Thursday, July 30, 2009

"They" Tell Us Books Are On The Decline

I just read this statement the other day: "Statistics for 2008 tell us that books are on the decline." Where have we heard that before? The article continued with the following information.
"...The biggest declines for traditional publishers came in travel (down by 15% with only 4,817 new titles), fiction (down 11% with 47,541 new titles), and religion (down 14% at 16,847 new titles).
"...The top five categories for U.S. book production in 2008, according to Bowker, a bibliographic data provider, were: fiction, juveniles, sociology/economics, religion, and science.
"...Independent bookstore members of the American Booksellers Association declined again in the past twelve months, totaling 1,401 as of April as compared to 1,524 stores in the same month a year ago."
The more I read, the more interested I became. One question asked was: "Where do consumers buy books?" According to a statement released from PubTrack(tm) Consumer, a service of R. R. Bowker, LLC:
23% purchased books through online purchase/e-commerce,
22% from large chains (Barnes & Noble, etc.),
10% through book clubs,
7% from independents,
6% through mass merchandisers (Walmart, etc.),
4% from warehouse clubs (SAMS, etc.),
2% from supermarkets/grocery stores,
1% from discount stores, drugstores, religious bookstores and book fairs, and
22% were from a variety of other outlets.
We've found here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and the Doerun Municipal Library that books are not on the decline. In fact, our patrons are checking out more books now than ever before. Maybe "books on the decline" means not as many books are being written (which I doubt) or published (maybe) or sold
In a time when our economy has us pinching our pennies, there are just not enough coins to constantly buy a new book. And although we continue to read the reviews about the latest published books, we are still looking for ways to find that good read without having to give up an arm and a leg (well, maybe just a leg).
Those people who do surveys about books declining should visit most any library in the country. Sure, maybe sales of books are declining, but library card holders have increased, as have patrons of Inter-Library Loans and the sale of discontinued/discounted books many libraries sell.
What do you think? Are you reading less books or buying less books? Well, come on down to the library where you don't have to give up reading because you can't buy a new book. We've got plenty to share. Just bring your library card or sign up for a free one. We have plenty of those also.
(Source: Southern Review Books at, July 09)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Thing Leads To Another

My friend sent me a video the other day to watch on my computer. Of course, she knows that I really like the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly. He does amazing things with glass, such as hanging installations, curved tubes, globes, spheres, shells and seaforms, baskets, etc. He's had exhibits in places all over the world and all over the United States. I saw his glass works for my first and only time in real life in Atlanta, and I've been a fan ever since.
You can go to his website and see what I mean. It's His works will make your mouth drop open in amazement or maybe water from looking at the luscious, candy-like forms.
One thing I heard Chihuly say on the video I watched was: "When it starts to feel like work, I'll stop." Spoken like a true artist, I thought; one who has an abundance of wealth and fame. But I do know what he means! And I certainly hope he never stops making these fascinating pieces of glass.
I decided, with my curiosity wrapped around my shoulders like a cloak, to check the PINES System and see what we have in the way of glass-blowing. I didn't find that particular topic, but did find plenty about "glass."
There are books about stained glass, such as the Tiffany Windows (748.5E) and Architectural Glass for Professional Designers (729.8M). One that caught my eye was Antique Glass in Color (748.59M), and one I had to laugh about was The Fiberglass Repair and Construction Handbook (666.157W), but I can see where that would be of help to someone.
There are books about American pressed glass, gardens under glass (miniature greenhouses in bottles), depression glass, carnival glass, European art glass, and genealogy Glass. There were even authors with the last name of Glass.
In fact, one book was titled just Glass (E666.1G). And there were many novels with glass in the titles. Look at these: Catcher with a Glass Arm by Matt Christopher (JF Christopher), I Wish I Had Glasses Like Rosa by Kathryn Heling (E813.54H, Spanish), The Glass Flame by Phyllis Whitney, and The Glass-blowers by Daphne DuMaurier. There were lots more, too. You can find them in the PINES System by using the keyword "glass."
But, I'll tell you this, when you go to the Dale Chihuly website and see the glass this man makes, with his students and his teams of artists, you'll be hooked. Then you'll know what I meant when I said, "One thing leads to another."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm Still On This Movie Thing...

