Thursday, December 17, 2009

Out With the Old, In With the New (With A Giveaway)

Remember my old organizing system for review books? No? Take a look below. This was what my TBR (To Be Reviewed) pile looked like - well, this is about a third of it, but you get the idea. Piles. Literally. My little work space was packed full of them.

The first time I wandered through this house, I almost gasped aloud over a little nook off the family room. At the time, it held a wet bar and a very large parrot. In my mind's eye, though, I could see its destiny - my office. I envisioned bookshelves, cabinets, and organizational accessories galore. When we moved in, I (well, not me, but some strong men) stuck my small, peeling, Office Max-special desk into the space. I knew it was only a matter of time before my visions of organizational bliss became a reality.

My husband and I looked at all kinds of desks - in furniture stores, in office supply stores, in catalogs, on the Internet - but we couldn't find the perfect desk for the perfect price. I really wanted a big, beautiful Stone Creek creation, but they aren't exactly affordable. We finally came to the conclusion that the only thing we could really do was have a desk custom built to fit my little nook. Well, on the day I was going to meet with the builder, my husband (who had been faithfully scouring Craigslist), found it - a Stone Creek desk that fit the nook (with only about a foot to spare), was in great shape, and didn't cost an arm and a leg. We were a little worried that it might be "hot" since the Mexican guy who answered our call was so anxious to unload it, but he told us later that he and his wife had just lost their house. They were living in a trailer, trying to sell off their possessions to make enough money on which to live. It always makes me happy when my greed works in someone else's favor.
Anyway, I thought you might like to see my little nook. Ignore the very bare, very white walls. Trust me, it will look perfect ... eventually. Notice, though, all my beautiful review books. You can't really tell from the picture, but this desk is massive, around 6 feet long and 8 feet high. ALL of my review books fit on it. I may have overloaded the shelves just a tad - I notice in the photo that they're sagging a little even though I had them reinforced. Hmmm ... Anyway, adult fiction books are on the top shelf; the middle holds YA fiction, with adult non-fiction on the sides; and the bottom has children's books, with books for giveaways on the left and my library books on the right. On the surface of the desk (to the far left) are my writing/reference books and the magazines I just never seem to get to in a timely manner.

I just can't get over being able to see all my review books. *Sigh* Incidentally, my 7-year-old bookworm used all the empty boxes from my old system and constructed a set of "bookshelves" for herself. Like mother, like daughter, huh?

-----
So, I didn't write this post only to brag about my nook. It's also my 500th post. Wow! I can't believe it. I started this blog in August of 2006 as a way to record my thoughts on the books I was reading. It was only ever intended to be seen by myself and a few close friends and family, but look at it now. It's come a long way, baby. I've had such fun being a part of the book blogging community. Meeting all of you, chatting with authors I admire and reading a whole lot of great books - does it get any better than this? Yeah, okay, a nice, big salary would make it better, but still ... it's been fun!
To celebrate, I thought I'd do a little giveaway. I know what you're thinking: "Lady, you haven't even mailed the books to the winners of your last contest." Yeah, have you seen the lines at the post office? I promise all books will be mailed by the first of the year. Pinkie swear. Anyway, I stole this idea from Kristi over at The Story Siren:
Because I'm so thrilled with you all for making Bloggin' 'bout Books such a fun venture for me, I'm going to buy one lucky winner the book of their choice. Yep, yep, yep - you heard me right. I wish I could offer more than that, but after paying for my behemoth desk, Christmas and my 11-year-old's braces, well, one book for one person is about all I can afford. The good news is, that one lucky person might be you.
Here's the deal: Comment on this post by December 31, telling me your bookish resolutions for the new year, and you'll receive one entry into my giveaway. Tweet/post/email - whatever you want to do to spread the word - and I'll give you one extra entry per method of "advertising." That's it. Well, okay, there are a couple of other things: The book must be $20 or under (book blogging isn't exactly a lucrative career choice). Also, I reserve the right to refuse purchase of books of an offensive, pornographic or anti-LDS nature. Also, please make sure your book of choice is available on Amazon. Contest is open internationally. Other than that, it's "easy cheesy," as my kids like to say.
Thanks again for making book blogging so much fun for me. Merry Christmas!

53 comments:

  1. What a lovely desk/bookshelf! My bookish resolution is to get a bookcase! I don't have one and I'm in dire need of one. My books just keep piling up on the top shelf of my computer desk and it's becoming a safety hazard.

