Posted by: Brad Nixon | February 20, 2016

Where Books Come From

What have you been reading so far in 2016?

Leave me a comment. I’m interested.

Where’d you get that book? A bookstore (if you can find one)? Ordered it online? A download? An audio book? A thrift store? The library?

Phoenix Carnegie Brad Nixon 8655 (640x480)

Original Phoenix Carnegie Library, 1908

I just counted; slightly over 70% of the books I’ve read this year aren’t ones I pulled from my shelves, bought from a store or online or borrowed from friends.

I borrowed them from the local library.

This is my way of sending a reminder to participate in the Under Western Skies National Library Week project. I’d like your reminiscences and observations about libraries: what they mean to you; a particular library experience you recall; what’s it like inside a library now versus what you remember from childhood; whatever comes to mind.

IMG_8663 Phoenix Carnegie Brad Nixon (640x416)

Phoenix Carnegie Library interior

Send photos if you can. I’ll compile your pieces into one or more blog posts during National Library Week. Library Week is April 10-16, so don’t wait too long.

I encourage readers everywhere to participate, even if it’s not National Library Week where you are. We’d be delighted to represent libraries from around the world.

CLICK HERE to see the full details.

I look forward to your contributions.

© Brad Nixon 2016, 2017



  1. I love cookbooks purchased from the Goodwill. If I’m fortunate I find vintage cookbooks with comments in the margins. I imagine a home chef and owner of the book wearing a cool apron preparing meals for Sunday dinner, a church supper or a holiday celebration.


  2. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a wet blanket on this one.

    The overwhelming majority of the books that I read are ones that I buy.
    If I want a book for keeps, 99% chance I’m going to buy it online. The remaining 1% of my purchases will likely be bought in museums that I visit. Some years ago, before I experienced the joys of online book purchases, I used to buy vintage books in a store called The Bookman, a very old one-man bookstore in Orange, California. (He’s been there for decades, and is still there.) Reading materials that I don’t buy, I view online.

    Occasionally, I go to local public libraries with my wife, an elementary school teacher. She likes to go to public libraries, because she’s shopping for materials that she hopes will be useful in her teaching.

    Perhaps it’s not exactly a fair criticism, but the public libraries in our area are, I would say, not particularly interesting spaces to visit. These libraries bear no resemblance to the beautiful libraries you have shown in your recent posts. Our local libraries have a certain stale odor, and a dreary, downtrodden standard public facility appearance, that makes me sleepy. Sorry.


  3. When we first moved to Ashland, Oregon, the old Carnegie Library, sent around to the city parks, a little bookmobile for kids during the summer months, which we made good use of. As a teen, i mostly just hung out with friends on the lawn in front, or met people there.

    Over the last 30ish years, I’ve worked in bookstores,(at the current one, the library will sometimes refer people to us for books) and got the majority of my books there.

    This is still the case, but, BUT, we do visit our local branch of the Multnomah County Library system (Portland, Oregon) fairly regularly, mostly to borrow music CDs or Movies on DVD. Our Holgate branch always seems to have a wide variety, and, for what ever reason, lots of French movies.We also pick up tax forms there.

    To keep things moving, we frequently drop off our loans at another branch on 122nd, and sometimes check things out from there, if we’re not just dropping off.

    The county system allows us books, movies, music, to be transferred from any branch, so a huge choice available to all. We notice the computers are usually in use too.


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