Re: Little Free Libraries

1

There's one in my neighborhood! Given how tiny they are, and how random the selection is, I don't see how they could supplant the library system - or, for that matter, ever be considered any kind of public service. I'm fine with them as long as they're local utopian expressions of book-love and not sucking away donations from real libraries.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:29 PM
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My local precinct house has an LFL -- I glanced in it today, there were two crappy children's books.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:30 PM
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There's not one in our neighborhood, but there's a regular big free library.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:34 PM
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Libraries are an insulting intrusion into the rights of authors to make money, and should be illegal. Anything that harms them is positive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:34 PM
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And many of the books they distribute to our innocent women and children are degenerate filth! Some writers are prone to perversions that I will not name in the company of ladies!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:39 PM
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Oh good, people in nice neighborhoods who already have plenty of access to books found another way to be virtuously twee on social media.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:43 PM
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It's inexplicable. I doubt anyone expects the "little free libraries" to accomplish anything. Especially when they've been around for more than two weeks and all the books have been replaced by Christian tracts, airport thrillers and kids' books from the 1970s with missing pages.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 1:50 PM
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"The Case of the Missing Page: A Wilburn Mill/Fanne Foxe Mystery."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 2:01 PM
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I've found the one close to campus a convenient way to dispose of unwanted books. And if I donated unwanted books to a library, they'd just sell them for $1 in a sale or something anyway, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:21 PM
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Isn't it just love of twee whimsy plus love of making it known that you are the kind of person who loves books even though most of your actual reading ended when you completed English 350 ten years ago? No one actually ever uses the teee little book-boxes to read anything, except for maybe (a) a 29 year old web engineer who reads a snippet of a poem he doesn't really understand to score points while he is on his second date in the park with his own personal Zoe Deschannel, or (b) a Lululemon-clad mother of two girls who takes out a faded copy of Blueberries for Sal to glance through for five minutes because, you know, reading is important -- for thee if not for me.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:32 PM
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Pwnd, but I added extra contempt and ill-feeling.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:33 PM
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At least you didn't take the bait Sifu offered you in 4.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:40 PM
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Let's also pretend that the misspelling of Zooey Deschanel was intentional.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:42 PM
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Every time you put a book back in a Little Free Library, Zooey Deschanel gets to giggle and look sort of embarrassed.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:46 PM
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Whoa. Whoa. Did someone say something disparaging about Blueberries for Sal?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 3:58 PM
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I chose to give that a charitable reading, in which the title is mentioned to underscore the fecklessness and perfidy of the conformist mother, who understands not what an sterling piece of illustrated literature through which she is contemptuously rifling.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:08 PM
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+it is


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:09 PM
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It's not a formal LFL or anything (and I'm not sure if I know what a formal LFL is), but my building has a swap shelf in the basement where people leave books, and I certainly take stuff from it (and leave stuff there). There is a tendency for copies of Microsoft Windows 95 For Dummies and old textbooks to accumulate and fill the shelf, but the super cleans it out when it's full of stuff no one is ever going to read. It's not saving the world or anything, but it's nice if you want a random thriller without having to go buy something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:15 PM
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16 - Yes, also the assumed callous nature of the perpetrators of whimsy. They are (I'm hypothesizing) willing to put Blueberries For Sal in a outdoor share-box for twits now that their children have aged out of the mandated dance of pseudo-love of reading that the UMC demands parents perform for wee ones. The parents have now moved on to insisting the kids join the robotics team and improve their STEM/entrepreneurial skills, the picture-book bookshelf has been replaced with a slim wardrobe/computer desk from Restoration Hardware: Teen and BFS sits outside, unloved, to be used as nothing more than a totem.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:22 PM
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What would you expect a teenager to do with a picture book? Are we all supposed to store them forever?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:25 PM
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There's a bunch of them around where I live. Sometimes there are interesting random novels or whatever in them. I think they're mostly just a kind of vague sense of civic friendship (and yes, really twee) where people are trying to express a kind of "look we're all in this together!" that doesn't require actually interacting with each other in any way. I doubt they're any danger to actually existing libraries, though, even though some of them occasionally have real books in them - not useful ones, I mean, but still ones that aren't just religious tracts/etc.

