Keli Gwyn
Book Buying Choices: New or Used?

Our local Christian bookstore closed its doors for the last time this past Friday.

The owner fought valiantly to keep the doors open as long as he could, but after eight years, Jireh’s couldn’t survive. I’d gotten to know Bryan and asked him what led to the closure. His answer: the advent of e-books and the sluggish economy.

I watched with admiration as Bryan made every effort to stave off the inevitable. One of his attempts was to buy used books from customers and resell them. Just before the end, the number of used books in the fiction section was almost double that of new books.

Seeing the used book section in Jireh’s made me question my buying habits. When I went in the store, I gravitated to the new books section. Knowing that buying used books doesn’t help authors’ sales stats, most of the time I chose new books.

Amazon offers used copies of books within days of their release. Do they tempt me? Nope. My reason is the same. I’m eager to support authors.

Do I ever buy used books? You betcha. As a historical author, I often hear of out-of-print titles I just gotta have, and I buy previously owned copies.

For instance, a certain 120-year-old etiquette book I mentioned in my previous post arrived last week. Even though it’s been well used, I treasure it.

• • •

How about you? Do you buy second-hand books, new books or both?

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Keli Gwyn
Friday Fun Victorian Style

The Victorians loved flowers, so much so that they had a language of flowers.

In my recently purchased reference book, Manners: Culture and Dress, published in 1892 (yes, I’m the proud owner of a book that’s 120 years old!), the author devoted an entire chapter to the language of flowers, filling nine pages with lengthy lists that matched a certain type of flower with a particular meaning, e.g. a white poppy meant sleep.

Romance thrived in the Victorian era, so it will come as no surprise that a number of the meanings listed dealt with that all-important topic: love.

Unmarried couples were bound by rigid social strictures with regard to courting, which often stifled conversation. They were inhibited by the requisite chaperones, too, so they found other ways to communicate, the exchange of flowers being one of them. Thus, the ability to speak using the language of flowers must have been a skill they sought to acquire.

If a gentleman wanted to let a lady knew he had feelings for her, he had many options. Here are three flowers he might have chosen, along with their meanings.

honeysuckle ~ bond of love
a rosebud on moss ~ confession of love
a yellow tulip ~ declaration of  love

If a lady had received one of these flowers from her suitor, he would’ve expected a reply. If she had difficulty conveying her answer by either spoken or written word due to those ever-present chaperones or a meddling mama, she could have followed her beau’s lead, presenting him with a flower she’d chosen based on its meaning.

Following are three possible responses she might have given him, along with the three corresponding flowers, with each group listed in alphabetical order.

Can you match each flower with its meaning?

The Flowers

acacia rose
garden daisy

The Meanings

I declare against you.
I share your sentiments.
platonic love – friendship

• • •

Leave your guess in a comment.

• • •

Update and Answer

acacia rose ~ platonic love – friendship

garden daisy ~ I share your sentiments

tansy ~ I declare against you

• • •

I’ve updated the Friday Fun post from last week.  You can click this link to see the answer.

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Keli Gwyn
The Healing Power of Romance

The siren of the snow-capped Sierras has my hubby on speed dial, calling him with an invitation to grab his cross-country skis and explore her majestic peaks and valleys.

Many Saturdays, my guy spends several enjoyable hours doing just that.

Not this past Saturday, though. The siren called, but Gwynly didn’t answer.

The snow-covered Sierra Nevada Mountains - minus my guy

Friday had been a cranberry juice kinda day for me. I took two over-the-counter tablets and hoped some pesky germs would take the hint and git.

By Saturday morning, I knew I needed to see the doctor. Normally Gwynly would have been en route to the mountains by the time I dragged myself out of bed and arranged to visit the local rapid care clinic, but he wasn’t.

Gwynly stayed home and cared for me. He drove me to the appointment, the pharmacy, and Carl’s Jr. (I don’t like to cook on good days but do so anyway. On bad days, forget it.)

After the meal, Gwynly took me home, where he hung around, offering me all the water I could drink, a generous serving of “poor babys,” and all the sympathy a gal could want.

I spent hours curled up on the couch bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t get my daily dose of exercise. I was in no shape to walk six miles, but I didn’t want to miss my first day since beginning my regimen last November. If I could walk in the rain, surely I could limp along once the antibiotics kicked in.

Gwynly said no. He’s Mr. Exercise, so I knew he wouldn’t say that if it weren’t the best thing for me. So there I lay in my snuggly soft, polka-dot, frumpy-to-the-max sweat outfit feeling like a slug–and looking every bit as appealing.

But what did Gwynly do? He came over, stroked my hair, and kissed me ever so gently, proving once again that romance isn’t all peaches and roses. Sometimes it’s sacrifice, selflessness, and petal-soft kisses given at just the right moment.

My symptoms have faded, but the memories of Gwynly’s TLC will last a long time.

• • •

What makes you feel cherished when you’re not feeling well?

Can you recall a time when your special someone–or someone special to you–made a sacrifice on your behalf? How did that make you feel?

• • •

I’m privileged to be the featured guest on Jessica Nelson’s blog, Booking It, today.

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Keli Gwyn
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