Friday, July 23, 2004

I ordered three books today for the Fletcher Hills Branch:

A Hat Full of Sky  by Terry Pratchett
Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson


Michael B is going for a record.


I swear this book-giving is more addictive than Vicodin.

I checked your website during lunch at work today and saw all your entries from Thursday night about the new infection and immediately thought "How can I help Pam feel better?  I know - more books." 

So I sent the following two items to the Campo-Morena branch: 

This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger.  I admit I had never heard of Paula until your blog entry and her obituary in the New York Times, but all the comments in your blog convinced me her books deserve a wide audience

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 2) [UNABRIDGED] by C.S. Lewis.  They are specifically asking for audio cassettes and I noticed this one is narrated by Michael York.  Maybe if these tapes are successful enough, Michael York won't return to Gilmore Girls next season and Paris will get a sub-plot that's not creepy (wishful thinking, I know)

Then I noticed that the Ramona Branch has been neglected so I sent them 2 books in the popular and cheap Lemony Snicket series and a cozy mystery for their older readers:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) by Lemony Snicket
The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2) by Lemony Snicket
Broken Dishes by Earlene Fowler

Of course, by the time I got home and checked your website again, you had updated to say you were already feeling better so maybe I didn't really need to send these books, but it can never be considered a mistake to donate books.  

Hope you have an uneventful weekend.

Michael B


I found out about your book drive for Oakland last year through Not Martha. I was unable to participate for various reasons, but this year I got my act in gear. After reading about the need for books at the San Marcos Branch, I decided to donate three books because I work at a child care center, and know about the importance of reading for kids.

Also, my birthday is next weekend, so it was like an early birthday present for myself, to be able to help people read. I gave Yoga Fitness for Kids ages 7-12 because everyone should do a little yoga; A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, because we women deserve recognition; and The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) by Lemony Snicket, because I love the Lemony Snicket books.

It was so great to be able to help out, and I hope that the kids at the San Marcos branch enjoy
their new books!


Hi Pamie -

I'm happy to participate in your book drive. I picked out 3 self-help reference books, along with 1 classic paperback, that were all high on the Lemon Grove branch list.

- It's My Life Now : Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence 
by Meg Kennedy Dugan, et al
- Converting Garages, Attics & Basements  by Jeff Beneke, et al
- Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer by Susan Britton Whitcomb
- The Miracle Worker by William Gibson


Letter From An El Cajon Librarian

This is so amazing! I've been reading your recaps and your website for a few years now, and I was just ordering your book for our library a few weeks ago when I got an email saying that you had chosen US for your book drive this year! I remember thinking what a great idea it was when you did it for Oakland, and I can't tell you how much we appreciate it here.

Since people seem to like to hear about where their books are going, I thought I would write and tell you about two of the branches that I know best.

I grew up in the town of Julian, which has about 3000 people and is on top of a mountain to the east of San Diego. It is known for its apple pie (since it gets cold enough there to grow apple trees and even gets a little snow) and for its charming gold-rush era buildings--it was a mining town and was almost the county seat before the gold ran out and most people left in the late 1800s. Nowadays most people in the town depend on tourists from "The City" for their income in one way or another--my parents run a summer camp!

Last year during the fires Julian suddenly became famous and it was really strange to see views on national television that were clearly filmed from the parking lot of my high school! Hundreds of people (and that's a large percentage) lost their houses in the fires but most are rebuilding and still love living in Julian. In fact, they are just finishing work on a brand new library that will be shared by the high school, and is built right where those TV cameras were standing last year. You can see what the new library will look like and the old library (which is in a former one-room schoolhouse) is on our website . Since the new library is many times larger than the old one, they will definitely appreciate new books! (I've looked and I don't think Julian has a wish list yet but I'm sure they will soon.)

Now though, I'm a librarian at the El Cajon branch of the SDCL, and it is about as different from Julian as it is possible to be! El Cajon is one of the largest branches in the system and one of the main reference centers for the county. (Vista is the other.) We answer a lot of the more difficult reference questions from the smaller branches, so we have a much larger collection than most other branches. It is also why we have some very expensive books on our wish list--you wouldn't believe how much things like encyclopedias cost! So if you have any very wealthy readers, send them our way! (We also have lots of regular books on the list as well--I just wanted to explain why we have these ones that cost over $100 as well.)

The El Cajon branch is located in the downtown of a suburb east of San Diego, so we serve a very varied population. I especially enjoy working here because you never know what (or who) will turn up next. There is rarely a dull moment, and we like it that way.