I think 18 is basically right and they're similar in ideal to the free-book-room/free-book-table/shelf that I've seen in every philosophy department I've ever been to, except they're trying to create a community that isn't actually there and doesn't require anything like "knowing who their neighbors are" or anything. (At least in the philosophy departments people actually do know each other for the most part. And also I've picked up so many interesting/nice books there that I can't in good conscience say anything bad about them.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:29 PM
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No, but maybe you should save that particular book. Or sell it to Parsimon, or give it to a favored niece, or something. Pretty much anything that emphasizes its actual value. Rather than putting it in a cutesy box in a park that's part of a movement that looks suspiciously like someone's ultra-annoying college application.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 4:31 PM
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I give most of my books I don't want to our sad local library in the hopes that they can make enough by selling them at their yearly book sale to buy some real books (here in the Fort, the locals won't tax themselves to support the library, because taxes are a wicked liberal conspiracy, just like education).

But if there was such a thing as a LFL here, I'd put books in it. Why not?

The argument that this demonstrates I don't think books have value is specious. Books are demonstrably what I value most -- I'm surrounded by them, they are heaped in piles around my house, I spend far too much of my paycheck on them.

This is why I have so many of them that I have a surplus I can give away. (So many to give away.)



Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 5:00 PM
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Sometimes the tap water, though perfectly safe to drink, tastes gross.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 5:08 PM
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Usually, even.

There's much I dislike about living in the burbs, but damn, our library is amazing.

vague sense of civic friendship (and yes, really twee) where people are trying to express a kind of "look we're all in this together!" that doesn't require actually interacting with each other in any way

Seems spot on. In the future, everyone will go on a shooting spree for fifteen minutes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 6:38 PM
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Little free gun libraries.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 6:43 PM
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Maybe that's the way to break the political power of the NRA and gun manufacturers: give away guns for free.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 6:55 PM
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Did someone say something disparaging about Blueberries for Sal?

It promotes a cavalier attitutde towarsd bears. That shit is danferags, yo.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 7:45 PM
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20 Grandchildren.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 8:58 PM
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Another use for used books: give them to a used book store that gives back credits. Then, give the credits to some local public school and ask that they be used on kids who don't have many books of their own.


Posted by: Calypso | Link to this comment | 10- 3-15 10:45 PM
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Do you not have Public Lending Right in your primitive society?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 5:46 AM
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Dude, information wants to be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 5:50 AM
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Also, we agree with the Missouri AG's office -- just because someone has checked out reading material, in no way, shape or form does that suggest that they must read it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 5:52 AM
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31: Nope.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 5:58 AM
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I don't think the point is to replace public libraries. It's to create a nice little non-commercial, unstructured playpen for readers.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 6:36 AM
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Putting GPS tracking on the books and tracking them like birds could be fun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 6:47 AM
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31: From what I can remember not only do we not, but it's because of a really massive fight between either lending libraries or used record stores or something (I'm having trouble remembering specifically, and I'm too lazy right now to track it down) and the people who pay creators of culture for their work in the hopes of making a profit off of it. (The latter lost, and as a result, from what I know, the rule generally is that if you buy a book or a CD or whatever then it belongs to you and you can resell it/give it away/lend it/whatever you want.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 6:59 AM
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the rule generally is that if you buy a book or a CD or whatever then it belongs to you and you can resell it/give it away/lend it/whatever you want.

I think that's universal, but in countries with PLR registered authors also get a micro-payment from a central fund when their books are borrowed from participating libraries. It doesn't stop the libraries selling the books second hand or pulping them if they get bored of them, etc.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 7:19 AM
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What's your problem with Britta water filters? I've lived in places where the tap water was fine and places where an additional filter did make a real difference in the taste and color of the water.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 10:42 AM
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9: And if I donated unwanted books to a library, they'd just sell them for $1 in a sale or something anyway, right?

Or something. Like destroy them, by the pallet load.

30 is a great idea! The problem is that the vast majority of used books are not anything a used book store wants, and they aren't going to give you credit for your, um, stuff.

There's a funny disconnect in this regard between the reading public's imagination and the reality in the used book world. People are often shocked to hear how many books are destroyed, but if they asked themselves who might want these things, the answer is on the order of "Uhhh, somebody?"

