Stuck in Writing Traffic

Why is it that when you’re stuck in traffic, your lane is always the slowest one? The cars beside you start moving, so you squeeze in, then everyone stops and the lane you just left starts moving. It never fails. At least for me. There must be some lucky few who always wind up in the lane that moves. (If you’re reading this, let me know you’re secrets! I promise I won’t tell). I’m not the lucky sort, though. I’m forever trapped in the slow lane.

That’s how I’ve felt with my WIP lately. I have been desperately trying to finish for a while now. It usually takes me three months to get through a draft. This one has taken six. Granted, I’ve had to do a lot of research for it, and that’s not something I’m accustomed to, so it bogged me down, but over the last few weeks it’s seemed that every time I get a chance to write, something stands in my way. I switch lanes, thinking I’ll definitely get going now, and boom! More traffic.

Let me tell you about roadblocks I’ve experienced, just in the past week.

Hubby had to travel for work last week. He left Sunday and was due back Wednesday. While I hate when he travels (I’m a huge scaredy cat. Every noise is an intruder, or rapist, or zombie. I feel like I’m nine again, turning off the bedroom light and leaping into bed so the monsters don’t get me. Yes, that seems old to still believe in mosters, but I’ve always had a very active imagination). This trip, though, equalled three days of uninterrupted writing time. I had a plan, a rough outline of what I needed to write. Two chapters a day would get me across the finish line.

I dropped Hubby off at the airport and spend the remainder of Sunday at Starbucks. I started off well-enough, got on a bit of a roll. As the afternoon wore on, more and more people packed in, loud people, and I don’t work so well when it’s loud. Unfortunately, I don’t work well at home either, between the dog barking for my attention, the cats walking across my laptop or jumping on my shoulders, the dog chasing the cats, FedEx/UPS delivering packages, you get the picture. At least at Starbucks I got caffeine.

I also got one chapter written. One.

Okay, so I was off to a slow start. I thought it was a good chapter, at least. That just meant I had to get three chapters in on one of the other days. No problem. I went to work Monday, full of plans for a quick dinner, then hours of writing at my favorite–and quiet–indie coffee shop.

Guess who got a stomach virus (the puking kind)? Oh yeah. Not a twenty-four hour deal either. That bad boy hung around for a week. All my writing time, literally, went down the toilet. (You’re welcome for the image).

I got better toward the end of the week, but then Hubby was home and we had Christmas shopping to do, and parties to attend, and one thing after another. I told Hubby that no matter what, Sunday was my day. Just me and my manuscript.

I spent the whole afternoon at Starbucks. This time, I got two chapters written, everything clicked all at once. The other chapters I’d planned–not needed. The story came together in a way I hadn’t expected. It was wonderful. I could’ve written for hours, hours!

Except I couldn’t. I had a Christmas party for the youth at church to attend that evening. So I stopped, a mere two short chapters from finishing the draft. “Monday,” I said. “I am finishing this Monday, and no one and nothing will stop me!”

Last night, I sped through dinner, rushed Hubby out the door, and took off for the indie coffee shop I love so much. Guess who forgot her laptop at home? Back to the house, raced in, grabbed my computer, darted back out, finally got to the coffee shop.

Like Starbucks the week before, the place was packed. More people than I’ve ever seen there. No matter, I was on a roll. Just had to send the first few chapters to a beta reader, a few tweaks to the last chapter, then dive into the new one, and holy crap it was 8:00! The coffee shop closes at 9:00 on Mondays.

Go, go, go! Write, write, write!

Almost through the chapter.

Then all those people stood up. They took out books. They started to sing.

Yes. Sing.

Carolers. In my quiet, little coffee shop. Emphasis on little. The place isn’t very big. It’s cozy. At least it was, until the full, professional level choir took up half the space. Then it went from cozy to cramped.

Normally, I love carolers. I love Christmas music. But in a coffee shop? Maybe it’s just me, but most people I see at a coffee shop are there to do something quiet. Read, write, do homework, study, a few low conversations, open mic nights on some nights–but those are usually posted ahead of time so you know what you’re walking into, and there has never been one at my coffee shop. In my experience, most people don’t go to coffee shops to hear caroling. Loud, intrusive caroling.

I felt like the Grinch. All the noise, noise, NOISE!

