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Posts tagged ‘Books’

It’s not just a book sale | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 28, 2022:

Another Friends of the Library Book Sale has come and gone, but it wasn’t just another book sale. During preparation for the fall sale last year, publicity chairman Marsha Rakestraw declared the sale to be an “event,” and so it has become.

Setup, which begins on Tuesday of sale week, has always been something of an event, but it was much easier this year. Having signed up for the first shift of the week, I arrived at the City Centre at 8:00 am expecting to walk into an empty space and begin setting up tables. However, several members and their husbands had already arrived, and almost half the tables were already set up. By the time the Road and Bridge crew arrived about fifteen minutes later and began bringing in boxes of books, the tables were in place and waiting to be filled. And I had done little more than help with table placement and stay out of the way.

The next three hours were a flurry of unboxing and sorting. Experienced volunteers coached newcomers on how to sort and display the books in a manner that led one customer to make this comment: “This is the best organized book sale that I’ve ever seen.” When David picked me up for lunch, there was still a lot to be done, but there were lots of people still working with more arriving all the time. I intended to return on Wednesday afternoon to help finish up, but by the time our ladies’ Bible study was over, set up was finished. All that was left to do was to rest up on Thursday and be ready when the doors opened on Friday.

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FOL Sorting Team is Ready for a Break | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 21, 2022:

Every week two or more dedicated members of the Friends of the Rains County Library meet at the Book Shed to go through accumulated donations and sort them in preparation for the next FOL Semi-Annual Book Sale Event. The Spring Event is happening this week at the Emory City Centre at 735 North Texas Street (Hwy 19) from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday – and the sorting team is ready for a break.

The team is headed by Jane Dillon and Alice Kissell and also includes Cindy Cooper, Marsha Rakestraw, Shirley Eversult, and Jim Dillon who provides transportation for picking up donations and muscle for moving and stacking boxes of books. When asked about the biggest problem the team faces, Jane Dillon immediately answered, “Space – that and the fact that most of us are over 70.”

One might expect the heat and cold to be a problem, but the team has that covered. Books were originally sorted and stored in the green-topped shed behind the Library, and an extension cord was run from the Library. But when the operation outgrew the space and a larger shed was installed on the other side of Doris Briggs Parkway, the team asked for and received wiring. Dillon says that fans and/or space heaters keep the temperature bearable, but most sorting is done in the morning to avoid the afternoon sun that shines directly on the shed door.

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The case of the missing book! by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on February 16, 2022:

Agatha Christie

From the time I read my first Agatha Christie novel, I’ve been a diehard mystery fan. In addition to Dame Christie, I’ve read a  lot of Dick Francis, all of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Murders (and was broken-hearted when she died before writing Z), and all but a few of Robert B. Parker’s works. The list includes James Patterson, David Baldacci, Terri Blackstock, Joel C. Rosenberg, and many more. I’m also a fan of TV sleuths like Perry Mason, Columbo, Kojak, Magnum PI, Hawaii 5-0 (the original), Hill Street Blues, CSI, NCIS, Black List, The Mentalist, and Elementary. There are many more, but you get the idea.

When I began writing my first suspense/thriller novel, legal and illegal dialog and descriptions of criminal activity seemed to flow from experience rather than research and hours of reading and watching. That’s why, when we had our own little mystery at the Brendle house, I felt competent to handle it without consulting any of my fictional detective heroes.

One of our current favorite authors is Michael Connelly, especially his Harry Bosch series. At the Friends of the Library Book Sale last April, I found six or seven of his books that we hadn’t read. I also found a number of books by a new author to us – Harlan Coben whose main character is sports agent and amateur detective Myron Bolitar. I brought home a total of sixteen books. I divided the books between us, stacking half on my night stand and half on David’s with the earliest books on top and proceeding down in date order. When either of us finishes a book, we pass it to the other and it goes on the bottom of our to-be-read pile. After we have both finished a book, it goes into a donate pile to be returned to the Friends of the Library for the next Book Sale or to be placed in one of the Little Free Libraries around town.

