Wow.

If you’re upset with how Oakland had to resort to asking the world to help buy books, the people at Three Way Action are right there with you. They suggest:

BTW, anyone who’s local to Oakland and wants to register their concern over the funding can contact the mayor’s office at:

One Frank Ogawa Plaza
(One City Hall Plaza)
3rd Floor
Oakland, California 94612
Telephone: 510-238-3141
Fax: 510-238-4731
TDD: 510-238-3724
officeofthemayor@oaklandnet.com

But I don’t think you have to be local to express our concern. You helped solve the problem, you should help suggest solutions as well.

Jackie found an amazon link where you can look for your local library.

The savvy posters at The Usual Suspects have found wishlists of other libraries. Check and see if your local library is on the list, if you prefer to think locally.

Yesterday my mom saw me reading the latest email from donors and she said, “You have some very nice readers. They’re very kind.”

“Pamie.com readers: Moms and Librarians love ’em.”

Here’s to the latest cool kids:

DamnHellAssKings comrade Monty was my first donor of the day:

[readermail]Hi, Pamie. I decided to jump on the bandwagon, because I like buying books, even if I don’t get to keep them. Plus, this way I get to feel like a philanthropist.

I sent the Oakland Public Library — Time by Andy Goldsworthy, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket, and the Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket.

I’m warping children’s minds![/readermail]

In the best way, Monty. You’re doing the good kind of warping.

More TWoP love from Miss Alli:

[readermail]I have heard a rumor that donating books to the Oakland Public Library is now the only officially board-certified way to get to heaven. In honor of the fact that I am in a heaven-going deficit in the minds of many as a result of having gone to law school, I bought the lovely Oaklanders a copy of Grisham’s The King of Torts, as well as How to Do Your Own Divorce in California: Out-Of-Court Divorce, a Complete Kit (26th Edition). Not that I support doing your own divorce or anything — you should totally hire a very, very expensive lawyer. And tell him I sent you. And I’d like my kickback.

Cheers, George Bailey![/readermail]

There are too many jokes about a box of divorce. Moving on.

From Adrien:

[readermail]Hi Pamie! I just wanted to let you know that I ordered two books for the Oakland library:

Familiar and Haunting: Collected Stories” because it was on the list and sounded fun (all kids need the crap scared out of them, right?) and “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” which was my very favorite book when I was a little girl. I also linked to your book entry on my journal.[/readermail]

Thanks, Adrien. I’ve seen many links from livejournals and diaryland sites. I really appreciate you spreading the word. Thanks for giving Oakland some creepy-scary book love.

Liz lives in England, but that didn’t stop her from helping out Oakland:

[readermail]This one is from England – I’m sending “Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman” to the Oakland Public Library. Why? Well, a couple of reasons – Firstly, over the past few days I’ve been blown away reading about all the wonderful and generous donations people have been making, and I felt compelled to make one too. Secondly, libraries were a sanctuary and an escape when I was growing up, and no kid should be denied that. Thirdly, and most importantly, ‘wrath of the wicked wedgie woman’?? That just cracks my shit up.[/readermail]

I remember being so upset at the library when there wasn’t a new Beverly Cleary. As if somehow every time I went back there should be a new book by her for me to read. It was a very sad day when I ran out of Beverly Cleary books.

She didn’t sign it, but I think her name is Jen:

[readermail]I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I just sent the Oakland branch ‘The King of Torts‘ and ‘The Da Vinci Code‘. It’s a great thing you’re doing, I hope you feel amazing knowing just how many people you touch on a daily basis. Cheers![/readermail]

I just find it amazing how many of you were willing to help out. And there are so many of you I’ve never heard from before. It’s nice getting to meet so many new readers, too. Hi, lurkers. How many of you read just waiting for Cal to write again?

Thought so.

Sydney writes:

[readermail]Dear Pamie —

I, too, work for a library facing budget cuts. Luckily, we live in a community of people who that think our library is important and who have been vocal about helping us through this rough time when the need arrives. This being a levy year for us, that helps us feel optimistic despite the grim outlook all across the country. Given the support of our community, that’s easier for us than for most libraries in this state.

That said, it’s been a terrifying time for us. All of the nightmare questions apply: will we lose our jobs? Will our friends? Will we have to close our doors? We feel helpless and frustrated and scared.