And then, they’ll do something I hate most of all. Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, will stand close together… with Christmas bells ringing. They’ll stand hand in hand… and those Whos… will start singing!

I couldn’t think. It bounced off the walls and rattled around in my brain, stirring up the words that had been right there all day, waiting to hit the page.

Why?!?! I had one more chapter to finish the ms. ONE MORE. I felt extremely rude as I shoved ear buds in my ears to block the cheerful singing, but I didn’t care. It helped. The words sorted themselves out. Started to flow, started to–

It was 9:00. Closing time. I was literally sentences from finishing. The words were on the tip of my tongue, soooo close to the page.

I threw my stuff in a bag, dragged Hubby out, and raced home again. It would have to be there. Hubby would have to keep the animals contained, regardless of how bad they wanted my attention. I spread out on the kitchen island, and wrote, and finished.

Finally, traffic thinned enough for me to skate through. I might’ve done it by the skin of my teeth, but I made it. I finished. I FINISHED! I reveled for about an hour, until it was time for bed. The draft is now with betas and I am on to the next step, editing.

There may be more roadblocks ahead, but I’m through the worst of it. I’m back on the highway and heading up to cruising speed, and nothing is going to stand in my way of polishing this ms.

What about you? Ever been stuck in writing traffic? How do you deal with it?

Confession Time

I have a deep dark secret. Promise you won’t judge me.

Okay, don’t judge me too harshly, at least.  ‘Cause to be honest, I kind of judge myself.

Ready?

*deep breath* I’m not a member of my public library.

I know. I know.

I love the library. I do. It’s just not something I’ve gotten around to doing. I’ve only lived in my current city for…um…three years.

I know.

I’m a writer, who is not a member of the library. In my defense, I joined the library in my previous city, and I was a member of my hometown library for as long as I can remember growing up. I just never did it when I moved. Actually, this past Monday was the first time I’ve even been to the library here.

It’s really pretty, and fairly good sized. Although it seems like there are more seating and study areas and local exhibits than books. I tried to join Monday while I was there, but I didn’t have my license on me. Hubby did. My engineer husband is now a member of the library and I, the writer, am not.

But, here’s really why:

I’ve mentioned this before, but my family was pretty poor when I was growing up. I mean, my parents always made sure we had enough food, and they sacrificed a lot and worked really hard to make sure I got a good education and had a roof over my head. We didn’t have money for many extras, though. One of my favorite luxuries was books. It was a luxury, though.

Most of my books came from the library. I could spend hours there. Narrowing down my choices to the two or three books I was allowed to get was the most agonizing decision ever. I haven’t stepped foot in my hometown library in at least ten years, but I remember everything about it. At least, how it was when I was a kid. The big rug in the kid’s section, the carpeted cubbies along the back wall where you could crawl inside and curl up to read, the computer area (I could never figure out why people played computer game when there were so many books!). I remember how mature I felt when I started getting books from the adult section, and how boring the Heritage Room was. I have a newspaper clipping with a picture of me and my parents unpacking boxes for a book fair the library was having. I think I was in the fifth grade. The library was one of my most favorite places in the world.

But the books were temporary. Each one had to go back when I finished. It always made me so sad to return a book. Even if that sadness was quickly replaced by the joy of a new treasure.

Owning a book, though. Actually owning one. Wow. There was nothing like it. (Okay, honestly, the giant refrigerator box my parents let me keep was pretty awesome, but it eventually got kind of busted and had to go in the trash. Bonus, I could read in there). But not even their permanence was guaranteed. We had this great used book shop in town (actually, it was the only book store I remember going to until I got older, and even then the closest big store was a Books-a-Million forty minutes away). It was basically a maze of old shelves and tattered covers and amazing musty book smells, and was right up there with the library in terms of great locations of my childhood. Maybe even a little higher. Because I could keep these books. Well, some of them.

These books cost money. Granted, they were less expensive than buying one brand new (which was virtually unheard of and usually only happened at that fantastic wonder of wonders called the Book Fair at school. Holy crap I loved the Book Fair SO. Much.), but still, like I said, a luxury. So, like the library, most of the time if I wanted new book, I had to trade in an old one. I only kept my absolute favorites. The ones I would re-read over and over. (We also had a small collection of the books my mother taught to her classes, but those were mostly boring to a kid. Like ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. Bleh).

