Sunday, April 25, 2010

Love Books? Kiss a Librarian!

By Kate

I was a born reader. Weren't we all?

I think my love of reading was honed by the fact that my family moved every few years. We always moved in June, after school was out, so for the first three months in a new house in a new town, I had no friends.

But that was okay, because the first thing I would do in a new neighborhood was scope out the closest library. I would ride my bike there almost every day, check out three to five books and read them that day. The next day, I would return and pick up three to five more. I was a voracious, if lonely, reader for many years.

Now that I'm writing the Bibliophile Mysteries, I meet librarians everywhere I go. They are the personification of the word bibliophile. (Bibliophile: A lover of books. A collector of books.) Many of them, like my protagonist, Brooklyn Wainwright, also have an interest in bookbinding, both as an art as well as a survival mechanism. Think about it. Because of budget cuts, librarians often have to repair or rebind their own books, just to make them last longer. So if you love books (and who here doesn't?), think about donating to your local library or joining your library's Friends of the Library group. Librarians everywhere will love you!

We interrupt this blog to announce that Romance is in the Air!!

It's my first Silhouette Desire cover! Isn't he--er, it--beautiful? I love him!!! Er, the cover. I love it!

The Millionaire Meets His Match will be out in July, but you can pre-order it now! Just click the cover. :-)

Ahem. We now return to our regularly scheduled blog.

Everyone here is a book lover, so how did it happen? Do you remember your favorite book growing up? Do you have a library you love? Tell me about your favorite librarian or your favorite book. How did you become the voracious reader you are today?


Jane said...

Hi Kate,
Congrats on the lovely cover. There was a library across the street from the preschool I attended. They would take us over there for story time. My favorite book growing up was Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are."

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, one chook for you! Congrats!

Kate, I'd answer your question but I'm too busy drooling over that cover. Isn't he, uh, it, gorgeous? I'd offer him a match. Lordy, I'd offer him a whole bag of fireworks!

How interesting about your childhood. I discovered the joys of the library when I was in primary school but the book lover rot had set in years before that (well, not that MANY years, I hadn't been alive that long). There was a gorgeous oversize set of Oxford University Press fairy stories with really amazing illustrations. I can remember just being mesmerized by those beautiful books - Cinderella's balldress had to be seen to be believed! And my parents used to read to me which I think probably helped too!

limecello said...
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limecello said...

Enjoy your day with the GR, Jane!

Kate! Oooo - ok I'm going to have to remember to keep an eye out for your upcoming Desire. I'm about to go on my monthly harlequin binge soon...
As for reading - no idea. I remember trying to learn how to read- and :X I want to say everything clicked right before first grade. (For some reason I don't think kindergarten?) I was leaning against the carport with a book in hand - because even then I loved being read to/trying- and *Bam* I could read. Haven't looked back since.
In fact, as a kid my punishments were no reading. "No more reading for the rest of the day." And "Give me that book." Wasn't uncommon. We had summer reading programs at the library and the librarians/employees never let me pick as many books as I wanted. Ah well.
Favorite book growing up... I'd say the Witch of Blackbird Pond. I believe I've read it more than 30 times :X But in a way I love On Fortune's Wheel by Cynthia Voigt even more.

Helen said...

Well done Jane have fun with him


Whoo Hoo love that cover and looking forward to July so as I can read it. Is it hard for you to write two different types of genres love love your first 2 books and I know I am going to love this new one as well.

In answer to your question one of my favourite books when I was young as I have said before were actually 2 series by Enid Blyton The Secret Seven and The Famous Five books. I never owned any of them myself but borrowed them from the school library and showing my age I can't remember our library teachers name but I do remember how much she encouraged us to read and also that my Mum played a big part and encouraged me as well.

Have Fun

PinkPeony said...

Hi Kate!

I was grounded a lot for having a smart mouth, but I was allowed to go to he bookmobile that came twice a week. I checked out the maximum books allowed every time. Beverly Cleary was my hands down favorite. The bookmobile lady wouldn't let me check out books in the "adult" section because she said they had a "mature themes" so I started forging notes from my mom so I could check them out.
Favorite library was an old library in a small central valley town which was built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie.

The hunk of male goodness on your cover is major hubba hubba and he looks very "capable". Ahem. I guess I'll have to order the book so I can check him out!
Congrats on the GR, Jane!

Kim in Hawaii said...

