Friday, October 09, 2009

And Thus Begins Free Book Friday

(cc) Douglas CooteyThis week wasn't such a great week for writing. Between sickness, ticking, and ferrying kids about I never seemed to have any brain juice left when I sat down in front of my computer. The ship had sailed; the mind was gone. What little I did have seemed to be occupied reading news and researching antique pencil sharpeners.

Original Dom Casual Ad 1952What? I didn't tell you about that? I bought an old issue of American Artist from 1952 because it had an article about Alex Raymond in it. Fabulous illustrator. His work on Flash Gordon is probably what you most likely have seen. As I was thumbing through the magazine, I was delighted by two things. One was an original ad for Dom Casual. This ubiquitous font looks fairly humdrum on screen and had been dismissed by me way back in Windows 3.1 days. As far as I was concerned it could win a font deathmatch versus MS Comic Sans, but that wasn't saying much. Even
Papyrus could take MS Comic Sans. Then I saw the ad. To think Dom Casual once needed to be marketed. And it was so beautiful as a display type. I had profound new respect for it.

Dux Variable Precision Sharpener 1952The other thing that caught my eye was the Dux Variable Precision Sharpener. Yes, I don't draw much anymore, but I'm still an art geek at heart. I actually spent many ADHD fueled moments hunting around the internet for this antique only to discover to my nerdy delight it is still being made. I immediately ordered one from the nice folks over at Pencil Things. I might use it to sharpen a pencil or two. Even draw. The sky's the limit.

All was not lost this week, however. I did attend James Dashner's book launch for The Maze Runner. No one invited me to dinner or lent me their secrets filled laptop, but I did pick up a copy of his book and had it signed. He's a nice guy, and had a good sense of humor about me being so temporally challenged. I haven't started reading it yet. I have a long list of books awaiting that pleasure.

And that brings me to the point of today's blog, and only five paragraphs in. I had a wonderful email conversation with my friend, Brodi Ashton, about the amount of comments she gets on her blog. She admitted she hires her commenters off of Craigslist. I was shocked. No, really. The other things she does are to post on a regular schedule (Remember back in 2005 when I used to do that?), and give away books on Friday. What great ideas.

(cc) Douglas CooteyIn order to get a drop on the "unoriginal hack" label that I will one day earn in book reviews across the world, I will shamelessly copy Brodi. I am announcing (again probably) that I will post on Tuesday and Friday weekly from this point going forward, and Fridays will offer free books. Because frankly, I have too many of them. You can see the stack I'm setting aside for you now. The pants are not included.

To make things even more thrilling, here is the stack of books in 3D. Just gaze beyond your computer screen in that Magic Eye way and the books will not only leap off the page at you, but demand ownership. It's that exciting.

Free Books in 3D!!!

Today I'm offering Wendy Aron's Hide & Seek, which I reviewed last February. It's a good book, especially for those of you who struggle with approaching 40, depression, low self-esteem, and finding purpose in life. All you have to do is answer the following questions and post them in a comment. I'll pick a winner at random on Monday and announce it here.
  1. If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?
  2. How many times did I type "book" in this entry?
  3. Where are you from?
I'll start:
  1. Gollum. He travelled the world, ate a lot of fish, and acquired fascinating jewelry.
  2. You might need to remove your shoes to count this high.
  3. Massachusetts, most notably Cape Cod.
Maybe there's somebody you know who could use this book. Spread the word & send them along Have a great weekend.
Douglas sig


Brodi Ashton said...

1. Lizzie Bennett. So Mr. Darcy can fall in love with me.
2. Um... 742?
3. Salt Lake City. Born and raised. Brief stints in Idaho, London and Washington, D.C.

Love the tradition! Also, when you mail the books, there's a special book rate, and it's around $2.30. Much less expensive than what I was doing previously.

Douglas Cootey said...

Brodi ~ Darcy was my 2nd choice. He's moody, surly, witty, and devilishly handsome. 3 out of 4 for me isn't so bad…

Thanks for the tip.

Claire Pickering Torrey said...

(reposted here from Facebook)
Douglas- I tried five different times to post to the blog, and it kicked me out every time. So here is my comment.

1- Mary (as in Mary and Martha), the one who sits at Jesus' feet and listens, instead of running around like a chicken with me head cut off.

2. "book"-8 times
"books"- 5 times

3. Massachusetts born (Central Mass to be specific, Leominster/Sterling), Minnesota raised (from the age of 3)

Liz said...

1. Genevieve from Anno Dracula. She kicks butt.

2 How many times did I type "book" in this entry? 12 if you count the questions, I think. :-)

3 Where are you from? Cincinnati, OH area. (lived in KY, OH, and IN; three states all with in 45 min radius)

nikkimantyla said...

My comment is just to say hi and let you know I was here! I think the stuff about the font and the pencil sharpener is pretty cool.

Picking a character is hard! Lizzi is definitely the safest choice (no offense, Brodi). I can't imagine NOT wanting to be Lizzi.

Kathy said...

I posted a comment late last night and it isn't showing. So again!

1. Scarlett

2. several

3. Michigan ( suburban Detroit)

Douglas Cootey said...

Liz ~ Great answers. Thanks for playing. I had a cousin who lived in Cincinnati area, I believe. But I haven't been there for over 20 years.

Nikki ~ Haha! Thanks for saying something about them. My 17yo laughed at me and said I was a nerd, but an intelligent one—not the awkward, socially disgusting type. Phew!

Kathy ~ Thanks for trying again. Blogger was having issues yesterday. Good answers.

Douglas Cootey said...

I forgot to add that I have never been to Michigan. It's one of the 6 states I have not visited yet.

Lucy Talikwa said...

1) Harry Potter. I sometimes literally DREAM at night of being Harry Potter.

2) 8 of the word "book" only (not of "books")

3) Live in Knoxville, TN. Have lived in East Tennessee most of my life, but also lots of other places for short stints. Long story. But when you get old, all you have is a long story.

ALSO: Am a complete font freak and am trying to find a certain sandpaper based pencil sharpener I used in grad school for drafting pencils (love 2B leads on Bristol Board). Not in local art store and I can only find an antique drawing of it on the web. Really am old....

Douglas Cootey said...

Lucy ~ I've never dreamed of being Harry, but I did dream I was young enough to date Hermione…

Are you looking for this? I haven't seen these for sale in a long while. I bought an Alvin lead pointer file ages ago thinking metal would be better, but the tooth on the thing was so slight it couldn't sharpen a carrot.

Douglas Cootey said...

Here it is! Not worth the bother, IMO…

Cari said...

1. Brodi stole my original answer. I would say as a second choice I would choose Eleanor from Sense and Sensibility. She has a little drama to deal with at first, but things work out well. :)
2. 13 (if you include the title)
3. I currently live in KS!

Douglas Cootey said...

Thanks, Cari. Great answers. I never dreamed I'd get so many different answers for question 2.

Lucy Talikwa said...

Doug, on the sharpener thing: if you really want to see what I am looking for (don't roll your eyes to heaven), the only thing that even comes near it is Fig. 1-6 on You would release the tip of the lead slightly out of the end of the metal mechanical pencil and insert it into the drum and rotate it (pencil and top of drum) against the sandpaper wall/base. It would sharpen the tip to a needle point. It took years for the thing to wear out. Anyway...I can't find them in art stores now. Whatever.

Douglas Cootey said...

So something like this comes close, but what you're really looking for is something like this lead pointer from Alvin with pencils like these?


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