What does this have to do with not joining the library? I’m glad you asked!

Itsy bitsy me promised myself that one day, one amazing day, I wouldn’t have to give books back. I would keep them, forever. In my own library. And it would be glorious! Alphabetically arranged by category, then by author last name, with my own card catalog system, and rich wood and deep, comfy chairs, and great lighting. Oh, and cats, I could always have cats in my library. Sitting in my lap in said comfy chairs.

As I grew up, each book I kept became a trophy. On Christmas and Easter and my birthday and Book Fair days I would get brand new books to go with the myriad of used ones. It broke my heart to leave them all behind when I moved away for college. Then it drove me crazy when I went home and found them in my brother’s room! (Dirty little thief). I worked in the law library in law school, partially because it was an easy way to get paid and study, but also because I was surrounded by my people–books. Then I got married, and some of my books moved in with me and my husband.

Then. Then. We moved to our current town and we bought a house. A house in which I made certain had a spare room for a library. I kid you not, on my list of house requirements was “library room.” And allllll my books finally came home with me. Even the ones my brother had thugged. The ones that fit on shelves were organized alphabetically by category, then by author last name, and I set up a card catalog to track who I loaned books to and when. Hubby is supposed to build me more shelves because I’m out of room, and I’m still working on the deep wood and thick chairs, but it will get there one day.

All these years, I have been carefully accumulating. Buying books when I had extra money. Some girls buy shoes and purses. I buy books. And I can keep them. And it is glorious. The dream of little girl me has come true. I have a library, and my books never have to leave.

Which means, I’ve had no reason to use the public library here. I worked hard in college and law school and can finally afford to buy the books I want to read and support the authors I want to support. However, I realize how important the library was for me as a kid, and how important it is for other kids who can’t afford books, and it’s high time I support my local library.

So, dear reader, I am going back to the library. This time I’m taking my license, and I’m going to get a card, and I’m going to wash this dark shadow off. Maybe, when the budget allows, Hubby and I will become Friends of the Library and support it by more than just our patronage.

Do you use the library? If not, what do you do with books after you read them? Pass them along? Or are you like me, slowly trying to accumulate a library to rival Belle’s?

The Great Readomise

My husband and I are both readers. I don’t think I could’ve married someone who didn’t understand my love of books.

However…

We don’t always read the same things. I love mystery, suspense, horror, light sci-fi, light fantasy, contemporary, classics, literary…okay this list could go on and on.

Hubby is hard to keep up with. His tastes change all the time. Nonfiction has always been pretty consistent, but the topics vary. He went through a business book phase, a biography phase, a theology phase, a math book phase, I forget what dorky book he read last. He likes higher fantasy and more literary fiction than me, LES MISERABLES, DON QUIXOTE, ATLAS SHRUGGED.

There’s some cross-over, but mostly we keep our books separate. We’re constantly trying to get the other to read the books we love, though. It seldom works. I got him to read A WRINKLE IN TIME, I read LES MIS. But usually, we fail.

Until today.

226 years ago, our forefathers entered the Great Compromise to bring the Continental Congress together in agreement, and they ended up forming the branches of our government. Hubby and I came up with the Great Readomise to bring our books together. Not as dramatic, or important, but maybe it will bridge the gap of literary taste and tear down the walls that have divided our books for so long. (You can’t ever say I don’t have a flair for the dramatic, haha).

So here’s the deal: We each picked ten books we want the other to read. Both of us have a long lists of books we want to read, so we’ve agreed to alter between our books and the others’ picks. We have to read at least 50 pages, and then can veto. The other person then has the chance to replace the vetoed book with another. They don’t have to be read in order, as long as they’re all given a chance.

The only problem is I could have listed books all day and he only came up with five. So I stopped at six (I’d already drawn from a balance of genres and categories and couldn’t figure which one to cut, so my sixth stays in case he vetoes one).

What are the books? I’m glad you asked.