My college friends snicker when they spot me reading a romance book. They have vivid memories of me pointedly avoiding the library, books, or recreational reading. As a math major, I did not enjoy reading history ... a trend that would follow me as a computer officer in the Air Force. But that changed when I traded in my blue uniform for maternity wear. In between two children and four moves, I became a romance reader in the Netherlands. I volunteered in the Army Thrift Shop, where I found a blue book with a tartan sash on its cover - Cathy Maxwell's The Marriage Contract. Now I volunteer with Hickam Library to promote romance reading!

Laurie said...

My parents went to the library on a weekly basis so I always brought books home from the Children's section. The library was in a huge old building.It was called the Joseph Mann Library.
In grade school we had a small school library and we bought TAB books for a small fee. These books were small paperbacks.

My favorite story was The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I have read for as far back as I can remember. My mother swore I was reading at 3 years old. It might be hard to believe but as a child I was very quiet and withdrawn. There weren't other children where I grew up and I had no siblings. There is only so much you can do alone, so when I had played in the dirt and swung on my swings mother would find me curled up with a book. My favorites as a child were Louisa May Alcott and a mystery series similar to Nancy Drew, they were called Donna Parker mysteries. Eighty-nine cents at the 5 & 10 back in the day and the highlight of paydays for me.

Mmmmm I would kiss a librarian if it was a he that looked like your millionaire Kate.

Gillian Layne said...

Hey, I had no idea about your Silhouette--how exciting! Can't wait to read it.

We adore our library. It's huge and gorgeous, a Carnegie building, and in our small town it's a real gem. Our youth program is very strong, and my two oldest daughter help run the teen reading program. They hold bimonthly meetings and talk books, advise the staff on what might be good to order, have movie showings, and open mike nights where they read original poetry and short stories. I love our librarians.

I always read as a child. Trumpet of the Swan was an early favorite of mine.

Anna, my Mom bought me a pop-up Cinderella book when I was little, and she still has it. The illustrations are stunning.

Margay said...

Somewhere in the old photo albums, there is a picture of me at two years old with a huge book in my lap and it looks like I'm really reading it. The quicker: the book is upside down (I can still read upside down to this day). So you could say that I've been reading my whole life! In the early years, my mother belonged to a Reader's Digest book club and I just loved the fairytale books they put out. I also loved ordering the Scholastic books and the library. In fact, one of my first jobs was working at the library in the summer. I loved that job!

Kirsten said...

Hi Kate! Cool blog and AWESOME new cover! Can't wait to meet your "man of the month". :-)

My mom loves to tell the story about how concerned my elementary school was when I didn't start reading on schedule. I couldn't sound things out even through kindergarden. Then, magically, something happened and I started reading not just words but books.

Lots and lots of books.

Mainly horse books and dog books for the first few years, then some fantasy, and then, bless them, Harlequins. I started right on the Harlequins in around 4th grade and, other than a brief pause in college when I was too angsty to read a happily ever after, my life's been all about romance since then.

Going to the library is now the default activity for me and the kids. Any given Saturday, if I'm able to pick them up early from day care, and most days over vacations, I'm at the library, promising only to take out two books and coming home with thirty.

Happy sigh. I love the library.

Joan said...

The bookmobile...and a Mom who loved to read.

Every week it would park at the end of our street and I'd troop down there to pile up.

Favorite selections were children oriented biographies on people like Annie Oakley and Juliet Gordon Lowe

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Kate! Nice omage to the libraries.

My first book that really hooked me on reading was The Story Of Ping in elementary school. It was also the first book my parents let me buy from Schoolastic.

My mom would take us to the library every week and my brother and sister would bring home 1 or 2 books. I would get the limit for my age...I think it was 6 books. And the next week when I returned them, the librarian would ask me how many I'd read. To which I'd reply, all of them...(duh).

But the librarian who most influenced me was Mrs. Ann Elders. She was the middle school librarian who convinced me to sign up as a library helper in the 7th grade. For the next 3 years I read and read and read. By the middle of my 9th grade year, I was opening the new arrival books and pulling out the fiction to read before they hit the shelves. I always knew which book to reccommend to which kid for which class assignment they might have. :) I adored Mrs. Elders!

Kate Carlisle said...

Good morning, Jane. Congrats on nabbing the chook! I hope he helps you out with some chores today.

How wonderful to have a library right across the street when you were litte. I'm not sure I'd ever come home.

