Friday, October 3, 2008

Freebie Friday

Head on over to MomAdvice today for Freebie Friday. Amy's always got a lot of good stuff you can get for free. I can't even tell you how much shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, personal hygiene products, and food I've gotten samples of just for the asking. I can guarantee you don't wanna miss a single Freebie Friday!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An Organized Love of Books

So, you love books...but you are trying to live simply and frugally...and want to be organized as well. Here are some ways to do that...

First of all, get what you have at home organized. Of course, you don't need to have a working knowledge of the Dewey decimal system to do this!! As was mentioned in the previously linked article, you can use an online tool like Library Thing to keep track of all the books in your personal library.

Next, take advantage of the public library. Getting a library card is as easy as bringing in a proof of residence and your ID and then you literally have thousands, if not millions, of books at your disposal!! Many libraries have an online presence so you can usually search their database, request books, and renew what you have out...all from the comfort of home!! Most libraries have at least some sort of inter-library loaning system as well...and some (like the area where I live) will actually let you get library cards at other neighboring library networks as well. I currently have three library cards...and I love it!!

Of course, if you are going to use the library as an easy source for books, you need to keep on top of things so as not to rack up fines!! I find that keeping everything library related on the shelves in my staging area by the front door helps with that. A great idea I found online was to make a special library bag to corral each library's (or each cardholder's) books...with the library card for each attached nicely to the handle!! For me, this would work great...as doing so would also help to keep what I check out down to a reasonable amount (as I could only check out what would fit into the bag)!!

Another easy way to keep track of what you've got out is to use an online tool called Library Elf to help you keep track of everything out. All you have to do is set it up with your library card numbers and how you want to be notified and you will receive a text or email when you've got books coming due!! Very cool!!

If you don't mind spending a little money and love perusing real bookshelves you should check out Half-Price Books. I've found several books on my wish list there...you just have to be patient and check back fairly often.

If you want to swap rarely read books for ones on your current wish list you should check out swapping sites like PaperBackSwap and Bookmooch. I've received a lot of great books via Paperbackswap and my only request is that if you do sign up there, that you go thru my referral link!! My username there is Texanromaniac.

If you wanna rent books, a la Netflix...you should check out Bookswim. They have several different plans based on how many you want out at one time, but seem fairly reasonably priced. I think the swapping and rental sites would both be ideal to someone who lives in remote or rural areas without a wide assortment of books readily available. Where I live and with multiple libraries to search, I just check out things from the public library and if they are ones I really want to keep then I go to Half-Price Books or Paperbackswap to get them.

If you are a bookworm with an adventurous streak...check out BookCrossing!! This is an uber-cool site where you can find out where to "treasure hunt" for books that have been left at various places...as well as post places where you have left books to be found. Each book added to the system has a unique tracking number and it is a lot of fun to see where all in the world the book has traveled!!

A couple of other resources for both getting and organizing books can be found here and here...thanks to a post on Freebies4Mom!!

Anyway...so there ya go!! I hope this has been helpful. Leave me a comment and let me know what your strategies are for anything book-related and maybe I'll put them into a future post!!


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