Books & where to find them…

This Summer has been filled with a lot of reading. Since I am not getting up early like during the school year I tend to stay up later in bed reading books. We use the PA library system for a lot of books, but tend to only borrow them electronically. I’m the worst at returning library books on time so this system works best for me.
Some times though I just want a physical book, and I was talking with a friend about some of my favorite places to buy books inexpensively and she hadn’t thought of two of the places I mentioned for books so it got me thinking that it might be something I should share on the blog. This is in no way sponsored, I just love books and hope someone finds it helpful.
I’ll divide it up into a few different posts so as not to overwhelm you with book photos. Today I thought I’d talk about Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. If you’ve never been inside an Ollie’s you might not even realize they have books. According to their website they currently have 249 stores, so if you are not sure if you have one nearby check their store locator.
Here’s the thing about Ollie’s, it is a bargain outlet. There will be Easter candy in the middle of the Summer, you might stumble upon a bunch of “as seen on tv” junk, but they have books! Lots and lots of books.
I took a short trip to one of the three Ollie’s in my area to give you a small glimpse. During this trip the most expensive single book I saw was $6.99 (and that’s not typical) most books are in the range of $2.99-$4.99.
I tend to always start off in the non-fiction books, cookbooks, craft books etc. I have gotten so many cook books at Ollies over the years. This particular Ollies doesn’t seem to have as many craft books as the one I usually frequent, but still worth a look!
They always seem to have a nice selection of gluten free, and vegetarian cookbooks too.

They have lots of kid’s books, this box set of Neal Shusterman books was only $7.99 such a bargain for all the hardcover books in one of my favorite young adult series.

Of course there is the adult fiction section as well. I spend most of my time there going over and over all the books. If you have never checked out an Ollies and are a book lover I hope you’ll find something wonderful! I’ll return again next week with another store for bargain books.

A quilted bag..

If you follow me on Instagram you may already know that my sister had a lot of medical issues during her pregnancy. It wasn’t anything that had any effect on the baby thankfully, but Heather had a lot of scares involving her heart. At one point she was air lifted via a helicopter from our emergency room to Hershey and that was very scary indeed. Luckily she is doing great now, though did end up spending about two weeks at Hershey medical center before she was induced. During this time she was very bored, and I wanted to make a little something to cheer her up when I visited.
I decided to sew a little quilted bag, its like a simplified mini version of a maker tote (a patter I own and loved making a bag from) I made a little quilted front and then filled it with some bath products I hoped would cheer her up.

I brought her some candy that has always been a favorite of ours, and some books I’ve read recently that I thought she would enjoy. UnSouled from the Unwind Dystology that I knew she had not yet read, Fangirl (I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about all these two books on my blog in the past), and The Language of Flowers which I read recently and really loved. It’s a novel about an orphan who has just turned 18 and is leaving the foster care system. The book switches between her life now, and flashbacks of growing up. It explains how she learned about the Victorian meanings behind flowers, and has me obsessed now with pressing flowers to create a flower dictionary of my own. I really need to do a new post about books I’ve read this Summer because there are quite a few I really have loved, and can’t stop thinking about.

Podcasts, Books, and other fun things

Today I thought I’d share some things I’ve been into lately…books, podcasts, and whatever else I can think of. Personally I am always on the look out for new books & new podcasts. I listen to podcasts while I sew, and I go through reading phases (when I have good books) where I stay up way too late reading in bed. It’s the best!

I read most of my books on the Ipad through a free app called Overdrive. You make a free account and then if your library participates you can sign in with your library info and borrow books from your library that way (e-books, audiobooks, and videos) Now I live in a small town and was a little disappointed with the selection of e-books offered by my library. However I did a little research and found out that because I am a resident of PA I could have a card to the Philly Free Library! From their website A Free Library card is available at no cost to anyone who lives, works, pays taxes, or goes to school in the City of Philadelphia. In addition, anyone who lives in the state of Pennsylvania can obtain a Free Library card without charge. If you end up signing up for an Overdrive account and either your library doesn’t participate or has a very small selection, it may be worth doing a little research to see if any of the larger cities in your state offer free cards to all state residents. The philly free library even allows you to register online and get your card info right away!

