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My Favorite Book Collections

My personal library

My favorite book collections and addiction to bibliophilia began when I started studying for my Bachelor’s in English. I figured, if I’m going to spend money on all these books, I might as well keep them! Lo and behold, I went out and purchased my first book case to fill with books and notebooks. As my shelves grew with academic English anthologies, I realized that I felt a sort of accomplishment, or refinement, in reading classic literature. However, I want to expand my mind to be a renaissance man-ish. That requires a much broader and less snobby approach to book collecting. I now find myself going to local thrift stores and library book sales.

With a coffee in hand, never did I go hunt books to turn a profit, or to find what was popular with the “cool kids.” The adventure and travel to new locations in the search for for those perfect books was enough to get me hooked. My calendar stays full with book sale dates, or I make it a point to travel to antique shops to find the ‘one’ book for the day.

The Quest Continues

Over the years (about 12), I have collected over 800 books within various genres to build up my favorite book collection. My favorite genre and primary target these days is the Dark Fiction Genre. My favorite collection is my dark fiction anthology collection, ranging from a huge collection of Poe, all the way to an indigenous dark fiction collection published by Black Hills Press.

The collection spans into the military genre, Egyptology, non-fiction, self-help, esoteric/new age, science fiction, rhetoric, biographies, poetry, art collections, essays, Westerns, auto-biographies and even coloring books. You name it, I’m sure I have come across that genre in my book collecting days.

I’d love to see your collections, link to them in the comments or let me know what I need in my collection to make it classic. Be sure to support this small press, we have a dark fiction collection for sale, “Mad Men” for only $2.99, and support indie horror!

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🚨🚨BOOKLAUNCH!🚨🚨

Today we launch our first multi-author fiction anthology exploring three disturbing tales about the nature of man and the true nature of what lies inside of him.

The cost is only 2.99, so that’s one dollar a story and all of our writers are indie horror authors. Available on all major platforms.

Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature.

We start with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned!

Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in this anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults.

Available now at Google Books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Amazon.

A three story horror short anthology by A.R. BraunMatt “Love-it or” Leavitt and Willy Martinez.

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Happy National Bookmobile Day!

Happy National Bookmobile Day by Mind on Fire Books
Happy National Bookmobile Day by Mind on Fire Books

Celebrate National Bookmobile Day! Every day, bookmobiles help transform the communities they serve, providing everything from access to books, magazines and videos to job search assistance and much more.

For book lovers, bookmobiles are oddly romantic. They seem like dream-machines, very real automobiles rolling through our lives in an almost impossible fashion.

A Brief History of the Bookmobile

The bookmobile or mobile library is a vehicle designed for use as a library. They have been known by many names throughout history including traveling library, library wagon, book wagon, book truck, library-on-wheels, and book
auto service. Bookmobiles expand the reach of traditional libraries by transporting books to potential readers, providing library services to people in otherwise-underserved locations (such as remote areas) and/or circumstances (such as residents of retirement homes). Bookmobile services and materials (such as Internet access, large print books, and audiobooks), may be customized for the locations and populations served. Bookmobiles have been based on various means of conveyance, including bicycles, carts, motor vehicles, trains, watercraft, and wagons, as well as camels, donkeys, elephants, horses, and mules.

(If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “How Reading Makes us Better People”)

The first American bookmobile was actually a wagon. Mary Titcomb, a Maryland librarian, recognized that having books was only one part of the library’s job: the other part was making the books accessible. The Washington County Library Wagon took books around the county, making scheduled stops in addition to impromptu dispersals.

Happy National Bookmobile Day by Mind on Fire Books
Happy National Bookmobile Day by Mind on Fire Books

The idea of bringing books to patrons caught on in the U.S.,  spurred by a widely distributed population and the desire for civic improvement. The Everett County Public Library has what is believed to be the oldest operating bookmobile, manufactured in 1924, and since fully restored.

As libraries have become the community’s digital gathering place, bookmobiles have also been transformed into movable internet hubs. El Paso County’s bookmobile was one of the early examples of this shift, with onboard workstations and satellite internet service.

Today our nation celebrates National Bookmobile Day. For more than 100 years, bookmobiles have delivered information, technology and resources for life-long learning to Americans of all walks of life. Each year, it is celebrated on the Wednesday of National Library Week. Which is your favorite?

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Kudos to This Bookstore For Helping 19 Families in This Crisis

In an effort to lift bookstores hit hardest by the social distancing efforts and forced closures across the nation, Out of Print found itself in a unique position to help. From March 20–22, 25% of sales at outofprint.com were donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (bincfoundation.org). The $19,500 raised will help 19 families of bookstore employees help to pay the rent and cover expenses for a month. Kudos to you!

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7 Benefits to Reading:

As many young kids are stuck sitting in a classroom for a long period of time, with very few social and scenery changes, these kids are constantly told how important reading is to their health. With the current uptrend and growing studies in neuroscience, these grammar-nazi teachers are being validated by science. It’s a no-brainer, the more time you spend on cerebral activities, the better prepared your brain is going to withstand the ravages of age. The benefits to reading do more than just make you smart.  Reading helps you socially, cognitively and academically. 

Here are 7 benefits to reading:

  1. Reading can reduce stress up to 68% according to the University of Minnesota.
  2. Reading works better and faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music or drinking tea, according the Canadian National Reading Campaign.
  3. Reading adds longevity to your health.
  4. Reading can slow cognitive decline, according to the well known journal, Neurology.
  5. When you only read news articles online has a downside in that it may add anxiety, stree, or reduce sleep.  Reading fiction however, will increase empathy, vocabulary, boost creativity, and increase happiness.
  6. Reading can improve sleep.  Digital media wreaks havoc on your sleep, read more books in print.
  7. Reading can enhance social skills.

