Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time to Exhale

The Huge Semi-Annual Used Book Sale is finished, the remaining boxes of books have gone to new homes, and the sorters are enjoying a well-deserved rest. But only for a few days because we'll be receiving donations again beginning October 6.

Here's one of our most frequently asked questions regarding the after-sale:

What do you do with the leftover books?

We donate them to legitimate charities. If your charity would like to get on this list, please send a request on your charity’s letterhead to us at Friends of Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Dr., Reston, VA 20190.

And here's the other most frequently asked question:

Do you discount the books on the last day?

No, we restock with fresh books up until the last minute that we have them, and remainders are donated to 501(c)(3)'s involved in promoting literacy. But, we think that hardbacks starting at $1.50, trade paperbacks at $1.00 and mass market paperbacks at .50 are a pretty good deal, so please come join us!

The Jigsaw Puzzle Mini-Sale is next. We are actively receiving donations for that. Please bring them to the circulation desk, with sides taped shut. The sale will kick off
November 5-9,

in the front lobby during regular library hours.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Revisiting an Earlier Comment

Right before the book sale started, we received a comment that we wanted to address, but that we just didn't have time to address adequately. We want to revisit it though, so here's the comment, and our response.

Anonymous wrote:

My sister, husband, and I have been patrons and Friends for many years. We're not renewing this year. In fact, we're not going to attend this sale. We normally spend in excess of $150 per day, and usuqally come twice during the sale.

Why won't we be there? Because the ban on backpacks isn't enough. Until you ban dealers from bringing in those huge plastic bins that block the walkways and until you ban them from snatching everything then carelessly throwing books in piles all over the place, then this sale really isn't reader friendly.

And the most ironic part of all of this - we're retired booksellers ourselves.

Our response:

We are sorry you missed out. If you had come, you would have found that our booksale was amazingly orderly. Our volunteers worked very hard to provide a shopping experience that filled all needs. We did not allow any big buckets -- the largest size allowed in was ONE basket the size of a USPS mail bucket. Every dealer who attended complied with that. Most dealers who attended, especially on Friends Night on Wednesday, commented that this was one of the most orderly sales they attend -- and that they appreciated it. We saw several of our dealer patrons over several days of the sale, so they must have a) been finding what they wanted and b) been willing to behave in a manner that allowed them to stay. Our non-dealer patrons must have been happy as well. Incidentally, our history is that it has not been dealers alone who have been rude and pushy. Everyone wants to point to the dealers because they tend to be identifiable, but we have non-dealer patrons who, on occasion, show a lack of judgment in their behavior standards. We intervene as soon as we notice it, and the result is as stated above -- EVERYONE is enjoying the sale more.

As we're currently toting up our sales figures, we're discovering that we have set a new record for a semi-annual sale -- and that's WITHOUT the children's and young adult books.

It might be that you've thrown the baby out with the bathwater by deciding not to attend or renew your membership. We invite you to return.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

We've Been Blogged

Check out what Restonian said about our sale! It seems the efforts we've made to increase civility are starting pay off. The yeoman efforts our book specialists make to restock and cull are also paying off. We've made more money so far this sale than any in the past, and closing earlier each day (due to new library hours) gives our volunteers a chance to recover some before the next day!

Donations will be accepted again beginning October 6. We look forward to seeing you at the following sales:

Jigsaw Puzzle Mini Sale (November)
Holiday Mini Sale (December )
Mystery Mini Sale (February)
Childrens & Young Adult Sale (March)
Semi-Annual Used Book Sale (April)

So watch this spot for more details!


Saturday, September 26, 2009


It's time again for Wordzzle! You can tell by reading Charly's and the Blogger's that we have book sale on the brain! If you'd like to play along, first, visit Raven's Nest to find out the guidelines. Then post on your own blog and link to Raven's Mr. Linky. If you don't have a blog, you can e-mail it to us and we'll post it with ours.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: Tibetan sky, symbols, won’t you come home Bill Baily, shadow figures, brain cortex, practice makes perfect, life, start of school, lavender, chow down And for the mini: mental hospital, falling leaves, apple cider, packing crates, clues

Driving through the mountains on this rural road, I feel as though we're back in time. Such a peaceful day, little traffic and a brisk wind now and then. An old grocery store looms ahead and we decide to make a stop. With old gas pumps and apple PACKING CRATES piled along the side of the building there are no CLUES as to what we'll find as we enter the store. A few locals inside are chatting about the new construction going on down the road; a MENTAL HOSPITAL they say. They appear to be happy that jobs are forthcoming. We buy refreshments and go sit in the garden behind the building. Sitting in the fresh air on this glorious day one feels at peace with the FALLING LEAVES drifting downward in shades of red and gold, it's a sure sign that Fall is on the way. In the quietness of the garden you can hear the hum of a buzz saw and faint hammering; must be the building the locals spoke about. As I bring the mug of hot APPLE CIDER to my lips, with eyes closed I savor the aroma it brings forth..Hey, wait a minute-- it smells like coffee. Coffee??? I open my eyes and see my husband placing a cup of coffee on the night stand. With a little nudge and a smile on his face he says, 'time to get a move on it..you've got a book Sale to run.'


