September 1, 2009

Literacy Links of Note

1. Barnes & Nobles New Kick-Ass Idea:

"Barnes & Noble Rediscovers brings back to print -- in affordable hardcover editions -- books of special merit in history, literature, philosophy, religion, the arts, and science. Many have been long unavailable or hard to find. Each is now reset in a modern design to welcome a new generation of readers."

So what kind of books can you expect from the collection? Here is a sampler:

2. Reading Rainbow:

Is anyone else as crushed as I am that such a wonderful literacy program is going off the air? WHY you should want to read is just as important as HOW to read. "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." -Mark Twain

Reading Rainbow, you will be missed by teachers and readers everywhere. Goodbye, old friend.

3. Read to Me Tuesday:

I saw this over at The Millions and thought what a cool idea! There is a Tumblr meme called Read to Me Tuesday where people can call in and read a passage of the book over the phone. It's like story time adult-style!

4. Books on TV:

You've seen tons of books turned into movies, but how many shows are based off of literature? Not nearly enough! But the good news is M.J. Rose's The Reincarnationist is apparently joining the small screen via Fox's new series Past Life, which is "inspired" by Rose's book. Catch the Promo Trailer via the link above.

5. Publisher/Author Partnership: has had 2 articles recently on the topic of authors taking over a lot of the marketing for their books without proper compensation. I happen to agree with Gwen of Literary License that publisher's need to reevaluate how they allocate their budget to help solve this issue.

6. The Art of Vintage Bookseller's Labels:

Stephen Gertz of The Fine Books Blog has highlighted Howard Prouty of Red Ink Book's collection of gorgeous bookseller labels that grace vintage books. After reading this and browsing through the labels I have to wonder why have they stopped this practice? And how do we get them to start making these artistic labels once again? Here is a sample of the labels included on Prouty's site:

7. What if Amazon Reviewers Took on the Classics?

"Author and satirist Joe Queenan calls the readers' review section on a "superb innovation of recent times." But he wonders what reviewers might have said about Shakespeare or Homer if the Internet existed centuries ago."

8. Free Books For Your Commute:

Gwen of Literary License also had a great post about how to score free books if you ride the NY Subway thanks to Buku Sarkar, founder of Choose What You Read, NY. Check it out. Makes me want to start a campaign for this everywhere, including popular bus stops and train stations!

9. Elmer Kelton, Prolific Western Novelist, Dies at 83:

Mr. Kelton personified the term “regional writer,” at least insofar as his work focused on a particular place. He wrote more than 60 books — including the text for a number of art books by western artists — virtually all of them infused with the dusty open spaces and hardscrabble values of west Texas, where he was born and spent most of his life.

“He would be the modern L’Amour in terms of popularity, but he transcended the genre the way McMurtry did,” said Paul A. Hutton, distinguished professor of history at the University of Mexico and executive director of the Western Writers of America, a guild and advocacy group. In 1995 the organization’s membership voted Mr. Kelton the greatest western writer of all time.

Here is a link to Kelton's author site.


  1. You are totally the queen of lists! :--) We saw the B&N Rediscovers. I had to drag my husband out of there before he cleaned out the whole exhibit! :--)

  2. You've really uncovered some great stuff. Just what I need--another reason to visit B&N!

  3. I was so sad about Reading Rainbow. I loved that show when I was little - funny because I don't remember ever reading a book that I saw on the show. I didn't have the follow-through then that I have now. :Pc

  4. The news about Reading Rainbow is sad. :( I actually still watch that from time to time when I'm awake that early (which you can imagine isn't very often).

    There's actually a website out there... somewhere... that collects one=star reviews at Amazon of classic albums. It's pretty hilarious.

  5. Very informative, as usual! This is why you received this award from me! Stop by my blog and pick it up:

  6. Good news and sad news. Reading Rainbow was so good for librarians - we knew we'd have an eager audience for the materials. I'm very sad that it's gone.

    B&N -- three cheers! I'm already addicted to their line of classics, and now -- excellent!

  7. Thanks for posting this list, Rebecca!! I'm excited to see that they're making a show out of The Reincarnationist!!!

  8. I was totally devastated to hear about Reading Rainbow, despite the fact I haven't watched it in about 15 years. I loooooved tha show when I was little and always wanted to do my own book revies.

  9. What? I didn't even know the Reading Rainbow was still around honestly. But now I'm really annoyed to find out it was all this time and it is going away. What a great show it was for me growing up.

    As for free books for your commute, check out - you can find out where to pick up a free book all over the world!

  10. I am so sad about the Reading Rainbow. That show was a really important piece of what made me love reading. Not sure if anything can substitute for today's kids.


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