So…I figure what better way to blow off some steam, to spread the word about some great books and to help out a fellow library community than to buy some books for strangers with my rapidly depleting savings? :)

Oakland is getting:

Hondo and Fabian by Peter McCarty because it was on Oakland’s wishlist and because the pictures are so freaking cute. Nothing to lift the soul like great illustrations of fat kitties and doggies.

His Dark Materials trilogy box set by Philip Pullman because it rocks the universe and kicks that wussy Harry in the teeth! (Kidding…I love Harry Potter, too. But these books are better.)

This is a wonderful idea, Pamie! Thanks for sharing it with us.[/readermail]

The description of Hondo and Fabian from the School Library Journal is: “Two pets have a day devoid of excessive excitement.” Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me.

Annette gave like a rockstar:

[readermail]Hi Pamie! Just to prove that you have fans on the other side of the Atlantic as well, I’ve donated “Life of Pi” to one branch, and “Sidewalk Chalk“, “What Charlie Heard“, “Flamingo Dream” and “The White Swan” to another branch.

This was a great initiative and hopefully this will spread to other areas where the libraries are in trouble.[/readermail]

Thank you, Annette.

Stephanie helps Oakland and her friends:

[readermail]Hi Pamie!

I absolutely love your site, and decided I need to be a part of all the book-buying fun. My own financial distress takes a back seat to the distress of a library. I thought of all the hours I spent in my local library as a kid, and realized I had to donate!

I sent:

Betty Crocker’s Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today – Although I have only mediocre cooking skills, my brother is a chef and I’m happy to support someone’s culinary endeavors.

What Do Animals Do on the Weekend? – by Lauren Faulkenberry – Not on the wishlist, but an awesome (and beautiful) alphabet book by my best friend.

I have no website of my own to link to, but you can link to Lauren’s site: www.insculpo.com? She’s an incredibly talented artist, and I’d love to send a few people her way.[/readermail]

I also love the title of Lauren’s book.

Lauren not only kicks ass, she spreads that ass kicking around, empowering other, future ass-kickers. (Look, I’m running out of nice things to say about nice people. Soon I’m going to have to make up synonyms for “cool.”:

[readermail]Hey –

I finally got around to ordering them a book! I know how hard it is to find money in a public library since I worked in one for several years as a reference librarian. I was lucky, and worked at a branch that had affluent and generous patrons and we still had trouble.

It was my pleasure to send something to a struggling library. My choice was:

ShapeWalking: Six Easy Steps to Your Best Body by Marilyn L., Ph.D. Bach, Lorie Schleck

I picked that because I’m a big fan of walking. Since I took up walking I’ve finished a couple of marathons and in the process managed to lose about 30 pounds without changing much else about my life.

Here’s hoping the walking plan will work for some folks in Oakland![/readermail]

Thanks for being so schmaleckishi!

I don’t think I’m too good at making up words. I’l try again.

Amanda sent me the coolest soaps, lip gloss and jewelry. Seriously, Jessica almost punched me in the face for one of the candles. Her link is for her journal, but you can also ask her about her soaps n’ stuff. I love the earrings she made for me. I have sensitive earlobes (Oh, man. There’s a sentence Chuy would tease me over. “You’ve got ‘sensitive earlobes? Does your cho-cho hurt, too?”). But anyway, these earrings didn’t irritate my… ears at all.

Oh, yeah. And she sent some books:

[readermail]I’m very fortunate to have an awesome library system. I check out books, movies, etc through the online library and pick them up from the actual building every day on my way home from work. It kicks ass.

I don’t have a lot of cash to burn, so instead I pillaged my own book collection to send to Oakland. (I say pillage, when in fact I mean cleaned out.) I made several disturbing discoveries.

My husband owns THREE copies of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” and TWO copies of (I think its called) “The Andromeda Project: The Plan To Assassinate Hitler.”

We have our THREE copies of the Bible shelved next to “The Encyclopedia of Sex” and my collection of Nancy Friday books. I’m very surprised that my home hasn’t burnt to the ground, like the Nazi symbol was burned off the crates holding the Arc of the Covenant in “Raiders of the Lost Arc”. I guess I should be grateful my face isn’t all melty.

