I [heart] My Library

Despite being horrific at returning books in a timely fashion, my library continues to loan ’em out to me. Yesterday, one of my books on hold came in:

Can’t wait to start browsing… If it’s as good as the title suggests, I’ll add it to my keeper shelf of historical reference books! (By *buying* it, that is. Not swiping it permanently from the library. I swear.)

YOUR TURN: Do you love your library? Why or why not? Do you ever end up buying the books you borrow from the library/friends/family?


  1. Bill Clark - Reply

    Dang! Usually I love my library, but they don’t have this sucker yet. Which means I’m gonna have to place a book request and wait while the gnomes in the basement decide whether or not it’s worthy of ordering.

    The upside is that if they *do* order it, I get to be the first to take it out!

    Oh, and let’s shout it out to the world: Chekhov’s gun has been superannuated by Erica’s machete! Literary history is being made at this very moment over on the Manuscript Mavens’ blog!

    For those not familiar with Chekhov’s gun, here’s Wikipedia to the rescue:

    Chekhov’s Gun is the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story, but whose significance does not become clear until later on. For example, a character may find a mysterious object that eventually becomes crucial to the plot, but at the time of finding the object does not seem to be important.

    *Bill goes off to update the article formerly known as “Chekhov’s Gun” by changing its title to “Erica’s Machete”.*

  2. Belinda - Reply

    I love that book. It’s good for an initial reference and gets most of its information correct, despite the horrid organization of it. (For instance, it’ll talk about money but won’t go into details about whether this is early or late Victorian that he’s talking about, which makes a big difference.)

    In terms of my library: I love it. I have three library systems to choose from and they are all excellent. There’s my municipal library, my university’s library, and my home library, and they all have wonderful collections. I often buy books that I first read at the library, because I hate buying a book without knowing I’ll like it. Very concerned with money, am I. But then, aren’t all college students?

  3. Erica Orloff - Reply

    I HAVE an older version of that book somewhere! LOL!

    As for the library . . . I don’t visit mine. I like to browse bookstores . . . they have COFFEE (my B&N has a Starbucks in it).


  4. Bill Clark - Reply


    Turns out the Greenwich Library *does* have the book. I went into the catalogue under the short title, omitting “The Writer’s Guide to…” I even had one of the senior reference librarians blessing my request to buy the book. And then I realized that there was more to the title than I’d thought…my bad!

    Belinda is absolutely right that the money/household expense chart is subject to fluctuation. A full-time maid for seven pounds a year? The man’s clothes costing more than the woman’s? And yes, the organization – or lack thereof – is a drawback. But still, it’s a fascinating compendium of information. Thanks for telling us about it!

  5. Erica Ridley - Reply

    So far I haven’t read anything but the jacket quotes from other authors who love this book, so I’m super excited about it.

    That said, hearing the organization isn’t the best… That was one of my least favorite things about What Charles Dickens Ate and Jane Austen Knew (which lives on my keeper shelf). Those two did *not* live in the same era and what was true for one wasn’t necessarily true for the other. That book isn’t always clear about when a given fact was true, which can be frustrating.

  6. Belinda - Reply

    Actually, I own both of these books, What Charles Dickens ate and Jane Austen Knew, and The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England. I think they’re good references to remind you about knowledge you gain from doing other, more in-depth research, but they have flaws as mentioned in the other comments.

    Still, I have them on my own keeper shelf to keep me in line when I’m in the middle of a scene and need a bit of information to tide it over until I have time to consult my research notebooks.

  7. ~grace~ - Reply

    Dude, my library’s AWESOME! I used to work there, first a volunteer and then as their summer intern.

    it meant I got all the newly published books FIRST. 😀

  8. B.E. Sanderson - Reply

    We’re at the library every day M-Sat, but not for me. My daughter inhales books, so I have to take her there or suffer hearing the standard: “Mo-om, I don’t have ANYTHING to read”. (And we have a large library in our house.) I only check things out for myself when they have a new release I want to read but I won’t be near a bookstore for a while.

  9. booklady - Reply

    I lovelovelove libraries, especially my local one. They are so good about buying absolutely any book I request (although I do try to request only those books that I think others would read lots, too, so that helps). And the people there are so friendly.

  10. AngryMan - Reply

    I loved my library in Charleston, SC, but I’m not as thrilled w/the one where I currently live. The librarians just aren’t that nice and look like they hate being there.

  11. Mary Witzl - Reply

    I don’t really love our local library. The librarian is great and she really tries, but the place is tiny, and it’s stuffed with cheap romances as a large proportion of the readers want them. Few of the classics can be found there, which is a shame. Still, it’s warm and cozy and it still has that lovely book smell to it.

  12. Mary Witzl - Reply

    We’ve got ‘What Charles Dickens ate and Jane Austen Knew’ too — and yes, it’s great. It comes in handy too.

  13. lacey kaye - Reply

    Hm. I think the Gentleman’s Daughter is due to come out of my carry on soon…

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Erica Ridley