Imported apple cider - in their packing crates,
were seen sitting - ready for delivery..
To the patients within - this mental hospital,
where all are treated - with embraced civility..
Some patients have - no earthly clues,
what these crates hold - but know they're for them..
They all understand - it is something to drink,
that the lavender logo means - it's from a friend.
In the background - Won't you come home Bill Bailey,
is heard playing - as one enters the hall..
And, if one looks out - you'd see falling leaves,
under a Tibetan sky - gently landing as they fall..
While patients sit at tables - ready to chow down,
their brain cortex - never bring thoughts to mind..
They just live - in their own little worlds,
not even knowing - when it's their bedtime.
Some appear as shadow figures - no more than symbols,
of the former life - that they once knew..
Others act as little children - at the start of school,
with anticipation and joy - in all they'll do..
They all seem happy - in these surroundings,
which is given credence - by all their smiles..
And, if practice makes perfect - they've succeeded,
for their souls have traveled - many angelic miles.


The Semi-Annual Friends of Reston Regional Library Used Book Sale is a great place to find a treasure that may change your life. Whether you dream of hiking under a Tibetan sky, growing and harvesting lavender, singing the old tune, “Won’t you come home Bill Baily?”, or understanding the intricacies of the brain cortex, we probably have a book or CD about it. Many people visit the fall sale because it’s at the start of school. One woman said yesterday that she found every one one of the books for her daughter’s AP English class in our literature section. One reason our book sale is the best in the region because we clearly mark everything that needs to be identified, using symbols or words. This sale we have received many compliments about the way the sale is organized. That’s because practice makes perfect. We have been doing this for years and years, and have learned each time how to implement things better the next time. Another reason for our success is that we have the best volunteers in the county, that’s for sure, and we take good care of them. One of the enticements to work the sale is that we chow down on food donated by local merchants that is truly tasteful. The third reason for our amazing sale success is the shadow figures such as Pam, Anne, Ron and Cheryl who make sure everything behind the scenes is on track as well. This is an amazing team, and it benefits the library by over $30k each sale. Good job everyone!

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: family, cheese cake, 20 years ago, refrigerator, laugh and the world laughs with you, bath brush, zombies, African violets, butterflies, holding hands

And for the mini: monsters in the closet, roughly, bowling, menu, Pennsylvania

Thursday, September 24, 2009


It isn't so. That's right, the Washington Post (Fairfax Section) got it wrong. Our trade paperbacks are not $10 per copy. They're $1.00 Slight typo on their part. But we know that our book sale patrons are WAY smarter than to read something that says hardbacks start at $1.50, trade paperbacks start at $10 and mass market paperbacks start at $.50 and think that the ten dollars is a real number.

Thanks to the sharp readers who saw it -- sorry if it confused anyone. But again, we know that you're smarter than that. After all, you're smart enough to attend the best used book sale in Fairfax County year after year! Way smart.


Book Sale Bonanza!

Wow! Friends' Night on Wednesday evening set a new record for sales. We don't know if it's changing the day to Wednesday (forced by new library closing times) or what, but LOTS of people came and LOTS of people spent money. We also know that it's due to LOTS of volunteers sorting, packing, and displaying great quality books at bargain prices.

So you feel like you missed out? Well, there are still 4 days of the book sale left, opening to the General Public today at 10. If you still feel left out, purchase a membership before the spring book sale (last weekend in April) and join us on Friends Night then!


If you're looking for something really interesting to do on the weekend (after attending our book sale), you might want to check this out at the City of Fairfax Regional Library:

Any of you who might have personal recollections of the 1930s (either your own or stories from your family) that you would like to share on tape come to Room 214 between 11 and 3 at City of Fairfax Library Saturday. Volunteers from GMU's Special Collections Dept. will be conducting oral history interviews that will be videotaped for posterity.