So, anyways, we donated a lot of our spare and little read books including the above and;

Eugene Onegin by Pushkin
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Small Gods by Terry Prachett
Watership Down by Richard Adams

Those are all the ones I remember. We sent two boxes and hopefully they’ll be able to help out.[/readermail]

That’s awesome. Two boxes of books!

Except Watership Down. The bunny snuff story. Why would you make the children cry like that?

TheresaUS doesn’t want to be left out:

[readermail]My conscience got the better of me. I thought, “I can handle seeing everyone else who gave for a day or two” but the list just keeps getting longer, day in and day out! I feel totally left out! Plus, you know, if I can shill out 40 bucks for a concert ticket then I can certainly afford to spread some Meg Cabot love in Oakland. I ordered “The Princess Diaries” and “The Princess Diaries, Vol. 4: Princess in Waiting.” Don’t be fooled by the Disney-fied movie, this is the REAL Mia! I’m probably too old for these books, but I don’t care. It’s good, wholesome reading for any girl, 10 and up.[/readermail]

Thanks, Theresa! Welcome to the list!

Adrith writes:

[readermail]Hi Pamie –

I too am an old-school Squishy reader .. and I wanted to let you know that a copy of “The Heart: The Kids’ Question and Answer Book” is on its way to the Montclair branch.

I would never have known about their funding problem if it weren’t for you. Thanks so much for the opportunity to help.[/readermail]

Aw. Thanks for helping, Adrith. I sent Adrith an email wherein I tried to make a metaphor for the book about hearts and people giving from the heart, and I succeeded only in looking like a tool.

Allison doesn’t have to update anymore, now that she’s donated to Oakland. So y’all leave her alone:

[readermail]I just sent them the following:
The Da Vinci Code
Action Jackson
After the Tears, A Gentle Guide to Help Children Understand Death[/readermail]

Action Jackson. Because Al needs and she needs and she needs!

I can’t believe she didn’t send The Complete Guide to Being Willie.

I have a reader who goes by the awesome name of lil’ d:

[readermail]Okay, another lurker chiming in to confess to my book purchases, because I want to sit at the cool kids table too.

I sent two books to the Piedmont Branch:

Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide” by Tom Defalco, et al- because I am all about the Spider-Man; and

Bury The Dead: Corpses, Skeletons, Mummies, Tombs” by Christopher Sloan- because Mummies? Rule.

Of course, the second book doesn’t show up as being purchased, or on the current wish list, so I am beginning to think i hallucinated its existence on there and this is causing some panic. I am sure that someone out there needs to know the inherent coolness of mummies, so I shouldn’t worry about it.[/readermail]

Of course the book about corpses, skeletons and mummies disappeared! Woo-ooooo-ooooooOOOOooooh!

I’m getting punch drunk, aren’t I? I’ve been working on this entry for three hours. So much email! So many books!

sars likes to dance around and eat cake:

[readermail]All right, ALL RIGHT! Oakland folk can learn to bake cakes and vogue! I give in!

Hee. This is a fine thing you’ve done, really. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if the local library had negged me on the dirty parts of the Jean Auel oeuvre.

Cake Mix Magic” Jill Snider;

GHV2” Madonna[/readermail]

Is that a book that tells you how to make cake from a box? Because that’s like putting directions on Shake and Bake, isn’t it?

And speaking of New Jersey (re: sars), Karen sent book love and information:

[readermail]I really think what you’re doing here is amazing. Though I haven’t donated yet, it’s only because I need to get myself on a computer that ISN’T monitored by the company I work for. Luckily, they don’t care who I email. But since you’re publicizing government funded arts groups that are having trouble, I thought I’d mention that New Jersey’s state budget this year contains $0 in its arts and history section. You can read more about it at www.shakespearenj.org or www.shakespearenj.org/alert.html (the first address is the homepage of the NJ Shakespeare theatre, which produces a pop-up alert message, which is the second address. Anyway, they are organizing a rally and encouraging people to write to the governor to get the arts some mad cash. I hoped if any of your readers were Garden Staters, this might clue them in.

Promise to write again. As soon as the Man isn’t watching, I’m buyin’ some books.[/readermail]

Thanks, Karen, for the New Jersey shout-out.

