Today’s Secret Word: Library

The best part about week two of this book drive is that word has now spread and people are actually discussing the topic of library funding (welcome, Metafilter folks). And people are writing to tell me they’ve started helping out their own local branches. Awareness has been raised. And because I was Library Link of the Day yesterday, and because of Jessamyn, I have learned more about the Patriot Act. You should, too. It’s some scary stuff.

Jessamyn also shared part of an email she received from a librarian in Oakland, who writes:

[readermail]”But, we are having fun at work for the first time in months and months, and it sounds as if the young people who are donating to us are having fun as well. A renewal of my belief in humanity, and humanity’s generous nature.”[/readermail]

And I’m still getting nice letters like this one:

[readermail]I was talking to my sister, Michelle, last night and she said “Even the *library* has a wish list. The union I work for represents the Oakland Public Library and some woman, not even a woman in Oakland, has a website and it has this, like, following, and she’s gotten all these people to give the Oakland Libraries all these books off their wish list. It’s really neat, and all that public support makes saving those jobs that much easier, but they’re getting books from people, like, in eastern Canada; we just don’t know what to make of it.”

I told her I was one of those people. She said to tell you that Michelle, union organizer for the local SEIU 790, says thank you for making their job easier.[/readermail]

Kate writes:

[readermail]By the way, thanks also for the information about the Oakland Public Library. I’m considering moving to Oakland (right now I’m across the bay in San Francisco) and if I do, I want there to be thriving public libraries for me and my possible future children–not to mention for all the actual kids who live there now. So I sent The Carnivorous Carnival and From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. Long live public libraries everywhere![/readermail]

Swiped from Sara Morgan’s journal:

[readermail]Kids – and grownups too – need books! Help them! I just did: the Oakland Public Library is getting a copy of “Gettin’ Buck Wild” from me. ‘Cause hey, they asked for it. Any library that is cool enough to want copies of something called “Gettin’ Buck Wild” deserves all the help it can get. Besides, I figured they’d already gotten enough copies of “Captain Poopy Pants”. Now… since I’m on Amazon and all… I think I’m going to get a little somefin for me, too….[/readermail]

I wish knew about this and matched all of our donations with another set of books. I know we don’t always need corporate sponsorship, but with the way we’ve pumped money into Amazon this week, you’d think they’d want to give something back. By the way, Cody’s Books does give you free shipping, if you mention the books are for the Oakland book drive.

Doug went to Baylor, but he still supports a Longhorn’s cause:

[readermail]Since it is Mother’s Day, and my mom is a librarian, I felt it was a great day to send the Oakland Library some books. On there way are 3 books I loved as a kid, Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphin, and Bridge to Terabithia. I threw in Take the Cannoli because I enjoyed it so much and I wanted free shipping :-).[/readermail]

Those are two of my favorite books from when I was a kid. I don’t believe I ever read Island of the Blue Dolphins. But I recently read Take the Cannoli, which I enjoyed immensely. Her essay “ Shooting Dad” had me bawling my eyes out on a car trip, all from the very last line.

Carla from Wichita sent the following news item, for those of you that know Wichita as more than just a city mentioned in the latest White Stripes song:

[readermail]Colvin students fight for books Bare shelves tell the story of the Planeview library in southeast Wichita. Signs promise science fiction, mystery, paperbacks, young adult books and magazines. But the books are gone, swept away in city budget cuts. The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time.[/readermail]

I interrupt our book drive for this announcement. I have had no less than five people email me to tell me about Gal Pal. It apparently cleans up the deodorant stains. I think it looks like nerf. But in any event, women are swearing by this, and I know many of you now use to get all the news that’s fit for pits, so there you go.

Do you think I’m kidding about how many letters I get about underarms? Check it:

[readermail]Greetings Pamie,
I am delurking to let you know it has given me a much needed lift to read about everyone’s donations. Its wonderful to see such an enthusiatic demonstration of how giving and truly amazing people can be. I sent along Life of Pi and Punctuation Takes a Vacation to the Montclair branch because, especially as a child, I have always been able to retreat into books, and I just can’t bear the thought of stories not being there for other children. I never would have thought to look at the Amazon wish lists of libraries. Thanks for sharing such a great idea.
Be Well,
P.S. On a totally unrelated matter, I was wondering if you heard about the new Arrid anti-perspirant that is supposed to combine 4 fabulous elements of popular name brand deoderants. I have had many of the antiperspirant woes you described a while ago, and am going to try it myself (that certain dri sounds just a bit too scary for me). If it kick all sorts of ass, I’ll let you know. This must be one of the most random emails ever. Rock on![/readermail]

Why does the Arrid website offer a Dayplanner? How clueless and lost do they think women are that they need to use a deodorant website to keep track of important meetings (“don’t forget the deodorant!”)

And games. They offer games to play. With this as incentive: “Spread the fun – and the competitive spirit! Tell-a-Friend about the ARRID Game Break!”

