A Hallowe'en favorite
New research proves what any English literature teacher could tell you: Reading fiction enables people to better understand other people’s feelings and perspectives.
Psychologists at the New School for Social Research asked people between the ages of 18 and 75 to read 10 to 15 pages of either literary fiction, including short stories by Anton Chekhov and Don DeLillo; popular fiction, including a potboiler by Danielle Steel; or nonfiction articles from Smithsonian magazine. Then they tested the subjects’ ability to look at pictures of people’s eyes and faces and tell what emotions those pictured were feeling.
The researchers found that the subjects who read the literary works scored much higher on the tests than the other readers, suggesting that within just a few minutes, the stories had heightened their emotional intelligence. That’s likely because literary fiction “forces you as a reader to contribute your own interpretations, to reconstruct the mind of the character,” study author Emanuele Castano tells USA Today. That, in turn, may make readers better at empathizing with others and navigating complex social situations in real life.
When McCourt was 10 years old, he caught typhoid fever. He had to spend a week in the hospital, and he was shocked to find that the hospital was a kind of paradise. It was the first time he could remember that he got three square meals a day, the first time he had slept between real bedsheets, and it was also the first time that he had free access to books. He read Shakespeare and fell in love with literature. From that day forward, he would borrow books wherever he could find them, and since his house had no electricity, he would read at night on the street, standing under a streetlamp
Leave it to Seattle to bring libraries to the masses.
"It's a really great way to tap into communities that feel they're not being served, and also, you know, a lot of millennials that traditionally may not be coming into our branches." And while he could have packed all his books into a car, he wanted to appeal to Seattle's bike culture. "This is like the upgrade of the bookmobile,"
E.B. White said: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
At least it's good for promoting reading...
Sales of 1984, George Orwell's classic dystopian novel about an all-seeing oppressive government, have shot up 3,000 percent on Amazon since reports of the National Security Agency's broad telephone and internet spying emerged last week. By Tuesday, the book had peaked at number 194 on the site, up from 6,750 one day earlier. The uptick has been attributed to frequent media comparisons of President Obama to the novel's all-seeing Big Brother. [ABC News]
"Where the Wild Things Are", and more
-- Josh Hanagarne from The World's Strongest Librarian
---Margaret Wise Brown, children's book author
Today is Read Across America
to pick up a book and read to a child.”
-- Dr. Seuss
A new look for a classic series
To mark the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first book in her seven-book fantasy series, Scholastic is re-issuing the novels with reimagined covers.
He put himself through college by working in the library, and he felt it was appallingly disorganized. There was no consistent system across libraries. Some numbered shelves, some arranged books by size just to look nice, and some libraries tried to alphabetize the whole library, which meant that every time they got a new book they had to redo the entire system. He knew there had to be a better way, so he worked on a system of categories and sub-categories, assigning each a system of numbers. And he came up with the Dewey Decimal System, which is still used today in many libraries, a series of classifications divided and subdivided into subjects and a decimal number assigned to each book.
Madeleine L'Engle (1918)
C. S. Lewis (1898)
Louisa May Alcott (1832)
Honoring Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan said: "What an astonishing thing a book is. It is a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts, on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. Books are proof that humans are capable of working magic."
---Tim O'Brien, "The Things They Carried"
Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All
Science fiction author Ray Bradbury, whose imagination yielded classic books such as "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes," has died at 91, his publisher said Wednesday.
Bradbury "died peacefully, last night, in Los Angeles, after a lengthy illness," HarperCollins said in a written statement.
Bradbury's books and 600 short stories predicted a variety of things, including the emergence of ATMs and live broadcasts of fugitive car chases.
The downward spiral of the bookstore in America seems to be increasing in speed. With ebooks, pirating, and predatory online booksellers, it seems only an idiot would suggest bookstores even have a future. Well, my friends, that is precisely what this idiot is about to propose.
Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it."
---Charles Scribner Jr.
Started in 1768 in Edinburgh, Scotland, this venerable reference tool can't succeed selling hardcover books any more.
"Check out" a book
Did your favorite make the cut?
He was a prolific writer and was very quotable. Here are just a few of his thoughts:
Charity begins at home and justice begins next door.
There is nothing better than a friend unless it is a friend with chocolate.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
The most important thing in life is to stop saying "I wish" and start saying "I will".
I'm part of this percentage with my new e-reader!
- -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)
Down fell the snow - PLOP! - on top of Peter's head
He was known as one of the "Big Three" of sci-fi, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. His best-known work is 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
*Librarians are called "concierges".
*They use the word "Anythink" instead of "Library".
*The collection looks more like a bookstore than a set of books on shelves.
*Self-checkout but personal service for those who need it.
*Up-to-date technology and the staff to help patrons learn to use it.
*Reconfigured physical space that looks less institutional. (Soft chairs and a coffee shop).
