New ‘Free-Range Reader’ blogger talks about library love and great book finds

Posted in Blogs, Literary

ZIA GIPSON, Dec. 28, 2012

More than ten years ago, when my husband Richard Davis and I began thinking about where we might move later in life, we quickly agreed we’d need a good public library system. For all the years we’d lived in Seattle, we’d been spoiled by our close proximity to three libraries in West Seattle, as well as the Burien and White Center libraries in King County’s system. Now we’re fortunate to be on Whidbey, where there is a great library system, and to have three branches within “errands” distance.

GUEST GIPSON #1 FuroshikiCover

Libraries have always been at the center of my free-range reading universe. I’m invariably on the lookout for something new-to-me to read. I’ve spent many hours prowling libraries wherever I happen to be and exploring new and used bookstores worldwide. At parties, I’ve been known to peruse other people’s bookshelves when I should be engaged in cocktail chatter. I love the search. Give me a library or a garage sale, and the literary hunter-gatherer in me takes over.

For a time in the late 90s and early aughts, Richard was a book scout. We’d scour West Seattle, collecting quality books just to be able to turn them into book-buying cash at Portland’s deservedly famous Powell’s City of Books.

I’m an avid and adventurous reader. I’ll take on just about anything that catches my eye, reading in bed late at night or listening to books in the car and in the studio while I work.

Books: that’s what this blog will be about – finding treasure in local libraries or new and used-book emporiums. I’ll be paying special attention to books about art and culture, whether a tome about technique or a biography of a poet or painter.


Being a free-range reader, I will also write about fiction, because I can honestly say fiction saved my life. I’ll have more on that in a later post. I plan to monitor assiduously the “Just Added” section of the Sno-Isle website to see what’s new on the shelves and bring some of these to your attention. Whatever the nature of the book, I hope to present some volumes for your delectation and to send you careening to the stacks or your keyboard to place a hold.

In case you’re curious, my “Catches of the Day” from the Clinton library yesterday were “Furoshiki Fabric Wrap” by Pixeladies, “Metal Embossing Workshop” by Magdalena S. Muldoon, and Tom Perrotta’s novel, “The Leftovers.”

Next month I’ll take a look at several art technique books that take on image-transfer technique—that is, taking photocopied or computer-printed images and moving them from the sheet to paper, metal, wood, ceramics, or fabric. As time allows, I’ll try out some of these techniques and post them on my Whidbey Life Magazine profile for your consideration.

In the meantime, don’t forget to put libraries and librarians in your bedtime prayers. I love my library!

Zia Gipson is a mixed media artist working on a series of collages that incorporate printmaking, stamping, drawing, painting and other forms of mark-making. She’s active in the artists groups Whidbey Island Surface Design and Northwest Designer Craftsmen.

Coming up:
Freeland Library Book Sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Clinton Library Sale 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19,at Clinton Community Hall.

Leave a Reply