Yesterday I had one of my floating holidays, and I got a lot of shopping done.  I went down to Union Square and spent the next several hours buying stuff for myself and stuff for Christmas presents.  I went to Duane Reade, LUSH, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Filene’s Basement, Whole Foods Market, and the Union Square Holiday Market.  I was planning to do some more shopping in different neighborhoods, but after a few hours I was carrying so many bags of STUFF that I just had to get on the subway and come home.

One side note to the staff of LUSH: Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely LOVE your products to pieces.  But if I want help, I’ll ask for it.  Really.  Please keep in mind that overly friendly/talkative/invasive/pushy/hands-on salespeople might turn off some of your patrons and make them want to run screaming out of the store.  Just sayin’.

So my boyfriend, who works as an assistant principal at a middle school, occasionally goes out to other schools for different outreach programs.  Since he was asked to do some reading aloud at a local elementary school, he asked me to help him find some good picture books.  Because he’s often unsure about which grade levels the classes will be, I tried to pick books that would be easy enough for younger readers, but interesting enough for older kids (and their teachers) to enjoy.  I started with one of my personal favorite “classics,” (Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst), found one of my favorite picture books from last year (Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty), and also included two of my favorite picture books from this year (Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner [which I reviewed in this blog a little while ago] and A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black).  Since I know that I have some children’s librarians and other picture book fans amongst my Dear Readers, can I ask if anyone has some more good suggestions of relatively new picture books that would be great for reading aloud?

I caught up on watching a couple of classic films that I had seen before but I’d wanted to see again, The Maltese Falcon and Hell’s AngelsThe Maltese Falcon is stupendous because Humphrey Bogart is in it, and he is high on the list of Dead Guys Who I Think Are Really Hot (the list also includes Clark Gable, John Garfield, Richard Burton, and William Hopper, in case you were wondering).  But this film is also great because of the dialogue, which is so stunning that it will make your head spin.  And as for Hell’s Angels … I mean, yes, Howard Hughes might have turned into a mental case who was so germ-phobic that he was afraid to touch bathroom doors.  But my God, those air battles, with those planes and with that enormous zeppelin, were nothing short of astonishing.  Of course, the same could be said for Jean Harlow, as well!

Then today I had my Teen Advisory Group help me with our massive weeding project by assigning each kid to a different bookcase in my YA section and having them pull out every book they found that had a property label other than ours (weeding is hard enough on its own without the godforsaken floating collections adding to our misery).  Anyway, over the course of half an hour they pulled over 300 “foreign” books off of the shelves.  The books took up the better part of three book trucks, and tomorrow our clerical staff will be deleting some of them and sending the rest of them back to their original branches.  The afternoon was such a success that Mr. Atoz said that I could have them attack our adult New Books collection next week.

For what it’s worth, the most searched subject that led people to this blog used to be “bedbugs in libraries.”  But now the most popular subject search is “floating collections.”  Read into that what you will.

Then after work my boyfriend and I went out to dinner, and I enjoyed an angus burger and just a little too much wine.  I’d actually like to lie down for a while, but instead I’m getting ready to record a podcast tonight, and that usually takes a while.  While I could use a nap, I miss our podcasts (we’ve rescheduled this recording several times already), and that is its own form of unwinding.  Okay, now it’s time for me to get another cup of coffee and try my best to be coherent.  Luckily, even if we run late (which we probably will), I’m free tomorrow so I can sleep in for a while.

Talk to you soon, Dear Readers …

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