*No more Dewey Decimal system.
"Every time there's new technology, there's the fear that libraries will go away. Turns out it's just another way people look to their library."
Check out Google's fence-painting doodle to honor Twain here
Twain was very quoteable. Here is just one example:
"It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races."Two others who share this birthday:
Winston Churchill and Lucy Maude Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series.
Support intellectual freedom!
LeVar Burton, a children's literacy advocate and a former star of Star Trek: The Next Generation, plans to make an ambitious comeback, giving the once-loved Reading Rainbow brand a 21st-century upgrade.
Reading Rainbow: The Next Generation - The iconic brand returns--with a 21st-century upgrade for iPads.
Today is International Literacy Day!
International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education.
Obama's Book Club
Here is a list of every book the Reader-in-Chief has read since taking office.
It's the birthday of the British author of the "Harry Potter" series: J.K. Rowling, born in Yate, near Bristol, in 1965.
She was born Joanne, with no middle name; when the time came to publish her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997), her publishers wanted initials rather than her first and last name. She needed a middle initial, so she took her grandmother's name: Kathleen.
She studied French in college, and after college she went to work for Amnesty International as a secretary. She was on a train coming home to London from a weekend looking at flats in Manchester in 1990, when she suddenly got the idea for a novel. "I was looking out of the window at some cows, I believe and I just thought: 'Boy doesn't know he's a wizard — goes off to wizard school,'" she said in an interview with Stephen Fry. "I have no idea where it came from. I think the idea was floating along the train and looking for someone, and my mind was vacant enough, so it decided to zoom in there."
She found a publisher in 1996, and was paid an advance of £1,500, about $2,500. Six more books followed. Her rags-to-riches story is legendary: In five years' time, she went from being on public assistance to being a multimillionaire. She's now one of the richest women in Britain, even richer than the queen, and Forbes magazine estimates her net worth at 1 billion U.S. dollars.
Pottermore turns out to be a site where J.K. Rowling will sell e-book versions of her famous Harry Potter books.
The owls carry a message...
What's coming from novelist J.K. Rowling in 5 days???
Publishers say it's not another book, so what is it???
Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.
--Arthur Helps, writer (1813-1875)
In the current climate, libraries worry they'll become obsolete. Publishers are afraid they won't be able to make any money. That's why HarperCollins came up with a new e-book policy that says an e-book can be checked out 26 times, after which it has to be repurchased.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
It's Read Across America Day.
You're never too old, too wacky, too wild
To pick up a book and read with a child.
You're never too busy, too cool, or too hot
To pick up a book and share what you've got.
In schools and communities, let's gather round,
Let's pick up a book, let's pass it around.
There are kids all around you, kids who will need
Someone to hug, someone to read.
Join us March 2nd in your own special way,
And make this America's Read to Kids Day!
Franklin loved books
In 1731, Ben Franklin founded America's first circulating library so that people could borrow books to read even though they might not have been able to afford to buy them.
One day when Franklin was dining out in Paris with some friends, one of the diners posed the question, "What condition of man most deserves pity?" Each guest proposed an example and Benjamin Franklin said,
"A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read.
It was on this day in 1843 that Charles Dickens published "A Christmas Carol".
Boulder Library offers free e-book rentals.
But they couldn't get a license for Amazon's Kindle...
Today is the birthday of Mark Twain. He was born 175 years ago in a log cabin in Florida, Missouri (1835).
Interestingly enough, his most popular book during his lifetime was "The Innocents Abroad"."Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" would be the winners today.
He decreed that his autobiography not be published till 100 years after his death. It came out just this fall, and was on the Bestseller list two weeks before its release.
Today is the birthday of C.S. Lewis, born in Ireland in 1898. The author of many famous children's book (as well as theological books) said:
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a book.
--Thomas a Kempis, monk and author (1380-1471)
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.
- -Gilbert Highet, writer (1906-1978)
It's Banned Books Week Check out the 10 most challenged books at this link.
"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours."
--John Locke, English essayist, born 1632
His ideas were a foundation for much of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
"I am too a Merry Sunshine!"
Beverly Cleary's mischievous heroine, Ramona Quimby, comes to the screen in "Beezus and Ramona".
"She has an imagination," Beverly Cleary says of her most famous creation. "And some of her things just don't turn out the way she expected."
There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all.
Today is the birthday of E. B. White, author and essayist. HIs wonderful children's books include "Charlotte's Web" and "The Trumpet of the Swan" He earned his living in the City, but was also a gentleman farmer in upstate New York, and this exposure to animal life gave him insights that shone in his writing.
E.B. White said: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
I totally remember the experience. It's just all these people In this town, and you are visiting and you stay, and then at the end, you can't believe that you have to leave, and then sooner or later, you go back again and revisit them all over again. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is probably in the top three of books like that, where you utterly live in the book, and walk around in the book, and know everyone down to the ground in the book, and then leave, and then inevitably come back.Author Anna Quindlen on the first time she read "Mockingbird"
But can you describe it in 140 characters?