Hubby’s List:

ATLAS SHRUGGED, Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged

BONHOEFFER: PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY, Eric Metaxes

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

THE FOUNTAINHEAD, Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, J.R.R Tolkein

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

NO COMPROMISE, THE LIFE STORY OF KEITH GREEN, Melody Green, David Hazard

No Compromise

My List:

GONE GIRL, Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

LISEY’S STORY, Stephen King

Lisey's Story

I’ll update and let you know how this project goes. I already foresee some vetoes, but I promise to keep an open mind and give them all a fair chance. At least for the first 50 pages. ; )

Let’s Talk Career Direction

Want to be published? Want your book out in the world to be read by a bunch of strangers? If you’re serious about writing, then the answer is probably, “Uh, yeah. Duh.” Sure we love the stories we craft and we love the act of writing itself, but the point (for most at least) is that other people read and enjoy that writing. *Okay, so how do you do it?

Well, there’s a tricky question. Back in the day, it used to be easy. Take it to a publisher. If it’s good they’d publish it. Then publishers got too busy and too big, they had too many submissions rolling in to address them all.  Enter agents. Gatekeepers of sorts. Today, most publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts–meaning it has to come through an agent. If you look at the “Big Six,” Hachettte Book Group, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and Random House all require a literary agent. MacMillan and Penguin do not. (It will be interesting to see which way Random Penguin goes–yes, I will always call it that). Smaller and indie presses, like Dalkey Archive PressPress 53, Entangled and Month9Books don’t require an agent, but having one can get your manuscript read sooner. There are also publishers like Angry Robot and it’s imprint Strange Chemistry that have open submission windows for unrepresented authors once a year (please note that AR and SC’s links go to last year’s open door. They haven’t announced one for 2013 yet).

So what does this mean? Basically, if you want to publish traditionally, you should look into getting an agent. If your dream, like mine, is to see your book on shelves in major stores, an agent is the way to go. It is almost impossible to get a store like Barnes and Noble to shelve your books if you self-publish or go with a tiny publisher.

But.

If you don’t care about that. If you just want your book published and out in the world, there are a lot of other options. Musa Publishing, for example, is an e-book only press if you still want the backing of a house. OnStage Publishing is a small press that produces both print and e-books. Or, you can self-publish. Amazon and Create Space are frequently used formats for self-publishing e-books. The problem with them, though, is the volume of self-pubbed books they have available. How do you make yours stand out? How do you ensure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle?

This can also be a matter of concern if you go to a small press. Small publishers may not have the time or money to market your book. You may have to do most, and in some cases all, of the legwork. This means literally going to stores and libraries and begging for your books to be shelved, school visits, blog tours, websites, tweets, Facebook–getting a presence online and in the real world. Online, obviously, is more important for e-books. For every self-published e-book that makes it big (I mean Amanda Hocking and, yes, E.L. James big), there are millions of others that are barely read.

There’s something else to think about if your long term goal is seeing your books on shelves in major stores. If you have already published on a small scale, low sales numbers could scare potential agents and big houses away. I’m not saying it definitely will, an excellent book is an excellent book, but there’s always that chance. So I caution you to think about that if your plan is to start small and go bigger.

It boils down to this: where do you want your career to go? There is no right or wrong way. Each person has their own path and what works for one may not work well for another. Timid and shy people (like me) may have a hard time self-promoting, they may need the marketing of publishing house, or an agent backing them. Outgoing folks may be able to market up a storm.

My recommendation? Imagine your book. Dream as big as you want. Do you see it on shelves in big stores? Do you see it on the top of Amazon’s e-book list? Do you see it in local libraries and in the hands of friends and family? Whatever it is, go do it. Query agents if that’s the route you want to go, or hire an editor and self-publish, or send it out to those small publishers. It doesn’t matter how big the dream is. Go make it happen.

I leave you with the song that’s been playing in my head as I wrote this post. Runnin’ Down a Dream. Now quit procrastinating on the internet and chase that dream!

*This is by no means an all inclusive guide to publishing, and doesn’t even come close to listing all the publishers out there. I intend this as something to get you thinking and maybe highlight some options or issues you hadn’t previously considered. Do your research. Google is your friend!

Just Do It

Whenever non-writers find out that I wrote I book, I typically get the same reaction: “Oh wow, you wrote a book?  I could never write a book.”  Lately, this has been bugging me more and more.  Not to sound self-righteous or anything, because believe me, I’m not.  Like the majority of writers I know, I’m extraordinarily self-deprecating.  My husband fusses at me all the time for saying negative things about myself.  That being said, I just don’t think writing a book is that amazing of a feat.