A few of nights ago David picked up the next book in his pile, but after reading a few pages, he said, “I think I missed a book or two. This one is ten years later than the last one, and Bolitar has a son I didn’t know about.” It was bedtime, so I found an unrelated book he hadn’t read, and put off the investigation until the next day.

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VOTE FOR KITTY!

Sunset Valley Creations is the publisher of Clean Fiction, a quarterly magazine that offers reviews and a to-be-read list of Christian fiction and clean secular fiction. From now through January 31 they are holding a Best Bookstagram Contest. Although Kitty’s Story isn’t fiction, she is so cute they allowed her to submit an entry. Help her out by going to https://www.sunsetvalleycreations.com/vote and voting for entry #6!

Blessings and Meow!

Linda and Kitty

Christmas around the Square | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 2, 2021:

After a COVID cancellation last year, Christmas around the Square is returning to downtown Emory this Saturday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. I had participated in this annual tradition twice as a vendor, and Christmas 2021 didn’t seem complete without it. I’m looking forward to being there this year, but I’m a little nervous since there is a slight chance of rain, and paperback books don’t fare well in damp weather. Hopefully, the weatherman will have pity and revise the forecast.

It’s not just my inventory that would be subject to bad weather. Over thirty other vendors will display their wares around the Courthouse Square, and that’s just part of the fun. There will also be tacos, a rodeo, JJ’s Texas Twirlers, story time from 5-6:00 pm, a live nativity presented by the United Methodist Church from 6-7:00 pm, a Christmas parade at 7:00 pm, the official lighting of the Rains County Christmas tree, Rhythmic Productions Music by DJ Calvin Hickerson, pictures with Santa, and much more.

Based on pictures of trees, lights, and other festive displays that have been appearing on Facebook for several weeks, it seems that many people are already well into the spirit of the holiday. But if you are having trouble feeling Christmas-y, this festival is a great way to banish the Grinch-y feelings and kick start some Christmas cheer. Past experience tells me there will be lots of smiles, laughter, hugs, and shopping going on between the live entertainment and other planned activities.

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The Problems Behind the Sale | by Linda Brendle

Somehow I’ve gotten behind and haven’t posted in almost two weeks. Time to play catch up! This article was published in the Rains County Leader October 28, 2021:

Last week I wrote about the amazing success of the Friends of the Library Book Sale and how smoothly it went. That was true, but the sale wasn’t without problems. Most of the problems landed in the lap of Cheryl Watson, our facilities coordinator – and me. Her responsibilities included picking up keys to the City Centre, opening and locking up, and coordinating the delivery and pick of books and equipment.

The plan was simple: Cheryl would pick up keys at the EDC office on Monday, Oct. 11. On Tuesday Jane Dillon would meet the Road and Bridge crew at the book shed by the Library to pick up books and equipment and Cheryl would open the Centre for volunteers to begin setting up. On Monday the 18th, Road and Bridge would pick up the equipment, unsold religious books which would be donated to Love Packages, and books reserved for Little Free Libraries, and Peter Adams of Gladewater Books would pick up remaining unsold books. Cheryl would return the keys to the EDC office, reserve the Centre for April, and the sale would be over. But there were problems.

#1 – Because of family illness, Cheryl wasn’t available until Saturday the week of the sale, but I stepped in. Problem solved.

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Book Sale Events | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on Thursday, October 21, 2021:

The Friends of Rains County Public Library held their semi-annual Book Sale last Friday and Saturday. Publicity Coordinator Marsha Rakestraw had labeled the sale as an “event,” and her prediction proved to be true.

The book sorting team had warned that, because of the generous donations in recent weeks, some boxes might arrive at the City Centre unsorted. However, volunteers worked extra hours, and all inventory was broken down by fiction, non-fiction, children’s, and religion when the Road and Bridge Crew delivered several loads to the Centre Tuesday morning.

