Where are all the great female writers? Why am I adding the qualifier female? Aren’t they just writers?

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One of the great problems of being a female reader is that there seem to be so few female authors. Let me correct that, being a literary nerd, there seems to be a shortage of female authors. And please note the phrase “seems to be.” As I’ve written in the past, sometimes perfectly wonderful books are advertised as romance or have artwork that prevents me from taking the book and author seriously.

I have a number of brilliant friends who read so I asked them who their five favorite female authors are. And let me state that the fact that I have to ask for female authors frustrates me. Because 75% of my books are by men but if you did the ratio of authors it would be 80% men. (I happen to be a very loyal reader so I read every book by authors I love). I have more books stored at my parents’ home but of the books in my studio, the first 2 and 3/4 shelves are by female authors. All the rest are by men. I knew the ratio was not good but I did not realize it was so bad until I rearranged my bookshelves.

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Interview with Danielle, designer of the Don DeLillo stencil for California Bookstore Day

 

Photo courtesy of Zachary Ray. Follow him on Instagram instagram.com/zacray

Photo by Zachary Ray. Follow him @ instagram.com/zacray

 

California Bookstore Day was May 3, 2014; an exciting day for booknerds all over the state. One of the greatest pieces offered was the stencil with a quotation from Don DeLillo‘s White Noise. I was so excited that a stencil had been made from a book quote, especially one that is so powerful and challenging, “California deserves whatever it gets.” I was fortunate to interview Danielle Hobart, who designed the stencil along with other collateral for the day.

How was your art selected?
Nepotism—Zack Ruskin (from Book Passage) and I are a couple and he was involved with Green Apple; starting this idea [California Bookstore Day] they worked together. It was Pete’s (of Green Apple)  idea and he’s been involved in the business for a really long time. I think he was inspired by record store day and realized that it could translate. Independent bookstores stay in touch and Zack was creating the website for California Bookstore Day and mentioned to Pete and Samantha that I would be super into working on something for them. Continue reading →

My Book Addiction—revealed to the dollar

books, books

Last year’s holiday season I decided to buy all of my friends used books. I love giving presents but sometimes it can make someone feel awkward for not giving you a gift. But a second-hand book takes out all the guilt. They are less than a drink and oftentimes less than, or the same price as a cup of coffee. I started to track how much money I spent on books for gifts. Then I realized it would be fun to see how much money I spent on books in a year. I often times look at my bookcases and wonder how much I have spent. When a friend suggests we get a manicure, I always think, but I could get a book with that money. No judgement on women who pay to get their nails done; from what I understand it is often about indulging one’s self. For me, buying a book is a much greater indulgence and seeing a new book on my shelf makes me so much happier than looking at professionally painted nails.

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Collecting Arthur Rimbaud books for my Library

At eighteen I was introduced first to Jack Kerouac, then Henry Miller, after that Charles Bukowski, and then naturally, Arthur Rimbaud. All of these writers affected and influenced me. I became obsessed with Rimbaud and started reading everything I could get my hands on. Initially I found the books slowly, at used book stores, most often the Strand in New York. I then worked in a Barnes and Noble and had access to their book database. I special ordered book after book. I spent hundreds of dollars. Once ebay was founded,  I began ordering books on there. I have quite a collection and I am extremely proud of it.

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Gifting Second-Hand Books for the Holidays

One of my favorite things to do is look for books at thrift stores. It’s a bit compulsive; I start to wonder if I’m missing out on great finds if I miss a week. The majority of books I buy are used. It’s comforting to take home a used book. Perhaps it was misunderstood by the previous owner who didn’t recognize its beauty. Or perhaps the previous owner did love it but had to donate it because of a move. Either way, there is solace in giving a new home to an old book. That is the point of books, they are whole worlds that live on despite the author, publisher, owner, and reader.

This year I started thrifting before Thanksgiving. I scored some great finds for my friends’ gifts. The holidays are about spending time with people you love and respect. Giving gifts is super fun but sometimes unintentionally induces stress over what to buy and how much to spend. Giving a clean, used book is a great present that costs less than a well drink.

I just wanted to share some great reads with the people who make my life better.

Holiday books

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