Monday, October 4, 2010

Get your Rick Steves books through Reading in Montana!

Catherine and I have always enjoyed watching the travel programs of Rick Steves (based out of Edmond, WA). I particuilarly enjoy his episodes about Ireland. Here's a sample:

There's plenty of Rick Steves to watch through YouTube and Hulu. I've also held on to a copy of his Rick Steves' Ireland 2010 with map since we plan to visit Ireland in 2015, especially to see where my grandfather's parents were from (Co. Cavan), when we will have been married for ten years, and our son Patrick will be a good age for such travel.

That said, on our recent trip north to Seattle for the biannual book sale of the Seattle Public Library, we picked up a bunch of copies of Rick Steves' Spain 2010 with map (order through RIM)Rick Steves' Rome 2010 (order through RIM), and Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door 2010: The Travel Skills Handbook (order through RIM). Here I am getting some of them ready to ship from our hotel room:

Seattle Public Library Book Sale

If you plan to take a trip to Spain or Rome, or know anyone else who is planning such a vacation, order from us directly: Spain, Rome, or Europe.

And to close, a few photos from the gigantic book sale in Seattle:

Seattle Public Library Book Sale

Seattle Public Library Book Sale

Seattle Public Library Book Sale

Patrick swimming through an ocean of books - Seattle Public Library Book Sale

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Portland = City of Books

Portland sure is a City of Books. While "City of Books" is the name of the main downtown location for the independent bookstore Powell's, books seem to be a part of the city as a whole. Some pictures I've taken since we've lived in Portland:

Wall of books in downtown

View inside Powell's

Our son Patrick reading in Powell's

Exhibit about John Adams' books at Central Library, downtown

Copy of Darwin's On the Origin of Species in Annie Bloom's Books in Multnomah Village

Portland's library system has a wonderful Summer Reading program

Another view inside Powell's

Statue downtown with The book

Patrick at the Friends of the Beaverton Library bookstore

Vendor at the Saturday Market (arts & crafts), old books made into journals

Lots of books to be found at Science Store in the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI

Patrick with a statue at the McMinnville Public Library

Portland purchases used books, reduce-reuse-recycle!

Powell's has other locations besides the City of Books, such as Powell's Technical Books, focusing on science

Cute little bookstore in Sellwood, on the east side of the river

Michael @ Reading in Montana
Currently reading The Darwin Experience by John van Wyhe

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tide Pooling & Book Finding in Cannon Beach

Last Saturday we - Catherine, myself, and little P (Patrick) - headed out to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast for a library book sale and some exploring on the beach and in the tide pools. This was Patrick's first real visit to a beach and he enjoyed himself immensely, as did all of us!

More photos can be seen on my personal blog here. And now a few Oregon-related books are available in our store!

Michael @ Reading in Montana

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Goodbye Montana, Hello Competition!

Reading In Montana has moved!

In mid May the family moved to Portland, Oregon. Michael had accepted an internship at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and I was looking forward to seeing what book hunting would be like in a city with lots of rain and lots of readers.

What we have found after little over a month is that while there is an endless supply of books and readers; there are also a large number booksellers (on and offline) working in the Pacific Northwest.  Reading In Montana is now working in the shadows of giants and shoulder to shoulder with other successful online bookstores. Not only are there Powells (Portland) and Amazon (Seattle), there is also (Auburn, WA) and McKenzie Books (Beaverton, OR).  We have yet to determine exactly how Reading In Montana will fit into and thrive in the much more complicated book supply chain of the Pacific Northwest.

We are experimenting with  new ways to find high quality - in demand books for our readers, while still providing excellent customer service, honesty in book description, and fast shipping options.  We are also working out plans for a new name for the business.

 Please continue to support Reading In Montana by looking for us when you buy books on and starting your shopping right here from our blog.  We have moved geographically and are making some changes, but the online store thanks to the wonders of the internet and the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)  program hasn't had to close a day in this process. We continue to find, sell, and ship great used books at great prices.

I've also included some photos of  a visit to one of the biggest online book distributors in the country.  We purchased a bulk (huge) box of books from them recently.  While it won't work in the future for us as a source of good books, we did find some diamonds among the rough and got to see one of the book-selling giants at work.  It was amazing to see the sheer quantity of books handled at this distribution center.

Books in bulk

Books in bulk

Books in bulk

That was about 1000 books (1,500 lbs) we culled through in just a few days time. What the learning experience that was!

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

Catherine @ Reading In Montana

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"May in Montana" from Guest Contributor Diane Lockard

  FISK EXPEDITION - 1864        
      Cold and rainy, even though it is May in Montana. I forgot about that when I returned home to Saco, Montana for my class reunion. “It was snowing coming over the mountains.” Stayed overnight in Butte on our way from SLC, UT.
      We stood on the edge of Bell Coulee in northeastern Montana and gazed at the tracks of wagons on the opposite side, envisioning heavy wagons rumbling across the land. Glenn said they came up from the Missouri River and crossed what was to be my grandparent’s homestead. The wagon master’s last name was Fisk…

      I researched the Internet and discovered a report written by Captain James Fisk, Assistant Quartermaster. 5,000 copies were printed for the Senate. He was commissioned by the Secretary of War to lead a wagon train with emigrants and supplies from Minnesota across the northern plains.