When we were talking about movies the last time, it made me wonder how many movies have been made here in Georgia. I found out there are quite a few.
Remember the Titans was filmed in and around DeKalb County, some shots at Druid Hills High School and some at Shamrock Middle School.
Sharkey's Machine was filmed at the old Columbia Mall, which is now a Walmart.
Remember the movie A Man Called Peter? That was one of the first movies filmed in Georgia, in places around Atlanta, Covington, Decatur and Stone Mountain.
Then there was Deliverance (not one of my favorites!). That took the film crew to Clayton, Lake Tallulah Falls, Rabun Gap and Tallulah Gorge. Beautiful outdoor areas to film movies.
Now, a movie I did find funny was My Cousin Vinny. It was filmed mainly in Covington and surrounding areas like Alto, Bostwick, Gainesville and Monticello.
There is also The Gospel (by Rob Hardy), which was filmed in Atlanta.
And I think the one we'll remember since it's a more recent film is We Are Marshall. That one was filmed in Atlanta.
Many of these movies you can check out through our library. I understand you can take them on your vacation and when finished with them, drop them off at another PINES library. Our courier service will bring them home.
Right now, I think I'll go find out where Gone With the Wind was really filmed. Wonder if it was in some big back lot of a film-making conglomerate out there in Los Angeles? Or here in Georgia?
It's fun to find out these things and then watch the movies to see if I recognize any place. That's another way to travel Georgia!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Books Can Lead You To The Movies

It's always good to watch those movie trailers when you're sitting in the theater munching on your popcorn, waiting for the "real thing" to begin. It's especially good when a movie trailer for a new movie is based on a great book.
Of course, many of us remember watching all the different (how many?) versions of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Our library has the book and a video by James Whale. And I understand The Seeker from The Dark Is Rising Series by Susan Cooper is now
a movie.
Despite all the controversy, I really did like The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman when it came out in film. The big polar bear in the movie was my favorite.
So many of these movies take the book and twist it around, but many of them turn out close to the written word. One of my all time favorites, of course, is The Secret Live of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, not only the book but the movie. It was exceptionally close to what she had written.
The month of June saw not only the movie Cheri (can't seem to find that accent mark!) and The Stoning of Soraya M., which were books first, but also My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Some of these movies require a box of Kleenex, even more so than the book did. Picoult's was one of those.
And now that July is here, my first book-to-movie for the month has been Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. One I don't think I'll see, however, is Public Enemies (book by Bryan Burrough), even if Johnny Depp is in it. Just too much "shoot'em-ups" as my Daddy used to say.
July will also have a young adult novel by Larry Doyle in movie form, I Love You, Beth Cooper. The teen girls will especially like that one, but boys and girls alike will like Coraline, a fantasy/horror by Neil Gaiman, in animated film, that has been compared to Alice in Wonderland. I think I'll see that one, too. And adults won't want to miss Watchmen from the book written by Alan Moore & David Gibbons.
When August rolls around, you can look forward to Julie & Julia by Julie Powell in movie form, already much raved about due to the acting of Meryl Streep. Also on the screen will be Taking Woodstock from the book by Elliott Tiber, and the one I'm waiting for, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. That was a great
The books listed in bold are at our library. The others mentioned can be obtained through our Inter-Library Loan system.
Read the books before you see the movies. Check them out at our library and enjoy finding all the subtle little changes in the movies when you go see them on the big screen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vacations Are Time For Traveling Books

OK, I know I talked the last time about books (the paper kind) never being replaced by anything related to technology. And I know that when you go on vacation you can take your favorite paperbacks to read. But, unless you've provided yourself with a competent driver, you'd have to park you car somewhere to read while
So, I'll have to bow to technology for a while and tell you that we have "traveling books." In this day and age, most anything can travel with you. I mean, we take our phone, our television, our refrigerator, our fan, and on and on with this "travel lite" stuff. But remember, some of these things you have to plug into an electrical socket or
That brings us back to our "traveling books." Sometimes we're stuck in our cars for miles and miles, and what's the best way to pass all that traveling time? By listening to a good book, of course!
We have plenty of them for you to enjoy, not only in the car, but when you get to your final destination and want to chill out, close your eyes, and listen to a great storyteller.
Try these on your CD player. They're some of our favorites...
Bleachers by John Grisham
Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
Kaye Gibbons, the life all around me by Ellen Foster
The Fly on the Wall by Tony Hillerman
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney
The Amateur Spy by Dan Fesperman
50 Harbor Street by Debbie Macomber
Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith, and
Four Blind Mice by James Patterson.
Of course, these are not the only audio books we have. Come on in before you go on your late vacation and pick up a few to make the travel time pass quickly. Or listen to when the kids get on your nerves. Or when you're sitting out on that deck, sunning like a turtle. But, please, don't like these audio books so much that you never pick up a paper book again.
After all, technology is never going to replace our paper books! I'm a firm believer in that!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bookstores, Libraries, And Bookmarks, Oh! My!

