This Deserves a Post

After making a promise to myself that I would blog everyday (even if it were just memes), extreme laziness just washed over me the past two weeks. I was online, sure, but I couldn’t bring myself to write anything or even answer email messages. (Those two weeks were filled with small joys, though, that I might blog about in a few days.)

Anyway, I decided to add a new post today after I read something on Reading Matters. Take a look at this and see something amazing. I wish I were in Bristol right now. (It pains me to see them being stepped on, though.)

If this ever happens at the Booksale warehouse, I’m there.

Booking Through Thursday: Authors Talking

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Do you read any author’s blogs? If so, are you looking for information on their next project? On the author personally? Something else?

I do. I read authors’ blogs to find out about their next projects, to know more about them, to join the contests they host, but mostly to enjoy their writing while waiting for their next book to come out.

I follow several blogs, but I especially love Megan McCafferty’s because she blogs as well as she writes. The smart, witty writing that you can find in her Jessica Darling books comes through even on her daily blog posts. She’s so funny and snarky, just like Jessica. I also love the fact that she’s on Facebook and constantly does status updates that crack me up.

Memes, Memes, Memes, and More Memes

I decided I will do memes for every day of the week. Just because.


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One new random question each and every Monday.


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Grab your current read and open it to a random page. Share two (2) Teaser sentences from between lines 7-12, without spoiling the plot!

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Lists of ten about that week’s topic. They even tell you next week’s topic in advance.


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Post a photo that tells a story.


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A meme about books and reading.


A fun, easy, fill-in the blank meme for the end of the week.

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Five weekly questions designed to get your neurons firing and your fingers typing.


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Just a Silly Meme Every Saturday.


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We invite readers to steal our meme each week. Every week is not only a new set of questions, but each week is unique. Some weeks are creative while others are more traditional.

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A quick bit of free association, it lists a word/phrase and you are supposed to list the first thing that pops into your head.


And my weekly and monthly memes will be:

Every week there’ll be a different theme. One week might be “catch up on your library books” week and the next might be “redecorate your blog week” or “organize your challenges” week or “catch up on your reviews” week. It’ll be fairly bookblogocentric, but not exclusively.

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Every week I will post a book review. Since I’m not big on writing reviews for the books I read, I will continue to use Dewey’s Book Review Questionnaire to help me out. Books reviewed may be ones that I have read recently or months (even years!) ago. I don’t think I’ll review every book that I read, just the ones that deserve a write-up. (This is more of a challenge than a meme.)

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Every month, take a picture or simply give a list of the stack of books that you are in the process of reading or planning to read (it might be on your nightstand, on a bookshelf, or like me, under your bed).


Visit The Daily Meme to find more memes suited to your taste.

Find out what a meme is at The Daily Meme.

Weekly Geeks: 2009-05 – Judge a Book by its Cover!

This week it’s all about judging books by their covers! Pick a book–any book, really–and search out multiple book cover images for that book. They could span a decade or two (or more)…Or they could span several countries. Which cover is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Which one best ‘captures’ what the book is about?

Two of my most favorite books of all time are John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. I could not decide which book to use for this week’s post, so I decided I would just pick both!

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

This is my favorite cover because of the cleanliness of design, typography and layout. And it doesn’t have the garish “Oprah” endorsement, which just destroys the book cover design for me. (I bought this edition when it came out several years ago. It did have the red Oprah label on it but the good thing was it can easily be taken it off and thrown away because it was just a piece of paper wrapped around the book.)

This is my least favorite cover because it’s so bland. It doesn’t evoke any feeling or desire to read the book. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I just don’t get it.

This book cover best captures what East of Eden is all about. If you’ve read it, you’ll see the meaning—both literally and figuratively.


The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This is my favorite cover. I love how Ken Follett’s name looks like it’s engraved on stone. The image of Medieval men constructing the cathedral is beautiful, too. Just looking at the cover, I know that it’s a historical novel, unlike the other ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ covers…like the one below.

Looking at the cover you’d think that it was another Follett suspense novel and not a historical masterpiece. The first time I saw this book with this cover at the bookstore several years ago, I thought it was set in the present time because of the image used. This is definitely my least favorite. Sure there’s a cathedral on the cover, but it missed the mark.

This is one of my favorite covers too. For me, this latest edition best captures what ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ is all about.  Combining the cover design with the weight of the book in your hands, you know that what you have before you is a historical, majestic, and sweeping masterpiece.


Weekly Geeks: 2009-04 – Other Passions

This week’s Weekly Geek is inspired by Dewey’s Knit-a-Long, a mini challenge of Dewey’s Reading Challenge. Dewey had other passions besides reading and blogging. Knitting was one of them. This made me think, what are the Weekly Geek’s other passions?

1. What are you passionate about besides reading and blogging? For example, are you crafty (knitting, woodworking, scrapbooking, model building)? Do you cook? Into gaming (computer or board)? Sports (player or spectator)? Photography? Maybe you like geocaching, rock climbing? Or love attending events like renaissance fairs, concerts? Music? Dancing? You get the idea.