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Dive into a good book this Summer

Dive into a good book this summer at http://www.mindonfirebooks.com
Dive into a good book

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11 Unique Bookstores Around the World

 
Imagine your perfect bookstore
 

Is it cozy and carefully curated? Is it stocked with every text you could ever hope to read? Can you sip from a craft cocktail while you browse? What makes a bookstore ideal is in the eye of the beholder. Luckily, the world is brimming with unique booksellers—from stores that are big enough to take up several city blocks to shops that are literally a New York City apartment, collections housed beneath stained glass ceilings to ones with no ceilings at all—you’re sure to find at least one that fits your personal description of “perfection.”


Biggest: The Book Garden

WHERE: Tehran, Iran

Over the summer, the Book Garden opened its doors to unveil 700,000 square feet of book paradise. The sprawling complex not only features shelves upon shelves of titles to choose from but restaurants, a theater, and research halls. Plus, visitors can pick up one of 1,000 free books to peruse while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine from the Book Garden’s rooftop park.

BookBar

WHERE: Denver, Colorado

What’s better than combining books and booze? How about books and $2 off beer and wine during happy hour Monday through Friday? With its regular events (Literary Game Night, BookBar Book Club, and the introvert-friendly Silent Reading Happy Hour) BookBar is the perfect place anyone that loves their literary discussion paired with a glass of rosé.

Booziest, Part 2: Kramerbooks & Afterwords

WHERE: Washington D.C.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords has been serving up literature and nourishment in Dupont Circle since the 1970s. It’s the perfect place for a late night spent with a good book and a good drink. The cafe side of this combination bookstore-café is no beer-and-wine-only affair. The bar is full service and offers such literary libations as the Are You There God, It’s Me Margarita or A Cocktail of Two Cities.

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Booziest Bookstore (Eccentric Gilded Age Heiresses Edition): Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar

WHERE: Asheville, NC

Are you more predisposed toward sipping bubbly than beer? Would you consider yourself winsome yet thoughtful? Are you a fancy 1920s heiress with a penchant for whimsy? Then look no further than the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar for all your book and sparkling wine related needs.

Most Romantic: The Ripped Bodice

WHERE: Culver City, California

The Ripped Bodice is the only bookstore in the U.S. that specializes exclusively in the romance genre. Whether your perfect match is a shapeshifting were-dragon or a brooding Regency-era duke you’ll be sure to find something that’ll set your heart aflutter. With its carefully curated selection and playful décor, it’s impossible to step inside this ode to all things literary and romantic without, well, falling in love.

Most Colorful: Saraiva Bookstore

WHERE: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Remember that one rainy Sunday afternoon when you decided to re-order your bookshelf by color? Okay, now imagine that but this time it’s an actual store. The bright and airy Saraiva Bookstore is lined with ROYGBIV-tastic shelves, the books organized by the colors of their spines. The children’s section is also rounded out with a rainbow ramp, making a trip to this Rio de Janeiro bookstore a thoroughly colorful experience.

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Outdoorsiest: Bart’s Books

WHERE: Ojai, California

“Booklover” can tend to be synonymous with “one who cowers indoors far from the reach of the wretched, burning sun.” But Bart’s Books will make a nature-loving believer out of even the staunchest of indoor kids.  This bookstore’s wares are located outside with nothing overhead but sky and palm tree fronds.

Most Exclusive: Brazenhead Books

WHERE: New York City, New York

Everyone loves speakeasy. The mystery. The adventure of finding a hidden spot. The little thrill you get at feeling like you’re in on a secret. But in the case of Brazenhead Books, becoming a speakeasy wasn’t about finding a cutesy way to sell bespoke cocktails it was a method of survival. When the rent for his bookstore’s retail space became too expensive owner Michael Seidenberg moved his operation into his apartment. The by appointment space has become a legend for its Phoenix-like transformation born out of a love for literature and a creative method of skirting zoning laws.

Most Ironic Place to Buy ‘Murder on the Orient Express’: La Caverne aux Livres

WHERE: Auvers-sur-Oise, France

If you were to hear the description of La Caverne aux Livres and say, “That’s not a real place you’ve just told me about. That’s actually the setting for an upcoming Wes Anderson movie!”, you would be well within your rights to do so. But as far as we can tell, this bookstore, which is located in a suburb of Paris that Vincent Van Gogh once called home and occupies a former postal train station as well as several train cars, is a reality.

Most Likely to Have ‘Advanced Potion-Making’ and ‘Hogwarts, A History’ in Stock: Livraria Lello

WHERE: Porto, Portugal

Livraria Lello has gained a certain degree of notoriety for reportedly inspiring frequent visitor and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Whatever the truth is, it’s impossible to look at the stunning structure and not feel transported to a world of magic. The combination of Neo-Gothic and Art Noveau stylings housed under a stained glass skylight is so stunning it might just make the Hogwarts Castle library look a little shabby by comparison.

Best Bookstore for Riding out the Post-Apocalypse: Underground Books

WHERE: Coober Pedy, Australia

The low-key dream of any bookworm is to have the world effectively end in order to have plenty of reading time on their hands. So if the world as we know it’s going to end, why not hunker down in Underground Books & Gallery. This subterranean book bunker is carved out of solid sandstone making it a great option for hiding from the radiations and making your way through your reading list. Plus, Coober Pedy is the opal capital of the world so when you do have to make the trek to Barter Town you’ll have something valuable to trade with.

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