One Book, One Twitter voters chose Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel American Gods as the club's first selection.
Last week was National Library Week
George Washington has two overdue library books....and a fine of $300,000.
It was on this day in 1833 that America's first tax-supported public library opened, in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Today, there are more than 9,000 public libraries in the United States, including the Peterborough Town Library, which is still going strong.
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
--Jorge Luis Borges
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
It's the birthday of writer Douglas Adams, born in Cambridge, England (1952), best known for his five-book "trilogy" The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a series of comic science fiction novels that sold more than 15 million copies, was translated into more than 30 languages, and inspired a cult-like following.
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Dr. Seuss spent nine months composing "The Cat in the Hat". It uses just 220 different words and is 1,702 words long. He was a meticulous reviser, and he once said: "Writing for children is murder. A chapter has to be boiled down to a paragraph. Every word has to count."
"Please look after this bear."
Today is the birthday of the author who created Paddington Bear and wrote several children's books about the endearing ursine, Michael Bond, born in Newbury, England (1926).
He was out doing some last-minute Christmas shopping for his wife in 1957 when he came across a small toy bear sitting on a shelf. It was the only one in the display that had not been sold, and Bond thought the bear looked "very sorry for himself." He bought the bear and then named him "Paddington" because he and his wife lived near the Paddington underground station in London.
The bear is from Peru and had been sent to England — along with a jar of marmalade — by his Aunt Lucy. He wears a label that says, "Please look after this bear." Throughout a series of children's books, Paddington Bear gets into troublesome situations, but always emerges safely and everything turns out fine.
Joyce Meskis, owner of the Tattered Cover Book Store, says this about e-books:
"Will the e-book be the end of the book as we have come to know and love it…ink on paper between boards? No, culturally as a society I believe we also need the book as a physical manifestation of the thought it conveys."
For the first time, Kindle e-books outsold physical books at Amazon.com. On top of that, the Kindle e-reader officially became the most gifted item in the company's history. As we enter 2010, is this the future of literature: slim, streamlined frames filled with endless texts, polished with a modern veneer?
The contemporary building interior of the Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen was designed by Merkx+Girod architects ... for the Dutch booksellers Selexyz Dominicanen. Merkx+Girod were commissioned ... to convert the interior of the former Dominican Church in Maastricht into a modern bookstore. ... The unique location in Maastricht however asked for a very different approach. The store demanded 1,200 sq m of commercial area where only 750 were available.
From a simple beginning...
It's the birthday of horror novelist Stephen King, born in Portland, Maine (1947). His father, a merchant seaman, deserted the family when he was two. He has no memories of the man, but one day he found a boxful of his father's science fiction and fantasy paperbacks. That box of his father's books inspired him to start writing horror stories.
... we thought it would be fun to take a look at what’s on the bookshelves of some of our favorite authors. What books do they love, or consider to have been particularly enlightening, informative or just plain fun? What books do they keep? So we asked one of our all-time favorites, Neil Gaiman, if he’d be willing to give us a peek into his personal library, and he graciously agreed ... Naturally we’d assumed that someone whose work is filled with references ranging from literary to mythological would have a fairly extensive library but even so, we were a bit unprepared for the scope of what he sent us. In the basement of his house of secrets we find a room that’s wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with books ...
Shelfari: Neil Gaiman's Bookshelves
"Reading Rainbow", the third most popular children's show on PBS since 1983, is coming to an end. A change in philosophy regarding how to teach kids to read is behind the demise.
I'm not the only one who takes a lot of books when I go on vacation Here is a list of the books President Obama took to Martha's Vineyard: (which add up to 2,352 pages)
There are three novels - The Way Home, Lush Life and Plainsong
and two works of non-fiction - John Adams and Hot, Flat and Crowded.
Of special note--Plainsong is written by Colorado author Kent Haruf, and is set in rural eastern Colorado.
July 31, 1965
Today is the birthday of author J. K. Rowling. She used her birth date (though not the year) as the birthday of her main character, Harry Potter.
Rowling grew up in rural England. She tried writing a couple of novels, but never finished them. One day on a cross-country train trip, the idea of Harry Potter just appeared in her mind. She didn't have a pen to write things down, so she said: "Rather than try to write it, I had to think it. And I think that was a very good thing. I was besieged by a mass of detail, and if it didn't survive that journey, it probably wasn't worth remembering." As soon as she got home, she started writing what she did remember.