If you think that bookstores and libraries and bookmarks are going out of business, and technology is ultimately going to replace them, you've got another think coming.
This website I saw yesterday makes you realize just how important things related to books (and that means the paper kind) really are. It's called Mirage Bookmark.
I looked at all kinds of amazing bookmarks from many different nations. They were made from paper-thin steel, handmade altered tags, felt, corn leaf, bamboo, linoleum printed transparent plastic foils, and a whole host of other materials. There was even a knitted one. The bookmarks covered a multitude of categories, such as movies, religious, heroes, artists, famous people, etc. I'm sure you get the idea.
This same website shows the most interesting bookstores of the world in a picture gallery. You can see bookstores in places such as an old Dominican church in Holland, one in Paris (probably the most photographed in the world; do you know which one that is?), the Lello (one of the most beautiful) in Portugal, a theater in Buenos Aires, and others in places like New York City and India (now that one was really different!).
But the part of the website I liked best, really best, was seeing pictures of the most interesting libraries of the world, places I know I'll never get to go to and would love to just walk quickly through. There is the library at the University of Utrecht in Holland, the Royal Library Black Diamond in Copenhagen, the Peckham Library in south London, the City Library in Stockholm, and libraries in Canada and New York City, plus many more.
If you get a, you should take the opportunity...go to and look at how important bookstores, libraries, and bookmarks are to a multitude of people world-wide.
You'll see there's no way technology will ever replace such wonders of the world.
That means you can plan on coming to the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library for a long time!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yes, Virginia, We Do Have New Books!

Just like everyone else in this day and time, we are having to operate on a tight budget. And despite the fact that our budget has been cut for the umpteenth time, our director has said we WILL have new books.
Our library belongs to the "Book of the Month Club" and every other month we receive 20 new books. Ten of those books go to the Bookmobile and the other ten to our main library (headquarters). These books come from Jean Karr & Company out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They are westerns, mysteries and fictions, and they are Avalon books.
For July and August we've received the following NEW books:
*****The Treasure of St. Woody by I. J. Parnham
*****The Hidden Truth by Michael Senuta
*****Maelstrom by Ilsa Mayr
*****An Unmarked Grave by Kent Conwell (A Tony Boudreaux Mystery)
*****Suddenly Lily by Deborah Nolan (romance)
*****To Hope by Carolyn Brown (romance)
*****For the Love of Murphy by CJ Love (historical romance)
*****Amethyst by Kathryn Quick (romance)
*****A Run for the Money by Gina Ardito (romance)
*****A Daring Return by Kathleen Fuller (historical romance)
And Monique said another new book just came in, but not from the Book of the Month Club...Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen, a mystery/fiction.
So, keep checking us out. And don't forget the BookNews section of our website.
There are plenty of good books yet for your lazy summer reading.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do You Know What The 3rd Sunday In July Is?

Jackie Chan, the movie actor, has a favorite. It's chocolate.
If you want healthy, really healthy, benefits, your selection has to have green tea.
J. K. Rowling included "Knickerbocker Glory" in one of her Harry Potter stories.
Do those hints help any?
It's ice cream. And July is National Ice Cream Month in the USA as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
In fact, the 3rd Sunday of July each year is celebrated as National Ice Cream Day.
In the USA more ice cream is consumed per head than any other country in the world, because that's just how much we love it.
Did you have an ice cream truck come through your neighborhood when you were growing up? I did. I remember it was like a big white box on wheels, with two freezer doors on each side. And the man driving the truck was dressed all in white and even wore a hat, like a sailor, on his bald head. There was a bell he rang and when we heard that bell, all of us kids, up and down the block, would ask our mamas for a twenty-five cents. Yep! A quarter! And out the doors we'd head, like a bunch of ants, toward the ice cream truck.
I remember we all stood around Mr. Taylor, that was the ice cream truck man's name, with our arms stretched out toward him, our quarter in our hot little hands, screaming "Ice cream!" at the top of our lungs. He was so patient with us. He'd ask the little kid closest to him what they wanted, take their nickle and put it in a silver metal coin changer he had strapped to his waist, and give them their cold treat. He never failed to pat the boys on their head and hug the girls. And we thought he was the summer Santa Claus.
We have a display near the reading area with books about ice cream. You can also go to the International Dairy Foods Association's website for more details about special ice cream, its production, dairy farming, etc.
I guess my favorite ice cream today is the Dairy Queen Blizzard. I usually have to try their flavor of the month.
But I think I'll wait until Sunday, July 19th, the 3rd Sunday of the month, to make my trip to Dairy Queen and celebrate National Ice Cream Day.
What are you going to do? Maybe make some homemade ice cream with one of those new electric churns from Walmart? Hard to beat, that homemade stuff.
Whatever you do, don't forget to eat your ice cream.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Have You Checked Out "BookNews"?

