In this time-poor, podcast-friendly world, audiobooks are booming. So what is the science behind them – and do they change our relationship with the written word?
Unwrapping the Most Beautiful Gutenberg of Them All
From The Lost Gutenberg by Margaret Leslie Davis, published by TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group
A wooden box containing one of the most valuable books in the world arrives in Los Angeles on October 14, 1950, with little more fanfare—or security—than a Sears catalog. Code-named “the commode,” it was flown from London via regular parcel post, and while it is being delivered locally by Tice and Lynch, a high-end customs broker and shipping company, its agents have no idea what they are carrying and take no special precautions.
Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to promote the fun of reading books for all ages. Launched in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers and now managed by Every Child a Reader with support from the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation, Get Caught Reading promotes the fun of reading and provides teachers and librarians with small posters of TV and sports stars, authors, and beloved book characters reading a book. Find out more at getcaughtreading.org.
If you’re a book lover now is the time to post those pics of you curled up with your favorite book. Want to add an element of fun? Take the picture someplace you wouldn’t normally read; in a tree, a pool, hanging upside down from the monkey bars, get creative!
Graphic Novels (and the one comics that they come from) are more popular than ever.
Sequential art (to use a term coined by Will Eisner) as a method of story telling has been around for roughly the entire history of mankind but up until the last century or so it had fallen out of fashion. Even then it was considered kids stuff. Only in the last couple of decades has it really come to be recognized as a legitimate form of literature and art.
The “Graphic Novel” has gone mainstream. They’re used in classrooms, adapted into popular TV shows and movies and enjoyed by people of all ages.
If you are uncertain if Graphic Novels are for you pick a movie or TV show that’s been based on a graphic novel or comic that you like (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Umbrella Academy, Preacher, The Walking Dead, Deadly Class, the MCU, the DCEU, and so on, and so on) and start there. Or you could go for a graphic adaptation of classic literature or popular novels. Or nonfiction graphic novels about everything from physics to life abroad to economics. Or something entirely different. If you look around enough you’re bound to find something to interest you.
But where are you supposed to do this looking?
We’re glad you asked. The Moline Public Library has a Graphic Novel section in each of its three main areas, children’s, young adult and adult. In addition to that we have access to all the graphic novels in the PrairieCat system if you don’t mind waiting a week or so for them to be sent in. Then there is hoopla!, one of our e-material collections, which has an impressive amount of comics and graphic novels on offer for you to checkout, download and read on your digital device.
Graphic Novels: Try them, you’ll like them.
Literature is home to a host of unforgettable parties, from Gatsby’s all-night blowouts to the Crazy Rich wedding of the century. But while readers enjoy getting a glimpse into these lavish events, they often crave something quite different for themselves. Here, we’ll help you to throw a silent reading party for your book club that caters to your members’ favorite things: curling up with a good book and reading quietly.
“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.” – Mary Shelley
Okay, so it might not be a real, recognized holiday, and yes, the big 200th anniversary was last year, but 201st is still pretty cool.
Mary Shelley published Frankenstein on March 11, 1818 and the worlds of literature, horror and story-telling haven’t been the same since. Few stories or characters have occupied the cultural imagination as long or as pervasively as Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstien and his monster.
How do you celebrate? You could…
- Read Frankenstein
- Write your own story (gothic horror optional)
- Read up on Mary Shelley
- Read something else that features her famous monster (there’s a lot to choose from)
- Stitch together your own unholy abomination and bring it to life with chemical cocktails, lightning and hubris
We’re not telling you what to do, but all but the last of those you can do at the library… and we wouldn’t really recommend the last one. It didn’t work out well for the good doctor.
Why we are fascinated by miniature books?
From a tiny copy of the Divine Comedy and a once-illegal birth control guide to a Bible the size of a stamp, these strange artifacts are masterpieces writ small.
It is known as the “fly’s eye Dante”: an 1878 edition of the Divine Comedy which is so small – just 11/4 by 13/4 inches – that it is said to have taken 11 years to print, and to have damaged the eyes of both its compositor and corrector. Bound in red leather embossed with gold, the world’s smallest edition of Dante’s classic poem, which was printed by the Salmin Brothers in Padua, is one of almost 50 officially designated miniature books housed in the London Library. Nomenclature is important here: according to the US-based Miniature Book Society, a miniature book “is no more than three inches in height, width, or thickness”, and while the London Library has some 350-odd “small” books, of less than five inches, it has only 47 true miniatures. The library decided they were being overshadowed by their larger cousins, so now they are gathered together in a glass-fronted cabinet.