Category Archives: Books

Their trash will be my treasure

Their Trash Will Always Be My Treasure

If you’ve read my last couple of posts, you’ll know that I’m running my own mobile library and I received a huge donation recently. Well, a week later, the numbers are in. It would have been more, but I shamelessly kept a few for myself. I will donate them back to my library when I’m done reading them. The total ended up being 419 books, and that’s because that’s all we could fit in my car. Since January I have collected a total of 1,643 books and I only paid $70 for all of them because they are mostly donations. As of right now, I have 1,200 books available in my library.

It took me a week, and I do mean a week, to process all these books. I used every single moment of my free time to get it done. I would sometimes log books for 8 hours a day. I would stay up until 1 AM and then wake up at 9 AM just to try to get it done. I posted a request for volunteers, but I didn’t get anyone to answer so I had to do everything myself. It was probably the biggest thing on my to-do list so far, and I’m glad to finally get it done.

The best part was the kind of books I received in the donation. I received at least 6 first editions and several books from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. One of the best books I received was a 1937 edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and a 1950 edition of Leaves of Grass. Can you believe that someone was going to throw these books away in the trash? It’s heartbreaking, to say the least. With that in mind, I remember going dumpster diving as a kid and finding all kinds of books in good condition so I might start doing that again. I hear people do that for a living, so I’m sure I can save these books from sitting in a landfill while saving the environment in the process. I’ll post a blog about what I find dumpster diving if I find something good. If you are inspired to go dumpster diving because of this post, please check your local city laws because dumpster diving is not legal in all areas.

If you would like to know more, check out out my library page.

free book

Who Wouldn’t Want a Free Book?

Apparently, there’s a lot of people and this made me sad. I had my second book meetup on April 30, 2017, at a church festival and I was in complete shock at how many people who didn’t want a free book. To make matters worse, not only did they not want a free book, they admitted that they don’t like to read. My heart sank because it was something I didn’t want to hear. I brought 300 books that day because I fully anticipated giving away most of them. At my last event, we were running low after 2 hours. At this event, we were there for 6 hours and only gave away 83 books. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still a lot of books and many of the people who took the books were parents of small children (6 and under).

I asked everyone who walked past my booth if they wanted a free book and most of them politely declined. A lot of older people said they already had too many books at home, and even when I offered to take some off their hands they still declined. I’m sorry, but you can never have too many books. Before I had proper storage, I had piles of books all over my house. I never once felt that I had too many books. What surprised me the most were the teenagers who flat out ignored me and kept walking when I asked if they wanted a free book. I was always taught to politely say “no, thank you” if I didn’t want something. I understand some kids are shy, but manners are important.

I would say 99% of the people I interact with at these events are supportive of my mobile library, but believe it or not, I’ve had a few naysayers. Now several people have asked me why I’m doing this and my answer is simple: I love books, I love free stuff, and I love giving away free books. I just want to make sure that no one ever has an excuse to not be reading. I had one woman ask me the same question, and when I told her why, she said: “Well why don’t you just donate all these books to the women’s shelter?” To which I responded that I was attempting to bring the library to the community for all the people who couldn’t go to the library for whatever reason. She never once looked at any of the books I had, and I know you can’t make everyone happy but I just couldn’t understand how someone can take something so positive and make it negative. I had another woman ask me, “Well, what do you get out this?” in a very condescending tone to which I responded, “It warms my heart to see all these young kids get excited about reading. That’s all I care about.”

I understand where this lady is coming from. With the way the world is now, no one ever does things just be nice. They always have an ulterior motive. What that woman doesn’t realize is, not everyone does things for personal gain. In fact, I have nothing to gain from this. My great grandmother Mary Lou taught me the importance of kindness and giving and she would give a stranger the shirt off her back even if it’s all she had. To tell you the truth, I quit my job in November 2016 and have been unemployed ever since. I didn’t have much saved up. I only had $400 dollars to my name and I still buy books with money I could be using for food, clothes, and necessities. I do it because I want to share my love of books with the next generation. These kids don’t know what I have sacrificed to give away these books for free. So, when I say it saddens me that these kids don’t read, it truly does hurt me. I can’t give up, it just makes what I’m doing that much more important.