So, thanks again for helping us, and double thanks to everyone who is sending books--you have no idea how wonderful it is to know that there are people all over the world thinking of us and sending us presents!

Also, everyone, don't forget about your local libraries! Call up the librarians and ask a weird question--we like that.

Jenne Bergstrom
Reference and Young Adult Librarian
San Diego County Library, El Cajon Branch
(619) 588-3703

I finally got my act together and donated. 

The Potrero Branch is getting

Goodnight Moon (Spanish edition) : Buenas noches, Luna
101 Consejos Para Estar Teniendo Diabetes (Y Evitar Complicaciones)
Short Stories in Spanish (New Penguin Parallel Texts)

I picked Potrero because I grew up near the border (in NM) and like the idea of helping that kind of community!


Hi Pamie,

I just sent Where Is the Green Sheep?  by Mem Fox to the Fletcher Hills
Library. This is my first donation. I always loved libraries as a kid.

-Melissa P

Hi Pamie

Well, I just went crazy and sent a bunch of books to the Lincoln Acres Branch Library. I don't know what happened - I started at their wishlist and it spiraled out from there. I kept thinking of one more book I had to send. Anyway here's the list of what I sent:

Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs : A Book About Ancient Egypt Gail Gibbons; (This was on their wishlist). 
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference  Malcolm Gladwell; (Seemed appropriate -plus it's so interesting!). 
Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion (Trixie Belden, 1)  Julie Campbell; (Childhood favorite of mine). 
His Dark Materials Trilogy: The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass [BOX SET]  Philip Pullman; (Blew me away). 
1001 Most Useful English Words for Spanish-Speaking People (Beginners' Guides) Seymour Resnick; (Good reviews, sounded useful and fun). 
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt (Encyclopedia Brown (Paperback)) Donald J. Sobol; (Childhood favorite of mine). 
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of Greek Myths  Bernard Evslin; (Who doesn't love the Greek myths?). 
Beauty  Sheri S. Tepper; (Great spin on the classic fairy tale - good for yound adult and adult readers). 
The Partly Cloudy Patriot  Sarah Vowell; (So funny, so smart). 
Oh, Yuck: The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty  Joy Masoff; (All kids love this stuff and it's a great way to learn). 
Jokelopedia  Ilana Weitzman; (I was a total jokebook addict as a kid). 
The Crafty Diva's D. I. Y. Stylebook: A Grrrl's Guide to Cool Creations You Can Make, Show Off, and Share  Kathy Cano Murillo; (Crafting makes me happy!). 
Paper Bag Princess (Munsch for Kids)  Robert Munsch; (sweet, funny story with great message)

Man, that was so fun! I wish I could do it every day!

Thanks Pamie - for all your hard work and humor. I hope you are feeling better soon! Stupid staph obviously doesn't know who it's messing with!

Allie G

Hi Pamie-
I saw that more libraries were added to your bookdrive, so I decided to send a couple more.  The San Marcos Branch Library will be receiving: 

Diary of a Worm
The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2)

I took my nieces to their public library this week for the first time and loved how their eyes lit up when they saw all the "free" books.  Every kid should havea great selection of library books to choose from.


Howdy Pamie,

I was a good doobie last year and donated and now that I finally got paid, I was happy to donate

The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre (Oxford Illustrated Histories)
Bless Me, Ultima
Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years

to the Rancho San Diego branch. Thanks for organizing this once again!


Ah, Pamie...

Thank you for providing me with a way to get my daily dosage of good karma. Reading. God. I couldn't even begin to describe how much reading has meant to me throughout my life.

I donated 3 children's books to the Fletcher Hills Branch:

1) Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
2) The Gruffalo (Picture Books) by Julia Donaldson
3) And Here's to You by David Elliot

Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this...I dare someone to try to erase the warm and fuzzy feeling I just gave myself by donating these books :)

Carrie S

Hey there Pamie!

I'm a longtime reader and occasional poster of your blog. As of a few minutes ago, I donated the Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8  to the Casa De Oro Branch.

I was having a bad and rather hectic day, and I can't even begin to express to you what donating has done for my mood. It's such an uplifting feeling, knowing that I am contributing to the reading enrichment of so many children. My local library here in the Philly suburbs instilled a love for reading in me at a very early age. That love has continued with me to this day, and I believe that it has made me a better person. If my donation helps turn even one child onto reading, I will jump for joy. May bucketloads of karma rain down on you for many years to come!!