A while back our library introduced BookNews, a new online service for our readers. This new advisory service gives readers access to free electronic newsletters about a wide variety of books via the library system's Web site or delivered directly to their e-mail address.
Since people seem to be using the library more and more during this time of our economic stress, or should I say distress, it's a great way to find books to your liking without having to cut into your already tight budget.
You can access the service via the BookNews link from the home page of the library (the same one where you click onto the Blog) and select the newsletters you wish to read. You can also elect to receive the monthly newsletters via e-mail on the 15th of each month.
Of course, this month is nearly over, but you can still see what is available.
For instance, in New Fiction, there is Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult and Relentless by Dean Koontz, as well as two other selections.
In Audio Books, you can listen to Pursuit by Karen Robards and Dead Silence by Randy Wayne White, plus two others.
Christian Fiction has A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson and Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist, as well as a book by Tamera Alexander and one by Ginny Aiken. I seem to always look for my favorite authors before seeing the title.
The Mystery Books selections are Corsair by Clive Cussler, True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman, Dead Silence by Randy Wayne White, and a book by Evelyn David.
And we haven't forgotten the children. In the Children's Books, the selections are Too Many Toys by David Shannon and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis, plus two other books.
The great part about BookNews is that it gives pictures of the book jackets, reviews, descriptions and author commentaries. You can actually read a little something about the book to help you decide if you want to check it out. And there are links within the newsletters to take you directly to the PINES Library System online catalog, so you can easily see if a title is available here at our library or anywhere in the library system.
If you haven't taken the time to check out BookNews, you're missing a great opportunity and service provided by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. I think you'll be impressed by this service. In fact, it's even entertaining to read about each book.
Try it! You'll like it! And watch for the new selections that will come out on July 15th.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's Always Movie-Watching Time When The Weather Is Too Hot Or Rainy

When the weather was so terribly hot in June (all those 100's, you know), we stayed inside and watched movies during the day and into the evening. Then the weather cooled off and now we have rain, which isn't a bad thing; just makes us stay inside a lot.
So, what better time to have a stack of movies to watch.
I remember my kids always liked to watch the "animal" movies. I found a great bunch in our collection of DVD's and videos. How about...
The Great Longneck Migration,
The African Lion,
Care Bears Movie,
Amazing Panda Adventure,
Jungle King,
Shark Tale, and
Justice Ducks Unite.
Don't those sound like fun?
The adult movies I saw were...
Driving Miss Daisy,
Heaven Can Wait,
The Avengers, Vol. 1-3,
You've Got Mail,
Rich and Strange (a Hitchcock movie),
Father of the Bride, and
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
Of course, I'd like to watch movies with my favorite actors also, such as...
Syriana with George Clooney,
Seabiscuit with Toby Maguire,
Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller,
Something's Gotta Give with Diane Keaton,
Don't Say A Word with Michael Douglas, and
The Ladykillers with Tom Hanks.
Our Video & DVD Checkout Policy allows you to check out three video or DVD titles at a time and keep them for 7 nights/8 days. You can pick up the policy brochure at the circulation counter to read about the procedure for movies. And be sure to bring your library card.
Now, if that doesn't keep you busy when the weather is too hot or rainy, I don't know what will. Unless, of course, you resort to just plain reading. And you know that we have bunches of great books to read, so you can't go wrong there either.
We have plenty here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library to keep you busy, cool and dry. Just grab your soda pop and popcorn, put your favorite movie in the TV, prop up your feet, and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Day The World Celebrated Michael Jackson's Life