Anyone can write a book.  Writing a good book?  Well, that’s another story.  Writing a great book is much harder.  Getting published? That’s a completely different ballgame altogether.  But writing?  You just have to have the desire.

I wrote my first book a few years ago.  I’d intended to write others in the past, had started several, but never progressed past the first few chapters.  I didn’t sit down with the plan to write a book.  I sat down with an idea for a story and started typing.  Next thing I knew, I had 10,000 words, then 30,000, then, 50,000.  Then I decided to do some research to see how many words a first book was supposed to be.  The answer I found (which turned out to not be entirely correct) was 80,000-100,000.  Before I knew it, I had 96,000 words.  (That particular book has now been cut down to 84,000 and shelved for now.  I’m sure when I start revising again that will go down even more).

Now, I can understand not having the time to write.  I wrote that first one in a three month span between taking the Bar exam and receiving the results when I had nothing else to do.  But then again, I can’t.  I wrote my most recent book (a 78,000 word Young Adult) even though I have a full time day job.  If you still think don’t have time, start small.  Aim for 50,000 words.  That’s a typical middle grade novel.  Or write a children’s book.  If you want to write, you make the time.

I’ve heard others claim they just weren’t creative enough to write a book.  So write non-fiction.  Write a cookbook.  Write short stories or poetry.  Write a blog.  Still others have claimed they just aren’t good writers.  That may be the case, or maybe you haven’t given yourself the chance.  You never know until you try.  Plus, there are lots of places on the internet, like Absolute Write, where you can post your work anonymously and get feedback and help.  Or join a local writer’s group.  I do both and I can’t tell you how much my writing has improved since getting help from other writers, and I considered myself a pretty good writer to start with. (Again, not tooting my own horn…okay maybe a little…but I’ve always excelled in my writing courses and spent the first few years of my legal career doing nothing but writing appellate briefs.  It’s one area I’m pretty confident in my ability).

When I started writing fiction, I had no idea how to space things, or how to structure dialog.  I didn’t realize how  weak adverbs made my writing, or how vague I could sometimes be.  It’s easy to forget that although you know exactly what you’re talking about, others can’t see inside your head.  I must say, being on the trial team in law school also helped tremendously in this area.  For example, we were told to bring a picture to class, then had to describe that picture to our classmates without letting them see it.  Once we were done, we showed the picture and our classmates told us whether or not they got the correct image in their head.  Conveying images through words is a valuable skill in the courtroom, but I highly recommend this exercise for anyone who wants to write as well.  My point is, there are resources you can use to improve your writing, so don’t let the concern that you’re not good enough keep you from trying.

I can see where writing a book might be a challenge to someone with a learning disability, such as dyslexia, or someone with chronic health problems.  I can even see the challenge for a book that requires extensive research.  But, I know people who have overcome all of these mountains and more and written books.  Full time students and stay at home moms, retirees and those in the work force.  It doesn’t have to be done in a month or two, it doesn’t even have to be done in a year.  It just has to be done.

If you’re one of those people who is in awe of someone who can write an entire book, don’t be.  Be in awe of the good books, the great books, the published books, but always keep in mind that just writing something isn’t that big a deal.  You can do it too.  You could even write something good, or great, or published.  You just have to try.

The Zone

I’m currently querying a manuscript and praying (fervently) that an agent wants to represent it.  In the meantime, I’ve started working on another book.  Okay, honestly I started working on several other books that didn’t go anywhere (for now).  I’ve mentioned before how Stephen King described writing as uncovering a fossil.  Well, the things I’ve written since finishing the last manuscript haven’t been fossils; they’ve turned out to be plain old rocks.  Maybe one day I’ll go back and look at them again and realize they really are fossils, but for now, they’re rocks.  Anyway, I finally found a fossil and started to dig and uncover it.  It’s the next in the series of the book I’m querying.

I was scared to start writing this one.  What happens if no one wants the first one?  This one flows from the last, can I make it stand on it’s own?  Or will I waste time writing a follow-up?  Finally, I just said “screw it, the story is there and wants to be written so I have to write it.”  I’m not worrying about whether the first one will get picked up or not.  I’m focusing on telling the current story.

