Staff Musings

July 21, 2007

Reference

Filed under: Reference — carricee @ 11:39 pm

Today, Monique shelved lots of things quickly, moved large print and audio books to where horror used to be (keeping you guys on your toes, as usual), and typed a bunch of stuff. I weeded in the parking lot so people will stop walking in and asking if we are still open and rearranged the reference section.

Working in the reference section got me thinking. People don’t think that the reference section is fun. They only head there when they want a dictionary or a thesaurus, for the most part. Just the word reference implies that you only use those books when you need to refer to something, yet there are a lot of books that live in the reference section that can be read from cover to cover, without causing pain. I thought I’d profile a few of our reference books, and remember, we usually get between 100 and 300 books in everyday, so we will always be getting in new, fun reference books for your amusement.

Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English, by Patricia T. O’Conner¬† This grammar book is fun and easy to get through. O’Conner reminds readers that you don’t need to know the technical nitty-gritty of language to get it right, and gives everyday, easy to follow examples that take much less effort to understand than my college composition books did.

Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Extraordinary Book of Facts and Bizarre Information. We actually have several of the Uncle John Bathroom Reader series right now. Did you know that one third of all high school graduates never read another book?¬† I couldn’t imagine that, but that’s what Uncle John says! With pages of facts and other fun things like lists of oxymorons (drag race, nonworking mother, genuine imitation), these books have enough fun and useful information to keep you occupied while you are occupied. They also have very durable covers.

The Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn (a.k.a. The Frugal Zealot). Though many of the cost-saving techniques in this book require far too much effort for me, I have nothing but admiration for the people who manage to utilize these techniques everyday. Learn how to safely reuse everything from vacuum cleaner bags to tuna fish cans, make a compost bin, and get discounted pantyhose.

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