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04 Mar 2011
Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite authors when I was a kid. I used to borrow his books all the time from the library. I recently found one of his works in a secondhand book shop, so I thought, why not. And wow, I still enjoy his prose and poetry after all these years. When I was younger I appreciated everything being simple yet striking a familiar chord within me. Now the sparse language hits home right away. There's so much that can be applied to adult life even if he wrote for children.

Read more about his life or visit his website.

03 Mar 2011
Well mine's a hot steaming mug of brewed coffee and Arthur Conan Doyle's Great Stories of Sherlock Holmes. Perfect, with the rain outside. Just a short and sweet reminder for today.

02 Mar 2011
Cute. Here's a little boy surprised to get books for Christmas, and not in a good way. All in good fun ;)

01 Mar 2011
Like wine, they only get better, yes? Old books are old friends. We learn how to cull and keep and be with good company over the years. Here are some photos of old books. I like them because it's a testament to their value. They wouldn't be around for so long if readers didn't think they were of some importance. I myself have a lot of old books, carefully preserved and kept in bookshelves (that are dusted often, mind you). I like their smell, the feel of their weight in my hands. It's a piece of history, of life, of a moment in time.

"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves."-- Gilbert Highet







28 Feb 2011
Found this nice infographic. I've been teased before by being too careful with my books - I hate paperbacks with cracked spines! Anyway, here:


25 Feb 2011
I was inspired by Apartment Therapy's post, so I thought I would gather photos of bookshelves that have made me really delirious with envy. Someday I will have shelves like these in my house:






23 Feb 2011
Stumbled upon this fantastic alphabet art made out of books:

And another one by Amandine Alesessandra:

Here's one made out of paper:

It's lovely how books and paper can be used to create a lot of other amazing things!

22 Feb 2011
Artist Mike Stilkey uses book spines and book covers as canvasses for his art. It is quite breathtaking and I know I would make a beeline for this installation if I ever saw it at a bookstore.

21 Feb 2011
This is a fine collection of Vincent van Gogh's letters. It's an intimate look at his interior life, and it's quite special to be able to delve into this artist's thoughts and feelings, how he looks at the world, and how he interacts with the people closest to him.

Here is an excerpt that I particularly liked:

Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Paris, January 1876

Dear Theo,

Thanks for your letter, write to me often, for I long to hear from you in these days. Write me at length, speak to me of your daily life, you see that I am doing the same. What you told me about Boks was very interesting, how he arranged his studio, and that you go there often - keep me well informed about those things.

We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: "He is the one." But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road.

There is a phrase that haunts me these days - it is today's text, "His children will seek to please the poor."

And now here is some news: my friend Gladwell is moving. One of the employees of the printing office convinced him to come and lodge with him; for quite a while he did everything he could to persuade him.

I know that Gladwell made this decision without thinking about it, I regret his departure very much; it will be soon, probably towards the end of the month.

For several days we have had a mouse in our "cabin", which is what we call our room. Every night, we put bread on the floor for it, and it knows already where to find it.

I have been reading the ads in the English newspapers, and I have already answered some of them. Let us hope for success.

Kind regards to Roos and others if they ask about me, and write soon. À Dieu. Tell me if Mr. Tersteeg mentions me to you; give him my kindest regards whenever I write to you. Always

Your loving brother, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 22 year old.

Source: Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written January 1876 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 052. (via).

More letters can be found here, and below is a photo from the book, Vincent van Gogh – The Letters (click here for the full version):

20 Feb 2011
You might have heard the sad news about Borders filing for bankruptcy. I have never really liked chain bookstores and prefer independent booksellers, but to hear about their demise makes me worried about the industry in general. With the rising popularity of e-readers (which I kind of abhor), a lot of people are "going digital" and foregoing the value of real books. And now we have this kind of news. What's next for us book-loving people?

Nevertheless Sarah Weinman has a very interesting perspective about this whole thing:
"I can’t help but think - and I’m sure I’m stealing someone else’s analogy, so apologies in advance - that we’ll look back and realize massive superstore chain bookstores were the subprime loans and credit default swaps of the publishing industry. Was it really possible that a store with comfy couches, magazines, coffee, toys and games would ever be the right venue for the actual buying of books? That a company beholden to shareholders and the stock market could mesh with the art of recommending the right title to the right customer?

It’s no accident the superstore began in the early 90s, when Borders sold to KMart in 1992 and B&N finally went public in 1994, when we were climbing out of an economic dip and plunging into the go-go years of boom time. We could shrug off Crown Bookstore going under - first in 1998, for real in 2001 - because hey, that was family mismanagement, the culmination of bitter infighting and lax attention on the bottom line. We could ignore Borders’ bonehead move of outsourcing its online arm to Amazon because the digital world didn’t matter like we thought it did and we thought it never would. And later, we could attribute brick-and-mortar decline to so many of the usual suspect factors: the tanking economy, e-books, attention spans leaving books and moving to other kinds of media, and so forth.

But maybe what really happened was as simple as this: chain bookstores were never supposed to last as long as they did, and have reached their natural end point after twenty years. Publishing in general has enough struggle with scale, either being too small and prone to great risk and failure, or too big and beholden to larger entities who want greater and greater annual profits. Whatever possessed us to think bookstores could operate this way? Why is the art of bookselling supposed to be conflagrated with abundance, with excess and with millions of square feet?"

18 Feb 2011

(via This Isn't Happiness)

This is an advertising campaign in Brazil. Typewriters placed in computer department of bookstores to call attention to Penguin Classic Books. I think it's brilliant and well-executed; probably even better if they are everywhere. Am crushing on that orange typewriter, too.

View the full details of the ad here.

15 Feb 2011
Found this incredibly beautiful version of The Little Prince. It's a pop-up book, and oh, how lovely. The illustrations are brought to life as you turn the pages, and add to the already rich story. I think it's perfect. Photos below:

(via Books Actually)

(via sevenworlds16)

(via Cupcakes & Buttons)

(via PRI's The World)

(via studs & ampersands)