Thursday, January 15, 2009

Powell's City of Books

On our recent trip to Portland, I had my first chance at visiting Powell's City of Books, a 4-story mega bookstore where new and used copies are all mixed together. It is the largest independent bookstore in the nation. While Catherine perused the literature section, my mind was on the science and nature sections. Many books I would have purchased, but I limited myself to one: The Cambridge Companion to the 'Origin of Species' edited by Michael Ruse and Robert J. Richards (both historians of science). The chapters each cover 1 chapter of On the Origin of Species, with a nice, short foreward from Edward O. Wilson. What suprised me was where I found the book. Not just in the science section, but in a Darwin section! Book heaven for me...

If you ever visit Portland, do visit Powell's - the main store and many other locations in the city...

And click here to see the other photos I took in Powell's...

Michael @ Reading in Montana
Currently Reading: The Tides of History: Ocean Science and Her Majesty's Navy by Michael S. Reidy

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Found in a book today...

This quote was on a forgotten bookmark in a forgotten book I discovered today...

"When you sell a man a book, 
you don't sell him 12 ounces of 
paper and ink and glue - 
you sell him a whole new life."

Catherine @ Reading In Montana

We are headed west tomorrow to discover new books for our customers with a final destination of Powell's City of Books in Portland, OR.  My husband is headed straight for the rose room. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

UC Davis's Offering of E-Books are a Flop

It is textbook season again.  Michael returns to school at MSU Bozeman in just a little over a week.

I just saw this in my UC Davis Alumni Magazine (Winter 2009, p. 13) today:

E-Books Un-Wanted 

Students may be quickly embracing the digital world, but not for their textbooks - at least not yet. 

The UC Davis Bookstore was an early provider of "e-books" in fact, one of the first in the country to have an electronic books program - but demand remains small despite their reduced cost, an average of 40% less than new textbooks.

The bookstore offered electronic versions of some 80 titles out of 2,700 this fall but sold only five digital e-books, compared with 106,726 printed books, says Jason Lorgan, book department manager.....

Lorgan enjoys watching students decide between the options. "For the first time in their life, they feel the printed book has value."

That last line (bolded) gives me pause.  Do today's university students value "printed books"?  Is this a remark geared toward the online generation, facebook kids, and texting culture? 
Catherine @ Reading In Montana

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Lingers

Christmas was more than two weeks ago, though I must say there are still lingering signs of it about.  No, we are not one of those families that leaves their Christmas tree up all year because it is so beautiful (we take ours down on New Years Day), but there is extra space in the living room where its presence is missed. We now have a mason jar of candy canes on the kitchen counter that may last into the spring.  We have Christmas turkey in the freezer. My son still runs about shouting "Ho, Ho, Ho!" as he discovered the magic of Santa Claus and Rudolph's red nose this year.  

Catherine @ Reading In Montana
Currently listening to: "The Audacity of Hope" read by the author, Barack Obama

And of course we have a few Christmas themed books, movies, and music up for sale at Reading In Montana now at reduced prices.  Here are a few of the holiday favorites we did not sell out on:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Day Job - Librarian

I am a Librarian by education and experience. I graduated in June 2008 with a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) through a 3 year online program at the University of Washington iSchool. I have worked at the Bozeman Public Library in Bozeman, Montana since May of 2004 in many different capacities. I began there as a full-time shelver and am now a substitute librarian. The great thing about being a substitute is that I can work in every department of the library and get to do a little bit of everything. The downside is the hours are irregular and sans benefits.

As a librarian I find books for readers. As a bookseller I find readers for books.

Reading In Montana began as two college students (my husband and I) passing on books we no longer had room for in our apartment. In June 2007 we began to purchase and sell books on a regular basis; 2008 was our first full year on; and now in 2009 we are concentrating on growing our business once again. We focus on providing excellent service, honesty, and quality books and other media to our customers. Our 100% Feedback rating shows how much importance we place on customer service.

Because I'm a librarian, as well as a reader and a bookseller I really enjoy helping other people find the books and information they are looking for.  So if you are looking for a particular book, don't hesitate to send us an email at  I can quickly look to see if we have the title, and if not can help you look elsewhere on Amazon or online for what you are seeking. 

