Librarian Love Letter

Image via Paul Thurlby

I need to say a big, heartfelt thank you to some of the hardest working & most patient people I know: Librarians.


"Google can bring back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring back the right one."

-- Neil Gaiman

I'm sure the things I'm about to say can apply to all of these amazing men and women across the country; I happen to witness my local librarians at work on a remarkably frequent basis. I basically live at our library. Between the internet, books, magazines and movies it's pretty much like heaven on earth to me. Maybe that's why the librarians have become equated with angels in my mind. My local library branch happens to be the largest and busiest in our county, too; extra work for these saints in disguise. Before I start listing all of their wonderful merits let me just say that I work in customer service and I fancy that I'm rather adept at my job; however, I would never ever have the patience or the good grace necessary to work at the library!


Dear Librarians (specifically you wonderful specimens of the Tuckahoe Branch Library!),

Thank you for always sounding so upbeat. I have only ever needed to ask for personal assistance once, but I overhear so many conversations that would have reduced my tone of voice to pure exasperation, asperity, and rudeness and never once do you all falter in that polite and kind tone of voice.

Thank you for not only being librarians, wonderful people who are excellent resources of my favorite thing on earth, books, but for also being educators and technical help to the multitudes that utilize the public library system. I wish I heard more people using the library to find book recommendations or research material; I'm certain you all do too. Instead, I often hear you dispensing advice on how to upload a photo, scan a document, open an email account, or print pages. You do this with a patience I could never possess. I would say it is my generation that causes me to scoff at the technological ignorance you all are forced to remedy on a daily basis, but I know for every Boomer requiring your aid their is a twenty-something or a high school student just as needy of guidance.

Thank you for providing such great customer service. You all continue to smile even when faced with an irate public who is whining over ten cents lost to the printer because they didn't read their screen closely enough. You give directions to other buildings when people are lost. You patiently explain (again and again) how the book queue works and why someone can't jump the line. And on top of everything else, you still help people with what you intended from your career: finding books! (You also do all the re-shelving, which I know helps keep things organized better, but is still very time consuming.)

Thank you for functioning as a pseudo-babysitter to packs of un/under-supervised children. I know having to shush a gaggle of six-year-olds repeatedly has got to wear on your nerves!

So thank you for all that you do. I have so much respect for your profession and you as people. I hope that more people realize what wonderful assets you truly are to the community and the world and start radiating a bit more appreciation in your direction!


“Librarians, Dusty, possess a vast store of politeness. These are people who get asked regularly the dumbest questions on God's green earth. These people tolerate every kind of crank and eccentric and mouth breather there is.” 

--Garrison Keillor

Image via Fred Flare

So stop by your local library. Check out some books or movies. While you're there say "thank you" to the librarians. And while you're at it, if you've been looking for a worthy cause to donate to, consider donating to your public libraries!


Introverts Unite!

Image via Incidental Comics


Two amazing lady bloggers (Excelsior Lady & Witty Title Here) that I follow have started this amazing project/campaign/thingumabob called Introverts Unite! Now those of you that know me are either going to roll your eyes, because you're sick of hearing me discuss the merits and unique traits associated with my breed, or you're going to vehemently deny that I can possibly be introverted.Well to that second set of individuals, guess what?

Just because I’m an introvert doesn't mean…

  • That I'm shy! - I don't have a shy a bone in my body. And I love to interact and express myself online!
  • That I'm socially awkward! - I'm an introvert, I do not have any form of autism.
  • That I'm stuck up! - I don't talk to people because I don't feel involved or have anything of merit to say, I'm not trying to b snobbish!
  • That I'm insecure! - I'm just as confident as any other twenty-something female! I have my moments, but I am generally very self-assured.
  • That I always want to be alone! - I would go crazy if I never got to socialize.
Being and introvert actually means...
  • That I'm physically and mentally exhausted by social interactions.  - My ability to be flooded by people and noises and continue to enjoy it all has a much smaller time frame than the extroverted majority of the population.
  • That I need "me" time to refuel. - I cannot completely relax unless I'm totally alone. I need my time to read or play a game to just settle my mind a refuel my tank.
  • That I have distinct comfort zones. - I will act much more like myself in places and around people I'm comfortable with. These are people who know the talkative me and who see the softer side of me instead of my type-A defenses and silent demeanor that coworkers and acquaintances experience.

To get your own badge go here!

I thought I'd compile some of my favorite online resources discussing and explaining exactly what an introvert is:


So what about you? How many introverts are in your life? Are you one of them? Are you treated the others nicely? We require solitude and it doesn't mean we don't like you! (My husband had to learn this the hard way when we first started dating!)