Other Special Events that day
Soul of a People: A Community Celebration of the WPA Federal Writers Project
September 26 at City of Fairfax Regional Library
Come learn more about the 1930s and the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers Project when the City of Fairfax Regional Library celebrates “Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story,” an event presented in conjunction with the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary and David A Taylor’s book. The library’s
Virginia Room will display photos of Fairfax County during the 1930s and will collect oral histories from Fairfax County residents, plus a series of events will offer glimpses into the culture of the 1930s, including the following:
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. — Award-winning musician Bill Wellington performs folk music from the 1930s. Storyteller Bill Wellington has entertained audiences, and especially young audiences, throughout America for over thirty years. He began his career in 1977 as artist-in-residence in a small mountain community in West Virginia. Bill is also a folk musician performing on banjo, fiddle and guitar. In 1987 he won the West Virginia Old Time Banjo Championship. Bill Wellington has performed at the National Theatre, the Smithsonian, the International Children’s Festival and at over 1,000 elementary schools. In September 2007 he toured in Denmark and Sweden with Troublesome Creek String Band.
3:00 p.m.Dick Stohr, That Yo-Yo Guy — who has set six yo-yo World Records! — performs tricks and discusses yo-yo history, including the story of Don Duncan Sr., who trademarked the name Yo-Yo and sparked its tremendous popularity in the 1930s.

The Friends of the Virginia Room are holding a Used History Book Sale in Room 103 from 10-4 on Saturday. There are lots of Virginia History and Civil War books, biographies and much more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Floor Plan

This is the new floor plan for the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale. We have more room for more books now that the Children's Sale items are broken out for a separate sale. Woo hoo! See you tomorrow night!

Ready, SET, Go!

And we mean that about sets! You wouldn't believe how many great sets we have on offer this week at the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale!

As always, we have many Great Courses on audio CD or cassettes (depends on the series). Examples:

America and the New Global Economy

American Ideals: Founding a Republic of Virtue

Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

Augustine: Philosopher & Saint

Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth and the Rise of Humanity

Business Law: Negligence and Torts

Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

Confucius, the Tao, the Ancestors and the Buddha: Religions of China

Quantum Mechanics: The Physics of the Microscopic World

Quest for Meaning: Value, Ethics and the Modern Experience

The Book of Genesis

The Foundations of Western Civilization

The Great Ideas of Psychology

The Historical Jesus

The History of Ancient Rome

The History of the English Language

The Joy of Mathematics

The Joy of Science

The New Testament

The Old Testament

The Story of Human Language

The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy

And more!

We also have sets to help you learn Colloquial Persian, Italian, Portuguese and/or French. Or enjoy Lee's Lieutenants or Sci FI of MechWarrior Dark Age – 26 of them, or, or, or….!

And this isn't all of the sets on hand! They are located in the hall on the metal shelves, right across from the Pay Phones and they're bargains!

Monday, September 21, 2009

3-2-1 GO GO GO

Yep! Today is Monday, and the HUGE, FANTASTIC, SEMI-ANNUAL USED BOOK SALE starts


Friends Night will begin at 5 p.m. The drill, for those who are new to this event, is that you come early enough to have your membership status checked. We'll either give you a ticket to go in at 5 or offer you the opportunity to renew or purchase a membership at that time. If the latter, then you'll get a ticket.

Please, no strollers or backpacks of any kind.

Please, be civil (you know your momma taught you how to behave in public. Pretend she's watching!)

We have moved some categories because we will not have any children's or Young Adult fiction -- so ask if you can't find something that you easily located in the past.

Please, DO visit our Specials Room. Lots of good stuff in there!

We take cash and checks. NO CREDIT CARDS. There is an ATM in the lobby, but we make no claims as to its working status. We have NO control over that.

Don't miss the opportunity to purchase a fabulous Friends T-Shirt, Mouse-Pad, Lanyard or Coffee Cup -- or all of the above! All purchases help sustain the efforts of our library staff to spread literacy throughout our community.

Questions? Comments? E-mail us!


Saturday, September 19, 2009


This week only Kit and Charly are playing Raven's game. The Blogger was overwhelmed by kids going back to school. But, since everyone in the story is happy in Spain, I think I'll leave them there and end it. This week off will give me some time to think about new characters, etc.

If you'd like to play along, first, visit Raven's Nest to find out the guidelines. Then post on your own blog and link to Raven's Mr. Linky. If you don't have a blog, you can e-mail it to us and we'll post it with ours.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were:dangerous, engine, sullenly, bespoke, evergreen, bauble, medicine, freight, destined, tinsel And for the mini: carbon, feelers, outright, ballet, fizzing

