Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Nose Has Always Been in a Book

I Began to Read at an Early Age


This is me. 
My parents say I taught myself to read when I was three years old, and I still remember the exact book that helped me learn – I See a Kitty. It had large print, few words, several full-page photos of a kitten doing interesting things, and a very uncomplicated plot. My mother read it to me until I had it memorized, and I would still be able recite it to you if you could stand it. Memorized or not, though, I was able to recognize those words in other books my mom read, and I'd ask my dad about the letters in the headlines of the paper he was reading. By the time I hit first grade, the teacher didn't know what to do with me. I and another girl in my class who coincidentally had the same first and last name as I, got to sit in a corner of the classroom and read books while the teacher taught the rest of the class to read.

Since those days I've continued to love kitties and books. I currently don't own a cat, but I own way too many books. I've been collecting them all my life. My first job after high school was in a library. My major in college was English. I taught English at the high school level for two years after that. I quit with the hope of starting a family, but that didn't happen, so I started working in a Christian bookstore. At both the library, where I could check out all the books my heart desired, and at the bookstore, where I could borrow all the books I wanted to read, I had access to as many books as I needed. My bookstore discount helped me stock my home library. Is it any wonder they have made me the Book Contributor here on Review This?

Living with Books and Selling Them


My book collecting didn't end there, though. As a teacher and later, a homeschooling mom after we adopted our two children, I continued to buy and read books. After our daughter moved out and our son was killed in a jet ski accident, I made a hasty decision to become a home school book vendor. That meant I exhibited my books at conventions all over the country between 1992 and 1996, as Barb's People Builders. We had to stop the exhibiting and California book fairs at private schools after that because my husband had worn out both hips. So I took the business online.

Part of History Display at Bookfair


I decided it was time to retire from e-commerce at the end of May this year because several surgeries last year made me deactivate my site while I recovered and the site itself became obsolete as far as Google was concerned. I was also not physically able any longer to ship large purchase orders. So after twenty years of selling inventory, I just stopped. I still love books, but now I am a real life book contributor. I'm donating as much inventory as I can to worthy nonprofit organizations. I'm concentrating more now on writing and building more web sites.

I now have more time to read and review books. I have started converting my Barb's People Builder's website into a review and affiliate selling site, Books to Remember,  so that I can promote the books I love whether I own them or not, though I still do own most of them. Most of the books I review there are for children or educators. I review most books for adults here on Review This! or at Bookworm Buffet, one of my own sites.

I Finally Discovered a Way to Share My Writing


 I have been writing since I was a child, but at first I only shared it with family and friends, mostly in long letters. I was still selling books when I discovered Squidoo became a lensmaster in 2009. By the end of that year I had become a Giant Squid, and still wear my Squidoo T-shirts Squidoo was giving away to Giant Squids. In fact, I'm wearing one right now. Unfortunately, Squidoo died last year, but I had already begun writing for other sites and starting my own blogs. Much of what I wrote for Squidoo has been transferred to a new HubPages account






Here are the other places you can find me on the internet.

Tsu: The social network that shares revenues with you.
HubPages (original account)


Of course, there's more to life than reading and writing. I have a garden or two, and I concentrate on herbs and drought-resistant plants. I enjoy keeping up with my local art scene, and I love to take pictures of all our local scenery and activities. When I have time I like to cook and bake. I just don't have time very much anymore. 





9 comments:

  1. We are thrilled to have you with us here on Review This! You have already introduced me to several new authors and books, but even I had not realized your extensive background with books. How perfect you are to be our Book Contributor and I love your Zazzle features.

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    1. I am really happy to be here, Cynthia. I'm also discovering new authors that others here have written about. With thousands of new books being written all the time, probably only a few have been read by all of us. There's always something new to learn. I read mostly what I have on hand, so some of my reviews are for books now out of print. They may be oldies, but they are still goodies. Of course, I'm still loading my kindle with more recent books, so I review those, too.

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  2. Barb I loved reading this and getting to know you a bit. I share your love of books and of course photography. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Mary Beth, I love your photography. You're much better at it than I am. I think all of us here like to read. It's been fun seeing what others have enjoyed and sharing the books I love, as well.

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  4. Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures and books are a gateway to an amazing world. A friend (who used to work in a bookstore) and I were just discussing the fact that we just plain enjoy not just reading, but seeing books on the bookshelves of our homes. My friend's brother & wife recently moved and they got rid of almost ALL their books and instead put books on their Kindle. That may be 'handy', but it's not the same as being able to see and touch real books!

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  5. You looked just like Shirley Temple. What a wise intelligent woman has grown out of that smart beautiful little girl.

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  6. My thoughts exactly about you're looking just like Shirley Temple, super cute. I also enjoyed getting to know you better and certainly share your love of books - you sure have a grand connection to them in all the work you've done over the years. I wasn't aware of the loss of your son, and I'm so sorry, my heart goes out to you.

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