Monday, January 21, 2019

… it should be obligatory that all living spaces come with built-in bookshelves.– Anakana Schofield, The Guardian (1/7/2019)

Anakana wrote these words in defense of books, authors, and art. She launched her defense after Marie Kondo’s irresponsible suggestion to eliminate any and all books in our homes that do not “spark joy.” Anakana provides a convincing argument for leaving books out of the de-cluttering equation – you can read it here.

We’d like to offer some additional support for Anakana’s argument…

A book does not stand alone in our lives. It is not like the random tchotchke you picked up at your last seminar nor does it fall into the same category as that apple peeler-corer thingee that you are convinced you would use regularly if you learned how to bake pies. The books on our shelves, nightstands, and coffee tables are part of a collection of books we’ve accumulated over days, weeks, months, and years.

Why do people collect things?

Some people collect things for the investment. They hope their collection will be worth something one day (think stamp or coin collections). Other people begin their collections innocently, by picking up a random object or buying a cute new toy (beanie babies or broken glass). But it doesn’t really matter WHY we collect; it’s enough to recognize that many of us do.

Book lovers are collectors, too, even if they do not spend thousands of dollars scouring used bookstores for the overlooked 1963 signed, first edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Not all book collectors are in it for the money. Book lovers, like many other collectors, find joy and satisfaction in the collection process:
  • The infinite selection of possibilities
  • The near-infinite variety of topics/subjects
  • The discovery of something new (new author, new book by a known author, old book by a known author)
  • The hunt for something specific (the elusive first book published by the now-famous bestselling author)
  • The perfect title for a latent interest
Most book lovers’ collections contain a mix of well-loved titles, classic titles (some still waiting to be enjoyed), and new acquisitions. Well-read titles remain in the collection because we never tire of the stories within them. Classic titles remain because, well, they’re classics. And the new acquisitions provide the promise of new adventures. An individual title may not “spark joy” but the collection sure does.

Kondo also misses the interior design element of a book collection. Books add color to any and every room (unless you happen to be one of those horrible people who remove the dust jackets), they fit beautifully on your shelves, and they invite casual perusal as well as careful study.

But perhaps most importantly, the books on our shelves hold the memories of the time spent acquiring them. Where were you when you found your last great read?

So for all of you book lovers out there - ignore Marie Kondo’s advice – and visit us at the Used Book Store to add a few new titles to your own personal collection.

Monday, April 23, 2018

North Shore Senior Center’s Annual Super Senior Day, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Friends of the Glenview Library: Super Senior 2018, Lauren Szwiec

Late on a Tuesday November afternoon in 2013, an attractive woman appeared before my desk in the Friends of the Glenview Library Used Book Store in the Glenview Public Library and asked if she could be one of our volunteers. Luckily for me, the opening we had available at that time was with me on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Her calendar was open for her to be scheduled for that time, and so she began.

The reason I say “luckily for me” is because if she had been scheduled for some other time period other than working directly with me, it could have taken some time for me to be aware of and to understand first-hand how multi-talented she is. She is computer literate; she can write; she is flexible and willing to do tasks large or small; she is a “reader” and therefore knowledgeable about books and authors past and present, and ... fun fact, she always “has wanted to have a book store”.  Now she does!

She is friendly and likeable, and good with people. As an instructor for the Used Book Store, she updated and totally rewrote our UBS “Bible” – how to do whatever in the daily life in the Store. She handles our computer classes for new volunteers who want to learn to research and list our (eligible) books on Amazon. On duty in the UBS, she is helpful to each customer as needed, including those who are searching for the “right” book as a gift for a friend or for themselves. She is always on time (and is actually always early for appointments) and is creative in thought and deed. You can understand why two years ago I asked her if she would accept the Friends’ Board position as Co-Chair of the Friends of the Glenview Library Used Book Store.

She did and she is.

Submitted by: Irene Overman Kreer

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Eat less. Move more.

Perhaps you’re like millions of other Americans who have made the New Year’s resolution to “lose some weight.” Maybe you got one of these new fitness-tracking devices over the holidays to help you stay on goal:

Moov Now

So many choices - did you choose your own wearable device or let your gift-giver decide? All of them track your steps, some monitor your heart rate, others are water-proof, and still others measure the intensity of your workouts. Phew – it’s tiring just thinking about it.  These gadgets are awesome – they fulfill our insatiable desire for instant and constant feedback. 

Eat less. Move more. That’s the best advice we have heard for losing weight. Simple, right? Well, if you’re like most of those other millions you need more than your new Fitbit to help achieve your goals.

We can help. Our generous donors have given us:

Cookbooks filled with recipes for cooking light/healthy
Exercise books to put a little variety in your routine.
Inspirational books to keep you motivated
Entertaining books to use as rewards for keeping up with your resolutions

Come on in and take a look around – we’re sure you’ll find something. And the added bonus? You’ll get in some of your recommended steps for the day – your Fitbit will be pleased. 

But wait - maybe you are one of the lucky few who have been able to resist junk food and maintain a healthy diet even DURING the holidays. Maybe you hate chocolate and maybe you still fit into your high school jeans. Perhaps one of your resolutions is to read more. 