    +1 tweeted

    thebookvixen at gmail dot com

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  2. I love, love, love your new desk! And I would love to have a little nook like that as well.
    I guess you could say my bookish resolution is to not have any bookish resolutions. I am just going to read what I want when I want. No more challenges, no more worrying about how many books I am reading. Just reading for the pure pleasure of it. :-)

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  3. So pretty! My bookish resolution is to stop reading authors and series that I know I don't really like. I have a nasty habit of continuing series that I've stopped enjoying because I figure I've already read so many books in that series I should finish it. If I loved a book by a certain author and then hated his next 4 books, I should not pick up his following books. I miss out on reading so much new stuff because I'm reading stuff I know I probably won't enjoy.

    jennsicurella at verizon dot net

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  4. Oh, I am in awe of that desk! That might be more shelf space than I have in my whole apartment - I've put off buying any heavy furniture until I get somewhere where I'm not going to have to move for a few years.

    My bookish resolution is more of a bloggish resolution - I'd really, really like to have my reviews written within 48 hours of finishing a book, instead of having my backlog build up for a week or two at a time!

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  5. I absolutely LOVE your blog... You and I tend to have very similar tastes, so I figure if you like it, I'll like it.
    My Resolution for next year: read 117 books. (Kinda a weird number, but it's where I ended up when I wrote down all the ones I wanted to read... ) :p Merry Christmas, Mari

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  6. I love your new desk! Beautiful! My bookish resolution is to read more on how to start my own photography business and to fill another bookshelf at home! :)

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  7. Oh my goodness! I think I drooled a little on my keyboard! All those books! I love it.

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  8. Hi :)
    I love your new desk. It is gorgeous!
    Congratulations on snagging it.
    Have you considered going through Book Depository instead of Amazon? Book Depository has free delivery worldwide. (Saving you $).
    :)
    Happy Holidays!
    RKCharron
    PS - I posted about your giveaway for my Fri Dec 18th 5am EST post.

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  9. Aw, I'm so jealous of your desk! It's beautiful!

    Congrats on reaching the 500 post mark. My reading resolution is simply to read *more.* My total books read for this year is mind bogglingly low, and it kind of depresses me. Life is only so long, and I've got so many books I have to read!

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  10. My bookish resolution is to finish all of my challenges I have signed up for during the next year. Also, to put my second book shelf up. It's been sitting against the wall in it's box for 2 months because we haven't had time to assemble it.:(
    I LOVE your new desk! What a perfect little corner for your books and your writing!:) Merry Christmas by the way! I hope you have a wonderful one!

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  11. Your desk and shelves look gorgeous!! My bookish resolution is to actually keep up with all the 2010 reading challenges I signed up for. *LOL*

    laughingstars66@yahoo.com

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  12. Oh man I dont want you to BUY me a book. I like old used ones the best. Brand new books cost sooo much.
    Anyways my resolution is too stop reading so many blogs and read more.....books, of course.

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  13. I'm going to focus on history, both fiction and non-fiction, in 2010. There are few on my TBR list that the library doesn't have, so this would be awesome!

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  14. My bookish resolution is to buy more shelves to better organize my books. I'd like to organize them by genre and author.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

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  15. Oh wow, that's an amazing new desk. I wish I had something like that or even the SPACE for something like that.

    My bookish resolution? Hmm...read at least 100 books. I'm sure I can, but I need to actually keep track too. haha And I'd love to write more and get more stories finished...my BIG one would be to find an agent, but who knows?

    -Lauren

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  16. My bookish resolutions are to a) read more books with my 11 year old b) dig out some of the old classics of said 11 year old and share them with my 4 year old son and c) to read at least a book a month for my pleasure!

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  17. WOW you have a lot of books in your TBR pile!! I am so in love with your new desk, I want one! That's so wonderful though... you really wanted a Stone Creek desk and that couple really needed the money - fate at work!

    Congrats on your 500th post!

    My bookish resolution is to not judge a book by it's cover. It's a bad habit and I'm probably missing out on soo many amazing books because of it! But I just think "that doesn't LOOK like something I'll like" - I can't help it, I'm a visual person. I'm going to change that though!

    +1 Tweeted - http://twitter.com/peacelovevegan/status/6791602910

    Thanks!@
    hanging.by.a.moment_@hotmail.com

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  18. My bookish resolution is to read only one book at a time. I always start a few books and then I only read the half of one and then read the other..ugh its confusing and yeah..a bad habit lol..

