Monthly Archives: August 2016

What I’ve Been Holding at the Library


Okay, still crushing on the library!

When I last posted what I was reading on Facebook commenting how I loved the hold service at the library because I got a BRAND SPANKING NEW book {as in no one else had read it yet}, a friend commented asking how it works because she spends way too much money on books.

And since it took me sooooo long to just get in and renew my 10-year-old library card, I thought I’d give some insight on the process so that you don’t wait another moment and start utilizing your local library immediately! It’s so easy.

How to Put Books on Hold at the Library

I’m sure all libraries have a somewhat different system, but here is how my Dakota County Library works:

  • Email: When I reopened my account, the library asked me for a email address that I check all the time. They don’t spam you. I only receive an email to remind me if a book is almost due or if a book that is placed on hold is ready to pick up.
  • Library Card Number: I used to know my bank account number by heart. I had the account since I was 16. Then, a couple of years ago, I switched banks. I still don’t have that new account number memorized, but I do my library card number! You need this (and a pin or password) to access your account online. It’s here were you can put any book on hold!
  • The Queue: Once you put a book on hold {and indicate from which library you want to pick it up} you can see how far along you are in the queue for that book. You can also see how many books of each are available throughout the county. If it’s a popular book, there will be several. However, there may only be one of a particular book. If it’s checked out, it may take some time to get it. If there are several and the queue isn’t long, it’ll become available much more quickly!
  • Suspend Hold: If I am seeing that I am the 1st in a line for number of books, I can put my hold on suspension. This means if I’m not quite ready for it now, but I will be in a month, I can suspend my hold from now until a month from now. That way, I don’t have to delete it from my hold list and try to remember to put it on hold later. If I’m ready for the book before my designated suspension is up, I can cancel the suspension and, I believe, resume my place in the queue.
  • The Pick-Up: Once the book is available, I receive an email that it is ready. I have one week to pick it up or they will take it off of the hold status for me. When I go to my library, they have my book waiting for me in the “hold” section. I don’t have to ask anyone for it. I find it by my card number and last name and there is a slip in the book indicating that it is on hold for me. Not just anyone can grab these books, however. The self-serve checkout counter will only all the book to be checked out to me because it is on hold for ME! This takes me TWO MINUTES. So easy!

Side Note on E-Readers: If you are an e-book reader, I am 95% sure that you can do the same with holds online. It’s even easier for you because you don’t have to go to the library and pick it up when it’s available. I’ve yet to jump on that bandwagon. I borrowed a friend’s old Kindle when I went to Ireland and it was Just Fine. I didn’t like having to keep it charged. We weren’t too bright that we only brought one adapter/converter! I do like the feel of a real book in my hands. I tried reading on my phone and just can’t do it. The sheer number of e-readers overwhelms me. And with tablets, I fear being distracted by something else I can do on it. That happens to me all the time with my phone!


I currently have about 40 books on hold! The ones that are on order by the library show that my place in queue is “0”. I have several books suspended because I know I won’t even be able to read that many books at once. One of the books I have on hold is Liane Moriarty’s Truly, Madly Guilty. I am 195th in line! There looks like there are close to 50 copies available in my county. And several are Lucky U books, of which you can read more about under the JoJo Moyes book I picked up in this post. So if I really wanted to read it now, I could check online to see if a Lucky U book was available and run and pick it up.

Here’s what I had put on hold and was able to read over the past couple of weeks!


Dancing with the Tiger by Lili Wright (fiction) – worth a read

I found Dancing with the Tiger on a book blog. The blogger was recapping the books she read in July and noted this one as her favorite. I promptly put it on my Library Hold List and was surprised that when they got the book in stock, I was the first one who got to read it. 🙂 Brand new book! This is a fantastic, colorful debut work of fiction. I loved the short chapters that still made me want to continue reading. What I didn’t like was some of the Spanish used in the novel. I don’t speak Spanish; so I was lost on some of the phrases when they weren’t explained. Of course, I could figure some of them out by context or if it was similar to French, but not all

Wait. Scratch that. I found myself googling some of the phrases, which means I learned something, right?! I also liked learning about the world of Mexican masks.


