A Portrait of a Ranch’s Library

Continuing my series on people’s personal libraries, I photographed the books at my Aunt Eva’s ranch in New Mexico. Her parents, my grandparents, as well as her grandparents also lived on a ranch. She has a number of old family books stored in her workshop, in cabinets to keep the dust off them. Her library is spread out, to different rooms, different buildings, and spans generations. She owns books from her father and grandfather. They have been folded into her library easily, and referred to often by multiple readers.

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Buying more Books at the Friends of The San Francisco Public Library Booksale

Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Book Sale

My book haul at the precise moment of the photograph.

I went to the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library‘s book sale in April and scored 12 books for $24. All the proceeds benefit the San Francisco Public Library.

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Beatnik Shindig in San Francisco: Bringing together the Beat Generation, their families, and readers

Christine, Jerry Cimino, and soifollowjulian

Christine, Beat Museum Founder and Director Jerry Cimino, and SoIFollowJulian

This week was the first ever Beatnik Shindig, hosted by The Beat Museum in San Francisco. I’m a huge Beat fan and have been since I was 19 years old. I’m so very fortunate to have worked with and become friends with Director and Founder of the Beat Museum, Jerry Cimino and his wife Estelle (whom he met in a bookshop after graduating college!).

For me, The Beat Museum is much more than a museum: it’s a gathering place, one that draws people in and invites them to be comfortable and share their stories. It is an all important archive of all things Beat. Someone called Jerry up and said, hey I have an old piano that used to be Allen Ginsberg’s. If you drive up here and pick it up, you can have it! People want to contribute to the Museum and help preserve this literary history. The Beat generation were a bunch of miscreants (I say this with love as I would identify myself and many of my friends as thus) who moved around a lot and couldn’t seem to settle down. As a result, things they owned, touched, used, are all over the country. People don’t know what to do with these items, but they realize this Beat history is a large part of our American literary canon, and they want to contribute. Continue reading →

Books Found on the Street and Ready to be Read by Someone New

Dave McKean

Last year I decided to start taking pictures of books when I find them on the streets. I thought I would find a lot more of them than I did.

In the past, I have found some keepers. I found White Teeth by Zadie Smith (although I already owned it so I gave it to my friend’s dad).

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Books I’ve Read in 2014

books

Every year I promise myself I’ll read more books than I buy. Every year I promise myself that I’ll read more of the unread books on my shelves. And every year I promise myself that I’ll reread my favorite books. This year I did not reread any books. And this year I certainly bought more books than I read. But I did read some books that had been on my to read list for a while. Continue reading →