The Art of Tidying

tidyRecently, we’ve had several patrons ask us about books about decluttering. The one that keeps coming up (and is pratically being fought over at the library) is Marie Kondo’s THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP : THE JAPANESE ART OF DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING. Until I saw a YouTube video about this on the weekend, I didn’t know what all the fuss is about. Apparently, I’ve been missing out.

Kondo takes the simple idea of loving items to the world of organization. You have to love something, or feel that it makes you happy, in order to keep it. Everything else is clutter.  She begins by showing how to do this with clothing—taking everything out of your closets and going through it item by item. If you don’t feel happy when you look at the item, you et rid of it.

Sounds simple enough, right? But what about all of those sentimental attachments we have with our things? That baby-soft t-shirt with the holes in it that we’ve worn since university. Those shoes that always give us blisters, but boy, were they a great deal! That ugly painting you got for your wedding from Aunt Marge that she did herself.  All of these things can have an emotional pull that we can’t get past.  But Kondo explains how to thank the items for their usefullness, and then learn to discard.

You can watch her Google talk about the idea right here:

As it turns out, many people have done their own YouTube videos based on Kondo’s ideas. Not sure if this is the right way for you to declutter? Check out one of the many fun and informative videos to see if it might work for you. Even if it doesn’t, there is a certain satisfaction in watching someone else purging their items. You might get inspired.

Place a hold on this book at the library….it’s quite popular!



Something exciting just arrived at the library. Something big. Something that will take teams of people to put together (okay, not really, but at least one person will have to spend some time here with tools).

We’re looking forward to unwrapping the boxes and bringing something new to the library. It will revolutionize our lives and yours. It will make us better people. It will change the world!! (I’m exaggerating.  But it will be fun!)

Any ideas? Think you know what we’ve got in these boxes?


You either love her writing and you don’t, as we hear quite often at the library.  But author Margaret Atwood has taken on a new project–writing an online serial! Her latest work Positron, is only about three chapters underway, but she’s publishing it through a new website for writers called Byliner.    

Citing works by early authors such as Charles Dickens who often wrote in serial format, Atwood thought the idea was refreshing and something she wanted to try. She likens serials (writing a book in small portions so that the audience and comment and push the story in the direction they like) to modern day TV sitcoms. “If somebody’s getting high ratings, you make their part bigger, and if they’re not you have them die of an unfortunate disease.” She plans on taking feedback from readers seriously in order to make the story what they’d like. This is completely different from writing a book and having it published as a whole.  If readers don’t like it, it remains the same no matter what.


We have to wonder how far ahead Atwood has developed her story, whether she plans in general or is a “pantser” (one who writes without a lot of plotting). Positron has a unique idea—a world in which there aren’t enough jobs for everyone, so everybody becomes a part-time criminal, spending half their time as inmates, and half their time as prison guards. This isn’t the only thing Atwood is writing, and she’ll continue to publish in traditional format, but it certainly is something to watch and a way for writers to keep their craft fresh.

You can read more about the idea here.


Can’t Get Enough

Recently, I saw a blog post entitled “What Can’t You Get Enough of?”  and it got me to thinking, we hear this a lot from patrons regarding books. Often, someone will come into the library and say, “I loved this book! I need more from this author!” In a perfect world, authors would write books as quickly as we could read them, but we all know it doesn’t work that way.

In the interest of the question, I asked my co-workers “What author can’t YOU get enough of?” Curiously, although we all had different favourites, the reason behind our choices was almost the same….we like the unique voice an author presents. So who did we choose?

Louise Penny.  This Canadian author is making her mark in our library. One person recommends her to someone else and suddenly, we can’t keep her books on the shelves! Her wonderful use of language and local settings makes her books truly unique. Have you tried her?

Patrick deWitt.  Picked strictly because of his novel, The Sisters Brothers.  If he wrote more in this genre/style, we’d all be very happy. If you haven’t picked up this award winning Western (I know!),  mosey on over to the library to see what this Canadian is all about. Again, I heard the quote “he writes like no one else”.

Nora Roberts.  This author is actually two authors in one body. Or one author with two very different pens. Nora Roberts is a romance writer with fascinating female leads and supportive male characters (not your typical heroes with bodies of steel).  But she is also a master of futuristic suspense, writing under the name of J. D. Robb, and with a very different voice from her romance novels.  How does she keep them straight?  Your guess is as good as mine, but she does it well.

Stephen King. While many people refuse to think of King as anything but a horror writer, those of us who are fans know he is so much more. He will never be a literary fiction writer (or maybe he will!), but he continues to turn out thought-provoking works like:

Columnist, author, memoirist, journalist. Call her what you want, Anna Quindlen is all of these things. She’s won a Pulitzer Prize and is just as comfortable in the non-fiction world as she is in the world of fiction.  Her fans love her for her creative stories and wonderful, rich characters. If she could be more prolific in her fiction writing, those who love her works would be thrilled.

These are just a few of our favourites that we can’t get enough of here at the Carleton Place Public Library. Maybe you’ll come away with a few new ideas for what to read next. Or maybe you can add to our list with a few suggestions of your own.

We were Team Emma!

Yesterday we had our Hunger Games Day at the library. This was the HOT event for the summer and we had a room full of kids who were ready to compete! Katniss was here and so was Effie, and we started the afternoon with The Reaping!

Katniss and Effie

After the reaping, the representatives from Team Gale and Team Peeta began the competition.  And it was fierce!

There were intense interviews…

…and target practice….

…and then they broke into a little known Hunger Games competition…..Freeze Dance!

In the end, it turned out the odds will be ever in THEIR favour.  Thanks for such a fun day, Emma, and a fantastic summer!