Bay Books is pleased to be part of a nationwide network of more than 1,200 independent bookstores all working together to bring knowledge, passion, character, personality, and community to your shopping experience. As you spend time in our bookstore, you’ll notice our unique atmosphere and selection of titles. While our bookstore is distinctly our own, it is clear that all bookstores with Book Sense have five common traits that will make you glad you choose to shop there:

Book Sense Is … Knowledge

When you are searching for that perfect gift, nothing beats a book! And when you need assistance, our booksellers can provide thoughtful and insightful advice. If you are still unsure, a Book Sense Gift Card is a sure fit.

Book Sense Is … Passion

Bookselling is our passion. We are fortunate that we can surround ourselves with a world of books. Many of us have built our lives around our bookstores in hopes of sharing our enthusiasm with you by helping you to find the perfect book for yourself or a friend.

For the Love of BooksBook Sense Is … Character

Whether you’re looking for a bestseller or an off-beat treasure, we’re dedicated to getting the perfect book into your hands.

Book Sense Is … Personality

The diversity among bookstores with Book Sense cannot be described in a few words. Eclectic tastes and literary atmosphere only begin to relate the experience that awaits you when you shop with us. Our personality is reflected in the atmosphere and inventory of our bookstore.

Book Sense Is … Community

Bay Books plays a vital role in our neighborhood because we support other local businesses and understand the importance of keeping money in the community by helping schools, charities, and other organizations.

When you enter a bookstore with Book Sense, you’ll find all this and more. We take great pride in our relationships with readers and our ability to meet your needs. By working together, bookstores with Book Sense are creating bookselling excitement through the Book Sense Independent Bestseller list, a national gift card program, and the Book Sense Picks — a monthly list of intriguing titles culled from the recommendations of bookstores from all around the country.

Hard vs. Soft Lenses: Which One Suits You Best?

Reading It Clear

The development of the technologies used in modern contact lenses is something far more significant than can be dealt justice in this article. We are fortunate today to have an unprecedented amount of options for managing vision defects at our disposal! Glasses and contact lenses can both be manufactured in record time and volume and made available at prices that are within reach, for all socioeconomic levels. This is the first time in history that vision correction has been so easy and effective; it’s important to stress that, while we’re comparing the merits of different types of contact lenses today, neither rigid nor soft lenses can be called a bad choice. They’re simply different solutions for similar problems.

Modern rigid, gas-permeable lenses, what you’ll be buying when you ask for hard contact lenses, are a major step up from previous hard lenses. A hard lens consists of a small, finely shaped piece of a firm, rigid, transparent polymer; the most common such material is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). PMMA is marketed under a wide variety of names. For instance, you’re probably familiar with Plexiglas. Plexiglas is PMMA. Treated appropriately before being put into service, PMMA is a durable, cost-effective, and completely safe material and an ideal choice for a contact lens. It is gas-permeable, as with all materials used for hard lenses in the current day, which is important.

Hard vs Soft ContactsLenses which are non-gas permeable don’t allow oxygen to reach your cornea. When wearing such lenses for extended durations, such as overnight, there’s a real risk of corneal hypoxia. That’s nasty business! Among other things, corneal hypoxia carries a risk of causing corneal ulcers. I’ll spare you the clinical details, but it’s safe to say that there’s a real risk of a permanent decrease in vision. It is a very positive thing that contemporary hard lenses don’t have this problem anymore!

Now, let’s discuss the merits of hard lenses. Chief among these would be their rigidity. Hard lenses sit on top of the eye and don’t necessarily have to conform to its exact shape. As a result, they can correct defects like astigmatism, which soft lenses cannot. If you have astigmatism, hard lenses aren’t just your best bet for contact lenses; they’re your only bet! Soft lenses won’t do the job you need them to. None of the other points matter under these circumstances: hard lenses work, soft lenses don’t. That’s not saying that soft lenses are an inferior product, they just have their pros and cons, much like hard lenses.