More volunteers made quick work of arranging tables, and unboxing and further sorting the contents into more specific categories.So much was accomplished so quickly that we knocked off at 1:00 pm on Tuesday. We began again on Wednesday morning, completing the finer sorting and adding genre and pricing signs throughout the room. Shopping bags were set out, and the check-out area was arranged. By shortly after noon, we were almost ready with only a few last-minute tweaks left for Thursday morning.

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Tales from the Fair | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 21, 2021:

After a year off for COVID isolation, the Rains County Fair was back last week. The first two nights were so slow in the Exhibits and Vendor Building that I wondered if people were still cocooning at home. But even on the slow days, there were interesting people to watch – and by Saturday night, the crowds were back in force.

The most exciting happening on Tuesday evening was a plumbing problem. “Do you know how to unstop a toilet?” asked a distressed-looking Teri Baker. (In spite of the guaranteed traffic flow, there are disadvantages to having a booth just outside the restrooms.) After asking if there was a plunger, I explained its use briefly – but she still looked as if she might be sick, so I followed her into the men’s room. She grasped the handle of the plunger with one hand as close to the end as possible and stood as far away from the toilet as possible. She placed the rubber cup over the outlet and pressed gingerly. When nothing happened, she pressed again. It bubbled once, and she asked hopefully if she should flush now. I knew it was time for me to step in. I became quite an expert with a toilet plunger during my caregiving years, and after about thirty seconds of vigorous plunging, the clog cleared. Teri was very grateful, and I went back to my booth feeling like a hero.

Wednesday was evening more boring. Closing time approached without a single book having left my booth, and there wasn’t even a plumbing issue to break up the monotony. Finally, at 9:55 a man stopped to chat and left with two books and a tote bag. Never had a $26 sale been so welcome. Thankfully, the rest of the week was more productive.

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Vignettes from a Vendor Event | by Linda Brendle

Published  by the Rains County Leader on June 29, 2021:

One of the most difficult parts of being an independent author is marketing, but it can also be the most rewarding. Obviously, the biggest reward is selling books, but other positives include finding interesting new venues, meeting other creative entrepreneurs, interacting with readers face to face, and collecting writing material. This past Saturday I attended the Greenville Market for the first time.

I learned about this vendor event at the East Texas Expo in May from the lovely ladies from Sadie’s Place Rescue who had the booth next to mine. The Greenville Market is a monthly event that is held the last Saturday of each month on the Hunt County Fairground. The vendors offer a wide variety of items including food, jewelry, craft items, plants, and much more – including books.

Another big draw for the event is that it is held in an air conditioned building. I was assigned a space directly in front of one of the cooling units. The blowing air was a challenge during setup while I attached the banner to the front edge of the table and laid out the tablecloth, but the same air was a big plus when the outside temperature reached the mid-nineties in the afternoon.

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Little Free Library | By Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 20, 2021:

Being President of the Friends of the Library has been a learning experience, and I’m still learning even though I’m almost half-way through my three-year term. Last week was doubly enlightening as I learned what actually goes into preparing for the Semi-Annual Book Sale and also all about Little Free Libraries.

Actually, the Book Sale lessons began early last year when Jane Dillon, who had been in charge of the FOL’s biggest fund raiser for ten years, announced that she was stepping down after the October, 2020 sale. I was involved in last year’s sale, but nothing shows how little you really know like acting as the go-to person when you don’t know where you’re going. After studying the detailed notes Jane had left, I attempted to coordinate communication, publicity, inventory, facility details, transportation of books from storage to venue, hospitality, the financial operation, and the sale itself. Thanks to Jane’s generous tutoring, advice, and hands-on assistance along with an amazing group of experienced and inexperienced volunteers, we had an extremely successful sale – and a lot of fun as well. One of the really fun parts was learning more about Little Free Libraries.

Before the Sale, Little Free Library was just another item on a Board meeting agenda. Someone else took care of any related issues, reported back with an “all’s well” kind of report and we moved on to the next item. But we’ve had several new members join us in the last few months, and they haven’t yet learned that I have no idea what I’m doing. When they have a question, they come to me, and since it’s difficult to gracefully dodge a direct question, I try to find an answer.

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