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lOO Book Challenge

I don't understand trademarks. From what I know, a trademark is applied to product or service with some exclusivity and can't be used by a different product or service which conflicts with the original trademark. Conversely, if I own the trademark for Bean Shoes, "the shoe made entirely from beans," I can't keep you from selling Bean Caps, "the cap to cover your bean." Or at least, that how it seems to me.

So it seems odd that the American Reading Company sent a cease and desist letter to LibraryThing because they proposed a 100 Book Challenge for 2010 whereby everyone would strive to read 100 books. Apparently the American Reading Company sells products under the brand, "100 Book Challenge" and they don't want to share their ownership of those three (or four; does "100" count as one word or two words hyphenated?) words.

My only response is that the American Reading Company misread the LibraryThing name. It's not the 100 Book Challenge, but the lOO Book Challenge.

Forgive the spelling, but the word is "loo" as in the slang term for lavatory in Britain. The real LibraryThing challenge for 2010 is for everyone to read books in the loo.

I understand that the American Reading Company is concerned about their trademark, but really, these are two entirely different things. I realize that lOO looks similar to 100 to the naked eye, but a computer can see the difference.

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Penny Arcade Does Pop Fiction

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While Penny Arcade is normally a video game strip, every now and then they speak of books because, after all, the strip's creators love to read. Today's strip discusses some popular fiction and classic works of sci-fi.

You Know You Work in a Library when...

What's the deal with librarians and cats?

You know you work at a library when your coworkers gather into a group and go "awww" over the latest kitten calendar for over 5 minutes.

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Psychic librarian reads with her nose

In Victoria (AU), "Maura the clairvoyant librarian will check your aura, look deep into your eyes and see if you’re more Dan Brown than Salman Rushdie."

Her powers tell her that a good sniff of her customers reveals lots: for instance travel readers often wear "... no deodorant, so in many ways you can tell."

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Rules of Circ #05 (RoC)

Rules of Circulation #05 (RoC)

"Red or Blue Pill"

When a patron signs up for a new card or needs a replacement, I always ask them, "wallet sized or keychain sized card?"

I try not to speak so quickly, but the patron just stares at me quizzically. It is at this point that I pull out each card and hold one in each hand and ask the patron again. I feel like I'm Morpheus asking Neo, whether or not he wants the story to end or stay in Wonderland.

Is it just me, or is this a fairly easy question to answer in under 10 seconds, I could hum the Final Jeopardy theme song and they still couldn't make a choice. But alas, not all patrons are the same, when it comes to this decision you can pretty much categorize them: Straight Forward, Bank Robber, Shoot First-Ask Questions Later, and the Flip-Flopper.

The Straight Forward patron is the easiest to handle, they will give you their answer right then and there, crisis avoided.

I label the second type the Bank Robber, because much like someone at the teller line, they don't care just as long as you hand it over. These are the type that are in a hurry to get in, get their card, and jump on the public computers to update their Facebook status or Tweet to the whole world that they got their first library card.

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Rules of Circulation #23 (RoC)

RoC #23

"Do Not Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth"

I had a gentleman approach me at the desk yesterday asking if there was a manager on duty. I've learned from past experience that my lack of authority > manager's ineptitude.
So I told him that I could look in the back for one to which he replied, "Well, maybe you can help me."

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Bless the Swedes

Bless the Swedes

If it was not for them we would not have meatballs, easy to assemble furniture, and apparently to this children's series cover: square beef patties from Wendy's.

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Down with Romance Novels

I despise romance novels. You know the ones where the cover art has some shirtless Fabio looking flamer holding some half dressed floozy in his arms, preferably over some cliff looking over the ocean, both of their hair is windswept, and its usually depicted during a sunset. Yes, those horrible books. But my hatred is not just reserved for those outlandish titles alone, Nicholas Sparks I'm looking your way---Damn you and your Notebook. I blame these so-called "romance" novels for the high failure rate of marriages/relationships in this country.

Its not that I don't believe in love or romance but I think these books put an extraordinary extraterrestrial-high level of standards that girls expect their boyfriends/spouses to live up to. I really don't think that these books preach the morals and virtues of what love really is anyways.
Case in point, have you ever read any of the titles of these books? They've become quite the topic of discussion at work whenever we come across them. Its like MadLibs for trashy books: "The [insert adjective] woman finds true love with a [insert foreign ethnicity] millionaire and move away to [insert exotic location]."
Really, these types of books are cookie cutter stories. They're all the same, once you've read A Scandalous Mistress I really don't see the need to read His Lady Mistress. Take one lonely, loveless woman, one rich bastard, and an exotic locale and there you go.

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With partial apologies to Walt Whitman

This is the not the first time my family has crossed paths with Walt Whitman.

In my family’s lore, my grandfather would tell a story about how his grandfather (a judge in Camden prior to the turn of the century) once sent the famous and highly debated poet to jail for public intoxication. His grandmother and her friends would cross the street if they saw ole Walt stumbling their way, drunk as a skunk, for they did not want to be on the same side of the road as he passed. Their recollections, as retold by my grandfather, were singularly unimpressed with the man who has been called “America’s poet”.

Even in death, my mother’s family cannot escape some sort of proximity to the poet. Harleigh Cemetery, where my maternal grandparents, their siblings, and both sides of my grandfather’s family have family plots, is also the resting place for Walt Whitman. When I visit the family gravesite, I can see the Whitman mausoleum about one hundred and fifty yard away hidden in the trees that have grown over it. The only way out is to go past it. You can see the slots of the Whitman family behind a heavy barred gate with little knickknacks, flowers, and other minutiae left outside.

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Should you become a librarian?

Use this flowchart to decide whether you should become a librarian. I hope you find it helpful.

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