[readermail]Dear mailing list,
I just can’t seem to find time to update anymore, due to the ROCKIN’ good time I’m having over at the ARRID website! Come find me and challenge me to a good game of CONCENTRATION! And don’t forget to apply ARRID TOTAL to your pits! And also: wasn’t it your birthday? Did I miss it again? It must not be in my ARRID DAYPLANNER. Help me — I can’t think for myself!

Kisses, pamie (the “A” stands for “ARRID!”)[/readermail]

Daisie writes:

[readermail]I love your site, I love your recaps…I started watching “Gilmore Girls” because your recaps were so great. Yes, I read recaps for shows I don’t watch, and for shows that I do watch. I’m a TWoP addict.

I live in Oakland, and I didn’t even hear about this book drive until you mentioned it in your blog. I sent our local branch (the Montclair branch) “ The Sinister Pig,” by Tony Hillerman, and “ Grief,” by Marge Eaton Heegaard.[/readermail]

Many people have been late to the Gilmore Girls game. It’s understandable. We picked the show because we thought it’d suck. We were pleasantly wrong. And tonight: goodbye, Jess!

(I always get frustrated when people spend entire journal entries talking about Alias or Angel or whatever, going on about something I didn’t see, squeeing about characters I don’t know. Sorry I just did it here, but I do get a considerable amount of GG mail, and there’s a bit of crossover here. Sorry.)

Alice de-lurked and bought some books:

[readermail]I’m one of those lurkers who’s never gotten around to emailing you. Hi!

It’s a very cool thing you’ve set in motion here, and I wanted to contribute. I just bought “ Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook” by Betty Crocker (mainly because I think people should know there’s more to do with cake mix than just make cakes. Of course, that’s assuming you can, in fact, make other things – cupcakes, maybe?) and “ Miracle on 34th Street” (the original version, not the crappy Dylan McRemake version), which is just about the best Christmas movie there is.

And fun bonus fact – when I bought the cake mix cookbook, Amazon reccomended no less than THREE additional cake mix cookbooks! I can understand buying any one of them, I suppose. If you find the instructions on the box too complex. But would you really need more than one?[/readermail]

Apparently there’s a world of cooking out there that involves cake mix that most of us aren’t privy to.

So, the story goes that every Christmas my mom tries to make us watch Miracle on 34th Street, as it’s one of her favorite movies, and every year we find a way to get out of it. I know, it’s not really in the Christmas spirit, to deny my mom the one thing she wants to do, but it’s in the Christmas spirit to keep up family tradition. Hey, I bet you let your mom down all the time. Leave me alone!

Lori writes:

[readermail]Okay, okay, so I finally jumped on the bandwagon…. I sent “Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets” in honor of a friend I had in high school who was convinced that the toilets in the local Denny’s spoke to her on a regular basis. And I also sent “Noah’s Ark” because not much in this world is better than free shipping (and I’m sure it’s a good book too).[/readermail]

I’ve had more than one person email asking just how many donations are listed on the index page. To be honest, I don’t know. Over three hundred. My eyes cross a little when I try to count, and some people have donated boxes of books, so I don’t know how many books are in that donation.

I’m also getting many emails like this one:

[readermail]I am going to donate to my hometown’s small and suffering library as a result of your encouragement. Boxes from my at-home library are filling. Thank you.[/readermail]

And people are writing to tell me about programs like, which encourage literacy. So much activism!

Lindsay is also acting locally:

[readermail]I couldn’t stand the left-out, grinch-y feeling for one more day! I bought some books. I searched the wish lists to see if there were any local libraries that might need my help.

For some reason, the public library in Decatur, GA only wants books about aquariums. Go figure. They’re getting Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies and An Essential Guide to Choosing Your Tropical Freshwater Fish (Tankmasters Series). (I now wish I had an aquarium so that I, too, could be a “tankmaster.”)

The Atlanta Girls’ School looks like a Chilton-type institution which probably doesn’t need my help quite as much. However, they do promise to be educating and empowering the female leaders of tomorrow, and I certainly want to support that. Plus, they had Opera 101 on their wish list, which I took to be an omen since I work for an opera company. So they’re getting Opera 101 and Classical Music 101, which I’m sure will be helpful to these girls when they argue on the Senate floor someday.[/readermail]

Hey, an author reads my website:

[readermail]Strangely enough, two weeks ago, I donated my own novel, Sitting Shiva, to Dana Heidrick at the Oakland Library without knowing of your own considerable efforts.

Keep up the good work.

Elliot Feldman[/readermail]

Joanne donated:

[readermail]Group me right along with the rest of the “I don’t normally do this, but….” kids. Been reading your site ever since you first wrote about Coffee, and thought it was about time I did something to say “Thank you” for all the wonderful writing you’ve shared with me.