August 3 – Passing herds of buffaloes… – they looked like swarms of flies. “Certainly, over one million were in sight during the day.”
      Part of the trip was from Fort Union on the border of North Dakota and Montana to Fort Benton (47 degrees 49’ 10’ N) and the “great falls.” 
Passed into hills and coule’s; “Plenty of grass and a cold spring rises in an adjacent coule’.” – Aug 6, 1864*
      “We gathered black currants, cherries, and raspberries in this coule’.” “Road was over a rolling prairie and our course was a little north of west to avoid a promontory of the Coteau du Missouri, Missouri Plateau” - Aug 7, 1864
Fort Union Trading Post – Wikipedia
“It is a good plan to fill all spare casks with water before starting in the morning.” 
Wood Mountains, Aug. 10… Traveling through the mountains, 
Aug. 14…Frenchman’s Fork of Milk River
Aug.22… (Grandparents’ homestead was north of the river)  The river bed is about one hundred and fifty feet wide, and is nearly dry… 
“48 degrees 46’ 7’”, Milk River and Little Rockies (Zortman/Malta), “We discovered a practicable road for wagons”, Aug.23
Aug.26 – Left camp at 7AM - Abandoned a large government wagon here, as the load, consisting mostly of commissary supplies could now be packed in other wagons. I explained to our “Gros Venatre” friends that they do not touch the wagons; and that white men were coming for it. I do not believe they will disturb anything; they seemed to understand me.  Next day, there are Indians in camp. Meet the first white men and arrive in Virginia City, the new name for Stinking Water… – Sept. 3 Fort Benton on the north bank of the near great falls… American Fur Co. fort – “Sold at auction our heavy wagons, tents, stores, etc. The escort was disbanded at this time, but twenty will accompany me to the mountains with the stock; shall dispose of at Bannock City or Walla-Walla, WA.” – Sept. 7
Returned via Salt Lake City
*Expedition Of Captain Fisk To The Rocky Mountains (1864) by James Liberty Fisk (Paperback - Sept. 24, 2009)

-Diane Lockard, Guest Contributor -

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Learning Science in Montana

On Friday my son Patrick and I visited ExplorationWorks in Helena, MT while Catherine was seeking new books for us to match with readers. ExplorationWorks is an interactive science museum, full of fun, hands-on displays for kids and adults alike. The science-buff I am, I enjoy these places immensely. Here are a few photos from our enjoyable afternoon:

You can see more photos here. We got in free because we have a family membership to another accredited science museum. The Association of Science and Technology Centers has a program that extends membership to hundreds of participating museums nationwide. Not a bad deal at all!

Montana is home to a few other science museums other than ExplorationWorks. In Bozeman, there is the Museum of the Rockies, known worldwide for its paleontology collections, while Missoula has spectrUM. Butte will soon have its own later in 2010, called ScienceMine.

Two recent books have been published that look at science education in informal learning environments (museums, zoos, aquaria, gardens, etc.). Having other places to learn and engage with science are a great way to supplement public education. Here are those two books, plus a few resources for teaching kids about evolution:


Michael @ Reading in Montana

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Music and Dance for St. Patrick's Day in Butte, MT

For St. Patrick's Day this evening, we took our son Patrick to see the Tiernan Irish Dancers - backed up by the local band Dublin Gulch - at the "Handing Down the Heritage" event held at Butte's Civic Center. Butte, with its Irish heritage, celebrates big every March 17th.

Patrick enjoyed the music and dancing (he said he liked watching all the girls). Here are a few photos from this evening:

Handing Down the Heritage, St. Patrick's Day, Butte, MT

Handing Down the Heritage, St. Patrick's Day, Butte, MT

Handing Down the Heritage, St. Patrick's Day, Butte, MT

Handing Down the Heritage, St. Patrick's Day, Butte, MT

See original imageHAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!See original image

Michael @ Reading in Montana

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Memories of Montana

Today we have a special guest post from a fan of Reading In Montana, Diane Lockard - hometown Saco, Montana currently in Salt Lake City...

"Memories of Montana"
1910 - 2010
I went home to Saco, north of Billings in May 2009 for my 50th class reunion. Out of a class of 24, seven of us ladies were there. Some I had not seen during that time. I went home with one of my classmates, Wilna (Fisher) Swain and her husband, Nick. Wilna and I came the furthest distance.

Wilna's brother, Glenn owns our grandparents’ farm. First thing we did was to go to their farm. The house was the only building left and has been vacant for over 50 years, but we could still go inside. I entered the side door – wallpaper peeling off the walls, and to my left was the fireplace where my mother’s picture was photographed 67 years ago...

My mother and her brother came from Jamestown, North Dakota with her family (Stuffs) who homesteaded in Northern Montana close to the Canadian border in 1910. After my Mom and Dad married (Bergans) – Nov. 26, 1925, they started farming nearby. It was a dry-land farm; some people ask what is that, a "dry-land farm"? It doesn’t have any irrigation and, and "you pray for rain."

I was born in my Grandparent’s house, and have a picture of my mother when she was expecting me, sitting in front of their fireplace. The picture included our Grandma Stuff, great-aunt Martha Kelly and two of my cousins. The farmhouse started out as a 20’ x 24’ ft. room, and two rooms were added downstairs and two upstairs for the seven children. My mother was the oldest…

My four brothers and I grew up surrounded by family and friends. There was always "room for one more." We rode the school bus five miles to Saco that had grades first  – twelveth in one building. You can view the one-room schoolhouse that Chet Huntley, the television newscaster attended in Saco, MT, years before he became famous. 

                        "Good night, Chet." 

"Goodnight, David."

Thank you Diane!

If you would like to share your Montana story please send me an email at and we'll give you a post on the Reading In Montana blog.

Catherine @ Reading In Montana