I never read "Where the Wild Things Are" but we're planning to watch the movie. I hope it lives up to the book. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Anna! Isn't he the cutest--well, dashing, really--man you've ever seen on a book cover? Okay, fine, I admit you've had your own share of cuties--er, gorgeous, dashing men!--on your covers, too. Like, EVERY cover you've ever had, you lucky girl! But this is my first romance cover so, you know, I'm sort of over the moon about him. :-)

I love hearing that your parents read to you. Your wonderful set of fairy tales reminds me of a book of fairy tales my parents gave me for Christmas one year. It had absolutely beautiful illustrations and I cherished it.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Lime! Do you do a harlequin binge every so often? Me, too! I always buy the Desires (they're my fave, natch!)and a few Presents and some Blazes and Special Editions, and once in a while I'll go a little crazy, grabbing books from every line they've got. It's too much fun. :-)

Oooh, taking your books away would be a horrible punishment! I would've been much more well behaved if my parents had used that on me!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Helen, I just love that photo of your grandkids. They are adorable!

Good question about writing the two genres. It would be very bad if I mixed up the two, wouldn't it? LOL

It's not too hard to switch between mystery and romance. I write a lengthy synopsis for each book and I follow it very closely, so I know my characters are going to act a certain way on the page. For instance, if I'm writing about Brooklyn and Derek, I know they need to solve a mystery and behave a certain way. (Although, I must say, lately I think they believe they're in a romance novel and not a mystery. )

Also, when I'm about to start writing the next mystery, I go back and re-read the last one, just to immerse myself in their world. The series is new enough that I'm still having a good time revisiting my characters. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...
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Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Pink! I think you're in good company here in the Lair. We're all a bunch of smart mouths. But forging notes so we could check out the grown-up books? We would never do that!! Bwahahaha!

I'm learning that Carnegie money built a lot of lovely libraries around the country. Nice!

Louisa Cornell said...

Nice catch, Jane! Maybe if you read to him the GR will behave !!

Librarians have played a very special role on my love of reading, writing and Regency set historicals.

My Mom read to us and taught each of us three kids to read. We were all reading by the age of 3 or 4. The cool thing is she taught us from the Dr. Seuss books and she used our original copies to teach my niece and nephew to read as well.

The first book I remember being completely mine was Black Beauty. I still have the copy my parents gave me when I was six. It is well-worn, but still readable.

I was a problem kid in the first grade. I tended to blurt out the answers when other kids didn't get the flashcards quickly enough to suit me. I was truly fortunate that my first grade teacher, Mrs. Chance, had me tested and agreed with my parents that moving me up three grades was NOT the right solution. She devised a program to get me through the first three grades. I went to class for a few hours and spent the rest of the day in the library! The librarian, Mrs. Jackson, would select a stack of books each day and I would spend hours reading. She kept a running list of what I'd read. The school was K-12 and by the beginning of my 4th grade year I'd read almost everything in the library - mature subjects and all! At the beginning of my 4th grade year we found out we were being transferred to England so I read everything I could get my hands on about England.

Then when we moved to the little village of Kelsale our nextdoor neighbors were sisters, retired librarians who had a library in their house! and they owned two hunter jumpers and a Welsh pony! I spent most of my three years in their house or in their stables. They introduced me to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer and the rest is history!

Our local library is great, but I tend to buy books rather than borrow them. I do attend the fund raising functions for our library and my own personal library will go to the local library when I am gone.

One of these days when I am able to buy or build a house rather than this trailer I live in I will take after those dear little old ladies and have an entire room just for books!

Kate Carlisle said...

Kim, what a great story about how you found your way over to romance! I'm glad you got here. And how nice that you volunteer at your library. That sounds like one of the most fun jobs around. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Laurie! I've never read The Cricket in Times Square, but I really like the title. Just for fun, I looked it up on Amazon and it's still very popular. It looks like fun!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, I'm really enjoying everyone's posts. Helen I was a HUGE Enid Blyton fan too - especially the mysteries and the adventures. Love the Carnegie libraries - what a wonderful thing to put your money into. If he was an Aussie, it would be a football field! Louisa, giggled at you being outspoken in school. Just can't picture it, snort!

I go on Harlequin binges too - just been on a Super one and read some fabulous books including catching up with our Beth's productions. Wow, she's GOOOOOOOD!

Kim, I think you're marvelous the way you promote romance reading! Yay, you! Here, have this cabana boy as a sign of Bandita approval!

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL, Dianna, if librarians looked like the guy on my cover, every girl in the universe would be reading up a storm. :-)

Sounds like your story growing up is similar to mine. With no one to play with, books were my best friends. The only difference with me is, I had four brothers. But since their idea of playing was to roll around in the dirt, I stuck with books. ;-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Gillian, your photo is so beautiful! Maybe you've been using it for a while but I've been in the deadline cave so this is the first I've seen it.

