September 06, 2021

📅 Is your Labor Day fully booked yet?


Happy National Read A Book Day! Yes, today is also Labor Day — which is definitely worthy of celebration — but what better way to honor the struggles of the labor movements of both the past and present than by edifying ourselves with a good book?

GIF of cat reading military strategy book

Brushing up on military strategy wasn't really the edification I had in mind, Butterscotch, but you do you.

If you happen to observe Rosh Hashanah, shanah tovah! May the year ahead of you be full of blessings and peace.


Before we delve into this week's community Q&A, let's eat some birthday cake!

Happy birthday to reformer, social worker, sociologist, activist, and suffragette Jane Addams, born this day in 1860! Ms Addams was at the forefront of settlement activism, which sought to bring the wealthy and the poor together in shared living spaces — the first "mixed income" neighborhoods and buildings in urban areas, most famously her Hull House settlement in Chicago — to foster a sense of community and provide greater opportunity for social mobility among the working class. She was also a pacifist and the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1931). At the time of her passing in 1935 she was the best-known female public figure in the United States, and was also an early icon of the LGBTQ+ community. She was a very cool person, so definitely look her up!

Happy birthday to English musician Roger Waters, born this day in 1943! Mr. Waters was a founding member and bassist of the band Pink Floyd, and from 1968 onward he became the band's primary lyricist, conceptual leader, and co-lead vocalist until his departure for a solo career in the early 1980s. 

Finally, happy birthday to actor, producer, and musician Idris Elba, born this day in 1972! Mr. Elba enjoyed early success on UK television prior to his breakout role as Russell "Stringer" Bell on HBO's The Wire from 2002-2004, which led to varied roles in the US version of The Office and frequent appearances in the MCU as Thor's ally Heimdall, among his many other credits.

OK! Assuming I don't die before then, I'll be back in your inbox on Wednesday morning with links to fun distractions! Before that, though, scroll down and learn all about fellow Boredwalk fan Martin M.! As usual, if you'd like to be featured in an upcoming email, reply to this and let me know! Until next time...

Peace, love, and reading,



Martin looking well-read in his Support Your Local Library baseball raglan! If you missed our raglan flash sale last month, don't worry — we'll do one again at some point! If you can't wait until then, you can always do a custom order now by filling out our request form here.

1. What's your day job and what's your dream job?

For three years now and counting, I am an adult services librarian for my community's public library (previously, I spent three decades in software development and support). My dream day job (since I was about ten years old) would be to become a published writer. My amateur writing can be found on the Internet easily enough.

2. What's your biggest pet peeve?

When someone is unwilling to listen to you when you are explaining how to do a task and, instead, expects you to just do it for them every time they need that task done. We continue to improve ourselves when we learn new things.

(Editor's note: As I always say, "teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a day. Cook a man LIKE a fish and YOU'LL eat like a king for at least a few weeks!")

3. What's a life pro tip the Boredwalk community needs to know?

While one is not able to modify the contents of a PDF file, you can modify the order in which that content is presented. On Windows, there is a free PDF Merger and Splitter application that allows you to break a single PDF into multiple files or to merge multiple, smaller PDF files into a single, bigger file. This tool is a quick way to re-present information as you need to.

4. What experience do you most want to cross off your bucket list?

I would love to take a few months to travel around Europe — seeing the sights, experiencing the old world grandeur, taking in the countryside. I definitely would want to include stops in London, Rome, and Athens.

5. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

While I have always wanted to fly (going back to childhood dreams), a more practical one would be speed-reading with full comprehension. The more I am able to read, the better I can provide my patrons a wider array of reader's advisory recommendations.

(Practical AND pleasurable — I like it!)

6. You can curse your nemesis with a minor annoyance for eternity; what do you choose?

Delayed delivery (say ten minutes or so) of incoming and outgoing text messages and emails.

7. What's a surprising fact about you?

I have never ever (in fifty-six years and counting) consumed a cup of coffee or tea. I got through college just on the caffeine from soft drinks, so I never acquired the coffee/tea habit and very likely never will.

8. Where can the rest of the Boredwalk community find you?

On Twitter @mcmaenza and on Goodreads: Martin Maenza