West Chester, PA

The library book drive for San Diego is a great and, unfortunately necessary thing.   How can we, living in the wealthiest country in the world, not care about educating and expand our own minds?  It continues to baffle me.  But then again, I am hoping for a change of course come November. ;)

Portero Branch will be receiving:

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal (Spanish edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Harry Potter y la Camara Secreta (Spanish edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) 


Dear Pamie,

I just got the San Marcos branch the first three Harry Potter books,

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)

because they rock, and Walter the Farting Dog , because the title alone made me laugh. Thanks for heading up the book drive again and I hope you are feelingbetter!


Hi Pam

I just made a donation of three books to the Del Mar Library:

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris — because, well, it’s DAVID SEDARIS. He’s the bomb, as you know.

Chicken Chickens Go to School

The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book — because dammit kids need books too! When I was a kid my library card was my ticket to another world, my time-travel card, my “Get Out Of a Mundane Day” free card simply by offering me the opportunity to vanish into another time and place. I wanted to purchase them some of my personal favorite children’s books, but I figured it was probably nicer to get them something from their wish list, since it means they don’t have it yet.

I chose the Del Mar library because my family and I spend several “mini” vacations a year in that lovely town (three of us have timeshare weeks there) — we’ve been going down there (from our home in Orange County) two or three times a year for 13 years or more, and the library is the quaintest, most charming little craftsman building you’ve ever seen, and, really, shouldn’t ALL libraries be so splendid? It is my dream town — the one I’d move to tomorrow if I won the lottery. I know you hear this every day from hundreds of people, but I hope it never gets old: Thank you for doing this. Your generosity of spirit and kindness are an inspiration on a daily basis.


P.S. I wrote you once before, when I had just started my own web page (the first one was about you, remember) — at the time I only had two entries in it, and now I’ve got... Well, lots! So thanks again for the inspiration.


The Spring Valley Branch will be receiving two books soon:

Miss Nelson Is Missing!
Miss Nelson Has a Field Day 

Thanks for doing this!

Boston, MA

Three books for Lemon Grove

No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men  by Lundy Bancroft
Practical English for Arabic Speakers

The first two books were the library's top priority, the third to get free shipping.  I'll be interested to see what Amazon recommends the next time I log in.



Not only do I have a nice new job that allowed me to donate a book this year ("A Fish Out of Water" to Rancho San Diego Library - I already e-mailed you about this one), but two days ago I was reviewed by my supervisors and received a very nice raise!  And when I came home to celebrate with my boyfriend, I found a thank-you card from the librarian in the mail telling me how happy they all were to have the book back in their collection.  This put me in such a great mood, that I donated 3 more books, this time to the Lemon Grove Branch (gotta spread the love!)

Leonardo Da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas
Get the Interview Every Time : Fortune 500 Hiring Professionals' Tips for Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters
Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy

Who knew spending money on strangers in a state I've never even been to could be so much fun?  Thank you!!


Hi Pamie-- 

Love the book drive idea.  I couldn't donate last year, but I am this year.  I just ordered 3 books for the Lincoln Acres branch--

Ingles para Latinos , Level 1
Ingles para Latinos Level 2
Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

I thought if they had lots of Spanish/English instruction books on their wish list, they could also use one fun book for the kids.  Good luck with everything.


Hi Pamie,

I donated The Human Story : Our History, From the Stone Age to Today  by James C. Davis and Nicolaus Copernicus: And the Founding of Modern Astronomy (Great Scientists) by Todd Goble to the Vista Branch, because science is cool and they really wanted them. Thanks so much for doing this again, some more. 


Hi Pamie!
Two books are on their way to the Lemon Grove branch:

Leonardo Da Vinci (Penguin Lives)  Sherwin B. Nuland;

Leonardo da Vinci (Masters of Art)  Jack Wasserman

I don't have any particular interest in daVinci myself (though I do enjoy art) but they were priority one on the wish list, and that is how I picked them.

Great job on the book drive again!!


Hi, I found out about this drive through a friends LJ and decided I had to participate since I live in San Diego. I picked the Vista Branch because I always went there as a kid and I continue to go there for fun. I sent:

Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo Andy Greenwald
Where's Waldo Now? (Waldo Classics) Martin Handford
Super Cilantro Girl/La superniña del cilantro  Juan Felipe Herrera

What you are doing is wonderful! Thanks for helping out the San Diego Libraries!!

- Coral