When life's FEELERS - reach out to us,
we hope good - is what they'll bring..
Could be no more than - a BALLET dancer,
striving for balance - or voices that want to sing..
Then there may be - CARBON copies of past mistakes,
that return to us full blown - among our days..
Just attack them with - OUTRIGHT FIZZING,
and the lesson learned - will pave our ways.
And, there will be times - when we feel,
that a FREIGHT train - has derailed its track..
while dumping on us - its' scattered debris,
that gives one a headache - or aching back..
But just think - perhaps this is DESTINED to be,
to be sure, that the soul - will continually grow..
And while these feelings - may seem SULLENLY,
the universe may have BESPOKE - of this, eons ago.
For we do not know - when our higher self,
will become the ENGINE - of our desires..
It could be known - as the ultimate MEDICINE,
that is given to each - to guide our lives.
Some decisions we make - may seem DANGEROUS,
but know that - everything works for the greater good..
Like the EVERGREEN tree - retains it's foliage,
each soul will surely - advance as it should.
So, try to treat things - whether they're good or bad,
as a pretty BAUBLE - or, a piece of shiny TINSEL..
And keep tho'ts in consciousness - only a short time,
while letting acceptance - be your life's untensil..
For there are no accidents - in universal teachings,
as all things - happen for ones best..
Take heart - and look beyond the obvious,
You'll find, you've passed - another facet of life's test.


As the car slowed for the DANGEROUS curve ahead, the driver checked to make sure the ENGINE light had not come on as it had been doing of late. Connie was DESTINED to be delayed if it appeared again. Her precious FREIGHT was her 8 year old niece who was sick and needed to be home in bed. Connie's sister, Jane, could not get off from work, so she had done the deed. On the trip back from the doctor they had stopped for the MEDICINE and was now heading home. Arriving home Julie's eyes BESPOKE the fever within her small body, but she insisted she felt ok. After all, she was to put the TINSEL on the Christmas tree tonight as well as the EVERGREEN boughs on the windowsills. But now she would have to go to bed. Bummer! SULLENLY casting a look about the room to no one in particular, she climbed the stairs and went to her room. When Connie gave Julie a dose of medicine, she also gave her a small BAUBLE for good luck for being such a good little trooper. She turned the light down and as the patient grew sleepy, the goodnight hug she received made it all worthwhile. She accepted the title of 'aunt' with pride. Connie went downstairs to await Jane's arrival. Taking off her shoes, grabbing her book she curled up on the couch to continue the mystery she had started. She was close to finding the identity of the killer..just as she reached the section of 'who dun it', she looked up and Jane was standing in the doorway. Oh!, hi Jane! Mentally she borrowed Julie's word .. bummer...the killer still awaits to be identified.

And a link to a Friend who has joined us once before. Hers is to last week's words, but it's good -- and maybe she'll get the timing right this week! Go see Air!

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: Tibetan sky, symbols, won’t you come home Bill Baily, shadow figures, brain cortex, practice makes perfect, life, start of school, lavender, chow down

And for the mini:
mental hospital, falling leaves, apple cider, packing crates, clues


Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Sale News

Semi-Annual Used Book Sale

Friends Night, Wednesday September 23,
5:00-7:30 pm
(memberships available for purchase)

General Public:
Thursday September 24, 10-4
Friday September 25, 10-4
Saturday September 26, 10-4
Sunday September 27, 1-3:30

Something for everyone:
Fiction (Paper and Hardback)
Cookbooks, Hobbies, Self-Help
Sports, Mystery, Science Fiction
History, Computers, Business
Poetry & Literature, Humor and MORE!
Prices range from .50 for rack paperbacks to $1.50 for hardbacks in like-new condition. Higher prices may apply for exceptional or rare books.
We restock all day every day of the sale, so shop early and shop often! Some book types sell out sooner than others, so it's better to come sooner than later.
There will be no children's, young adults, or teacher specific materials.
No backpacks of any kind -- the ones that hold children or anything else.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? E-mail us


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One Week to Go

It doesn't seem possible, but it is true. One week from tonight we will begin our Fall 09 Semi-Annual Used Book Sale!

To make shopping more pleasant for everyone, we will follow our usual guidelines. Those are:

1. If you're going into
the Specials Room, we'll ask you to leave your other books and bags outside on a cart with your name (we have slips) on
them. This helps control the flow of books in and out of the Specials Room, helps minimize damage to the books there, and allows more patrons to move around in there
searching for books.

2. Each sale we get a few complaints about a few patrons' behavior. We ask that you remember that people of all kinds attend this sale. In a perfect world we would all be polite to one another. However, this isn't a perfect world and some people let their enthusiasm for good bargains trump what their moms should have taught them about common courtesy. If another patron's behavior is egregious, please notify one of the book sale workers. We will try to address the situation. That said, we reserve the right to ask anyone who is being a nuisance to leave.