Book List

Image via Luna!
If you know me, then you know of my love of the written word. I have been a hardcore book junkie since elementary school when I devoured the entire Little House on the Prairie series in a little over a month one winter and then progressed to ripping my way through Nancy Drews so quickly that my mother had to actually ration out the purchase of the 3-book-sets they sold at (what is now) Costco. I have been an avid reader for years; cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, TV Guides, any magazine in the doctor's waiting room. I don't do aimless sitting well. And as much as I love TV and movies and video games, I will ultimately retire to my bedroom to curl up with a mug of something hot and my current book. My wonderful husband has graciously adapted to my most introverted habit over the course of our 2 1/2 years together, and is even turning into a book junkie himself; although his genres of preference rarely overlap with mine. Our dream home will contain a very substantial library someday since we both prefer to own actual paper books opposed to the digital variety; and while I am a huge user of both library books and Barnes & Noble's rather generous lounge-around-and-read-for-free policy I absolutely must own my favorites.

I'm also partial to book series. I imagine this is the result of becoming so invested in the characters that I hate to say goodbye. I always want to know what happens next. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite book series:

Harry Potter: If you could see my copies you would have no question about how much I love these books. I have reread the entire series at least 6 times now. Also, the film series is probably one of the best book-to-film adaptation I have ever seen.

Mary Russell: I love all things Sherlock Holmes, and when I stumbled across the first book in this series on a sale table, I was hooked. Mary Russell is a brilliant young woman coming of age during the Great War in southern England who happens to, literally, stumble across the great detective. Their relationship and cases are the subject of these books. Laurie R. King does an excellent job of staying true to the essence of Holmes and of writing the books true to Russell's voice. Ms. King is still writing new additions to this collection too!

Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit: Confession, I had read the Hobbit prior to seeing Peter Jackson's most excellent adaptation of The Fellowship in theaters, so I had an idea of Middle Earth, but I did not pick up a copy of the trilogy until after the second film was already on its way to DVD. Tolkien created a whole new world with this series which is rich in languages, peoples, histories, and settings all of its own. If you've only seen the films, you are depriving yourself of so much more if you don't read the originals.

The Parasol Protectorate: This is a new series for me, and one I'm still reading my way through. It's a bit more campy than my usual choices, but with vampires, werewolves, Queen Victoria, steampunk and a good dose of mystery I can't resist. Gail Carriger is a very witty writer, a fact that is evident just from reading her author bio, and these books are definitely ones I'm thrilled to have discovered.

The Looking Glass Wars: This is a three book series based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's an alternate reality/fantasy that focuses on the adult Alyss (as it is correctly spelled) who finds herself removed from the protection of Victorian British society to return to her rightful place on the royal throne in an alternative dimension and the ensuing battle for power with her Aunt Redd. If you love all things Alice like I do, then you must check out this series by Frank Beddor.


What are some of your favorite series? Have you read any of these?


Obligatory Introduction Post

Hello World!

[Rewritten 04.08.2014]

I'm rewriting this little intro to reflect the nature of what my blog has evolved into. When I first started this blog, it was called No Map Provided and was intended to be a general lifestyle blog. I was a newlywed who was still in school and unemployed who needed an outlet. I'd tried to maintain blogs in the past and had failed due to, what I thought, was having to narrow of a scope. So I set no scope except for my likes, life, and interests and set sail. I was much more disciplined and committed to posting and I gained a small following. 

In late January of 2013 I became a bookseller at the amazing Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia. The story of how I stumbled into the perfect profession for me is convoluted and filled with serendipitous happenstance, but is ultimately thanks to Amanda over at Dead White Guys. As I began learning the ropes of bookselling I began incorporating more bookish posts and news into No Map Provided. Then my mister and I up and moved across the country to Seattle, Washington and I was lucky enough (and pimped out enough by Kelly, the owner of Fountain Bookstore) to score a coveted position at Elliott Bay Book Company.

By the Fall of 2013 I had decided that my career would be with books and bookselling in some capacity and the blog was evolving into being purely a book blog. By early 2014 I had changed the name and url to reflect the dominant posting format, Book Styles. If you're reading this now, know that this is not the original introduction post I ever wrote. It was rewritten on the date above when I started deleted older, irrelevant posts, tweaking formatting issues and really investing myself into making this blog something I was proud of again. I'm a bookseller, my best friends are booksellers or publishers and books are kind of my life. (Besides for my furry children and my amazing husband, natch.)