Loyal Squishite JohnConstantine writes:

[readermail]More donations for the cause. Just sent The King of Torts by John Grisham and The Last Detective by Robert Crais. *sigh* How did you know I couldn’t resist a library?[/readermail]

My agency, Witherspoon Associates, said they’ll be sending the results of their spring cleaning next week over to Oakland. More boxes of books!

Kim helped too:

[readermail]I sent the Piedmont Ave. branch 2 books – “Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo” because it looked like a cute toddler book, and I’ve got a toddler so I’m a sucker for cute stuff! Plus I also sent “When Grown-Ups Fall in Love“, because when I read the description it sounded like a book about families that absolutely everyone should read. I’m so thankful you put this up on your site, or I never would have known about it![/readermail]

Thanks, Kim!

Another loyal Squishite, Cricket, sent:

[readermail]It took me a few days, but I finally sat my butt down and ordered two books for the Oakland Public Library: “Hoot” and “The Red Rose Box“. Hopefully some little kid with get as much enjoyment out of reading those as I did reading library book when I was younger.[/readermail]

This is truly amazing. Thank you guys so much.

More squishites. Kage checks in:

[readermail]Dear Pamie,

A little late to the bandwagon, but better late than never. It was your entry including the notes from the librarians that really spurned me on.

I sent:

Superhero Max by Lawrence David and Tara Calahan King (Illustrator) and

How I Became a Writer and Oggie Learned to Drive by Janet Taylor Lisle

Both of these seem to teach a great lesson, as well as entertain.

Last year I got a letter from my local library chain asking me to become a library donor, and I happily did. I have certain charities I support every year but it just never occurred to me to add my library to the list. D’oh! I sure hope all this publicity you’re providing will benefit libraries all over by making people more aware of the problem.[/readermail]

It’s never too late to help out, Kage. Thanks.

Michelle gave here, there and everywhere:

[readermail]Pamie,

Hi! I’m one of those lurkers that never e-mails about your site even though I read it often; because I don’t want to be “that girl”. But anyway, your entry about the plight of OPL got me to gather my stash of excess books and donate them to my local library. But I wanted to help OLP too so the Montclair branch is getting the following

Weight Lifting for Dummies – because heaven knows, my chubby self has benefited from adding weight training to my life.

And Tippy-Toe Chick, Go – because I just thought it looked cute.

I don’t have a cool kids site or blog but maybe you could link to Chicklit.com because those folks are all about the literacy. I posted your entry over there as well.

What a wonderful thing you started. Add me to the you rock chorus![/readermail]

The Chicklit folks are very cool. Thanks for sharing their link.

Another Michelle writes:

[readermail]I joined in the book love for Oakland Public Library today.

They will be receiving:

a copy of Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

a copy of Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

a copy of Love You Forever by Sheila McGraw

The first two are foster care kid stories. Perhaps I was too affected by reading The Pinballs in grade school or am too affected by the kids with whom I work, but I couldn’t pass up these books. Also, Love You Forever is one of my favorites; I buy a copy for every person I know who is pregnant or a new parent. I just think the library should have a copy for a parent to read to their child!

I was wondering if you’d link another wish list for me. The local grade school at which I mentor also has a wishlist. The school suffered a natural gas explosion last summer. The library, cafeteria, and several classrooms were literally blown to bits. (pictures) (right after the explosion) (school website) It has taken the entire year to rebuild that section of the school; the library will finally reopen this fall. However, everything was lost in the explosion: the books, the magazines, the software, the posters, the puzzles, the globe, everything. I’ve held several book fares here in my city (I work for the police department), and have been slowly trying to buy things from the wishlist as I can. Instead of my journal, could you link here? GOS is an inner city elementary school, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio. The school serves K-5 grades and has EBD classes as well.[/readermail]

Heidi Wallace sent one paragraph about the latest Gilmore Girls episode, and then:

[readermail]just wanted to check in with you and let you know that i got paid yesterday so, flush with cash, i went to amazon and purchased How I Became a Writer and Oggie Learned to Drive by Janet Taylor Lisle for the Piedmont Library. i chose to “gift” this book because it deals with divorce issues for kids. there can never be enough books in a library dealing with this sensitive issue.[/readermail]

Missy felt the TWoP love as well:

[readermail]I have read your Gilmore Girls recaps since episode one and have loved every one of them. So when I found your web journal and figured out it was the same Pamie, I became a loyal reader. So to thank you, I purchased:

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson,” by Pam Munoz Ryan because I love the story of Marian Anderson singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and Eleanor Roosevelt getting kicked out of the DAR for supporting her.

Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space” by Dav Pilkey and

2 copies of “Captain Underpants And The Perilous Plot Of Professor Poopypants: El Capitan Calzoncillos Y El Perverso Plan Del Profesor Pipcac” by Dav Pilkey because I’ve never really grown up and even at 41 years of age, I still love to read a good kid’s book. I used to work at a toy store where we sold the Captain Underpants books and they are really funny.

Thanks for organizing this book drive. I love a good cause and you’ve inspired me to contact my local library and see if I can do something nice for them, too.[/readermail]

Christie misses her mommy, so she poured love into Oakland from afar:

[readermail]My mom is a librarian near Oakland who inspired my love of books, so I went a little overboard in her honor. I live in London, so I won’t be with her this Sunday, so I’m hoping this makes up for it–Happy Mother’s Day!

Anne of Green Gables, by Dussling, Jennifer, Conlon, Mara, Halverson, Lydia
Gargoyles: Monsters in Stone, by Dussling, Jennifer, Church, Peter
A Very Strange Dollhouse, by Dussling, Jennifer, Lamut, Sonja

These three aren’t on the list, but they’re great kids’ books, written by my very talented friend Jen Dussling. One’s an adaptation of a wonderful book for younger kids; one’s fun and informative, and one’s scary (voted best book by the 8 and 9 year olds on the other side of the world at Nottingham Library, winning a 2000 Experian award).

Yukon Ho!: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection, by Watterson, Bill
because budget cuts mean that everyone needs cheering up

The Austere Academy by Snicket, Lemony, Helquist, Brett
A Box of Unfortunate Events: The Dilemma Deepens, by Snicket, Lemony, Helquist, Brett
because I wish these books had been around when I was a kid. The second book isn’t out until the fall, so I asked if they could just deliver it when it arrives, and they weren’t sure. So I may not have been able to give that one.

And because grown-ups need books too:
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
because I’ve been meaning to read it for ages

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, by Nafisi, Azar
because it reminds us that some people have even more than budget cuts to overcome if they want to read

Thanks for putting your popularity to such good use! Love your site and I’m looking forward to reading your book . . .[/readermail]

Now there’s a list that would make a mom/librarian proud.

Kim writes:

[readermail]i’m delurking to tell you what a great thing you’re doing! i just bought two books for the oakland library and i feel so good about myself! it’s true – it’s the little things that matter most. good karma, here we come!

I wish I had a reason for ordering these, other than the covers being pretty! But they all serve a good purpose.

Time Stops for No Mouse: A Hermux Tantamoq Adventure, By: Michael Hoeye, Campbell Scott

Salmon Creek, By: Annette Lebox, Karen Reczuch (Illustrator)[/readermail]

The warm fuzzy feeling is addictive…and contagious, apparently. I’m now on hour five of updating this book list, returning email, etc. It’s like we’re all on a road trip together. Are you even still reading at this point? Or have you gotten lost in a Choose Your Own Amazon Adventure, clicking book by book, adding things to your own wish list? Are you lost in a new journal that you just discovered? Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

Piper piped in:

[readermail]A poor unemployed soon-to-be college grad, I couldnt afford to send more than one book, so I scrolled through all the lists to pick the best book for the Oakland Libraries. And I came up with Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! Why? Because I was a chronic tippy-toer as a kid. Personally, I thought it made me even cuter. Thanks for posting these links, the Oakland libraries are so lucky that you found them![/readermail]

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a chronic tippy-toer.

Laura Gazlay likes her job:

[readermail]I am a fan of your site, and I wanted to let you know that I hopped on the OPL bandwagon today with 3 books: A Chill Wind, Baseball: A Literary Anthology and Writing Los Angeles; A Literary Anthology.