3. Dealers. Some non-dealer patrons ask us why we allow dealers to come and purchase so many books. Some of our dealer and reseller patrons have been loyal and faithful book buyers for years. We appreciate their business. We know there are other book sales, and they choose to spend their money with us. If the non-dealer patrons would or could purchase the volume of books the dealers do, we could ban dealers. But we wouldn't because we LIKE our dealer friends, and we LIKE our non-dealer patrons, so we just ask that everyone give others a measure of grace. If we all act like we are civilized, we will
all benefit from that. That said, we reserve the right to ask anyone who is being a nuisance to leave.

4. Backpacks -- we banned these during the Children's Book Sale and it was such a more pleasant environment that we will continue this practice. No backpacks -- not the kind that holds stuff and not the kind that holds kids. If you have to bring little ones, please be aware that there will be NO children's books, and that we will no longer allow backpacks to carry the kids in. Fire Marshal rules prohibit strollers.

5. We restock all weekend and will do our best to keep the room full of good stuff to
choose from. That said -- we can't get them to the tables if you aren't cognizant of us trying to move through the crowd. When you hear a book sale worker say, "excuse me" or "coming through", please let them do so. It may be your favorite genre they're bringing in!

6. Next Wednesday night is Friends' Night. That means you need to have a current membership to shop on Wednesday, 23 September. You can purchase or renew that night, but you'll spend less time in line if you go ahead and do it before hand. Use the sidebar to the right and we'll take care of our end immediately.

7. As always, we value your patronage and support. Please help us by providing constructive criticism (preferably after the sale) about what can be improved!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Review Monday

The blogger rarely reads brand new books. One of the reasons is that they tend not to be sitting in the donation bin! The blogger will confess that after working at the book sale and purchasing hardcover books with dust jackets for $1.50, she is hard pressed to pay retail OR wait on the hold list for most books. So when a book jumps into her hand from the donation bin, she usually feels compelled to read it.

This book, East of the Mountains by David Guterson, is one of those books. It is the story of a retired heart surgeon, Ben Givens, who has been traumatized by life. He has lost his beloved wife, and now his own body is riddled with terminal cancer. As a physician, he is fully aware of the messy clinical death that awaits him and he resolves to avoid it. Further, he resolves to spare anyone else (including his daughter and grandson) that experience.

A long time hunter, Ben decides to go out for one last hunting trip with his dogs during which he plans to take his own life, making it look like a hunting accident. But life has a funny way of intervening with our own will to end it, and Ben is drawn back from the brink through a series of events that connect his still-living heart to the hearts of others he meets along the way.

This book is a stark confrontation with the reality many try to avoid. We will all die, but how we choose to live is the legacy we pass on. Thinking through these things is part of what makes us human.

The book is worth reading, and copies will be be available for sale, along with zillions of other books, at the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale at Reston Regional Library, beginning September 23 with Friends Night. Not a member? Use the sidebar to become one or to renew. That will get you in at 5 p.m. on Wednesday night. On Thursday, September 24, we'll open to the General Public at 10 a.m. See ya then!

Comments, questions, suggestions? E-mail us or comment!


Saturday, September 12, 2009


Each week, Raven at Raven's Nest gives us 15 words to work into a paragraph or short story. One can do a mini (5 words), the challenge (10 words) or the maxi (15). This is a great opportunity to get your literary and imaginative juices flowing. We'd love for you to join us! Just e-mail us for details!

The words for this week's ten word challenge were:Charitable, alligator, tribute, drunk, slave, preparation, carrots, mountainside, propeller, lark For the mini challenge: chisel, worship, suicide, organic, plus

Kit brings us another lovely poem:

Being in a CHARITABLE mood to time - I sit,
and am filled - with much emotion..
I think of how - the flow of energy,
is like a PROPELLER's thrust - of motion..
For energy gives TRIBUTE - to all forms of life,
and can be seen - wherever one looks..
Just keep an open mind - and you will find,
that not all answers - come from books.
Energy moves the rabbit - down the MOUNTAINSIDE,
to find the CARROTS - lovingly laid out for him..
While in a tree - a LARK can be heard in song,
announcing a new day - that soon will begin..
And, if one looks closely - by the water's edge,
you can see movement - of the ALLIGATOR's form..
With the splendor of nature - and mankind,
PREPARATION of this day - is born.
So, I guess - what I'm really thinking,
is don't let life - make you a SLAVE..
Enjoy relaxation with - family and friends,
and with all challenges - be brave..
For when you've DRUNK - from the fountain of life,
energies of wisdom, truth - and love are found..
And with these traits - flowing through you,
you are the songbird's - melodious sound.