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/AnyaKapllani/status/6794138874

    Anja_Kapllani@web.de

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  19. The desk/bookshelves look great! My resolution for the next year is to read books that I already own. My to-be-read shelves are overflowing yet I keep accumulating more books. So, I will read only books I own before buying others.

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  20. Oh my gosh Susan, you just made me drool over that desk! And then I frantically ran, with the laptop, over to my husband and said "I need that desk in my life. Now." hehe

    For my book resolutions, I have a lot and will be making a huge post about it soon. I want to read less actually. I accept so many books to review that I rarely have time to pick up a book that I just find at a library and therefore, I really want to read less, which will make room for my own choices.

    Ooh and congrats on hitting 500!!

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  21. Your desk looks great!! I love it! My resolution is to get all my books organized, bookshelves up, and everything nice and tidy!! Like you!! :) LOL

    Please enter me in your great contest!

    js1997 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

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  22. Wow, what a beautiful desk! and congratulations on 500 blogs - that's amazing. I have 2 or 3 bookish resolutions: read the non-fiction books currently on my TBR, keep a better record of books read, and books wanted, add to my book journal at the time I read a meaningful passage instead of waiting till later when I can no longer find it.

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  23. Love the desk! My resolution is to write more reviews of the books I read.

    Raelena
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  24. I also wrote a post about the giveaway:

    http://apatchworkofbooks.blogspot.com/2009/12/some-holiday-giving-and-some-receiving.html

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  25. Wow, that's an amazing TBR transformation! There should be a show abou that actually, lol.

    My resolution for the year is to be able to buy another book shelf. I just need one because I have piles of books everywhere and I hate leaving them on the floor.

    riddikulus.sarah@gmail.com
    I'm going to tweet about it too. I'm truthuniversaly.

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  26. I love your desk. I just have all my stuff spread out over the dining room table (which is really silly because I have a beautiful desk upstairs...but it's the upstairs part that gets me).

    My resolution (other than spending more time at my actual desk) is to finish my WIP by Groundhog Day and have it ready for submission by the fall.

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  27. I have been stuck on one genre so in 2010, my bookish reso is to expand to other genres!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. My new years resolution (possibly my first ever that I'm determined to stick with) is some reading challenges, and completing some classics ^_^

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  29. That is a fabulous desk. I can't believe I didn't think to look on Craigslist.

    My goal is simply to read more books. My pile of books I want to read keeps growing and growing, so I need to get moving.

    +1 for tweeting - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/6812931336


    heatwave96@hotmail.com

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  30. What a fun nook! It looks fabulous.

    I think my bookish resolution will be to write a book. I have lots of ideas swirling around, but I haven't been very diligent in writing them out. I'd like to.

    librariansbook(at)gmail

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  31. OMG; your TBR pile is huge!
    My new year resolution is to save some more money, after that learn how Amazon and Book depository works and start buying books! I can't wait to all those amazing books you all review to be avalaible here in Spain..

    +1 tweeted
    http://twitter.com/Sheeredry/status/6816654793

    +1 sidebar
    http://todoesfacilsi.blogspot.com/

    sheere.dry@gmail.com

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  32. I love your bookshelf! I wish I could get myself one like that. Haha. My bookish resolution is that I'll think long and hard first before I decide whether to buy a certain book. I really gotta save! :)

    +1 tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/austenfanblogs/status/6816908957

    +1 linked this on my sidebar:
    http://fictiondoesitbetter.blogspot.com/

    austenfanblogs[at]gmail[dot]com

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  33. what a beautiful piece of furniture you have...I, too, would love to have matching bookcases for my collection.

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. My bookish resolution is to actually read two books a month. I wish I could read more but it's hard to block out large chunks of time for reading.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  35. Awesome desk. I would love something like that. My bookish resolution for the new year is to read a book off my TBR shelf for every book that I buy.

    Also, linked here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2009/12/contests-found-this-week_14.html and on the sidebar

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  36. Susan, I really love your blog! I really hope you pick me to win because I want you to purchase a book for the the library at Phoenix Children's Hospital. It is the season for giving!

    My bookish resolution is to see if the local assisted living home has some bookish residents who might enjoy someone reading to them (ie, those who have vision problems). Maybe there would be more than one and we could have our own little book club. And I plan on recruiting a high school student or two to share the reading!

    Merry Christmas.

    PS: I love that Heather is so into reading. It has great rewards!

