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A free book? Sweet.

About a month ago, I stumbled upon this Web site, The Great American Book Giveaway.

The basic premise is each week they pick five random (but often) popular/best-selling books. You choose which one you’d most like to receive, type in your e-mail address, and if you’re chosen, they send you the book.

They send an e-mail when you submit your entry each week and then, if you don’t win, a reminder at the end of the week to check out the new crop and enter this week.

So, this has been going on for several weeks. I figured there was no harm in entering. I love reading, and I spend entirely too much money on books. (One day I will take a photo of just the two dozen or so books in my backlog. And yes, I am aware that it’s cheaper to go to the library. Thank you to the dozen co-workers and friends who’ve told me that. One of these days, I’ll get around to signing up with the Tippecanoe County Library or West Lafayette Library. But for now, I kind of like being able to see my personal stacks and reading a good book that I can then pass along to someone else who might enjoy it.)

So, the idea that I might actually win one of these books seemed impossible, or at least highly improbable. I’ve only ever won one thing over the Internet. Incidentally, it was a book also, and it was for correctly identifying the author of some quote on a quote-a-day listserv I subscribed to. But that was way back in high school. Therefore, when I got an e-mail tonight from the site, I figured it was the weekly “you didn’t win, but enter this week’s contest.” Instead, it said, Congratulations! You’ve been randomly selected to win …

Apparently the book I chose last week when I entered was “How Do You Work This Life Thing?” by Lizzie Post. Sounds like it could be interesting, though I’d never heard of it before the contest. I think that’s part of the point, to expose you to good books you might never hear about. If you want to see a list of the books they’ve featured in the past, they keep an archive with links to book/author information.

We’ll see if the book actually arrives. And when it does, it’ll go in the stack — right next to the books I bought at Border’s tonight. Yeah. I know. I need to stop going to Border’s/Barnes & Noble/Used Bookstores/Amazon.com. I can’t read the books as fast as I buy them. Some people buy shoes. I buy books. (OK, I have a lot of shoes, too. But a lot more books.)

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