Tell us why you’re passionate about it. Post photos of what you’ve made or of yourself doing whatever it is you love doing.

2. Get us involved. Link to tutorials, recipes, Youtube videos, websites, fan sites, etc, anything that will help us learn more about your interest or how to do your hobby. Maybe you’d like to link to another hobbyist whose work you admire or tell us about a book or magazine related to your interest.

3. Visit other Weekly Geeks. Link in your post to other Geeks who’ve peaked your interest in their passion. Or maybe you might find a fellow aficionado among us, link to them.

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This really got me thinking. I just realized that almost everything I am passionate about has something to do with books, but not specifically reading or blogging, so I think I’m good to go.

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The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, BookMooch. I am very passionate about BookMooch as is evident in my blog. I live, eat, breathe BookMooch every single day, it’s both crazy and wonderful. Not a day goes by that I don’t log in on the site, check my pending page, check my wish list page, and check the site for new books to mooch. I also read and post on all of the BookMooch forums (BM Discussion, BM on LibraryThing, and BM Pilipinas on Shelfari).

I love BookMooch so much that last week, my friend Triccie and I put up a BookMooch table at a high school fair to promote the joys of mooching. We even had t-shirts made! Oh the BookMooch awesomeness!

And every week (and on some weeks, every day) I answer email messages from BookMooch newbies who ask for tips and advice on how to maximize their BookMooching experience. I think it’s important to guide these new members so that they won’t encounter the same problems or hitches that I experienced as a newbie.

Another thing that keeps me on BookMooch everyday is the fact that I volunteer at the QC Public Library – Pasong Tamo. I manage their BookMooch account and handle all online and offline transactions, from requesting books to answering emails to receiving the books at the post office to delivering the books to the library. I love that this little library is getting help from all over the world. You should see how the kids and older students and the adults and senior citizens love to read at the library.

BookMooch is an online book-swapping community where you give your (unwanted) books away to get books you really want. BookMooch is free to join and use. Your only cost is mailing books to other members. BookMooch is open to everyone who has a computer, internet access, post office, and, of course, books to give away. I love that it’s international! And I love that John Buckman (BookMooch owner and developer) doesn’t hide behind a contact button. BookMooch is transparent, honest, and very user-friendly.

In the past year and a half that I have been a member, I have mooched over 400 books and given away 500 books worldwide. I remember that when I first joined I was so fascinated to be giving away my unwanted, well-read—but sometimes new and untouched—books to members in the UK, Australia, US, Japan, and Germany. One man’s trash is definitely another’s treasure! It was also super great to find books that were never released here in the Philippines. I have mooched so many books on so many different topics (Medieval History, British royalty, Tudors, learning Italian) that are hard to find here in my country. On BookMooch, since it’s international, you can find books in different languages, so I was able to mooch several Italian-language novels to help me learn Italian better.

BookMooch can be found here. All of the information you will need to know more about BookMooch or get started as a newbie can be found on this blog, left-hand column, under BookMooch Links. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email through BookMooch. If you are already on BookMooch, add me as a friend!

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Another of my passions are bookplates and bookmarks. I am crazy for them! I buy most of bookplates online and at Barnes & Noble when I’m in the States. I don’t go to the US as often as I want to, so I make sure to purchase several packs whenever I’m there. Sometimes I am able to find great quality bookplates (like Antioch) at Fully Booked and Powerbooks, but they don’t always have them in stock.

My Bookplate Collection

Good bookmarks are also a bit hard to find here in Manila. But then again the only places I look for them are in bookstores. Maybe there are other places I can buy artsy ones? In the meantime, I can satisfy my bookmark cravings on Swap-bot, an online swapping site. I love that you can swap anything on the site, like postcards, penpal letters, tea cups, ATCs, crocheted and knitted items, books, CDs, jewelry, thimbles, trinkets, scrapbooking paper, stickers, and of course, bookmarks! You can either handmake the bookmark or buy them at the store and then swap them for other bookmarks. In the two months I have been a member, I have received really, really beautiful bookmarks. Awesome.

Some of my bookmarks (the rest are already inside most of my books!)

Here are some useful links about bookplates and bookmarks:

What is a bookplate?

Free downloadable bookplates online

Blog on bookplates

Free downloadable bookmarks online

Swap bookmarks on Swap-bot

An excellent site on bookmarks

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Besides reading, BookMooching, collecting bookplates and bookmarks, I love to bake! My specialty is soft double chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. But I can’t share that recipe because it’s a *secret*! I also love baking all kinds of cookies like Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Ginger Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Snickerdoodle Cookies, Gingerbread, Peanut Butter Cookies, Truffle Cookies…I could go on and on. I also bake all kinds of cakes and brownies.