Charly offers another evocative paragraph:

Who wants to be a SLAVE to the kitchen? Not I, said Charly K, I'd rather spend my time on a MOUNTAINSIDE in the Rockies breathing the clear air with skies of blue above, listening to the LARK and other melodious birds. But reality finds me in the kitchen deciding the PREPARATION of dinner. Humph, I refuse to have ALLIGATOR meat even tho my nephew insists it tastes like chicken; he's very CHARITABLE in sharing the meat, but chicken is a better choice as far as I'm concerned. Working at the sink I gaze out and see my neighbor's child spinning the PROPELLER of a small, remote aircraft that will soon be airborne; looking to the left I see small ducklings waddling behind the mother duck..they look a little DRUNK as they rush to the small pond. The greatest view though is the American flag waving proudly in TRIBUTE to our military. Stop day dreaming, Charly and get on with the cooking. With dinner now in the oven, I walk to the freezer and pull out the CARROT cake that will be dessert. Is anybody out there (besides the Dragons), hungry?

And the adventure of Dr. Hill continues, courtesy of the Friends' Blogger:

The days at the beach were lovely. While Hill was acutely aware that he was a slave to Laila’s whims, he tried to be stern and firm and all those things that Ward Cleaver had been. But Ward hadn’t been subjected to Laila’s brand of perseverance! Fortunately, her “full speed ahead” was counterbalanced by the lovely and calm Louisa.

The beach was at the base of a mountainside where the rocks went down right into the ocean. This made the water an excellent place for harvesting sea urchins for dinner, the preparation of which was a specialty of Louisa’s. She added fresh herbs, carrots, and a light white sauce served over rice. It had become a favorite in no time at all.

During the day Hill and his ladies went for rides in an ocean going canoe, with a small electric propeller motor to help them maneuver in between the huge rocks. The chatty little girl was the perfect foil for the intensity of Hill’s feelings for Louisa. Every time he felt himself drunk with her presence, Laila sailed in with an idea for some lark that would require his full attention to deter or fulfill.

The last evening before they were to return to the city, Hill arranged for Laila to play with the landlady’s children while he and Louisa went out for a ‘grown-up’ meal. They dined al fresco at a small place called Caiman Y Camarones (Alligator and Shrimp). A charitable travel guide would call it a hole in the wall. Yet the food was delicious – freshly caught fish and locally grown produce. More importantly, the privacy was complete. The waiter was attentive without being intrusive. The couple talked about inconsequential things for a while and then fell silent.

“Is something wrong?” Louisa asked.

“No, everything is just right, “he answered. “This is the first time I’ve been able to spend time with you alone since we were in the U.S.! I love Laila dearly, but she’s a full time occupation!”

Louisa laughed. “Yes, she is intense. But that’s wonderful. She cares so deeply about everything. That’s a passion that is difficult to maintain as we age.”

“What would you know about aging?” he asked playfully. “You look young and beautiful and . . .” he trailed off.

“And what?” she asked softly.

“Totally out of my reach,” he finished. “I want to get to know you and there’s always this sparkling 6 year old presence in between us.”

“And what would you do if you knew me better?” Louisa asked.

“I’d ask you what you’re doing for the rest of forever.” he replied.

“Yes,” she said.


“The answer is yes. If you’re asking me to marry you, the answer is yes.” Louisa stopped, surprised by her own boldness. “I can’t imagine life without you and Laila. I love being her nanny/tutor, and I’d like a more complete relationship with both of you. But I’m an old fashioned girl and I don’t believe in friends with benefits. It’s all or nothing.” She relaxed into her chair, finally having spoken the words that had been bottled up inside her for weeks.

Hill pulled a small box out of his jacket pocket and opened it toward her. “I hoped we’d get to have this conversation,” he said with relief. “Will you marry me?”

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: dangerous, engine, sullenly, bespoke, evergreen, bauble, medicine, freight, destined, tinsel

And for the mini: carbon, feelers, outright, ballet, fizzing


Friday, September 11, 2009


Let us tell you first,


But, at this point, we are full up to the top with boxes for the next sale, so please, no more donations until after the sale. We will put up a sign saying when -- it's usually about a week to 10 days.

If you can wait, that would be great!

If you simply MUST get rid of these books, please consider donating to one of the other Fairfax County Library branches -- we all do book sales at some level, so you'll still be helping promote literacy in the county!

Thank you again for your donations!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall 2009 Toplist

The toplist is a listing of the harvested "goodies" from our special donations. These are books that are rare or high demand for some other reason. This means they are worth more. Our fiduciary responsibility requires that we assess them and price them accordingly. If you are a current (paid up) member of the Friends of the library and you're interested in one, please contact us. We won't sell it before Friends Night on September 23, but we'll note your interest and you'll have the first opportunity to review it for purchase that night.

There are some truly interesting things here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Peaceful

The kids are back in school! Whee! Now the opportunity to turn toward peaceful zen-inducing pursuits. And RestonFriends1, our on-line presence, has just the things.