Check out my mobile library

texas library association conference

Texas Library Association Conference 2017 Review

If you know me, you know that I’m a huge nerd. I have been to other conferences before because my mom collects pens and I would go to all kinds of events and grab all the free pens for her. As many of you know, I’m studying to be a librarian and I run my own mobile library. Being able to go to this convention was a dream come true, and all I did was spend a couple of hours volunteering. It was my first time at such a large convention, so there were a couple things I missed out on, but I’m quick on my feet so I quickly adapted and learned a lot of inside information while I was there.

Now because I have a mobile library, I thought I didn’t have much use for the library furniture section of the convention, but it was cool and modern. It motivated me to push harder for grants so that I can expand my library to an actual building one day. There were a lot of publishing companies. which is great for an author like me. It really opened me up to a whole world I didn’t know anything about. There were things I had never even heard of before, and I felt so excited to be in the loop and privy to what is coming next for libraries. I absolutely love having things that you can’t buy in stores. I love being able to know what’s going to be cool before people even know about it. I was on Facebook before it became popular. I used Spotify before it was even launched. I used to buy clothes at a discounted rate for people that buy stuff to fill up their store inventory because I got free passes to the expo. If it’s free I’m getting it, because the only thing I love more than getting things for free, it’s giving stuff away for free. I went to this convention for free in exchange for volunteer hours and the best part is: a lot of conventions do this.

Now here’s a secret for you, the best days to go to a convention are the first day and the last day. If you can’t afford to go to the entire convention, I would recommend going on just those days. Here’s why: The best giveaways will be on the first and last day. You could seriously miss out on some awesome goodies by not going the first day. Although I regret not going the first day, I was able to get books signed by the author because I went on Thursday which was also Teacher Day. There were still plenty of goodies, but it was clear that there had been a lot more of them. You could instantly tell which booths were giving away goodies by the lines. The ladies there were very nice whenever you asked what the line was for. At some booths, you could only take one book, but the Penguin Random House booth let me take 6 free books. I would have gotten back in line, but one must make difficult choices when you’re just one person and you’re already struggling to carry 35 pounds of books. I needed a friend to help me out, but I did well for carrying everything myself.

The final total was 97 books. Some were galleys or a mock-up, some were advanced reading copies, and some were given away because the conference was over and they hadn’t been sold yet. I took everything they would give me like bookmarks, posters, pencils, pens, etc. I had a great idea to bring my dolly with me and it made it so much easier to carry everything home. I even got some valuable information from people who have been librarians for over 20 years. I had so much fun, and it made me wish I had a job of just going to conventions. I would love to be able to travel all over the country going to conventions and seeing what the future holds.

Overall, the Texas Library Association Conference was a success. It was fun, cool, and awesome in general, but I may have a biased opinion. It felt so good to be around people with similar interests who are not competing with me to get a job so they are willing to help me and guide me. It feels good to finally know what you want to do with your life.

If you want more information, check out my library page.

mobile library

I’m Bringing Back the Mobile Library

I have always loved going to the library as a kid (and as an adult) and I realize that not everyone has time in their busy schedules to go to the library. For those of us who are frugal, the library is an excellent resource for just about anything you can think of. I personally go to the library all the time. Even more so now that I volunteer there twice a week. As much as I loved going to the library, I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could set up a library at a park and thus, my Mobile Library was born. I started collecting books in January 2017 and had my first book Meetup on March 11, 2017, at Arnold Park on the South Side of San Antonio. We gave away 60 books that day.

Fast forward to April 8, 2017, where we hosted our Meetup at the Harlandale Cultural Arts Festival. We were able to give away 273 books in 2 hours. One girl even had 11 books that she wanted to check out. All the money we raised will go towards purchasing more books for the library which a majority of the books are purchased at city libraries so you are supporting them as well. Over the course of the last month, we have given away 382 books. I have to admit that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.

I am currently studying to be a librarian and I am in the process of applying for grants in order to expand my library. I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone has been supportive of my dream. When I get the chance to see a kid’s face when they get excited over books, it truly warms my heart. I’m also helping out college students by donating used textbooks because believe me, I know they aren’t cheap. I love my beautiful city and I want everyone to know how precious an education is in this new era.

If you would like more information, check out my library page.