Now I find myself back in “the zone.”  The zone is different for different people.  For me, when I finally get sucked into writing something, that’s all I can write.  Before I wrote the first book in the series, I frequently critiqued and wrote on the AW forums. (At the time I was re-editing a different manuscript).  When I got the idea for the first book though, everything else went out the window while I wrote.  I tried to critique different things and write other short stories, etc, but it just didn’t work.  It’s like the story pushed everything else out of the way and took over.

In the interim between the first book and the one I’m currently writing, I was able to critique again, as well as churn out bits of flash fiction and other short stories.  Now that another story has taken hold though, I’ve found that’s all I can write.  It’s like the zone sucks all of my creativity.  I attempted AW’s most recent flash fiction and although I had the idea and could see the characters that I wanted to write, it just didn’t work.  A couple of paragraphs in, I knew it sucked and scrapped it.

I’m not complaining; I like being in the zone.  It’s like drilling for oil.  You drill and drill and drill and come up empty, then you finally hit the vein and all of a sudden you have tons of oil that has to go somewhere (in my head I see words shooting out of the earth instead of oil and I’m trying to catch them all and channel them onto the page).  I love the feeling of finally finding the story, of finding a fossil instead of a rock. I just wish I could do other things as well.  I enjoy reading and critiquing and posting on AW, seeing what chances other writers are taking rooting for them to succeed.

So, fellow writers, do you get into a zone?  When you’re in the middle of a big work, are you able to still write other things?  Or does the writing suck you in too?

Locking in, Uniforming, Book Burning, Blood Letting

Those words from R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World” capture how I’m feeling today after reading a troubling post.  There’s something going on that most of the public have no idea occurs.  Something sad and depressing.  Book burning.  No, not a bunch of uber-conservatives trying to rid library shelves of material they claim is “pornographic”, “lascivious”, or “disturbing” ala the original Footloose (I have no idea if its in the remake- I can’t bring myself to watch it).  No, no.  This is much worse.  This is the libraries clearing shelves to make room.

I’m not talking about chucking a few into a bonfire out front either.  I’m talking hundreds of thousands of books being destroyed in secret.  And not just overprints of Twilight.  First editions of Hamlet and Moby Dick.  Copies of Shakespeare from the 1700s with calligraphied messages from the original owner on the cover.  These aren’t just books, they’re books!  The creme de la creme for any book lover.

I know the new craze is e-books, and I’m not in total opposition.  Okay, I’ll admit, I was initially, but I can see the good in e-books.  Lower costs of publication, which means a greater chance for an aspiring author to get their work out there; appeal to the younger “technological” generation, kids who might not have picked up a paperback might be more likely to grab a Kindle or Nook.  I bought my husband a Kindle and have read a few books on it myself.  I can’t, however, make a full switch.  There is nothing quite like holding a book.  Feeling it’s heft.  Turning a page.  Especially an old book.

The picture at the top of this page is from my own shelf.  Of all books, old ones are my favorite.  The musty smell.  The thick, brittle, tan or brown pages.  The coarse leather and cloth bindings.  Picking one up makes me wonder who else has handled it, read it, owned it, loved it.  Centuries of hungry eyes gobbling up the words and turning those same pages.  It’s not just a book, it’s history.  It’s life.

I scour thrift shops and old bookstores searching for these ancient tomes.  Nor do I always care what they are.  A first edition of a book of poetry, or a collection of stories in an old schoolbook.  I love them all.  I’ve always wanted the library from Beauty and the Beast.  You know the one.  The one that finally gets Belle to notice Beast in a new light.  Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with the giant rolling ladder.  Ahhhh.

And now I find out that libraries are burning these treasures.  They can’t give them away or sell them or toss them in the trash because it takes too much time and effort to strip the markings and sensors from each one first.  Library workers can’t save any they come across because it would encourage sifting through them.  You can read all of the reasons at Cracked: 6 Reasons We’re in Another “Book Burning” Period in History.  It makes me too sad to go through it all again.

Of course, I keep thinking there has to be a way to save these books.  Volunteers at the library to strip them?  Some benevolent millionaire willing to buy them all?  Or am I forced to accept the reality that innumerable pieces of literature will meet their end in a fiery furnace?