If you’re a Goodreads or LibraryThing fan you have probably already established a new goal for 2018. We assume that you made your goal for 2017 – exceeded it, in fact. Woohoo! Congratulations! Maybe your 2017 goal was too easy or maybe it was a stretch goal but you did it.  Either way, you’ve been basking in the glow of your achievement and suddenly realize that you had better get going on your 2018 goal. We’ve got books for you, too.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a fantastic 2018 from Friends of the Glenview Library.  Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Volunteering at the Used Book Store

One summer day, several years ago, I was really early for an appointment with my dentist (Eric Lim at Glenlake Dental, in the interest of Hugging the Bear).  So I went into the old library and saw that there was a Used Book Store.
Used book stores are about my favorite thing on Planet Earth. Up there with puppies, chocolate and the Internet.  I went in and spent money, then saw they were looking for volunteers.  I could have a three hour shift, once a week.  I could sit and read books and talk to people about books and sell books and call it volunteering
How fast do you think I signed up?
In the beginning, my favorite thing was opening a box of new donations.  It was like Christmas morning, the surprise and delight of what I might find.  First dibs on buying them was pretty fun, too.  Reviewing and pricing donations meant that I was also listing books for sale on the storefront.  So my next favorite thing was when a book I listed on Amazon had sold.
Then, we moved to the new building.  If you haven’t been there, the Irene Overman Kreer Used Book Store has a dedicated room off the main hallway and it is fabulous. Donations are up, sales are up, and interest in our cause is higher than it has been in as long as I can remember.  All proceeds go to Friends of the Glenview Library.  From the website:
“The Friends of the Glenview Library is organized exclusively for the charitable, educational, and continuing development of the Glenview Public Library. Proceeds generated by the Friends ongoing fund raising efforts are used to purchase important items not possible in the Library's regular operating budget, as well as to support special projects.”
The great thing about volunteering here is that there is something for everyone that loves books. Some volunteers like researching the rare finds among the donations. (I don’t have the patience.)  Some like to organize the titles.  Or argue in which section a book should really be shelved. (I might sometimes do that.)  My new favorite thing?  When someone buys a book that I have already read and I know that it is great and can tell them so.
The Used Book Store is open during regular library hours.  I certainly hope you will visit.  If you are interested in volunteering, you can find the application and contact information here
Contributed by:  Anne Bradley


Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 is coming to a close!

Seems like only yesterday we were in our shirtsleeves tossing burgers and brats on the grill.  Oh, that’s right, we WERE grilling in November.  But now it’s December, and the holidays are rapidly approaching…

On the first day of Christmas (or Hanukkah) -- buy yourself a book!  It will get you into the holiday spirit.

On the second day of Christmas – buy your sister (or brother) a book.

On the third day of Christmas – come back to the bookstore – you’ll find something, for someone.

We love books.  And we believe there is a book for everyone.  Actually, we believe there are many books for every person we know.

When we think of the holidays, or birthdays, or Ground Hog’s day, or the Equinox – we think of books.

Books for every occasion!

At the Irene Overman Kreer Used Book Store, we have:
Coffee table books
History and politics

And this month, all holiday books are ½ off!

Last year we placed our holiday books on a cart near the checkout desk.  Not this year.  This year we needed more space – so we placed them in aisle 4B.

Many of the books we receive from our generous donors appear to be new.  They make great gifts. Others (gently used or deeply loved) are perfect for stocking stuffers or gifts-for-no-reason.

For the serious readers on your list - biographies, history, politics, and essays – to name a few.

For left-brained artistic types – art, architecture, photography, and more.

Entrepreneurial spirits will love the business books.

DIY’ers are always looking for new projects, and we’ve got shelves of home improvement and craft books.

And who can resist a good mystery?

One more thing…  We are selling a number of toys, games, and puzzles from Youth Services.  We’ve placed them on the carts outside our front door – many of them are $1.00!  But you better hurry --- they’re selling fast.

We have it all.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

How Does It Work?

We received a call in the Used Book Store the other day – the caller wanted to know about our pricing.

We get that question a lot.

As any and all book lovers know, bookstores, in general, are a vanishing breed (dare I say dying, or on life support?).  First it was the independent bookstores being pushed out by big box stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble (remember You’ve Got Mail?).  But, as it turns out, we couldn’t sustain two competing big-box stores either, so Borders closed.

Technology is to blame.  But we’ll leave the technology pro/con discussion for a future post.

Back to our caller…

As it turns out, this caller was establishing a library in a new housing development.  He didn’t have a large budget, so he was looking for the most cost-effective way of filling some empty shelves.  We can only assume he’d called around to some of the few remaining independent used bookstores before reaching us and asking:

"How much are your books, and how do you price them?"

Most brick and mortar bookstores, even the used bookstores, own or pay rent for their physical locations.  They also pay employee salaries and provide them with benefits.  These costs are passed on to book lovers in the form of higher prices.

The Irene Overman Kreer Used Book Store is maintained by the Friends of the Glenview Library, an organization established for "the charitable, educational, and continuing development of the Glenview Public Library. Proceeds generated by the Friends’ ongoing fundraising efforts are used to purchase important items not possible in the Library's regular operating budget, as well as to support special projects."

The Used Book Store doesn’t have employees; it is staffed by a team of over 60 dedicated, book-loving volunteers.  And our generous supporters donate all of the books and materials.  This allows us to offer our books at lower prices. 

We use Amazon and Ebay to identify market prices for all of the donated merchandise and believe that with this information in hand we are able to price our merchandise at slightly lower prices than would be listed for the same item, in the same condition, elsewhere – in-store or on-line. In this way, we can offer our patrons the best possible prices while fulfilling our mission of supporting the library.