Yesterday was one of those days when I logged off my computer at work and didn’t want to look at a computer screen again until I absolutely had to. I got to spend most of my day outside the library today which is nice to do now and then. I attended a local conference put on by the consortium my library belongs to. The topic was library marketing. It was pretty interesting. We had a chance to do some brainstorming there too and the other person who attended from my library and I came up with what we think are some good ideas to connect with a particular group of students. The trick now is finding the time to flesh it out and plan it and then put it into practice. We have such a small staff at my library that much of the time it feels like we are barely managing to keep our heads above water with all the things we have to do.

Even though it was a good day, these conference things always leave me worn out. And since I am all caught up writing about books I have finished reading and I’ve not got any particularly fascinating book news to share, I am still feeling a little chatty so you’ve been warned.

Oh! I do have something fun to share. Have you heard about the Hemingwrite? An MIT graduate and a Michigan software developer teamed up and designed a typewriter for the digital age. It looks a lot like the typewriter I went off to college with, typewriter body with a screen that shows your text before you hit return and it then typed your line. This one, however, is even better. It has an e-ink display, wifi and cloud storage. The display is six inches and everything you type is backed up to Evernote. It is also compatible with GoogleDocs and Dropbox. It’s portable too with a battery life of six weeks or more. The designers wanted to create a writing tool designed just for writing so there would be no distractions from the internet or email or Facebook.

I don’t really have any problems with distractions when I am writing on my computer but the Hemingwrite is so neat I kinda want one. I will resist, however, because what I really want is an actual manual typewriter. I have absolutely no need for one but I admit to suffering from a bit of typewriter nostalgia. Between junior high and high school computers happened. When I was in 8th grade I took a typing class and by the end of the semester could type a whopping 60 words a minute on the industrial looking manual typewriters we had. In tenth grade I took a computer class; that’s how fast things changed (though it was years before I actually had my own computer). But aside from the nostalgia, there is a small part of my brain that says, hey, a manual typewriter will really come in handy when the world falls apart and there is no reliable electricity or internet. What I think I might need to type when the world falls apart I have no idea. Perhaps since I will be one of the few people with a manual portable typewriter I could use it to make a living typing letters and forms for people. Or maybe since I have so many fountain pens and bottles of ink I should forget about getting a typewriter and work on improving my penmanship then I can hire myself out as a scribe.

It will soon be Halloween so it’s okay to consider horrible end-of-the-world scenarios. It also means the RIP Challenge is almost over. I didn’t do as well with it as I had hoped. I only managed She and Famous Modern Ghost Stories. I am still reading House of Leaves but I’m only about 2/3 of the way through. It is a chunky book and the pages are much larger than usual. There are some sections where there are only a few words on the page and for about five pages I can feel like I am really zooming along. But then I come up to page after page of densely written text that includes the main story, footnotes to the main story, and another story also told in footnotes. It is a completely crazy book and I found early that I could not stop reading in the middle of a chapter. So I have more or less been confined to reading the book at home when I have a chunk of time to give it which has made reading it go slowly.

But that’s ok. I am glad to finally be reading this book and in a couple weeks I will be done. Bookman has to work Halloween night and we do not hand out candy. We did for years but never got more than 5-10 kids at our door which doesn’t make all the trouble worthwhile. Not that I didn’t enjoy the trouble, I love carving pumpkins, but the effort was not rewarded. My Halloween plan is to curl up under a blanket with the cats, a cup of hot chocolate by my side, and a book in my hands. I’ll start off with House of Leaves but if it starts to creep me out at all I will have something else at hand to read instead like Proust or The Magicians, or maybe I’ll start reading A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. As usual, there are too many choices. I’ll manage though, I generally always do.

You are probably tired of my rambling by now and if you have made it this far I’m not sure whether I should congratulate you or feel sorry for you. Either way, I hope you have a good book to turn to to help you wash this chat-fest from you mind. And also, have a happy Halloween!

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