Sherrill Kahn presents readers with another of her beautiful books that inspire as well as teach. In today's economy, many will be looking for a different outlet for holiday gift-giving. This book, Creative Embellishments: For Paper, Jewelry, Fabric and More, will transform your gift of time into art work. This copy appears to never have been used and sells for $16.50 at our site.

Jewelry making has become quite the rage for those with an eye for design and creativity. This book, Beading With Crystals: Beautiful Jewelry, Simple Techniques, will help you unleash the designer in you!
Or better yet, this book, plus a 'starter package' of beads and supplies from a craft store would be an excellent gift for a teen. It gets good reviews from people who make jewelry themselves. Our copy is $14.

And finally, Erica Wilson's Needlepoint: Adapted from Objects in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will inspire all needlepointers, from the newbie to the most experienced. There are 17 new projects, each inspired by art and objects in the Met's collection. The graphics charts get particularly high praise from needlepointers commenting on
Amazon. Our copy is $26.

So get creative, and get busy! As always, if you're a current local member and are interested in one of these books sans postage, contact us via e-mail and we'll arrange your purchase.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

Play Wordzzle with us!

Wordzzle is a word game started by Raven in which she gives us 5 or 10 words, and we combine them for a mini, challenge, or maxi into a paragraph, story or some other creative writing.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: Spam, perpetual motion, sprinkle, telephone pole, stains, alphabetical, surgery, flattery, liberty, preservation For the mini challenge: shadows, singularity, Florida, caterpillars, copy

Charly's this week is particularly good! Reminds us to be grateful.

FLORIDA--the land of sun, heat, afternoon T-storms, CATERPILLARS, and the P-3 Orion aircraft. What fun it was to park along the road and watch the plane come in for a landing. As it approached the field and passed right above you, the SHADOWS it cast were quick but the excitement in seeing the 'big bird' up close and personal was a delight. This was fun for those parked along the roadside. The SINGULARITY of each plane had it's own crew number painted on it and if you were part of that squadron's community, you could always tell which crew was returning. There were many an artist who made a COPY of this graceful bird, but none can compare to the real beauty as it performed its duty over land and sea keeping watch night and day helping to keep us safe. For these crews, we are most thankful.

And Kit's, as always, is thought provoking:

Nestled in the cocoons - on the leaves,
of a Sycamore tree..
SHADOWS of the CATERPILLARS - are seen,
awaiting - to be set free..
For soon, they'll - become butterflies,
with SINGULARITY - of many hues..
upon their wings - as they fly,
to unknown paths - each pursues.
The time is now - and they come forth,
the birth cycle - is complete..
They flap their wings - and take flight,
searching for nectar - sweet to eat..
And, finding flowers - along the way,
they land to rest - for a while..
Their destination - is to reach FLORIDA,
which will require strength - for every mile.
And, reaching this place - of warmth and sunshine,
an artist watches - as they land..
Upon the flowers - in his garden,
he's glad he has his 'paint's - at hand..
But, soon he realizes - this COPY he's made,
is just a meager attempt - at best..
For nothing can truly capture - the beauty,
of these butterflies - his very welcomed guests.

Hill was overwhelmed by the presence of the two women in his life. Laila was a perpetual motion machine, but one that sprinkled her speech with spam (when she was just talking to the air) and flattery (when she wanted something), and unfortunately included a touch of information he needed to pick up on in order to be a good dad. It was exhausting! Louisa helping was a good thing, but as beautiful and competent and kind as she was – well, it threatened the preservation of his sanity. Before Laila, he would have wined and dined Louisa hoping she would be as attracted to him as he was to her. Now he wasn’t sure whether he should allow a romantic relationship. If things ended badly, they didn’t just end badly for him, but for Laila too. As he struggled with this, he tried to keep Louisa at a distance and to think of her as the teacher/caregiver.

Louisa was wonderful in that role. She was tutoring Laila brilliantly, making it a science lesson to eliminate the mildew stains from the bathroom shower, a math and language arts lesson to organize all the kitchen supplies in alphabetical order, and taken lots of time outside with Laila so the child would have the liberty to explore her world. This was all good. So why did Hill keep waking up from that nightmare where he was going ninety miles an hour and about to wrap himself around a telephone pole?