Wow, your town library sounds fabulous! And you're so lucky to have all those programs they offer. And how cool is it that your daughters work there? How fun that must be. It sounds like you're raising another generation of voracious readers. Yay!

Kate Carlisle said...

Oh Margay, it made me smile to picture you reading upside down. How sweet! You were obviously born to read. :-)

How cool that your first summer job was at the library! What a great place to spend the summer. :-)

Marisa O'Neill said...

Kate, congratulations on the cover...score!

I have loved reading since I was a child when my mother took me to my first book mobile - a traveling library for neighborhoods that didn't have one. We went every week to pick out books. And although I don't remember the first book I read, I do remember the first book I feel in love with - Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

I now live in a town with a wonderful library and terrific librarians. The kind of library where people know your name and recommend books to you. Where you can request that they purchase a book and they do. Where the latest DVD releases, magazines and periodicals are there for the taking for free. Where they have weekly classes, lectures and concerts - again for free. Where you can order books on line - including audio and e-books. YES! It's the best place on earth. Unfortunately, my state (N.J.) is cutting the library funding and these things will soon be no more. So I urge everyone to write to their own state officials and let them know how important libraries and librarians are!

Louisa Cornell said...

And can I just say, Kate, that your new cover is HOT DAYUM !! In fact it rates TWO HOT DAYUMS on the Duchess of Hot Dayum scale!

You gotta watch those bibliophile types. They write some SMOKIN' Stuff! Can't wait to read it!

I remember the bookmobile when we lived in England. It stopped just down from our house and we awaited with as much anticipation as some kids await the ice cream man.

My Enid Blyton's are packed away for now. I nearly read the print off them and then I let my niece borrow them. Once she moved on to Harry Potter and Twilight I got them back and tucked them away for the next generation.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Kirsten! I can relate to your vow to take home two books and winding up with 30! Unfortunately for me, that doesn't happen at a library but at a store, where I'm paying money for all those books. But it's worth it. :-)

I can't believe you started reading harlequins in 4th grade. You really did start early. No wonder you love romance so much!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Joanie!! We never had a bookmobile growing up, probably because we were so close to several libraries. But it must've been so much fun to see that big bookmobile truck pull up. Not unlike my seeing the Helms Bakery truck drive down the street. Just a slightly different addiction there. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Suz, I can totally relate to you checking out the limit on books! That's what voracious readers do, right? Duh!

Your Mrs. Elders sounds wonderful. How fun to be the first one to read the new books!

limecello said...

Kate - I try to do one monthly :) I like for the categories to get a little love. (And try to review more of them as well.)
Silhouette Desire and Harlequin Blaze are my two favorite lines, and/but I also read Spice, Presents, Super Romances, and some MIRA or HQN books as well. Heh. And yet I'm still a picky reader :D

Kate Carlisle said...

Louisa, you? A problem child? Impossible! ;-)

But your teacher and librarian sound wonderful! How lucky you were to have those two around. And I'm a little jealous of your time in England. It sounds like the most perfect time, and I can just picture those charming sisters and their home library. I have no doubt you'll have one in your home someday, too!

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Anna! Cabana boys for everyone!!

Hey, I've got my Super Beth on order, too. ;-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Marisa, thanks for the cover love. :-)

Wow, your local library sounds fantastic! I hope they can continue those services. It's such a scary time economically, so I join you in urging people to write their legislators to save the libraries!

That reminds me, I was recently on a panel at an all-day conference put on by the county librarians in nearby Orange County. It was fabulous and very successful, with a number of big name authors in attendance(and me *g*). I hope they made scads of money!

Kate Carlisle said...

Whoa, Louisa! TWO HOT DAYUMS on the Duchess of Hot Dayum scale? Awesome!! Thanks!

I must agree, he is yummy hawt!

I love that you're tucking away those books for the next generation of nieces and nephews. That's very sweet. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Lime, I'm so happy that you like to give the category books all that love. Me, too. :-)

I forgot to mention Trish's Harlequin Americans. They are always wonderful, heartwarming reads. And I read a few other HA authors for the RITA and loved them, too, so I've added those to my binge list.

And hey, I'm picky too! *g*

Nancy said...

Kate, congrats on your gorgeous new cover and upcoming release! You're really on a roll.

My bibliophilia was fed by Mrs. Wally, the librarian in my hometown. No matter how often I walked through the door, she was always ready with "I have a book you might enjoy." Like you, I rode my bike to the library and read voraciously, everything from series books to YA romances to historical novels.