This is the day almost everyone on this planet will at one time or another think of Michael Jackson.
Today is the day of his funeral, a small private service in a place where many famous people have been laid to rest. Today is the day when the Staples Center in Los Angeles will be filled with friends and family and ticket-holders to an event that will celebrate Michael Jackson's life. "It will be one of the most-watched sendoffs in American entertainment history," so said USA Today.
It is a time when so much of the news coverage of his death focused on the negative and the family wants to shift the focus. And they want his children to remember him in a positive and loving way.
In our library we have the following three books: Michael Jackson by Stewart Regan (B Jackson), The Michael Jackson Story by Nelson George (YB Jackson), and Michael! by Mark Bego (YB Jackson).
In our reading area, the newspapers - Albany Herald, Moultrie Observer, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal - all carry stories about him.
We've seen the video on television of his last rehearsal. We've seen Dateline and 20/20 and Good Morning America show hundreds of clips of his childhood, his music-making , and his family.
There are grieving fans not only in America, the land of his birth, but in Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, and Japan. In fact, all over the world.
And yet today as his funeral is held and people celebrate his life, we all realize this person, who was considered "electric," will no longer dazzle us with his presence. There will be many heartbroken fans, huge losses for promoters, and many missed opportunities to remind the world of Michael Jackson's talent.
Even if you weren't a big fan of his, you will remember his music forever and forever. The King of Pop, who died at 50, will live on through his music, just like Elvis and all the other greats of the music world.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 4th Is A Wonderful Time To Think About Our Freedoms

Have you ever wanted to say "thank you," but didn't?
Then wished you had?
Next time, say's easier than you think.
Our webmaster, Aileen, sent me an email yesterday. It showed a movie about The Gratitude Campaign. The movie began with those words.
Take the time and watch the full length version. It's at
So many times while I'm at work or at home, I forget about how many people are fighting for our freedoms. And we have many freedoms. So many that sometimes we can't count them all.
Then the evening news comes on and reports come in from across the world, showing us pictures of our loved ones, loved ones of friends and strangers, as they fight the battles to protect us and our freedoms.
I'm sure I'll be one of those many people who watch special July 4th programs on television, listen to patriotic music, see the multitudes of fireworks displayed across our nation, and see some of our wounded veterans as they attend those July 4th programs.
Somewhere during the evening's programs my feelings will be touched and along with others I will cry. And I will wonder what I can really do, here in my little hometown, my little world, to show more appreciation to those who serve in our armed forces.
How can I thank them when I see them?
When you watch this movie of The Gratitude Campaign, you'll find out.
July 4th is a wonderful time to think about our freedoms. With the help of The Gratitude Campaign we can carry those thoughts throughout the year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Celebrate July With Freedom Books

Sometimes you must think all I write about are books, and sometimes I feel that way, too. But lately we've been putting up some summer reading displays and we have lots of books to tell you about. books and videos and DVDs and....
Anyway, we hope you'll take a look at our "Let Freedom Ring" book display when you come to the library. It's in the foyer at the main entrance. You can't miss it: a big round table with red, white and blue decorations, and lots of books about freedom, patriots, and liberty. Such as:
  • Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds - The classic story of forgotten pioneers during the Revolutionary War, Gilbert Martin and his young wife, as they stuck to their land and fought a war without ever quite understanding it.
  • A Dead Liberty by Catherine Aird - Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan finds out exactly how deadly a dish of chili con carne can be. I'll have to read this to find out about liberty.
  • Let Freedom Ring! by Dale Evans Rogers -A reflection on the rich heritage of the American past and discovery that God had a special hand in the formation of our national ideals and goals.
  • Patriots Act: Voices of Dissent and the Risk of Speaking Out by Bill Katovsky - Interviews with federal whistle-blowers, peace activists, military veterans, etc., who share a common commitment to speaking the truth, regardless of the consequences.
  • Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth Thomason - From the creator of the TV series Designing Women comes a novel set in small-town Paris, Arkansas. It's the story of six friends who have just passed their 40th birthdays and must come to terms with the past in order to move forward in their lives.
  • Patriots by Steve Sohmer - A great adventure, a miracle of suspense, a mined labyrinth of electrifying politics, terror and philosophy.
  • Battle Cry of Freedom, The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson - An authoritative volume that makes sense of the vast and confusing "Second American Revolution" we called the Civil War...and...
  • From Slavery to Freedom, a History of Negro Americans by Professors John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr.
  • Nelson's Patriotic Scrapbook by Clinton T. Howell, Compiler and Editor.
  • Freedom, Reproductions of 26 Significant Documents by Wilma Pitchford Hays.
  • America, A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney - a children's book.
  • The Power of Patriotism, Featuring the Story of Francis Scott Key by Delynn Decker - a children's book.
  • Anakin's Race for Freedom, a Star Wars Episode by Alice Alfonsi - a children's book.
  • American Soldier by Tommy Franks - a CD audio book, and
  • The Walk-in by Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzullo - a CD audio book.

Come celebrate July with us as we read about freedom and liberty and patriotism.