Still, he was whistling as he walked home from the university that afternoon. He came home to find science class wrapping up. The girls had just finished performing surgery on some cocoons. There were strands of gooey silken stuff all over the table. Laila looked up at him, pleased with their efforts. “This is so cool! Every caterpillar makes a copy of the same kind of silk the others use. But the silk itself is a singularity in the animal kingdom! No matter how hard they try, scientists haven’t been able to duplicate it. Did you know that the ancients used the silk for wounds? Spider silk too! And did you know that the state butterfly of Florida is the zebra longwing? And that they have a very complex social structure? And that their reproduction is really interesting. You see…”

Here Hill interrupted her by holding up his hand in the “stop the traffic position”. “Laila,” he said, “take a breath!” He continued, “I know you’re excited about what you’re learning, but you need to give other people a break. We don’t listen as fast you talk. And my brain certainly doesn’t switch topics as fast as you do! Give me time to follow.” She blinked at him, astonished to find that her favorite scientist wasn’t as completely thrilled as she was with her stream of consciousness broadcasting. But then she smiled and happily said, “Okay!” And then what she had said hit him, “why are you talking about Florida? We’re in Spain!” Laila laughed, “because my favorite butterfly in the book you bought last week was the zebra longwing. I had to translate the Spanish beneath that photo word by word. By the time I finished I had learned so much I was BURSTING to share it.” He laughed, pleased with her exuberance.

Louisa looked up. “Welcome home. How was your day?” Hill turned to her, “ah, a normal greeting. Thank you. It was fine. How was yours?” Louisa grinned, “a bit tiring but very good!” She went on, “You have shadows under your eyes. Are you not sleeping well?” Hill was at once embarrassed. “Well, it’s been hot you know. “ Suddenly he was inspired. “Look, this is a holiday weekend in Spain. Let’s go to the beach. We’ll take the tent and camping gear and just go enjoy time away. I’m sure the sound of the surf will lull me into hours of great sleep.”

The ladies jumped up and began cleaning up their science project, clearly excited to head out for a new adventure.


Friday, September 4, 2009


Did you get your e-mail from Charly yet? Did you notice that we have MORE days to cover now, but fewer hours each day? Did you notice that we have little bit less time to set up?

We need you. We need our faithful long term volunteers. We need new volunteers. We need younger eyes, backs and leg muscles. And all of
those folks need to be the kind of people who enjoy good fellowship and good food. Because seriously, our Donations Chair Helen somehow cajoles the local restauranturs into providing great food for the volunteers. I think it's because they support the mission of the Reston Friends -- to increase opportunities for literacy in our community.

So if you're new to the area and have wondered where to get involved, here's the place. E-mail us or comment or call the library and leave a message for Charly (703-689-2700). We'll get back to you!

Here are some photos to help you appreciate why we do what we do!

Photos by Darlene


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Puzzling Intake

It's that time of the year again -- the Reston Regional Friends are collecting jigsaw puzzles for our puzzle sale in November. Please bring your puzzles, with lids taped shut, to the circulation desk to donate. Please ensure that the puzzles are complete.

Questions? E-mail us!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Semi-Annual HUGE Sale

Semi-Annual Used Book Sale

Friends Night, Wednesday September 23,
5:00-7:30 pm
(memberships available for purchase)

General Public:
Thursday September 24, 10-4
Friday September 25, 10-4
Saturday September 26, 10-4
Sunday September 27, 1-3:30

  • Something for everyone:
    • Fiction (Paper and Hardback)
    • Cookbooks, Hobbies, Self-Help
    • Sports, Mystery, Science Fiction
    • History, Computers, Business
    • Poetry & Literature, Humor and MORE!
  • Prices range from .50 for rack paperbacks to $1.50 for hardbacks in like-new condition. Higher prices may apply for exceptional or rare books.
  • We restock all day every day of the sale, so shop early and shop often! Some book types sell out sooner than others, so it's better to come sooner than later.
  • There will be no children's, young adults, or teacher specific materials.
  • No backpacks of any kind -- the ones that hold children or anything else.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? E-mail us


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guns, Germs, and Books

The DVD series is actually Guns, Germs and Steel and it was a very well regarded National Geographic series based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name by Jared Diamond. Our copy is $18.50 at RestonFriends1.

Perhaps something more peaceful appeals to you? How about

Verdi? Nabucco, Verdi’s third opera isn’t exactly peaceful, but it is

music and they say that soothes the savage whatever. This Deutsches Gramaphone recording on CD is of the Berlin State Opera Orchestra and gets excellent reviews. Our copy is only $16.50 at RestonFriends1.

And finally, something to stimulate your palate. Roger Verge’s Vegetables in the French Style by the creator of Moulin de Mougins in the South of France is enticing enough to turn a meat eater into a vegetarian. Interesting recipes are accompanied by beautiful photography and excellent recipes. Our copy is new, and only $28 at RestonFriends1.

These and many more are available at RestonFriends1. If you are a current

local Friend, we can get them to you without you paying shipping costs. E-mail us!