So, I bought for Oakland:

Tuesdays with Morrie: I have a freakish love for Hank Azaria

Baby Momma Drama: The phrase “Baby Momma Drama” cracks me up, always has…

The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things: OPL added it today, so since it was at the top of the list, I bought it.

I don’t have a website, as I’m a reader, not a writer. If you could link to my friend Ian, at, (he’s one of those LiveJournalers) that would be great.[/readermail]

After another anonymous email letting me know that another five boxes of books were on their way to the OPL, I received this, from Karen, who had to wait until her bosses weren’t watching:

[readermail]Yay Pamie!

Finally got out from under the watchful eye of the Man to send a couple of things to the montclair branch of OPL. They’ll be getting Get Up and Dance, a Sesame Street video, because Sesame Street is good for your soul, 25 Romantic Classics by Bach, because everyone should have access to music this good, and Confucious: The Golden Rule, just for the irony. I mean, aren’t we doing unto others here?

I am really glad you’re doing this. Libraries are so important. Also, it gives me an opportunity to get some good library karma, to balance out the bad library karma gained when I never got the books back on time as a kid. Yay for libraries, yay for reading, music and dancing, yay for Pamie![/readermail]

Another anonymous donor sent:

[readermail]”Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” Robert T. Kiyosaki, Sharon L. Lechter (Contributor)

My Friend Rabbit” Eric Rohmann

Blackboard Bear“[/readermail]

Jackie, who’s been discussing The Bone People with me, and who recommended it in the first place, writes:

[readermail]I’ve sent the library a book – ‘ Queenie Farmer had Fifteen Daughters‘ – chosen solely because I liked the name. I wish I was living a little closer to the library so I could pass on all the books I’m sending to charity shops as we clear out the flat and get it ready to sell, but I suppose this is better than nothing.[/readermail]

Thanks, Jackie!

Remember the school that burned down, from the last entry? Michelle has this correction:

[readermail]I am a GIANT tool. I am a tool who should NOT be around computers.

here is the CORRECT link for Glenn O. Swing’s wish list.

Dear God, otherwise it looks as if I’m pushing Sex and the City and Sarah Vowell and TV Nation and other TOTALLY age inappropriate material on the grade school. And while most of the kids know WAY more about sex than I ever dreamed of knowing and Sarah Vowell is witty and interesting and they’d actually learn some history and really, who can resist Michael Moore, I’m guessing they’d get more from Dora the Explorer and Harry Potter.[/readermail]

Trash sent along this note:

[readermail]Just FYI — I got a nice letter from the Oakland Library, thanking me for my donation and listing out what I donated on letterhead, so I can use it as a tax break. I don’t know if your readers need any more incentive (I can’t believe that they do) but that might be enough. See? Donate a book, screw the government![/readermail]

We will make the next Michael Moore from, so help me God.

Medha writes:

[readermail]thanks for your oakland library “movement.” I live in downtown oakland and use the main library quite a bit. Its very nice that you would do something so wonderful for a city that you don’t even live in!

Thanks again and I will keep using the library (and donating).[/readermail]

It’s nice that all of you did something for a city you don’t live in as well. How very American. And Irish. And Canadian. And French…Australian… How very worldly of you all.

Some of you are donating because of my cats, I think. They don’t mind the attention at all. Dawn writes:

[readermail]I am coming out of the shadows to let you know how touching I have found your efforts for the Oakland Public Library, and that I have sent them 2 books.

The first is Lemony Snicket’s “ The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 9)“. I picked this title because it reminds me of the joke where there are two carnivores eating a clown and one turns to the other and says, “Does this taste funny to you?”.

The second book is my favorite childhood read, “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown. Who could resist the story of Stanley Lambchop, the boy who was flattened when his bulletin board fell on top of him in the middle of the night? Stanley’s adventures include posing as a painting in a museum to catch a robber, and being mailed in an envelope (with a peanut butter sandwich in case he gets hungry) to visit his cousin in Florida.

Thank you again for your stellar effort for the Oakland Public Library System, and also for a very enjoyable website. Long live Cal and Taylor Dejardin![/readermail]

I hope Dawn knows that Flat Stanley has more than one book devoted to his adventures.

Donna helped at work:

[readermail]I just had to buy a book from Amazon for work, so I threw in a copy of What Are YOU So Grumpy About? for the Piedmont Ave branch of the Oakland Public Library. I just realized I can send stuff that isn’t on the list, so I think I’ll go for a theme donation and send a copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.[/readermail]

I certainly hope Donna’s book karma made her day less grumpy.

Another anonymous donation:

[readermail]What To Expect When You’re Expecting[/readermail]

Okay. So that’s all the book news for today. Thanks again.

Oh, Taylor’s very happy to see that Jennifer Weiner had her baby. Welcome to the world, Lucy Jane. Hope your life is filled with good books.

Again, see everybody who has donated here.

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Honey Don’t. I love this man’s books.

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