I started baking at age 12 after my cousin showed me how to make brownies from a Betty Crocker mix. In the beginning I only baked with mixes (brownie, cookie, cake) or frozen dough. I wasn’t brave enough to try it from scratch. When I was that age I was also freaked out by our oven—it was huge! So I always had someone else put in and take out the pan of brownies, cookies or cake for me.

A couple of years later I started reading about all these great recipes on the Internet and decided to try them myself. Measure the flour and sugar, soften the butter, crack the eggs, mix them all together—how hard could it be? I can’t remember the first thing  I made from scratch, but I imagine it went well because I just kept on baking more than a decade later. (I also overcame my fear of the oven—one day came that there wasn’t anyone to help me, so I had to do it myself!)

Most of the recipes I use I get from the Internet or in cookbooks. I only have a few recipes that I made myself, so I prefer to keep them under wraps for now. Super secret recipes!

The sites I frequent often for recipes are: Epicurious, AllRecipes, Recipezaar, the Food Network, Martha Stewart, and many, many others. I also love to read baking blogs! I have a huge folder with over 50 baking blog links.

If you have or know about a baking blog or recipe site that I should know about, please let me know!

***Photos courtesy stock.xchng

***I never take pictures of my baked goodies. I never remember to do so!

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Other Weekly Geeks with passions the same as mine (or hobbies I would like to learn myself):

BookNut decorates cakes and loves photography! I like to bake cakes and love photography, too.

Fizzy Thoughts loves to travel. I love traveling, but I don’t get to do so as often as I want to.

The Cubicle Reverend loves The Big Bang Theory as much as I do. I heart Sheldon!

book-o-rama crochets beautiful scarves, hats, gloves, and toys. I don’t know how to crochet and have always wanted to learn how to do so.

Happiness is…

Happiness

…having a bunch of packages to open! Gotta love BookMooch!

I was going to take an “after” shot, but I was so happy and distracted by the books that I forgot! Half of the packages were for QCPL, but half of them were mine…ALL MINE!!!

BookMooch Stand @ Ateneo High School Fair

Back in July John Buckman blogged about the MoochStand Project, an excellent idea from Teresa Malango. Teresa thought that it would be great to put together a kit filled with BookMooch promotional materials. This kit could be sent all over the world to people who want to participate in promoting BookMooch and getting more people interested in reading and mooching. I thought that it was a terrific idea. There are so many bazaars and fairs that BookMoochers Pilipinas members can go to, put up a BookMooch table, and spread the BookMooch love. So I requested for a MoochStand Kit on behalf of our group, and Teresa so kindly sent me the box of BookMooch goodies.

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MoochStand Kit from Teresa Malango

Included in the kit are several tabletop display signs, BookMooch hand-out cards, tear-off fliers, a CNET feature article on BookMooch and John Buckman, and a BookMooch fact sheet.

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BookMooch Promotional Materials

After much planning and talking and deliberating, we were finally able to put up our first BookMooch Stand at the Ateneo High School Fair last Friday, January 30. A big, big thanks to Honey and Joel Falgui, who are both English teachers at the high school, for hooking us up.

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Triccie and Patti at the BookMooch Table, AHS Fair

Triccie and I handled the logistics and preparation of our BookMooch table at AHS. Triccie did the talking with Ateneo, provided the table, chairs, electric fan (good call!), laptop, internet connection, transportation (thanks, Manong Bogs), and even left-over stock from her bookstore (we sold some books to recover the cost of the booth fee). I provided the kit, BookMooch tarpaulin, BookMooch t-shirts (thanks to my sister), and BookMooch information sheets, which supplied more information on what BookMooch is all about.

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All About BookMooch!

Honey, Joel F., and Karen were also very helpful in promoting BookMooch. These three book-lovin’ teachers helped distribute fliers and information sheets to every classroom in the high school before the fair started. Their hard work paid off because when our table was all set up, students and teachers stopped by for more information, and others who just passed by would exclaim, “Hey, it’s BookMooch!”.

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BookMooch tarpaulin

It was wonderful to meet so many booklovers. Triccie and I talked to AHS students, AHS alumni, parents, teachers, visitors, and even people from other booths. JoelG also helped us in encouraging the students to join BookMooch (thanks for coming, Joel!). Czar and Marie followed later in the evening as well.

Our stint at the AHS fair was, all in all, a success. A few days after the fair two students contacted me via email and wrote that they already joined BookMooch. I am now helping them get settled in.

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With AHS students and teachers

Until the next BookMooch stand! Yay for BookMooch!

The MoochStand Project is run and organized by Teresa Malango, who also handles all press inquiries for BookMooch. If you would like to tell people about the joys of mooching and set up a BookMooch table at a local fair, festival, book sale, or other public event, just send an email to Teresa and mooch a MoochStand Kit.

Our BookMooch shirts were made by Giddy Shirts.

I have to give credit to my sister Jennie and her friends Berns and Mitch for helping me and BMP. They made the shirts, took care of the tarpaulin, had the BM information sheets photocopied, and gave me rides back and forth to Triccie’s place. Thanks!