvement Program. The Project Management contract was approved at the September 1 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. A joint venture team consisting of the firms Heery International and H.J. Russell, Inc. will be responsible for coordination and oversight of Phase I projects.

Phase I will consist of the new construction of eight branch libraries, including locations in Alpharetta, Palmetto, East Roswell, Milton, Northwest Atlanta, Southeast Atlanta, Stewart-Lakewood and Wolf Creek. Phase I will also include major expansions of the Auburn Avenue Research Library and the South Fulton Branch.

Other progress includes issuing of the bonds, which have now been sold, and site selection for new libraries. The Library Board of Trustees has been diligently investigating sites for the Phase I branches that will require land acquisition. It is likely that site recommendations will be presented to the Board of Commissioners soon.

Your support throughout this process has been invaluable. Thank you for all that you do for your branch and the Library System."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Using Online Library Services

Do you ever go to the library looking for a particular book and then can't find it. Use Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System ( online to find and reserve the book. An automated message will call or e-mail you when the book arrives at your local branch. With your online account you can check the waiting period on the requested book and see where you are in the queue. It's a great way to manage your "to be read" list. Some books are available within a few days while some do take much longer.

Friday, September 17, 2010

More on Freedom

Remember this book I talked about a few days back? Now it's Oprah's book club pick.

The decision to include Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" as the latest pick is made all the more interesting because of the controversy that resulted when she picked his previous book, "The Corrections", and he basically said "I'd rather not". People are predicting an interesting show when he makes his appearance in November...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Library Bonds Approved

The Fulton County Commission finally approved the sale of $167 million in bonds to finance 8 new libraries in Fulton County.

Voters had passed the library referendum 2 years ago, but the county had decided to wait out the bad economy and now feels the market is right for moving ahead.
            Link to the story at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A little library humor

From today's Rhymes with Orange

And just to satisfy the curious among you, it only took me 7 clicks to renew a book at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library website.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fight for Libraries

In case you missed it, Sunday's Atlanta Journal Constitution had a piece by Atlanta author Karin Slaughter on the op-ed page:"Fight for Libraries as you do freedom" written in defense of libraries' worth as they face increasing budget cuts.

And no, the book pictured above doesn't have anything to do with Slaughter's piece, but I did find the title appropriate! The book itself is a piece of manga about a future world where a special library army (!) fights censorship. Interesting concept, eh? Unfortunately the library doesn't own a copy, but you can find it here on Amazon.

It's always interesting to see what'll turn up when you do a random web search: in this case, I googled  "book fight" to look for images to illustrate this post. I found this bumper sticker, from Earth House, that I also thought was worth a mention:

and while it doesn't specifically mention libraries, it's a pretty good sentiment, nonetheless!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Great Young Adult Blog

If you've got a teen daughter who loves to read, send her here:

Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf is written by a high school student in Pennsylvania, and is full of reviews of the latest books, book giveaway contests and all the literature-related gossip a girl could want.

It's also just cool to see what someone can create out of a sheer love of books and reading - pretty impressive, Lauren.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


If I ever win the lottery (well, probably several lotteries for this one), I'd love to make my own version of this library... can you imagine this inside your home?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


You've probably noticed the new novel "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen, somewhere or other (probably many somewhere or others). Franzen is also the author of "The Corrections" (another great read - usually available at our book sales!), and Oprah's biggest enemy (after James Fry, anyway) for declining to put her Book Club Pick sticker on his first novel.

You may have found Franzen on the cover of Time magazine, or seen Obama with the new book - after all, who can resist a novel described thusly: "some of Freedom’s sentences are so well-written you want to pluck them out, stab them with little corn holders, and eat them...." (New York magazine).

Anyway, I saw the following video review from the Washington Post today, which is quite amusing even you never plan on reading the book (watch for the Webkinz cameos!). Also, the Salon Reading Club (which alerted me to the video) is featuring "Freedom" as its current online selection, which is perfect for those of you who want to know what others are thinking as they merrily read  along, without ever having to get dressed and leave your house.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you I'm currently on page 192 of "Freedom" and am enjoying it immensely. Not sure how long the hold list currently is at the library (I only waited a week), but I should forewarn you: the book is 576 pages long and could easily double as a doorstop.  From what I've read so far though, its length is a good thing - more to enjoy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Goodbye to summer - but not its books!

I realize the end of summer isn't the best time to be linking to NPR's SummerBooks special, but there's tons of good stuff here, and let's face it, a good read is a good read, no matter the season!

Can you top this?

The winner of the New York Public Library's Summer Reading contest is a 14 year old who read 325 books in 3 months. You can find out more about their contest winners here.

I wonder how Atlanta-Fulton's summer readers compared? I'm not even sure if they track the total number of books read during the summer in our local program - you only have to read 10 children's books or 5 young adult books to qualify for the prize drawings held at the local branches.

It might be interesting to hold a similiar contest at Ocee next summer (with a separate category for adults even? I'm not sure most of us have the time to read 325 books though, even in the summer!)