‘Dick and Jane’ vs Dr. Seuss

I was born too late to know ‘Dick and Jane’ — not to mention that I came from an entirely different culture, and taught myself to read long before entering school.

My husband, who is American born and …errr, a tiny bit older than me… remembers the reading primers very well and found them boring. By the time he was a parent himself, he had realized the ‘look-say’ approach that totally ignored phonetics was a poor way to teach kids to learn to read, and worse, a bad way to instill a love of reading.
Dick and Janeimage credit: Rare Book School

But the inevitable backlash against Dick and Jane gave us Dr. Seuss and ‘The Cat in the Hat.’

“I have great pride in taking Dick and Jane out of most school libraries,” Theodore Seuss Geisel subsequently said. “That is my greatest satisfaction.”

Read the whole Mental Floss story HERE

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Game turns players into poets and writers
Elegy1Photos: Elegy

What do British Romantic Era poets and video games have in common? Teodora Zareva asks at Big Think.

The answer is “Elegy for a Dead World”, an unlikely game that leaves the players with “no game to play,” but to explore three long-dead civilizations, observe, and make notes… or stories — or poems — or songs.”

The three lost worlds feature beautiful scenery, moving music, and are inspired by Percy Shelley’s Ozymandias, Lord Byron’s Darkness, and John Keats’ When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be. They create a strong, moody atmosphere that becomes the breeding ground for feelings and ideas.

Read the whole story HERE

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New Looks for Classic Books

From Dante’s Inferno to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, classic novels have sparked readers’ imaginations for centuries, The MOO Blog tells us.

Stories like these conjure different mental images for different people — and the team behind Recovering the Classics is determined to capture those visual interpretations through a campaign called 50×50.
Classic CoversRecovering the Classics covers on display at an event at New York Public Library. Photo: Drew Levin

The organization is crowdsourcing original covers for books in the public domain works that are free to download and read thanks to expired property rights. Designers across the world have re-imagined titles in the years since, and the group has launched a campaign to showcase 50 classic book covers in all 50 states.

“The reason why these books are in the public domain”, Jennifer Lee, one of the creators says “is that they’ve been around for so long. These are stories that have stood an amazing test of time and become cultural touchstones for all of us to have a common cultural vocabulary.”

Read the whole story HERE

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Set In Stone But Ever-Changing: Sculptures Reshaped By The Tides
UnderwaterThe Silent Evolution, by Jason deCaires Taylor, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico

You probably never will see most of Jason deCaires Taylor’s public art projects firsthand — at least, not without goggles and fins.

Most of his sculptures stand at the bottom of the sea. His life-size statues — ghostly figures of men, women and children — seem to walk the ocean floor as they hold hands, huddle, even watch TV.

Read the whole NPR story HERE

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Ursula K. Le Guin on Aging and What Beauty Really Means

At Brain Pickings, Maria Popova explains:
Ursula le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin by Laura Anglin

Le Guin contrasts the archetypal temperaments of our favorite pets:

Dogs don’t know what they look like. Dogs don’t even know what size they are. No doubt it’s our fault, for breeding them into such weird shapes and sizes. My brother’s dachshund, standing tall at eight inches, would attack a Great Dane in the full conviction that she could tear it apart….

Cats, on the other hand, have a wholly different scope of self-awareness:

Cats know exactly where they begin and end. When they walk slowly out the door that you are holding open for them, and pause, leaving their tail just an inch or two inside the door, they know it. They know you have to keep holding the door open. That is why their tail is there. It is a cat’s way of maintaining a relationship.

A master of bridging the playful and the poignant, Le Guin returns to the human condition:

A lot of us humans are like dogs: we really don’t know what size we are, how we’re shaped, what we look like. The most extreme example of this ignorance must be the people who design the seats on airplanes. At the other extreme, the people who have the most accurate, vivid sense of their own appearance may be dancers. What dancers look like is, after all, what they do.

Read the whole story HERE

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Going on a ‘Blind Date With A Book’

Elizabeth’s Bookshops, an Australian secondhand bookshop chain, has conceived of a brilliant idea to help you spice up your reading life, Dorothy Tan reports at Design Taxi.
Wrapped BooksImage via krstinasaurusrex

If you are having problems deciding on which book to read next, the “Blind Date with a Book” project consists of books that have been wrapped up in plain brown paper—the only thing one can know about them are from the clues written on the wrappings.

This project has been so popular that th­­­e bookshop is extending it online.

Read the whole story HERE

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THIS n THAT
Vintage Library Ads Man OverboredAmazing Vintage Library Ads

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“Do you have a recent picture of Jesus Christ?”

And other questions asked of librarians

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Quote of the DayArtists Are...~~~~~
Alma Alexander     My books     Email me
 
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