You Need Your Towel Today!

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?

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.

 

World Book Day

 

World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on April 23rd, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

In the United Kingdom, the day is recognized on the first Thursday in March. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.

 

 

National Bookmobile Day

 

Bookmobile Day is an opportunity to celebrate one of the many services offered through public libraries. Originating in the nineteenth century, the earliest bookmobiles were horse-drawn wagons filled with boxes of books.

In the 1920s, Sarah Byrd Askew, a New Jersey librarian, thought reading and literacy so important that she delivered books to rural readers in her own Ford Model T. And today, Kenya still uses camels to deliver materials to fans of reading in rural areas.

 

Fairfax County Bookmobile Timeline:

1890s – Bookmobile serves northwestern part of Fairfax County.

1938 – Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce proposes a consolidation of library services to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in order to include both urban and rural areas of the County. Branches are to be established in heavily populated areas and bookmobile service to all other residents. The Chamber appoints a library committee.

1940 – First County-wide bookmobile in a truck loaned by the W.P.A.

1942 – W.P.A. support for the bookmobile ends December 31.

1943 – County purchases a vehicle for bookmobile.

1947 – County purchases a new bookmobile, a customized school bus.

 

 

Bryant Park Little Free Library

 

This last weekend we were in Bryant Park in NYC for the Tartan Day Parade.  We got there a little early (intentionally) to hear a pipe and drum concert.  When it was over, we wandered a bit around Bryant Park and came across this Reading Room.

We knew that Bryant Park was actually built over the New York City Public Library stacks so this was especially cool.

Bryant Park is located entirely over an underground structure that houses the library’s stacks, which were built in the 1980s when the park was closed to the public and excavated; the new library facilities were built below ground level while the park was restored above it.

In addition to the LFL part, they had books to be read there only, a newspaper section, a magazine section, a section of Oxford Classics, a children’s section… just like a “real library”.

What a great way to spend some time waiting for the parade to start!

 

 

Four million books are stored underneath Bryant Park. Twenty-seven feet below the grassy patch in mid-town Manhattan are miles and miles of bookshelves at the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) Milstein Research Stacks.  Here’s how they get books from those stacks under Bryant Park to the main library.

The New York Public Library announced they have completed its conveyor system for requested media. The $2.6 million system uses 24 carts to truck books through the library’s 11 levels to the Rose Reading Room. Here’s how it works, and what it’s like to ride inside one.

 

International Book Giving Day

book-giving-day-infographic

 

Some of you may know that I’m getting involved in Little Free Library (LFL) and there is a year-old library on my street under the auspices of the O’Connor Music Studio.

When our son is home for a visit, we always go out on a hiking trail with the dog, Mimi, and sometimes my mom.  On one occasion, we say a LFL in the middle of a trail and thought someone made it themselves.

Then there was another one…

DS knew I was fascinated by this whole idea and ordered one for me last Christmas.

I have found one other in our neighborhood, outside the swimming pool.

Watch for more information about our LFL.

 

In the meantime, don’t forget to celebrate International Book Giving Day tomorrow.

 

From http://bookgivingday.com/

You’ve heard about International Book Giving Day. You love the idea. You’ve got some great quality books. What next?

This fabulous infographic (above) has been created by Jo Ebisujima – Jojoebi, one of the IBGD team, to help you solve that very quandary.

Share your plans on social media using #bookgivingday

Greenbriar Flyer, April 2016

Screenshot 2016-04-07 09.50.35

Screenshot 2016-04-07 09.51.15

Hooray!  I’m not sure if we’re getting any more readers from this but we’re definitely getting more book donations.

Right now, we’re getting an average of 5 new books donated each day – faster than I can keep up with stamping and adding BookCrossing bookplates.

I have started reading up on starting a Geocache nearby, as well.  Want to know more?

It’s all good!

smiley-read

Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have the freedom’ I had

The Greenbriar Little Free Library currently has a few Beverly Cleary books – but they don’t stick around long!

 

Beverly Cleary doesn’t really want to talk about turning 100. “Go ahead and fuss,” she says of the big day, April 12, 2016. “Everyone else is.”

Across the country, people are delving into Cleary nostalgia, with celebrations and new editions of her books with introductions by the likes of Amy Poehler and Judy Blume. Kids and adults are being asked to “Drop Everything and Read” to commemorate Cleary’s contribution to children’s literature.

But the beloved children’s author has something far more low-key in mind f

Read the entire article here: Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have the freedom’ I had – The Washington Post