The second two titles are both published by The Library of America, a non profit publisher (and my employer) dedicated to keeping the best of American Writing in print. Our website (www.loa.org) gives a complete rundown of our title list, as well as ways folks can contribute. They can either donate directly to the LOA, or purchase a tax-deductible gift to their favorite institution. Okay, we don’t publish Calvin and Hobbes or Captain Underpants (yet, that is), but we have some good stuff to offer, especially to libraries. It would be swell if you could post a link.[/readermail]

Kelsey writes:

[readermail]So I’m another lurking person who’s come out for the book drive. I sent the Piedmont branch the book-on-tape version of Elizabeth Winthrop’s “The Castle in the Attic“; it’s a semi-obscure but nevertheless wonderful kids’ book that I completely wore out when I was younger (my old copy is still sitting on my parents’ bookshelf and is totally is held together with a rubber band). Also, dig my stroke of genius: I bought the book off Amazon through the TWoP portal. Can you stand it?

Thank you so much for doing this, Pamie. I hope you feel fabulous knowing that this is all happening because of you.[/readermail]

Tara posted word about the Oakland book drive to her Florida Library and Information Sciences mailing list of over 1000 subscribers. Thanks, Tara!

And Carol posted word on the TWoP Buffy boards, noting:

[readermail]As you know, the TWoP folks are a kind, if extremely snarky, bunch, so Oakland should be seeing even more books arriving on their doorstep.[/readermail]

Abbie lives in the UK, but she still cares about my pits:

[readermail]I’ve read your site for years and love it. I sent the Piedmont Branch the following:

Great Building Stories of the Past
Moon Glowing
The Year of the Hangman
Paisano, The Roadrunner
Matilda Bone
Midsummer Snowballs
Mama Eat Ant, Yuck!

because who hasn’t walked down the stacks of a library and pulled out books with totally random titles? Maybe it’s just me who has too much time on her hands and likes to waste time that should be spent researching!

Also, in the great deodorant debate, Sure has come out with a clear aerosol here (the UK) that rocks my world. Do you do aerosol? If so, try it.[/readermail]

I’m so glad someone finally bought Mama Eat Ant, Yuck!, my favorite title on the wishlists.

Kathy has a tomatonation.com quote as her signature. She writes:

[readermail]Subject: Thanks to you…

the Oakland Public library will receive one copy each of:

Maisy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Collins

Practice Makes Perfect for Rotten Ralph: A Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader by Jack Gantos

It’s just those two for now, but I’m going to keep checking as they update the wishlists, and I’ve sent the info on to everybody I know. Thanks for everyone know about this.[/readermail]

Misty was feeling guilty since I used her name in the original plea:

[readermail]I’ve had a guilty feeling in the back of my head since I read your original entry about the libraries. You used my name! It made it feel as though you were speaking to me personally.

I’ve always loved the library. The librarians at my local branch have known me by name pretty much my entire life. I’m fortunate in that my parish has good libraries and funding for them. It seems selfish not to give at least the little bit I can.

I ordered Why is Blue Dog Blue? by George Rodrigue. I originally liked it because it was about a dog, but when I saw it was by a Cajun artist, I knew I had to get it and support my heritage as I supported the Piedmont Branch.

Thank you for inspiring me into actually doing something for once instead of just talking about it.[/readermail]

How nice is that, having your local librarians know you by name? Y’all live in really nice cities. Oh, it’s late. I’m starting to make Southern small talk.

Ericka made her books anonymous:

[readermail]hi. I bought two books. I don’t remember what they were. I chose them at random since they didn’t list any of my favorites. It’s so sad when you’re favorites are unpopular. any way. I feel good.[/readermail]

Aristophanes, of Imagine You’re A Fish, writes:

[readermail]I was feeling a bit too poor to help out the people at OPL, but I have two interviews next week and my tax refund came in today, so I figure I can afford to hit the Amazon free-shipping threshhold. Like many of your readers, I have fond memories of my library growing up. (I just recently discovered that the librarian who read to us in the early 80’s is still there!) Anyway. I bought The Carnivorous Carnival because it was on their list and they asked for quite a few and didn’t have them all yet.

I bought The Sneetches and Other Stories because it was one of my favorite Seuss books growing up. There’s a great message about appreciating diversity and not being mean to people because they don’t look like you.

I first heard about The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence when I was training to be a victim’s advocate. I think the lesson that it’s more important to follow your self-preservation instincts than to be polite to strangers is an important one for every woman to learn. DeBecker also has an amazing voice in recounting anecdotes to explain his message. When I was thinking about what book meant a great deal to me that I wanted to pass on, this one popped into my head.