The Paper Magician Series – My friend Molly recommended this series and after she talked to me about it a bit while we were driving one day I knew I had to check it out. I had actually signed up for a Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial (I don’t own a Kindle but could read anything from it on the Kindle App for my Ipad) I liked the idea that its unlimited, so you don’t have a set # of books you can borrow each month. Anyhow, Amazon had all 3 of the Paper Magician books for kindle unlimited so that’s how I read them all. I really loved the entire world created in the books. There are a few little things I didn’t care for in the books, but nothing that would make me wish I hadn’t read them. I heard that they are even going to be making a film, and I can’t wait to see little paper Fennel on the big screen :)

The Mermaid’s Sister – This was another book that was on Kindle Unlimited, but Molly had also recommended it. It was such an interesting story, and kept me drawn in.

Challenger Deep – I actually read this book some time back, but I did a search on my blog and can’t believe I have not talked about it. I first read Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series of books and I love those for the great writing & escape into dystopia. I loved Challenger Deep for lots of different reasons. It is still amazing storytelling, just about something that is very real, mental illness. It’s hands down one of the best books I’ve read in some time, and one I find myself still thinking about. Caden Bosch is the main character, and the book is told in first person perspective. You follow along as Caden drifts between the real world and the one his mental illness is creating, his descent into schizophrenia. I don’t want to give anything away so I will just say its both devastating and hopeful.
A quote that really touched me from the book “The fear of not living is a deep, abiding dread of watching your own potential decompose into irredeemable disappointment when ‘should be’ gets crushed by what is. Sometimes I think it would be easier to die than to face that, because ‘what could have been’ is much more highly regarded than ‘what should have been.’ Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.”
Now onto Podcasts..
Modern Sewciety– I first started listening to this podcast when my friend Jessee was interested. I loved that there were so many old episodes for me to go back and listen to, I still have not run out. If you like sewing, quilts, interviews will all kinds of makers, fabric designers, pattern designers I think you’ll love this one. Nice long episodes that are casual and laid back like hanging out with a sewing friend.

The Crafty Planner Podcast – This one is new to me (and that means I had about 60 episodes to catch up on, which I always love) Really great interviews with Lizzy House & Tula Pink, and I’m sure so many others! I just need to play catch up.

and other fun things! Here’s some stuff I have stumbled across recently and wanted to share.

Moomin Product Gallery– though a lot of these products I will never be able to buy because of where they are sold, I love looking through and seeing all the fun moomin things! And related The Official Moomin Blog is filled with so many good things. I particularly enjoy the posts about vintage Moomins like this one featuring wreaths drawn by Tove Jansson, this one featuring ceramics from the 50’s, and this one talking about the Moomin museum reopening in Nov of this year, and all the new treasure they will have on display.

The Circus Museum – An amazing resource to browse! From the website Welcome to, the ultimate image bank with posters, photos and prints from the collection of Jaap Best, the Netherlands’ largest collection of circus memorabilia. For your enjoyment, our online show, now has nearly eight thousand circus posters from 1880 to the present, from the Netherlands to America, from A2 format to several square metres. At the heart of the collection, and dating from 1880-1930, are nearly 3,500 colour lithographs by the Hamburg printer Adolph Friedländer. This year alone we have added 7,000 circus photos and picture postcards. Our sophisticated search engine has hundreds of headwords – not just for acts and artistes, and for owners and individual circuses, but also for fairs, variety shows and the theatre.

Long-Forgotten – A amazing blog all about Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Lots of good history with photos and illustrations. Makes me very excited to visit Disney again!

Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using it I will receive a small Amazon credit.