Tag Archives: Library

Books: the necessities of life

“Give us a house furnished with books rather than furniture. Or both, if you can, but books at any rate! . . . Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A house without them is like a room without windows. . . .

Let us pity the poor rich men who live barrenly in great bookless houses. And let us congratulate the poor, for in our day, books are so cheap that a man may every year add many volumes to his library for what his tobacco and beer would cost him. Among the earliest ambitions to be [fostered] in clerks, workmen, journeymen — and indeed, all that are struggling in the race of life — is that of owning, and constantly adding to, a library of good books. . . .

It is a man’s duty to have books. A [personal] library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life.”

- Henry Ward Beecher

Why reading is important for children

“Even with video games, computer tablets and other digital resources, the book still remains a powerful tool to tell stories, teach facts, and share experiences.

Reading is very important to character development, to understand how stories flow … I can’t say that our kids are reading less. The amount of time given them to read has changed. They don’t spend as much time in the school library. The teachers want the kids to read, but there is a limit on the time they can devote to that.

Children from lower income homes are not going to have a library inside their home … The school and public library are the only places for them to have the opportunity to experience written stories.

While video lays out a visual story for children, reading compels them to use their imagination to create the characters, setting and situations in the story.”

More: http://m.exponent-telegram.com/article_41947942-5dff-11e2-8fa7-0019bb2963f4.html

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Love of books is like any kind of love

“Love of books is like any other kind of love,” Fadiman said. “It takes different forms.” There are “courtly lovers” of books, who treat books as sacred objects, and “carnal lovers” — those who engage with their books as physical objects, and who are more than willing to profane them in all manner of ways.

Examples of the latter camp abound. Wordsworth once cut open the pages of a new book (a necessity due to the bookbinding techniques of his time) with a butter-greased knife, according to Fadiman. William Empson was reprimanded by a librarian for returning a copy of “Dr. Faustus” smeared with jam from his morning toast. A Columbia University librarian reported a returned book with a fried egg in its pages. And as per the tale that provided the lecture’s title, New Yorker legend A.J. Liebling was said to have used a strip of bacon for a bookmark.

Harvard librarians, Fadiman reported, have found in the pages of books a sewing needle, feathers, playing cards, yarn, a parking ticket, an arrest warrant, “a piece of fuzzy pink cake that was presumed to be a former Hostess Sno Ball,” and even a used condom.

“At least those things are removable,” she conceded. “The one thing that is least removable is your own words.”

And they stay on the pages for the life of the book, so make your annotations wisely (or preferably not at all).

More: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/04/love-beyond-words/

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Government can cause you to disappear without a trace | LitBash 31

“Governments can cause you to disappear without a trace.” It will be lonely out there, so be sure to prepare yourself – collect books to help pass the time. Start with authors who were…

Born this week:


William Makepeace Thackeray, UK

“Dare, and the world always yields: or, if it beat you sometimes, dare again, and it will succumb.”

Ramon de Mesonero Romanos, Spain

Ferenc Mora, Hungary

Archibald Cronin, UK

Claude Aveline, France

Robert Pinget, France

Leonid Sobolev, Russia

Ernest Hemingway, USA
“God knows, people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp-following eunuchs of literature.”

John Gardner, USA

Sandor Brody, Hungary

Raymond Chandler, USA
“Don’t ever write anything you don’t like yourself and if you do like it, don’t take anyone’s advice about changing it. They just don’t know.”

Alexandre Dumas, France

“It is sometimes essential to government to cause a man’s disappearance without leaving any traces, so that no written forms or documents may defeat their wishes. It has always been so and always will be. Governments change yet they remain all alike.”

Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Russia

Henrik Pontoppidan, Denmark

Edward Dunsany, Ireland
“I hope that when London is clean passed away and the defeated fields come back again, like an exiled people returning after a war, they may find some beautiful thing to remind them of it all; because we have loved a little that swart old city.”

Died this week:

Jane Austen, UK
“Here I am once more in this scene of dissipation and vice, and I begin already to find my morals corrupted.”

Gilberto de Melo Freyre, Brasil

Curzio Malaparte, Italy

Rene Bazin, France

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Italy

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

Witold Gombrowicz, Poland
“I thought that this auction with other nations for geniuses and heroes, for merits and cultural achievement, was really quite awkward from the point of view of propaganda tactics because with our half-French Chopin and not quite native Copernicus, we cannot compete with the Italians, French, Germans, English, or Russians. Therefore, it is exactly this approach that condemns us to inferiority.”

Isaac Bashevis Singer, Poland / USA

“A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise… Because that is how life is — full of surprises.”