Great to see how effective your campaign has been. Maybe they’ll name a branch after you.[/readermail]

Ha. The pamie branch. It’s full of cat hair and made for short people. I would have had a better joke there, but man… tired. Getting sleepy. So much…typing.

I love The Sneeches as well, as it’s a strong warning against piercing your navel.

Another wonderful anonymous donation here:

[readermail]1. Coast Guard Rescue and Patrol Aircraft
2. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
3. Gypsy Girl by Rumer Godden
4. The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman[/readermail]

Amy is happy:

[readermail]Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing out the kindness in your readers. Reading your newest post this morning was the highlight of my day. I’d been trying to convince myself that my tight budget wouldn’t allow for book donations right now, but the letters from the librarians sent me over the edge — I couldn’t put it off any more! So now one copy of The Carniverous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 9), by Lemony Snicket, and one copy of Ruby Holler, by Sharon Creech, are on their way to Oakland.[/readermail]

I love that the book drive has become a kind of Buddha belly. Marisa writes:

[readermail]I donated “The Secret of the Old Clock” – the first Nancy Drew – b/c it was one of my favorites, b/c Nancy is feisty, and b/c I am in the middle of law school exams and need some good karma.[/readermail]

stace sent three books:

[readermail]I’ve purchased one item from their wish list, as well as my two favourite books from childhood. A copy of “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever“, “Richard Scarry’s Best Picture Dictionary Ever” and John Grisham’s “The King of Torts” will be delivered shortly.[/readermail]

vibegrrl got all misty:

[readermail]The surge of the giving spirit on Pamie.com has made me a little weepy and click-happy.

No More Kissing!” Emma Chichester Clark, et al;
Little Pig is Capable” Denis Roche (Author)[/readermail]

Erin will also need drinks bought for her at Squishycon:

[readermail]I’ve been reading all the books being sent and feeling bad for not sending any, and then I saw taht Colie had given up her drinking money to join the cook kids, so I’m spending the money I would have used to buy Colie drinks at SquishyCon to send a book (Meg Cabot’s Princess Lessons, because the Princess Diaries are good fun) to the library. And also the Busta Rhymes cd, because I didn’t understand why they wanted it and so figured it must be important.[/readermail]

They have CD’s and DVD’s at my local library, too. It keeps people from burning CD’s, right?

jateke, loyal squishite, sent me nice words along with:

[readermail]Wonderful Pamie,

You have absolutely made my day.

For most of this week, I’ve found myself in a shitty mood for no good reason, and by this afternoon, I’d decided that I HAD to think of something I could do to cheer myself up. I got stuck on figuring out what I could do, though, and was at a loss until I went to catch up on the past week of pamie.com. As I was gasping for air between bursts of very loud laughter at funny Taylor and funny Misty Everest and even your funny neighbors at X2 (what? I happen to enjoy brownnosing), it hit me like a ton of bricks: THIS would improve my outlook!

And it did, in about a dozen ways.

Just being able to afford to donate a book is pretty cool, for one thing. Like lots of your readers, it seems, I graduated from college not too long ago, and have just started my first Real Job: I’m a sign language interpreter. I bet my deaf parents are going to love your story about the alphabet as much as I did.

Then, I followed a link to a wishlist and burst into tears. The very first item on the list was an audio recording of Marguerite Duras’s The Door in the Wall. I HAD to buy it–I first read it in fifth grade with the very first teacher who ever kicked my ass and made me work to become a better writer. I still have the essay my ten-year-old self wrote on The Door in the Wall, and I cherish the hard-earned check-plus she gave me. She died a few years later, before I got a chance to tell her what an impact she had, so this one is for her. Thanks, Mrs. Cripps, for never letting me get away with a half-assed paragraph. (Incidentally, her influence is also one of the main reasons this note is going to end up being so long: Gotta be thorough.)

Scrolling down after that, I realized that the time has finally come to splurge on Andy Goldsworthy. Stones first made my jaw drop to the floor when I found it at my high school, and no library should be without at least one of his works.

