Introverts! This is Our Time to Shine

Don’t let those couch potatoes do all of the world-saving by themselves. Yeah, I know, they can watch for hours on end, but you need to get your ass in gear and keep reading! Introverts, book nerds, socially awkward humans – whatever you want to call yourselves – I think we already knew this, but we we will win this quarantine. And nobody can do it better, not even those TV heads. We have been preparing for this for years. For readers, it’s our time to shine guys.

They first told us to practice social distancing, and we were like, “yasss, finally!”

Then they told us to isolate, we said, “we already are.”

Restaurants aren’t open, so go ahead and do a curbside pick up – you got this! But first, let me see how tall I can stack these Books.

Hmmm, I can’t go to the mall, I guess I’ll just have to order online. *Makes a pot of coffee for the endless clicking, mundane searches and e-buying.

No more sports games in the background, even better!

It’s just you and that stack of books that you have been putting off… or adding to it, so it never really gets lower.

What have you been able to accomplish during this quarantine that you may not have normally been able to accomplish?

If you are enjoying this article, we have more great literary content on The Ritual Blog here.

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Happy Birthday to Me and These Famous Birthdays

Happy Birthday to me and my shared famous birthdays with Robert Penn Warren and Anthony Trollop – Two Monster writers!. I first read Robert Penn Warren in a community college class and fell in love with his drama, charm, and lively Southern characters. Anthony Trollop is simply a wordsmith. He used to wake up and write for two hours each morning before working at the post office. Maybe that’s the ritual that I need to develop to be able to punch out more dark fiction. He’s not for everyone (me included) but we share a birthday so he’s cool with me 🙌.

Happy Birthday to all you lovely Taurus people born on this day!

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?

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!

Happy Birthday Haruki Murakami

Happy 71st Birthday to one helluva creative writer, Haruki Murakami. Haruki is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside of Japan.

Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami


“Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there with me. He was seated on the chair across from the sofa I’d been sleeping on, staring straight at me with a pair of imaginary eyes in a face that wasn’t.” – Excerpt from his latest #novel, ‘Killing Commendatore.”


A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art. Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

We have a plethora of articles pertaining to book reviews, famous writers, and dark fiction gems at our blog, The Ritual, here.

12 Things to do on a Date at a Book Store

Love is in the air and you want to impress this person witha surprise book store date. Maybe you want to show off your knowledge of Wordsworth’s English poetry, or perhaps you would like to debate over the geopolitical theories presented by Foucault and Chomsky.

Or perhaps you want to keep it lighthearted and have some fun. Here are 12 great ideas to carry out on your next book store date.

1. Arrange a book store tour.

2. Find a poem, read it out loud and then copy it into your journal.

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12 things to do on a Book Store Date by Mind on Fire Books. Writer: Willy Martinez

3. Hunt for authors with your same last name.

4. Leave a thoughtful review on a post-it note in a book you really loved.

5. Scan the books of quotes. Find a good one and write it outside on the sidewalk with chalk.

6. Find out what specialty books that store offers; local, spirituality, horror, etc.

7. Look for the biggest book in the store and take your picture with it.

9. Browse books on the flora and fauna of your area. Learn to identify something new.

10. Go to the cookbook area, choose a recipe, and make plans for the next date.

11. Browse the travel section, find a place you want to visit, make some plans.

12 things to do on a Book Store Date by Mind on Fire Books. Writer: Willy Martinez

12 . Buy each other your favorite book from the day.

If you loved this list and would like to read more about book stores around the world, check out these book lover articles here.

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • 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. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins 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 the Mad Men 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. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.