JD Salinger, author of the acclaimed American novel Catcher In The Rye, has gone to court to try to block the publication of an unauthorised sequel written by a fan calling himself John David California.JD Salinger sues over unauthorised sequel to Catcher In The Rye
It's Read-Across-America Day
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Stephanie Rosalia's fifth-grade classes in the library are about more than books. School librarians today give their students a grounding in Internet research skills. Ms. Rosalia, 54, is part of a growing cadre of 21st-century multimedia specialists who help guide students through the digital ocean of information that confronts them on a daily basis. These new librarians believe that literacy includes, but also exceeds, books.The Future of Reading
Author John Updike died yesterday.
The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else.
John Updike, writer
Check it out!
A really amazing and stylish pop-up book:
ABC3D by Marion Bataille.
A serious knucklehead
Infinite bookshelf can't hold infinite number of books, but looks cool anyway
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Anne of Green Gables series. These beautifully written books were among the first to have a spunky female as the main character.
At the end of the first book, Anne muses
"Dear old world, you are very lovely , and I am glad to be alive in you."
There is no easy way to define the experience of seeing, holding, or reading J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard, so let's just start with one word: "Whoa." The very fact of its existence (an artifact pulled straight out of a novel) is magical, not to mention the facts that only seven copies exist in all the world and each of the never-before-told tales is handwritten and illustrated by J.K. Rowling herself (and it's quite clear from the first few pages that she has some skill as an artist). Rowling's handwriting is like the familiar scrawl of a favorite aunt--it's not hard to read, but it does require attention--allowing you to take it slow and savor the mystery of each next word.The Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Fairy Tales of J.K. Rowling
Book Case Bedroom: it's an Igloo of Books!
Almost as good as Hogwarts
So many books, so little time.
According to the Denver Post, a new book of fiction is published every 30 minutes and 200,000 books are published in the U.S. annually. I think I'm doing good to read three or four a week, but obviously I'll never keep up. One consolation...not all of them are worth reading!
for every boy and girl who wants to know what it's like to travel by 'jet.'
Gordon's Jet Flight, a children's book from 1961, took me back to a golden age of plane travel, when passengers in coach got to eat steak, kids were allowed to visit the pilots in their cockpit, and Homeland Security didn't give my teddy bear a cavity search. (via)
This week is: Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read
One of my favorite authors Madeleine L'Engle has died at age 88. She won the Newbery Award for "A Wrinkle in Time", one of the first science fiction books for children.
"Children's literature is literature too difficult for adults to understand. "
We need the slower and more lasting stimulus
of solitary reading
as a relief from the pressure
on eye, ear and nerves
of the torrent of information and entertainment
pouring from ever-open electronic jaws.
It could end by stupefying us.
It was a dark and stormy night...
Every year the Bulwer-Lytton Prize is given to the work of fiction beginning with the worst opening sentence. Read this year's winner here. The prize is named for a 17th Century British novelist who penned th
Harry Potter and the Long Wait
My copy of the last Harry Potter book is winging its way across the Atlantic, and should arrive by Friday or the following Monday. Ben had gotten a library copy of the American version and has started into the 760 page tome. He should be done about the
Book number 7
I picked up my reserved copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at the Library this morning and am now 111 pages into the 759 that make up the total book. I put the book on the scales and it weighs 4 pounds! I will have to be careful how I hold
So long, and thanks...
Scientific American interviews Alan Weisman about his upcoming book An Earth Without People.
It's a c
Harry Potter Cover Art Revealed!
Will Harry survive???
Scholastic Books has announced that it will print a record 12 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", the last in the HP series.There will also be a deluxe edition avai
March 2nd is BIG for books!
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
And congratulations to the National Education Association for it's 10th Anniversary Celebration of Read Across America!
Each time we re-read a book
we get more out of it
because we put more into it.
A different person is reading it,
and therefore it is a different book.
~ Murial Clark
I am number 1 on the Hold list at my library for the final book in the
Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, "Lighthouses" as the poet said "erected in the sea of time." They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the tre
National Book Awards 2006
The National Book Awards were presented last night. Perhaps the most unsual thing about the award was that a graphic novel
Banned Books Week
The things I want to know are in books;
my best friend is the man
who'll get me a book I ain't read.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Banned Book Week
Banned Books Week is next week. I've added a little button on the right side of the site in honor of the "celebration"
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Free
Today, September 6 is: Read a Book Day
Unique advertising idea
Due in July, 2007
Tattered Cover moving
ALA Awards Announced
Harry Potter and the Voracious Reader
Ben's class is reading Harry Potter and the
Philophoser's Sorcerer's Stone (Ben is reading Philophoser's Stone), and that's inspired him to continue on with the series. He's completed books two, three, and finished four last night. Rig
This habit of reading ...
is your pass to the most perfect pleasure
that God has prepared for his creatures.
It lasts when all other pleasures fade.
It will make your hours pleasant to you
as long as you live.
~ Anthony Trollope
I know you all expected this to happen on Christmas day, but I was sure that those of you who celebrate Christmas have
It's $100, but what an impressive package.