The community aspect of this whole happy affair also has me smiling a lot. Reading through all those letters and recognizing friends’ names (go Squishettes!) makes me so pleased to feel like I’m a small part of such an excellent whole. You’re right–everybody is so cool to have gotten behind this.[/readermail]

Kelly cares about your palimony:

[readermail]Just wanted to let you know that the Oakland Public Library will soon have 2 more copies of that How to Do Your Own Divorce in California book. Yeah, the bar will probably have a fit, but damn the man! At least the people will be able to see for themselves how ugly and complicated it is, and it may actually drive them to seek legal representation to make sense of it all. Or maybe not. I just think it’s nice to let the people look things up for themselves and make up their own minds. That’s what public libraries are all about.

Thanks for letting us in on this opportunity. I have been a faithful public library patron since my Hop on Pop days, so the fact that they are becoming an endangered species makes me very sad. And since I am such an east coast girl, I never would have found out about OPL’s plight without you.[/readermail]

Muffet did a little investigative reporting:

[readermail]The Lakeview branch has just put up a wishlist. I have sent them Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, and Black Dahlia Avenger: The True Story, because I love non-fiction, whether it’s good for you or just tastes good.[/readermail]

MaryAnn found some good use for that ex:

[readermail]I received an amazon.com gift certificate for Christmas from my ex-boyfriend (who at that point was my boyfriend and worked at amazon.). I just spent it sending a copy of “Addicted” to the Oakland Public Library.

Thanks for pointing this oppurtunity out to me![/readermail]

Thank you for helping out. Thanks to all of you. You have to be feeling pretty damn proud of yourselves right now.

I said to Mary Ann that working at Amazon and giving a gift certificate for Christmas is like working at Subway and bringing home lettuce for your birthday.

I am in love with the prettiness that is Megan’s site. I recently learned she lives in my hood, and now I want her to decorate my life:

[readermail]Subject: the first nice thing I ever did…

Hi Pamie:

Always love to see the Internet being used for good instead of evil! I decided to donate a kid’s book because I got to thinking what kind of trouble I would have gotten into as a kid if I didn’t have my Nancy Drew books to keep me occupied all the live long day.

I turned out pretty good so maybe the kids that read ‘The Saturday Escape‘ by Daniel J. Mahoney will too.[/readermail]

Kerri is feeding the VCR’s of Oakland:

[readermail]I bought some videos for the library:

Baby Beethoven: Symphony of Fun
Baby Einstein – World Animals
Baby Einstein – Neighborhood Animals

My own kids love these and I think they actually learn from them.[/readermail]

KO sent a book over:

[readermail]Hi – just a note to say I donated a copy of “ The Coldest Winter Ever” – looks like they want 20, and only have 5 so far. The reason I did it – well, you’ve got a great sales pitch there, but mostly because I’ve been lucky enough to usually buy the books I wanted. It wouldn’t be right, with my good fortune, not to help someone who was depending on a library for what they wanted to read.

Three cheers for M. Giant – I think I must be “the one reader” at his site that hadn’t also checked out your page. Yay books, indeed ;-)[/readermail]

Derek and Bil sent over one of my favorite books:

[readermail]Hey Pamie! Derek and Bil in Seattle here. We got “Naked” for the Oakland Public Library, oh yes we did! Hey it’s for a good cause and it feels good and all that, I recommend getting “Naked” for any occasion really! And for the kids who could resist “ Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman.” Wedgies bad…”Naked” good![/readermail]

That’s over one hundred donations in one day. In one day. You are amazing.

It is three in the morning. It is now Mother’s Day. I think I have to get up in a couple of hours to make Mother’s Day breakfast.

I love the letters, I love the donations. It’s not too late to help Oakland out, if you haven’t already.

I’m dreaming of books these days. I think that’s a good thing.

Again, see everybody who has donated here.

Just finished

The Bone People. I must admit the ending left me a little… I don’t know. Unsatisfied. And I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t read it, but having lost myself into this world, I was really rooting for these characters. I wanted to find out their secrets. And that never really happened. And even when it was happening, it was sort of dream-like, and possibly not what was really happening at all. It felt like the violence escaladed to a point where these people could no longer function, and then you were in their fantasy lives. Does that makes sense? In any event, this is book number two of the Booker Prize winners that proved to me not everything reads like How Late It Was, How Late.

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