Soft lenses, on the other hand, are made from a hydrogel, and most of the market is based explicitly on a silicone hydrogel right now. The hydrogels are semi-solid and very similar to the biological components of your eye in their moisture and consistency. This makes soft lenses more comfortable and easier to get used to. Furthermore, hydrogels, especially the most common silicone hydrogels, have far better oxygen permeability than the materials used in even the most cutting-edge rigid lenses. You can wear an oxygen-permeable rigid lens overnight, but you can wear a continuous-wear soft lens for a month at a time if you absolutely must. The silicone hydrogels are more hydrophobic than some other forms of hydrogels, which slightly reduces their comfort, but they’re still a step up from hard lenses.

What’s more, hydrogels are also offered in a disposable form, so you can simply buy a set of lenses, wear them until the end of their lifespan, and replace them with a new one when that comes to an end. This is far easier than cleaning and maintaining hard lenses, which requires pricey specialized cleaning solutions, and if done wrong can risk causing an eye infection. On the downside, though, soft lenses aren’t as durable as hard ones; as a result, there are environments where it’s simply not possible to wear them.

So, what’s the best choice for your contact lens type? That depends. Talk to your optometrist and consider your personal needs and wants; at the end of the day, the best contact lens is the one that’s most compatible with your eyes and your lifestyle.

Review of Jodi Picoult’s Keeping Faith

Book Reviews

In Jodi Picoult’s novel Keeping Faith — religious phenomenon, prior psychological history, and adultery issues complicate the custody battle between the parents of a special little girl named Faith White. Picoult uses this novel not only to question whether it can ever be said that there is one true religion but also to look at what makes a parent fit to raise a child. Keeping Faith is a novel that has readers mystified and wondering right to the very last page, and perhaps even beyond.

What Happens When a Jewish Child Experiences Stigmata and Talks to God?

Religion plays a large role in Keeping Faith. Faith White grew up the child of a Jewish mother and a Christian father, but in her life had no real exposure to either faith. This is what made it particularly surprising when little Faith White began to talk to God and repeat verses from the Bible shortly after her mother and father divorced. When Faith began to experience bleeding such as that Christ would have experienced, heal babies, and even brought her grandmother back to life after doctors had pronounced her death she became the obsession of religious people far and wide.

Keeping Faith coverCan God Be a Woman?

Faith became a household name to people of all religions and could not even step out of her house without being harassed by crowds of people. She was questioned by Rabbis and Priests and became a target for an atheist TV host whose aim in life was to prove God did not exist.

The two ideas that many could not wrap their heads around were the facts that a child who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah could be chosen by a Christian God to display the wounds of Christ and that the God Faith White communed with was showing herself to the child as a woman. The fact that God was a woman made some question whether Faith was talking to God at all or whether her mother was manipulating her to say so. It was also questioned whether or not Faith White’s mother may have been inflicting wounds on the child and this is part of the reason for the subsequent battle.

Can Prior Depression Make a Future Unfit Parent?

A major issue explored in Keeping Faith was whether Faith White’s mother could be declared an unfit mother and assumed to be harming her child because she had a history of mental illness. When Faith’s mother was pregnant with her, she was committed by her husband to a mental hospital where she was treated for depression. Faith’s mother had tried to kill herself after finding out her father had cheated on her. When Faith and her mother walked in on her father with another woman in their own home Faith’s parents decided to divorce. Shortly after this Faith’s religious experiences and stigmata began, and her father implied her mother was repeating her prior breakdown, only this time hurting Faith.

It must be said that there was no evidence of her mother falling apart to the point of being unable to function again even though these claims were made. The court battle that ensued questioned whether a prior illness could predict a future problem and whether Faith should be taken away from her mother because of this.

Keeping Faith is not a light read, but it is a novel that will leave the reader wanting to devour the book in one sitting. Jodi Picoult did a wonderful job defining characters and spinning a tale that was not only valid in today’s society, but also mysterious.


Picoult, Jodi. Keeping Faith. Harper Collins Publishers, 2008. ISBN: 0061374962