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STOP! Don’t Give Those Books Away

Late last night (perhaps it was early this morning?) I found out about something I’d not previously been aware of. And it could save you money! You know that really depressing moment you realize you no longer have enough room for your books? Or perhaps that exhaustive feeling after stopping a book before you finish because the story never really grasped you? You know you do. And in both cases you make the decision to give away some books. Maybe to your local library or the Goodwill or a non-profit. But before you do that you may want to keep reading.

Perhaps Paperback Swap is a better alternative. Some initial conditions must be met before you can actually start swapping books with other members, but here’s how it works once the conditions are met. You have a book you’re looking to get rid of. You post it on the site. Someone says they want it. You ship to directly to them. Easy. And as soon as someone gets your book you’re able to get one from someone else. The shipper will always pay for shipping.

And members can also purchase new books at discounted prices from the site.

The obvious downside I’m seeing here is quality. Sure I’ve bought a few used books in recent weeks, but I HATE when people don’t take care of their books before, during, or after reading. And I’m not sure if there’s any way of knowing the condition of the books posted. And if the site is international, then you could potentially see some high shipping costs to ship a single book.

BUT I still think it’s an interesting concept, though I’ll never be using it because I’ve stated a million times that I don’t get rid of books. But I know a number of you do. Do you think you’ll be interested in swapping books any time soon?

You can visit the website here.

Your Book Needs Chapters

Hopefully you already know this. Your book needs chapters. The book I’m currently reading hasn’t had a chapter end or start in the first 50 pages. That’s unacceptable. It reminds me of writing a single paragraph that goes on for multiple pages on a college paper. The person reading it notices and it’s just not right.

I don’t know if this book is going to ultimately have some chapters for me, but if it doesn’t it’ll be the first book I’ve ever read that doesn’t. It feels like I’m reading one giant blob of text. I don’t want to be reading one giant blob of text. Ugh. I don’t even care if you end and start chapters at terrible points in the story, but please at least do it. A book without chapters is a book almost unreadable to me.

Have you ever read a book without chapters?

Authors can Rally Around Great Books and Make Things Happen

About a month ago I read about something strange. A number of prominent authors were bringing attention to a single book. And it wasn’t written by any of them. Obviously I’m not under the impression that all authors are against one another, but this just seemed different. They were promoting a book entirely because they believed it to be one of those rare, great books that doesn’t come along too often. And things are happening because of it.

First, the book they were talking about was The Cartel by Don Winslow. The authors talking about it were Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and James Ellroy. I haven’t read all four, but I know them. Because I read crime fiction and those are names you have to know. But I’d never heard of Don Winslow before this book. The book became a New York Times bestseller and now has a movie deal in place.

I’m not going to say that it’s all because of what those four authors said about it, but when you’ve got a group that’s sold upwards of 100 million books talking about your book, there’s no greater promotion to be done.

The point is to say that everyone talks about how cutthroat the industry is and how impossible it is to break into publishing, but this group of crime writers has shown that it doesn’t have to be like that. That rallying around a book and its author is not such a bad thing after all.

What do you think of these bestselling authors bringing attention to Don Winslow and his book? I love it.

JetBlue and Random House Partnering up to Give Away 100k Books

Yep, you read that right. When I first heard the news I thought the two companies were an odd match for something like this. But I soon realized that book programs don’t have to be limited to non-profits or bookstores or libraries. Any company can come up something. And then I also realized that JetBlue has been involved with getting books into the hands of children for years with their Soar With Reading Program.

But this year they’re changing it up a bit. They’re adding a #BookBattle to the mix. The battle is between five cities and the public is asked to vote online to decide which of the five cities should be given 100k books for children in need. I think that’s pretty great. The five cities are New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Houston. I don’t know how long the voting period will be open, but I do know it’s open right now. So if you don’t live in any of the five cities, then the choice you should make when considering which city to vote for is obvious, right? Houston! Duhh. Bring those books here! Please.

You can visit the Soar With Reading website here.

Also, JetBlue installed three book vending machines to dispense free books throughout the city of Washington D.C. this year. How cool are they? Have you heard of this program before?

If you Could | Book Tag

Hey look, after three videos during my first month on YouTube I’ve finally gotten started on my second month! I told y’all I’d meant to make a video a few weeks ago when I finished Lone Survivor, but I just wouldn’t have been able to speak if I’d done it then. And even with all my new book purchases recently I still haven’t finished a new book from the Amazon list. So it was really something of a blessing to be tagged to do this, even though I know absolutely nothing about any BookTube tags floating around. But I figured I might as well do it so I could get SOMETHING on my channel while I work my way through a few more books.

Now go ahead and watch so you can see me answer random question about books!

So what did you think of my answers?

PS: I know you haven’t made a video in a little while, but you’re the only other person I know who might do this. So I tagged you, JOSIE, to do this! It’s okay if you don’t have time or something.

Setting a Story in a Foreign Place

I’ve read plenty of books by plenty of authors. My typical experience is that most authors will set their stories in a single place. And occasionally branch out from there. But other times I’ll come across an author who sets stories in many different cities that are nothing alike. And my thought is they’re either a world traveler or they are great at research. It’s usually a mix of both.

For example, Michael Connelly set one of his Bosch stories (in part) in Japan. But as he was in the process of writing it he took a trip there and stayed for three weeks taking everything in. And also writing, of course. Suffice it to say that I don’t have that kind of money to be able to do that.

But I realized something recently. My second story was set in a different city I’d only visited once or twice. And as soon as I reached the point in the story in which Andrew had to make the trip I stopped writing. So I’m really thinking that my story didn’t work out because I didn’t know enough about the city to continue. I’d planned a short trip just to walk around and take in as much as I possibly could, but that never happened. For now and into the future I’ll just stick to the one city I know.

What about you? Have you ever set one of your stories in a city you didn’t know well?

Readers Only Care About What Harper Lee has Written Rather Than Harper Lee Herself

I’ve written about Harper Lee multiple times in recent weeks, and today will likely be the last time I do. Go Set a Watchman sold 1.1 million copies in its first six days of release. Even though there’s been controversy surrounding the book since the day it was announced.

Am I surprised by this? No. But it is somewhat depressing to realize. Harper Lee is a literary icon. She’s supposed to be beloved and respected and all these great things by her fans and peers alike, right? But it’s clear to me that her readers only care about what she has or has not written rather than the person doing the writing. I fully understand that people will buy any book with her name on it, but one would think that some people would just not buy it because it may or may not have been published almost entirely without her permission.

People can think of the entire situation however they like, but this is what I think of it. I have a real issue with supporting the exploitation of an elderly woman for money. Because that’s what I truly believe has happened here. And sure you can say that your $15 or whatever it cost you to get the book isn’t even a drop in the bucket when it comes to what this book will earn, but that’s just offering a justification for your actions. A justification that I have no interest in.

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