National Read a Book Day

OK, friend, why are you here? It’s read a book day.

How can you do that surreptitiously while at work? I can’t suborn such behavior, but you already know about this:

http://www.gutenberg.org/

You probably have seen this:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-books-ultimate-classics/id364612911?mt=8

You might find this new:

https://store.kobobooks.com/p/free-ebooks

And you doubtless have this already:

http://www.freebooks.com/

(I mean, c’mon, it’s literally “freebooks.com.”)

So, open one and read a page. Just a page. It could even be this page:

15thfrench

Enjoy, fellow Pheniacs!

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Book Lover’s Day

Fish in a barrel, my friend.

You love books, I love books. It’s our day! We can’t always run to the bookstore and spend all our grocery money on books. (I have run the experiment: Continued pursuit of that practice means we eat less, which reduces our muscle tone, which makes it harder to run.) Here are some ways to get books that won’t empty the coffers:

1. The Thrift Shop

macklemore

Yes, get out there and pop some tags. My local sells hardcovers for a quarter and paperbacks for ten cents. Most of them are about the Celestine Prophecy, but there’s good stuff if you dig. Keep your eyes open for church rummage sales—there are Comboni Missionaries in my area that will let me have an entire paper grocery bag of books (and these are prime-quality, well-loved treasures) for six bucks. Six bucks!

2. Craigslist

booksceiling

Typically, these offerings are either last year’s edition of that bio text you need or some true crud. But there are gems. People move, they downsize, they go to that great bookstore in the sky. And they need someone to cart away their beloved friends. Set up a Google alert and keep the trunk empty—you never know when it might start raining books.

[NB: While I’m not sure I approve of books as pure decoration, this image makes me think how convenient it would be to have my current read hovering eight inches over my eyes. See you on Shark Tank.]

3. Little Free Library

little-free-library

This is a thing. When I first saw one, I thought, At last, I’m living in the future I always knew would come. Then I looked up, noted the absence of flying cars (Where are my flying cars? We were supposed to get those in 2000.), and knew it was today’s reality.

The site has a map so you can find one near you. It also explains how you can build one. You know you want to do this. Imagine bringing the sort of delight you are experiencing right now to other book lovers. What better way to celebrate the day?

I won’t insult you by mentioning your public library. If you’re like me, you have a suite of library identities that would make Jason Bourne envious. If you don’t currently owe the library a mint, you might need to be reading Bibliophilia. Or Bibliolike. Or even Bibliomeh. We’re hard core up in here. If you’re a true Pheniac, you should already be the office go-to for unwanted books and you should be polishing your funeral elevator speech: “So sorry about Uncle Joe. Have you thought about what you’re going to do with all those heavy, dusty books of his?”

Share your tips here and let us know how we go about finding what to read next.