Always happy to help - Catherine @ Reading In Montana

Friday, January 2, 2009

You can never have too many books

Hello, and Happy New Year! This is Michael. For my first post, I thought I'd share my library. Although not complete yet, my library is up on the website LibraryThing, a neat online tool for listing what books you have in your own library (there's also Shelfari). The site enables you to see other people's libraries, put up book reviews, see what books you share with other readers, and many other things. My library is listed here (this does not include some of my wife's books that I have no interest in). It consists of some 750 books right now, but will probably near 2,000 when I finish adding them (the recent purchase of a library-style barcode scanner has made this task much more efficient). My books fall mainly in history and science, and you will see an emphasis in the history of science, specifically evolution and Charles Darwin. That makes sense, of course, since I am a graduate student in the history of science at Montana State University in Bozeman. See my blog about Darwin and the history of science.

So, why so many books? I know I will never read them all, and there is so much information available online. But books still retain for me that feeling of discovering some neat nugget of knowledge by randomly opening to a page, or the ability to find in a book a piece of information I am seeking. Yes, I can Google it, but it's much more fun thinking of which book I own may have that information. Here are two quotes about owning more books than you can read, one I clipped out of an issue of The Sun, and the other from a favorite author, friend, and fellow Bozeman resident, David Quammen.

I have cakes of soap that I bought twenty-five years ago, still in their wrappers, and I am saving them in the perfect confidence that the right day will come to unwrap each one and use it. And there are probably a hundred books downstairs in the library that I am eager to read, have been eager to read for years, yet refuse to read until the day comes, the day that says to me: This is the monring to start Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, or George Borrow, or Psichari, or someone else. Now, in my logical mind, I know quite well that these promised days are not likely ever to arrive: I shall never use those old cakes of soap that are stored in the linen closet, and I am reasonably sure of never reading Romany Rye, because it doesn't interest me. But there is that other person, the ideal one that I ought to be, whom it does interest, and it comforts me to think that those things are waiting for him.

How I differ from Bowles, however, is that all my books do interest me, but I just need more of me to be able to read them all. And now, Quammen:

Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper. For instance, I own a two-volume set of Da Vinci's notebooks, and Encyclopedia of Papau and New Guinea, and a biography of Attila the Hun. These are valuable assests just as they sit, making no peremptory claims for my attention. But in my mental card catalog there's another group of books, a small and exclusive group, each of which is tagged: HIGH INTEREST/READ IMMEDIATELY. New books enter that category rarely, and some old ones seem never to get out. I have a volume of Rousseau's Emile that's been classified HI/RI since 1976. Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and a severe, intriguing volume called Scientists Under Hitler are others. Life is too short for an earnest plodder like me, who reads only as fast as his lips can mime the syntax. Bernd Heinrich's Bumblebee Economics falls in the same category. I had never stopped intending to read it - soon, any week now - and meanwhile six years had gone by in a blink.
David Quammen, The Boilerplate Rhino (2001)

Joining LibraryThing is easy and fun. A free account enables you to list up to 200 books. I opted for the lifetime account (for a small fee) so I am not restricted by numbers and can continue to grow my online library along side my real one for years to come.

Currently Reading: Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson (who will be in Bozeman in April 2009) and Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian

Thursday, January 1, 2009

From The Writer's Almanac on NPR

Oscar Wilde said, "Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account."

From The Writer's Almanac on National Public Radio with Garrison Keillor, one of my favorite things to listen to each morning and evening at 8:30am and 5:30pm here on Yellowstone Public Radio.  The introduction music does well to center me and focus my thoughts away from the hubbub of the day.

Catherine @ Reading In Montana

Happy New Year and a Happy New Blog!

A Happy New Year to you and Good Morning!  This is the first post of many, here at our new blog site Reading In Montana.  Thanks for seeking us out or maybe just happening upon us.  My husband and I have had an online bookselling business since June of 2007 and now that the 2008 holiday season has ended we are looking to ramp things up with a stronger online presence and share with our customers who we are, what we read, and a little bit of what life is like here in Montana.  

Please add us to your reader (RSS that is) for news about titles we have available, book reviews, literary news, and thoughts about living in The Last Best Place.   We always welcome reader comments and will consider guest book reviews as well.

Happy Reading! My new years resolution is to read for pleasure as often as possible.  What is your bookish resolution?

Catherine @ Reading In Montana
Currently Reading: Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory (after reading many many Boleyn books)