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  37. I love your desk. Major envy going on here. Wow!!!! How wonderful to have that space for yourself. A little love seat or oversize chair with ottoman and heaven it is.

    Congrats on your 500th post!

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  38. LOVE your new desk!!! And congratulations on your 500th post - that rocks!!! Thanks for the chance to win!

    areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

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  39. Great desk! Inspires me to organize my own books in the new year! Also I have to stop going to the library, and try to read the books on my own shelves.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  40. That is what I call a HUGE desk ! It looks great ! Congrats on your 500th post. And thank you for making this giveaway international. :)

    My bookish resolutions are to start writing the book I've had in my head for a year now, and read more books in French. I'm French and read only in English, and I think that's unfair towards my own country's authors ! :)

    Oh, and I've been told that an award was waiting for you here !

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  41. Nice desk!! My bookish resolution is to try different books that what I normally am drawn to.

    smith.katie99@gmail.com

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  42. My New Year's resolution is to read the equivalent of one book a week (52 books in the year).

    klad at shaw dot ca

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  43. WOW!! I love your new desk!! Seeing your books on it like that must feel great! My bookshelves probably look similar to your daughter's....lol! I have quite a few boxes here stuffed with books!

    One of my bookish resolutions for 2010 is to tackle the mountain of TBR's that I have. I have approximately 200 books that I haven't read yet. I am thinking maybe....I have to reduce the number of nooks in the piles by 5, before buying another? That might help, but I am going to have to learn to read A LOT faster at the rate I buy books...lol!
    lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

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  44. Thanks for the giveaway!

    My new year's bookish resolution is to read one book a week, OK well, at least one book per every 2 weeks:) And to decrease my TBR pile, as my shelves are overflowing now.

    BTW, buying from The Book Depository rather than Amazon is cheaper for where I live.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

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  45. I'm a busy homeschooler, so my reading opportunites (other than curriculum) come at vacations. I've already read two books since Christmas break started, and I'm hoping to finish the rest of my pile before we start back to school.
    Larissa

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  46. Gorgeous new desk. Congratulations on your fun purchase.
    My bookish resolution is to read a classic every month this year. I've realized this year after finally reading East of Eden that there are so, so many great books that I haven't read, but should. So I'm going to start my year by reading (for the first time) something by Mark Twain. Haven't decided yet. But my thirteen year old is telling me that it's about time...

    Thanks for the giveaway. and Merry Christmas!

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

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  47. Hi! I am Sam, and I am 12 years old. I LOVE to read, and I read alot. My book resolution is to read 100 books. It is not that hard for me, b/c I love to read. Some of my favorite books are: The Mysteirous Benedict Society (Series); The Name Of This Book is Secret (Series); Bud, Not Buddy; Ginger Pye; The Giver;A Series Of unfourtante Events; Percy Jackson and The Olympians; and many more!!!!!!!!!! So far, I have read 45 books since September. Merry Christmas!
    -Sam Bernstein

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  48. What a gorgeous way to organize a year of reading....books, some shelves, and a place to blog and read about more books to read. (It's a great but vicious cycle!!!) What a great Christmas present!!

    My reading resolution is to read more from my own shelves this year and to share what I've read!! Of course I would like to carve out more time to read in but that's another resolution altogether!! Maybe this whole thing comes down to self-discipline....say it ain't so!!

    Have a wonderful holiday and may you find peace-filled moments!

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  49. I love your new desk!

    Well,my bookish resolution is go to the library to stop spending so much money on books.

    +1 http://twitter.com/rem_pdg/status/7205526033

    rem_pdg(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  50. My resolution is to spend more time reading books and less time reading email. Happy New Year to you!

    akprinz at msn dot com

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  51. I have several bookshelves, though none as lovely as yours, and my New Year's resolution is to tidy them up.

    This means I must read more from the books I own and resist the pull of the library and the bookshop.
    When I have read my own books I will keep only the true favourites that I want to read again and will dispose of the rest through bookmooch or by giving away.
    It's going to be tough but I am determined.


    Also I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/eshchory/status/7222359860

    eshchory[at]gmail[dot]com

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  52. I love Jeanette's response (#2) I've been too caught up in challenges, expectations, that I've resolved to read what I want to read. Also, I committed last year to read: a classic book that I've never read -- which I will complete today - Persuasion. But I didn't complete this: I will read a biography of a major historical figure. I had John Adams by David McCollough set aside all 2009, I guess it will become my 2010 resolution.
    Happy New Year!

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