On the Edge of Reason

On the Edge of Reason by Miroslav Krleža (fiction) – DNF

This one I did not get from the library, but thought I could read in between holds because it is a rather short book (less than 200 pages). “How did I come across this book?” you ask? It’s been on my bookshelf for about 10 to 15 years. Back then, I tried to order the sequel to Bridget Jones’ Diary, which is called The Edge of Reason. But whoops, not paying attention, I put the wrong used book in my cart. One word can make a difference!

I decided to give this book a shot because of the accolades on the back:

Paris had its Balzac and Zola; Dubin its Joyce, Croatia its Krleža… one of the  most accomplished, profound authors in European literature…

The Croatian Miroslav Krleža is amount the most neglected of the world’s great writers.

My new favorite word – folly. It is used often at the beginning of the book. Alas, I Did Not Finish this book. It was originally published in 1938. I sometimes need to push myself to read books that were written before me time. Right now, though, it’s back on the shelf for another day. I do intend to finish it, just not now.


Make Room for What You Love

Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels (non-fiction) – skip it

Another brand new book from the library! This one was waiting for me, so it made me read Dancing with the Tiger faster. I wanted to be done before my hold deadline so I could just swap the books out. Not sure how I found out about this book – probably from an organizing blog? I often don’t remember where I hear of books, unless a friend recommends it.

I thought it landed in my hands at the perfect time because my husband was going out of town. Remember when I KonMari-ed my wardrobe the last time he was? I get into these kicks when he’s not around. 🙂

What I learned is that I didn’t need this book. This surprised me, because I generally think of myself as a clutterbug. However, with the current change in circumstances at work and home, I was forced to change some habits! To be quite honest, I got annoyed after the first 60 pages or so that I skimmed the rest of the book.

There wasn’t anything revolutionary in here. The author focuses on simplifying, but then throws in so many questions to ask yourself and lists to make, that it is completely overwhelming as a reader! Most of the time she’d say, “Find ways to…” instead of just listing the ways to solve those problems.

I did like the little sideboxes with tips. And the one takeaway I did get from this book is that it’s indecisiveness that creates clutter. By not deciding what to do with something and putting it in a pile, you are actually deciding something – you are choosing clutter.

Still, there was a lot of generalizing going on, a lot of stating of the obvious {i.e. How do you feel when your house is cluttered? How would you feel if it wasn’t?} and a lot of repetition. The author has her own organizing and design blog. The book was written like I would write a blog post – like I’m talking to someone. In a book, it felt a little unprofessional. I think I would actually prefer to read her blog – with a little tip here or there, instead.



Night by Elie Wiesel (fiction) – must read

I’m sure I found this book a list of Short Books That Everyone Must Read. Or Books You Can Read in a Day. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of it nor did I know it was true story, a personal account. It’s sort of a classic and one that I do agree that Everyone Must Read or that it should be part of a curriculum. It’s a powerful reminder of the hatred during the time of Nazi rule. I did read it in a day; but I’m a slow reader.  Many of you would have it completed in an afternoon. I have now put Wiesel’s subsequent works in this trilogy on hold at the library. But I’m also confused because books two and three appear to be works of fiction.


The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton (fiction) – DNF

I have no idea how I found this book; but it had great reviews. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. I kept trying to push along, but kept getting distracted. Just like everything else in life, timing is everything. I do like the layout of this story and the mystery behind it. However, it’s just too slow for me right now. I’m more intrigued by the two books on hold at the library waiting for me to pick them up! Perhaps I’ll pick it up The Lake House again sometime down the road…

Have you used your library’s hold feature?

What would be on your hold list at the library?