Changes that were made to a classic Richard Scarry book.

 

Richard Scarry was an incredibly prolific children’s author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages. But here’s something you may not have known about these classics: They’ve been slowly changing over the years. Don’t panic! They’ve been changing in a good way. Scarry started publishing books in the 1950s, when times were, well, a little different. So some of the details were quietly updated. Alan Taylor, a senior editor for the photo section of The Atlantic, noticed differences back in 2005 and decided to photograph them.

See them here: 8 changes that were made to a classic Richard Scarry book to keep up with the times. Progress!

Towel Day!

Each year, May 25 is Towel Day.  Do you know why?

towel

Towel Day is celebrated every year on 25 May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans.

On this day, fans carry a towel with them, as described in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author.

The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

towel-day

 

This book is important to me because I read it while I was at NIH waiting for pituitary surgery.

 

 

In case you like poetry, you might be interested in this: Vogon Poetry Generator.

 

 

Here’s mine:

 

See, see the old sky
Marvel at its big grey depths.
Tell me, Clyde do you
Wonder why the armadillo ignores you?
Why its foobly stare
makes you feel yucky.
I can tell you, it is
Worried by your qwerty facial growth
That looks like
A tofu
What’s more, it knows
Your rolf potting shed
Smells of pea.
Everything under the big old sky
Asks why, why do I even bother?
You only charm fish.

Who Knew? National Biographer’s Day

Today is National Biographer’s Day!

stack-of-books

National Biographer’s Day commemorates the anniversary of the first meeting of Samuel Johnson and his biographer James Boswell in London, England on May 16, 1763, and honors all biographers.

A biography is a written account of another person’s life.

Famous poet, essayist, literary critic, editor and lexicographer, Johnson was also a biographer. According to Johnson, the best biographers were those who ate, drank and “lived in social intercourse” with those about whom they wrote. If that were true, his best biography would be An Account of the Life of Mr. Richard Savage, Son of the earl Rivers which was published in 1744.

Applying this same rule, Scots-born James Boswell met his friend Samuel Johnson at a bookshop near Covent Garden. Nearly 30 years later he published The Life of Johnson, which became the most celebrated English biography.

 

 

From one of my favorite shows, Blackadder.  Dr. Samuel Johnson seeks the regent’s support for his dictionary, but when it is used for firewood, Edmund must rewrite it.

 

Douglas Adams, RIP :(

Today is the anniversary of the day when Douglas Adams suffered a spontaneous existence failure. We miss you, you silly brilliant man. (Towel Day will be on May 25)

Adams was author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy.

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who; he also served as script editor for the show’s seventeenth season in 1979.

I first started reading Adam’s wonderfully quirky books when I was inpatient at NIH waiting for pituitary surgery…and ended up reading them all.  Then, I got my son hooked on them.

 

It’s National Read A Book Day Again

Shouldn’t every day be Read a Book Day?

In another of the “Who Knew” Holidays…

national-read-books

 

National Read A Book Day is observed annually on September 6th.

Don’t keep it to yourself.  Share the experience!  Read aloud to anyone who will listen.

How-to_Read-A-Book

Reading improves memory and concentration as well as reduces stress.   Older adults who spend time reading show a slower cognitive decline and tend to participate in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetime.  Books are an inexpensive entertainment, education and time machine, too!

 

Two “New” Books!

Two new books showed up in the Little Free Library bearing BookCrossing Labels last night.  I registered them and released them back into the wild.

If you find them, please take a moment to log them into BookCrossing so folks can see where they travel.

 

Screenshot 2016-03-14 07.47.09

 

Several years ago, my mom found a book with a curious label in it.  The label said it was a “BookCrossing” book.  My mom doesn’t have a computer, so I registered the book and I was off and running. I think this idea is so cool.

Each book has a unique BCID (BookCrossing ID).  By entering that number at http://www.bookcrossing.com/ you can see where the book has been – and then you can track where it goes.  If you’re familiar with Where’s George? for dollar bills, this is similar.

Many other Little Free Libraries are connected with BookCrossing and I thought it would be fun to have my Greenbriar Little Free Library #33664 play along, too.

In addition to randomly finding books, you can also go hunting for them at http://www.bookcrossing.com/hunt

This video is a great short explanation:

The Greenbriar Little Free Library #33664 is an official BookCrossing Zone.

National Book Lovers Day

From the scent of a rare first edition book found in an old time book collection, to a crisp, fresh book at the local supermarket, the very sight of a book can bring back memories. Reading as a child, enjoying the short stories, the long books and the ability to lose yourself in a story so powerful that at the end your asking yourself where to get the next book in the series. This is for the reader in all of us, the celebration of Book Lovers Day!

History of Book Lovers Day

While the day’s origins may be shrouded in mystery and rumor, the books themselves are not. Started from carving on stone tablets, the book was designed to make portable the writings and drawings of those that could not carry around stone tablets. Originally it was parchment or vellum (calf skin, in case you were wondering)was bound tightly with a wooden cover.

Often the wooden cover was tightly wrapped in leather to prevent the wood from getting wet and had clasps or straps to hold it shut. In the more modern age, printing capabilities made books cheaper, and easier, to print. The printing press, the typewriter, and the computer all had an effect on the market of books.

But more so than most, is the upsurge in electronic devices that can be used to read on. Computers, tablets, and most cell phones now have the ability to read books, making it that much easier to carry around a small library to enjoy not matter where you are.

How to celebrate Book Lovers Day

In order to truly appreciate Book Lovers Day, one must only find a story and read it. Maybe you wish to dive into the unknown with a good mystery, or see magic in a high fantasy setting, or be enthralled in a steamy romance. The individual genre of your reading is not the big piece of this, just that you do read it.

Maybe a visit to your local library is in order? After all public libraries existed even way back in the Middle Ages, but they didn’t really let many folks take books home. The librarians in those days chained books to shelves or desks in order to prevent theft of the carefully hand written tomes.

Many librarians will gladly help you find a title to read, giving a brief explanation on what it is about if they have read it, or giving it a little flip and reading about it quickly in the synopsis. But no matter your preference, if you read it at home with a cup of tea, share a book meeting with friends or go to the library and make use of the wonderful pieces on those shelves, just enjoy your reading, revel in the book and find a way to read during Book Lovers Day!

From https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/book-lovers-day/