Credit where credit is due, though: the large-scale online purveyors of books that are worth no more than a penny do a service by being willing to actually acquire, sort, store, sell, pack and ship them for a penny. Since most people aren't willing to do that, having places to park the things for real life, meatspace, swapping is fine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 11:09 AM
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Tracy: Of course, but people buy books, don't they?
Mike: Not as long as there's a library around.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 11:55 AM
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I'm with delagar - we have bales of books with very little resale value, most of the used bookshops have to be picky about what they take, and I'm walking around the neighborhood anyway, might as well clear some stuff out. I know the one towards the waterfront has artsy decor stuff, the one towards the grocery runs to mysteries and history, and the one on the swank side of the neighborhood has New Agey glurge. So gardening magazines to the first, mystery and history to the second, and parasitology to the third.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 12:43 PM
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38, 39 -- like a lot of the law on cultural property, US/UK/Europe differences are driven by the fact that the national government in the US neither owns nor controls very much cultural property; private and local libraries are much more common. We solve the potential threat of libraries to income streams of authors and publishers by massively underfunding libraries, except for University libraries which massively overpay for things that are unique to them and for which University libraries are the primary market (eg specialist journals).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 2:29 PM
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A truly public spirited bibliophile would serve their local library as volunteer muscle, roughing up the competition's clientele and such.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 3:11 PM
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Volunteer muscle devalues the profession. You'll be hearing from the Association of Bouncer's and Enforcers, foolishmortal. If they don't take your ears first.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 3:25 PM
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The Orthographic Police might get the Bouncer's first.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 3:26 PM
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No. No. The vast majority of reading is done by compulsive, practically addicted readers ( hi delagar!). Giving books away is a librarian's gambit. The first one is free. The first dozen are free. But when you need the missing one in the series-- now you need a library with a catalog. When you need a new series like that one, you need a librarian.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 4:25 PM
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I bet those people haven't left Lord Jim and Mort hanging so they could read about hiking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 4:40 PM
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I bet one of the big reasons people end up shocked at how many books get destroyed on a regular basis is that every so often we hear stories about how people aren't reading as much anymore and so on, and relatively few about how many books get printed every year, so they don't have a solid grasp on the sheer mass of books out there.

I mean, I don't have much of one either, but I'm guessing it's absolutely enormous.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 4:56 PM
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God, you people are grouchy.

Today I was in a tiny town in deeply rural PA (Amish country, in fact, although that's not why we go), and there was a LFL there. It had the usual blend of crappy books, something about witches that Iris grabbed, a couple copies of the Indiana County Quarterly (the literary merits of which I refuse to judge), and 3 modern comic books I've never heard of.

In other words, there was nothing twee or self-congratiulatory about it: it was a harmless way for A. people to get rid of books without trashing them or burdening the library system with trash that costs more than $0.50 to sell for $0.50, B. people to feel that they're sharing their interests with some unknown stranger*, and C. maybe find something interesting for the cost of opening a little door.

Seriously, it's all upside, and all of your anti-hipster sneers could not conceivably be less relevant to this instantiation of the concept. You're like people bitching about bottled water while watching emergency supplies being delivered to disaster victims (or, apparently, wherever the hell ogged lives).

*ugh


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 4-15 7:32 PM
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50: Are you trying to kill the blog? What will people talk about if you take away anti-hipster sneering? They can't all be bike threads.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 4:40 AM
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New idea: Little Free Gun Cabinets. If you have an extra gun, leave it there for somebody else who might need to defend themselves, hunt, celebrate a Super Bowl victory, or win an argument.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 6:18 AM
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This is yet another way in which computer games are showing us the future. You can hardly walk down a street in those things without tripping over guns, first-aid kits, bits of armour, ammunition etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 6:23 AM
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So, the next time I find a whole roasted chicken in the street, I can eat it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 6:32 AM
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51: I guarantee we approximate hipster more closely than anyone who puts up a LPL.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 6:53 AM
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I was feeling peevy about using "is this the kind of thing that would put me in the class of annoying hipsters" as a yardstick for anything. But then while typing this, I walked past a food truck named "Pancake Selfie Express".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 7:27 AM
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54: Could you before?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 7:29 AM
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I always assumed the chicken was for some other specific person, not just for whoever passed by. Like the bicycles, which I guess you aren't supposed to even borrow unless you ask somebody.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 7:39 AM
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I walked past a food truck named "Pancake Selfie Express"

I had to google that just to make sure it was real. Wow. All that's missing is for the truck to have a Little Free Library inside.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 7:46 AM
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Technically it seems to be a promotion for a hotel chain.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 7:51 AM
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This is yet another way in which computer games are showing us the future. You can hardly walk down a street in those things without tripping over guns, first-aid kits, bits of armour, ammunition etc.

Take a red barrel, leave a red barrel.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 7:58 AM
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There's at least two LFLs that are within two blocks of my house; haven't checked them out because I'm up to my eyeballs in books already*, but I'll pop one open on the way home.

Missed a potential assonance opportunity to call them "Wee Free Libraries."

* But my wife and I just signed up for Worldcon membership, so we aren't really helping.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:00 AM
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On that note, I'm reading the sequel to Three Body Problem. It's much more hilarious than the first book. I think intentionally so, but it's hard to tell with the cultural difference and translation.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:02 AM
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I didn't know there were any that close. If they get filled with old SPSS manuals, that wasn't me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:11 AM
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63: I'm interested to hear what you think! I'm not going to start it until after the new Ann Leckie (and have another book to finish before then but can probably manage that) but I have it and am looking forward to it!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:15 AM
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There's one at the north end of Mulhat/ton, and another one on Den/niston a few blocks north of Forbes. According to the LFL map there's also one on Marl/borough west of Murray.