I think librarians, like teachers, recognize "live ones," people with a genuine interest, and are eager to feed and sustain them.

My father loved the library, and I used to go with him in the evenings.

Our local library has somehow come up with a massive budget shortfall, with huge staff cuts and slashed hours. People contributed great amounts of money but not enough to hold back the tide, which will come rolling back in, harder, when the new fiscal year starts in July.

They were actually talking about closing a dozen branches and just destroying (burning, most likely) the books. My gut instinct: "No! I'll take them!"

Not that we have the room, or anything close to it for even one branch, but I know there are books in those stacks I could use and want to preserve.

At least it hasn't come to that.

Jane, congrats on the rooster!

Christine Wells said...

Kate, great guy--I mean cover--I mean blog post!

My mother used to read wonderful stories to us -- all the classics like Black Beauty but also fun stuff like Roald Dahl. I'm sure that must have been the beginning, along with all those Dr. Seuss books that are the bane of every parent's life with all those tongue twisters!

I so identified with you over the childhood loneliness. I went to a school that was about half an hour away and most of my friends weren't close by. There weren't any kids in my neighbourhood to hang out with and you can only have so many arranged playdates where your mother has to drive you there. So my solace was books and I used to use all my family's library cards to get the maximum number out each time. I wasn't allowed to borrow adult books on my child's card (how silly is that?) so I had to get my mother to borrow them for me. It was the beginning of a lifetime romance, that's for sure!

Congrats, Jane!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Thank you, Anna, for your kind gift of a cabana boy. I will bring him to RomCon. Cathy Maxwell and I are sharing a room and she asked if I needed anything. I suggested two cabana boys for daily massages, but we can manage on the one you have provided us. We'll even invite you for a rub down.

Maybe I'll bring a few roosters that run wild in Hawaii … oh, wouldn't that be fun for the roosters to wake the authors as the cabana boys provide breakfast in bed!

Laurie said...

Congratulations, Kate! A very yummy cover! I love your mystery series and am looking forward to reading your Desire!

We moved to Bethesda (right outside DC) when I was four - a block from the public library. It was fantastic. That's the year I learned to read. My mom and I walked there frequently, first just the two of us and then with the siblings as they came. Soon I was taking them myself. I spent many hours there. Mom still lives in the same house with the libary still a treasured place.

We have a fabulous library in a nearby town. The librarians have all become good friends. Maryland actually has a great system called Marina where you can borrow from any Maryland county. You just put in an order and you can find pretty much what you want. The digital library is growing also.

Can you tell I'm enthusiastic about the library? ;)

I read so much growing up, I'd have a hard time picking just one favorite book. I loved horse stories, the Misty of Chincoteague series, Witch of Blackbird Pond, Jane Eyre, Georgette Heyer's These Old Shades and Devil's Cub.

peggy said...

I have to give the credit for my love of books to a teacher.SHE would read to our class eash day.but on friday she would read 2 or3 chap.out of a new book tell us the name of the book and that we could check it out at the school library

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey gang, I was waylaid at the airport last night and couldn't answer the last few comments until now. Sorry! So I'll just do some quickie shout outs to y'all...

Nancy, Mrs. Wally sounds like a gem. But OMG, I'm horrified that they might actually burn those books. That's insane, isn't it? They've got to come up with a better solution than that!

Ah Christine, you were another lonely young reader like I was? Well, that's okay. We're having the last laughs, aren't we? ;-)

LOL Kim! You're so good to share your cabana boy. And I hope you have fun at RomCon!

Laurie, it sounds like you've had good library karma your whole life. Congrats! :-)

Hi Peggy, thanks for coming by! What a smart teacher you had that lured you over to the library to finish the story. I like that!

Thanks, everyone, for coming by to talk about libraries and books. My favorites subjects!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey gang, I was waylaid at the airport last night and couldn't answer the last few comments until now. Sorry! So I'll just do some quickie shout outs to y'all...

Nancy, Mrs. Wally sounds like a gem. But OMG, I'm horrified that they might actually burn those books. That's insane, isn't it? They've got to come up with a better solution than that!

Ah Christine, you were another lonely young reader like I was? Well, that's okay. We're having the last laughs, aren't we? ;-)

LOL Kim! You're so good to share your cabana boy. And I hope you have fun at RomCon!

Laurie, it sounds like you've had good library karma your whole life. Congrats! :-)

Hi Peggy, thanks for coming by! What a smart teacher you had that lured you over to the library to finish the story. I like that!

Thanks, everyone, for coming by to talk about libraries and books. My favorites subjects!