Saturday, March 13, 2021

Book Lover Quotes

“Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.”
―David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
―Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
―George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons


"Small Kindnesses"

y Danusha Laméris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

Seuss, Wilder, Barrie...

Dr Seuss Enterprises announced they would discontinue 6 of the author's books last week citing their derogatory stereotypes. 

Deborah Caldwell Stone, director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom told CNN, "We may make a reevaluation of those books and their place. It doesn't mean that people should stop reading the books or not have them in their collection, but they should be thinking critically about the books and how they are shared with young people."

The American Library Association opposes literary censorship. Rather than remove the offending books from their collections, librarians have come up with creative solutions to educate young readers, so while they may still delve into Laura Ingalls Wilder's pioneer adventures or Seuss' zany world of anthropomorphic animals, they'll come away knowing what's wrong with those stories -- and which books get diverse stories right.

Read how librarians continue to deal with books that portray racism herehere, and here.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Can You ID These Famous Passages?

LitHub invites you to test your knowledge, memory, and maybe break up the pandemic monotony with their book quiz. Here's a few to get you started - 97 more to go!

"The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is . . 42."

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."

You're Not Imagining It

You're not imagining it, nobody seems to want to talk right now.

Messages are brief and replies late.

Talk of catch ups on zoom are perpetually put on hold.

Group chats are no longer pinging all night long.

It's not you.

It's everyone.

We are spent.

We have nothing left to say.

We are tired of saying 'I miss you' and 'I can't wait for this to end'.

So we mostly say nothing, put our heads down and get through each day.

You're not imagining it.

This is a state of being like no other we have ever known because we are all going through it together but so very far apart.

Hang in there my friend.

When the mood strikes, send out all those messages and don't feel you have to apologise for being quiet.

This is hard.

No one is judging.

- Donna Ashworth

Visit upworthy for the accompanying article. You're not alone.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Living in a Library

Back in the day, New York City libraries were heated with coal. There was a custodian that lived in the library to keep it warm, clean, and secure at night. Their families often lived with them as was the case for Raymond Clark. His son, Ronald, was 15 when they moved in. He admits to being ashamed at first, but discovered it had its advantages.

"I could run and scream and jump and yell. And if I had any question about anything, I would get up in the middle of the night, go down, get out a book, read until 3 o'clock in the morning," he says. "I began to realize how great I had it because the library gave me the thirst of learning — and this just never left me." 

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Find out where this unusual arrangement led Ronald and view the StoryCorps animated version of the Clark's story "Temple of Knowledge" here.

Lockdown Eyestrain

Many of us are using screens now more than ever; work/school from home, zoom calls, e-books, and binge-watching. BBC has 5 ways to lessen eyestrain
  • 20-20-20 rule
  • Think blink
  • Sort out your screen
  • Bigger text 
  • Get outdoors
Please refer to the article for more detailed information. They also have suggestions for keeping your back pain free and keeping positive.