My first thought of how I'd contribute was also getting rid of out of date technical books.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:18 AM
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This thread reminds me of a used book/record store that opened in my neighborhood about a year ago. They have a pretty good selection overall, but they also have a big crate of completely obsolete computer books, like "Windows 95 for Dummies" & etc. I don't understand why these are allowed to take up display space . Who does the owner think is going to buy them?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:23 AM
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63: (None of these are real spoilers.) He name drops Asimov's Foundation and it clearly was an inspiration--this is a book about keeping society together in the long haul. It's also about valuing the one thing that truly makes humanity special: our ability to be deceptive pricks. (No, really.) Lots of good hard sci-fi stuff.

It also seems vaguely animeish, in that normal-person being among a chosen team that must save humanity.

Anyway, in general it's really good; it was slow starting out because I have a lot of trouble remembering Chinese names in English, so I had to keep on checking who was in the last book. But it clicked last night and I can't wait to get back to it.

I'm getting Leckie's next book the day it comes out, which is apparently Thursday. Very excited!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:25 AM
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Oh, I thought Leckie was tomorrow! Fine, I'll at least start the Liu first.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:31 AM
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I could see a Windows XP manual having some interest, but not a Windows 95 or Windows 8.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:35 AM
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Ooh, you're right! I was going by Wikipedia, not Amazon, which is probably more relevant.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:35 AM
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there was nothing twee

He said, getting a few books from a little homemade library during a drive through Amish country. The twee! It burns with the fire of a thousand Amish lamps!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:45 AM
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Amish country is the part of the state where there is animal shit on the roads and not the sidewalk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 8:54 AM
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Amish country is twee? Like every place, only if you're a tourist.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:03 AM
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I've never been to Amish country but I have been around places where lots of Amish live.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:06 AM
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Joking aside, out in the boonies the LFL thing at least makes some sense. But looking at the map of them here there's a roughly 1:1 ratio to the actual city and county libraries with none of the LFL's being more than two or three miles away from the traditional govt. ones.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:07 AM
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Didn't LFL start in rural Wisconsin dot com?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:20 AM
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out in the boonies the LFL thing at least makes some sense.

You think? I wouldn't think it'd work anywhere there wasn't a bunch of foot-traffic. Maybe if you put them in supermarket parking lots in the country, that'd work, but it doesn't seem like a big enough deal for anyone to make a separate car trip to, and it also seems like something they wouldn't let you put in a supermarket parking lot. Bookshelf for swapping in the church basement, maybe, places where people go to church?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:20 AM
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78: Gas stations?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:30 AM
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No. I think it's mostly just churches. Sometimes a theater or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:31 AM
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It's the lame claim of semi-functionalism and fake community combuned with pretentiousness that makes the LPLs annoying. You want an old book exchange, great, put a shelf in the parish hall or the laundromat and let's have real people share and get rid of useless books. You want a public art project? Then go full situationist and have books with blank pages or randomly-interspersed nonsense messages and violent pornography. But getting twee culture points by pretending to be into books that no one's actually reading into twee is lame.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:41 AM
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Twee!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:42 AM
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For the full twee effect, you need to establish an LFL that only contains books by Neil Gaiman.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:45 AM
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So, if it were indoors, pretty much anyplace, it'd be okay. Having a protected bookshelf outdoors is the problem?

Your twee-detection powers are strong and precise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:46 AM
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So, if it were indoors, pretty much anyplace, it'd be okay. Having a protected bookshelf outdoors is the problem?

If it were indoors, or it were an entire bookshelf, it'd be okay. The two Little Free Libraries I've seen outdoors are about the size of a birdhouse. Those are pointless.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:49 AM
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Your twee-detection powers are strong and precise.

Probably a side effect of the paleo-diet. Twee detection was important, back on the veldt.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:51 AM
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Most books are too long anyway. Small shelves will encourage a useful brevity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:51 AM
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The range of the one in my neighborhood is exceedingly random and hard to pin down to any subculture or even view as intentional rather than detritus. A good frequency of thrillers one might find in supermarkets. Recently an array of a dozen or so Lonely Planet guides. What looks like a self-published (self-printed?) book of poetry.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:52 AM
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about the size of a birdhouse. Those are pointless.

