Tag Archives: Books

Have Book, Will Travel

One of the many joys of travel is that it allows us to break away from our busy schedules and gives us more time to read.  How often have you saved a special book (books, in my case) to read on vacation, on the beach, on the flight?  Reading and travel are a natural go-together.

Author and RVer, Brad Herzog takes the irresistible pairing a step further on his blog You Are Here. In “Great Books, State by State,” Mr. Herzog writes not just about reading on the road, but about “the wonders of reading the right books in the right locales.”

He goes on to list 50 books for 50 states, citing both the obvious (“A River Runs Through It” for Montana, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” for Missouri) and the obscure (“American Pastoral” for New Jersey, “My Sister’s Keeper” for Rhode Island).  Even with the more tenuous links, it’s not much of a stretch to see how location plays a part in the story.  Reading a novel while traveling its setting can only improve the experience of each.

“As long as there have been travelers, there have been attempts to put the experience into words. But sometimes what has already been written can improve the ride,” he writes in the earlier post, “Pages and Places,” which inspired this list.

To see the entire list, please visit: GREAT BOOKS, STATE BY STATE.

Resources: The Daily Post
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Old Hardcover Finds New Life Protecting E-Books

This Once A Book project feels sacrilegious.  Desecrating an old hardcover to protect a new e-reader feels irreverent, disrespectful.  So very “Et tu, Brute.”

But it’s a great project, and any self-respecting old hardcover would be honored to be put to such creative use.

How To Make a Kindle Cover from a Hollowed Out Hardback Book comes from WonderHowTo.com, the giant user-generated, free how-to video directory.

Resources:  Once A Book, WonderHowTo.com, Et tu, Brute, The Daily Post

Organizing the Bookcase (Like Never Before!)

The Book Bench posted a link to this video yesterday with the comment, “Finally, a music video starring your bookcase.” Music videos and bookcases?  How could I resist?  I dare you to watch it and not marvel at the creativity (and the snappy tune).

Click on the photo to watch the video on YouTube.

Resources: Rodrigo y Gabriela, You Tube, The Book Bench, The Daily Post

A New Page in Book Arts

In the world of book art, there is art, there is craft, and there is masterpiece.

Take a look at these pictures from OffbeatEarth.com.  Which category do you think they fall under?

Resources: OffbeatEarth.com, The Daily Post

What To Do With a Book (Besides Read It)

After oohing and aahing over Isaac Salazar’s book sculptures earlier this week, I started thinking about the various things I’ve done with old books, besides read, collect, and generally adore them.

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Mostly, I’ve used old books to make new ones, like the journals above, made from miniature Shakespeare collections.  The books were in bad shape when I got them.  The bindings were broken and most of the pages had fallen out, so I was happy to bring them back to life.  I used the few pages that were left to make the papier-mâché bowl.  One Christmas, when I was feeling creative and Hon was feeling industrious, we made this fireplace for the bookstore I was managing.  The fireplace was even featured in the New Yorker’s Book Bench blog (she said proudly).

With a little ingenuity, there are hundreds of things that can be made (re)using books.  This purse by curbly.com is an example, and I’ll be featuring more in future posts tagged “Once a Book.”  If you’ve done any book re-use projects, I’d love to hear about them.

As a book lover, I want need one of these purses, but I can’t even sew a button, so it’s not likely I’ll be making one soon.

For those of you who can sew, here’s the tutorial from curbly.

Resources: curbly.com, The Daily Post.

“The Count” Confirms Publishing’s Gender Bias

What would you think if I told you that in 2010 magazines like Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, Granta, The New Yorker, and most of the other big names, published more work written by men than by women?

Would it shock you?  Surprise you?  Raise an eyebrow?

What if I told you that those magazines didn’t publish just three or four more articles by men than by women, they published three or four times more.  It calculates like this:

  • The Atlantic published 154 pieces written by men, 53 by women.
  • The New Yorker: 449 by men, 163 by women.
  • The New York Review of Books: 462 by men, 79 by women.

That raises more than eyebrows, it raises questions and VIDA is doing the asking.

VIDA, a literary group formed last year in response to gender inequality in print, has just published The Count.  I might have called it “The Countess,” but that’s probably too cutesy.  The Count is literally that, a count of male to female writers in the country’s most prestigious magazines, and it is proof positive of just how skewed the ratio is.

As a woman writer, the survey could be depressing.  I could throw up my hands and say, “Why bother, there’s no breaking into the old-boy’s club.”  If it was just a survey, it would be depressing, but it’s not just a survey, it’s the beginning of a conversation and VIDA is leading the way.

“Our count is by no means a blame-game,” says Cate Marvin, VIDA co-founder. “It was time to stop speculating that things didn’t seem entirely fair and find out if we did in fact have reason to be concerned.  The conversation only begins with the numbers.”

More data on submissions and books published by gender is needed for a true picture, but what is included in “The Count” makes it clear that there is a startling imbalance and something needs to be done.  Yes, the conversation has started.  As a woman who writes, it’s now my responsibility to be a part of it.

For more details, read the study by VIDA: “Numbers don’t lie. What counts is the bottom line.”

For an analysis of the numbers, read A new tally by VIDA shows how few female writers appear in magazines from slate.com.

Resources: VIDA, The Daily Post

There is More Than One Way to Make A Book

Mark Twain said,

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage
over the man who can’t read them.”

I wonder what he would say about doing this with books:

Isaac_Salazar_bookart_05.jpg

The New Yorker Book Bench blog posted this picture and a writeup about Isaac Salazar, the artist who created this sculpture by folding and cutting a book.

Looking through a gallery of his work on booooooom.com, I’m amazed and inspired by his creativity and skill.  I once managed a used bookstore (second best job in the world) where thousands of books were discarded every year.  We donated as many books as we could and sent the unwanted ones to recycling, but not all books meet such an eco-friendly end.  A lot of them end up at the dump.  This artist is doing his part to keep old books in circulation and out of the landfills.  As a lover of books and book arts, seeing a book turned into a piece of art as beautiful as this,  just makes me happy.

To read more, visit Page-Turner.

Resources: The New Yorker, The Daily Post.