Right, I mean come on! And I swear I didn't torch the one that is torched.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:53 AM
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There's a guy around here who self-publishes his poetry by taping it to utility poles. He's be doing so for years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 9:54 AM
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Frankly little free birdhouses would actually be useful, and maybe the LPLs will all just turn into those. Birds need free housing and there would be no pretense about books.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:00 AM
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The ones in Pittsburgh are bigger.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:02 AM
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We walked past a couple of LFLs yesterday. Both had a couple of shelves and some plausibly interesting books. This is in a neighborhood of small houses and small apartment buildings, where there's no laundry room frequented by enough people to make a bookshelf worth doing. I don't see the harm. Also don't see why they would be a substitute for actual contact with your neighbors -- I'm friendly with neighbors but we don't exchange unwanted paperbacks.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:03 AM
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Maybe each little library could automatically shred long unread books to refresh the nesting material.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:05 AM
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Even I will admit that this is not the most harmful thing in the world, just not a cause for self-congratulation.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:06 AM
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95 to 92.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:06 AM
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Old thread but I go to the public library all the time. I got my Pimsleur CDs there and stuff. I currently have a copy of the seemingly interesting Do Not Sell at Any Price that is four days overdue. Oh and they have tons of music scores. The Public Library: I Love It Lots. And I get all nervous thinking about it becoming obsolete and going away.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:42 AM
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The library in my neighborhood has cleaner restrooms than the bar, but it's not open late enough for that to be of use often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 10:49 AM
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99

They got a referendum passed for .25 mils and they blew it all on books and computers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 11:01 AM
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100

98 betrays a shocking lack of commitment to being up late drinking.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 11:20 AM
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101

That wouldn't work here. Closing time is 2. Not that I've closed down a bar in years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 11:34 AM
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102

Cassandane talked for years about us building one on our front yard. I never said no outright but was never enthusiastic. I think the assumption was that I'd do most of the work, since I'm more of a handyman than her, but still a lot less of one than either of our fathers. When we finally downloaded and looked over instructions for building one from scratch and figured out what would go into it, I think it daunted her enough that she didn't mention it for months.

As for the need for it... moderate, in our neighborhood? I believe we're two miles from the nearest library, not counting inside schools. Which isn't that far as the crow flies, but in a city is far enough that a lot of people probably don't go to it.

When it comes to whether she cares about reading or is just saying so, I think Cassandane deserves the benefit of the doubt. Her mother works in a library. That being said, I think she also views this as a way to get rid of books we don't need. She's always more confident than I am that other people will be interested in our junk when I'd be willing to throw it away. I don't know if she's too impractical or I'm too impatient.

All that being said, I agree with 50, they're less annoying and harmful than a lot of things modern middle-class trends. I just don't want to get off my ass to make one.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 1:37 PM
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103

78: hardware store, feed store, diner, possibly the post office; anywhere a regular is willing to weed. With the delicate exception that if anyone in that town is running a paperback rack or a used book shelf for money (grocery and junk stores do, in my mother's county), it's rude to undercut them except for a charity.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 3:27 PM
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49: they don't have a solid grasp on the sheer mass of books out there. [...] I'm guessing it's absolutely enormous.

It is. This article on BetterWorldBooks has pictures! of its operation. Holy crap, man. Just look at the pictures.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-15 5:39 PM
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105

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse...

http://web.cs.dal.ca/~johnston/poetry/bookofmyenemy.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-15 8:21 AM
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106

Whoa, parsimon, that article takes one aback. And makes me worry about minor pre-ISBN works. (The last one I hunted for, I got what seems to be a photo reproduction bound in India. But I didn't find it online, Google Books etc., so who has what original?)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10- 6-15 11:57 AM
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107

106: The photo reproduction bound in India was probably a print-on-demand (POD) copy. They abound on Amazon, and the Amazon sellers who peddle them have crept onto Abebooks as well. But you didn't find it online? So a POD that had been previously printed and was now for sale in a bricks and mortar store? That does happen -- we run into them at auction or at estate sales from time to time.

At any rate, the principal way to search for the actual original is to use the advanced search option on Abebooks, or on Amazon (if you can find it), filling in the original publication date. It's not foolproof. Or use the viaLibri website, an umbrella search engine, and check off "No PODs". I can say more if anyone's interested.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-15 5:06 PM
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108

I should add: I seem to hear a lot of mumbling in the ether, amounting to not much more than an assumption, to the effect that out-of-print books are not possible to find. As though they've ceased to exist. (As if!)

People say, "Unfortunately, it's out of print [sad face]." But honestly, that means nothing. The vast majority of OOP books are still quite available. We don't destroy everything.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-15 5:41 PM
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