So, National Readathon Day has finally arrived! What will your brain be feasting upon during that delicious 3 hour chunk of reading time that you’re going to carve out of your busy schedule? Share what you’re reading in the comments below! I’m planning on continuing my fascinating journey through Keith Houston’s new book, Shady Characters.
Houston has created a fascinating look at the history of punctuation and symbols, including common signs that are still used every day (@ # “” ) and others that are, well, a bit more obscure ( ¶ † ☞ ). Each symbol has its own chapter, tracing its development through the mists of time and ending with a look at how its used currently. Each narrative is accompanied by a look into the development of the name of the symbol and little offshoots into the history of the time or famous people who helped the development of the symbol.For example,have you ever wondered why we, in English, use the abbreviation lb. for the word pound? It all connects back to the Latin phrase libra pondo, which, according to Houston, “spawned a dynasty of intertwined signs, words, and concepts that are still evident today” (Shady Characters, pg.44) that ends in the common use of the # sign (know to normal people as the “pound sign” and typographers and historians as the “octothorpe”). Thick with information and studded with interesting facts, this book is like a good fruitcake (filling and easily digestible, unlike my dear Aunt Betsy’s brick of a fruitcake that shows up on my doorstep every 25th of December). You can also follow Houston’s current projects and discoveries on his Shady Characters Blog.
“People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.”
― Malcolm X
Hey peeps! I wanted to share this awesome event with you I just learned about… it’s called National Readathon Day. Conceived as a way to promote literacy and love of reading, there are a multitude of organizations and websites that will be celebrating (including Goodreads, the National Book Foundation, Mashable, and Penguin Random House). How can you get involved? Join readers around the world in a marathon reading session (from noon to 4pm in your own time zone on Saturday, January 24th). Tweet about what you’re reading with the hashtag #timetoread. Snuggle up with a book and a blanket at home and share your passion with your family, or head out to a public place for a coffee and a few pages of your newest read with other booklovers. If you’re a parent, read your munchkin a picture book! It’s never too early (or too late!) to share your passion for books and learning with others.
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”
― Carl Sagan
Go check out this cool happening in NYC! The Floating Library explains itself like this (quoted from their website):
“The Floating Library is a pop-up, mobile device-free public space aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City for September 6- October 3, 2014. The people-powered library is initiated by artist Beatrice Glow and brings together over seventy participants to fortify a space for critical cultural production by pushing boundaries under the open skies that are conducive to fearless dreaming.The ship’s main deck will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge to offer library visitors a range of reading materials from underrepresented authors, artist books, poetry, manifestoes, as well as book collection, that, at the end of the lifecycle of the project, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need. Ongoing art installations include a Listening Room that will feature new works by six sound artists in response to literature, site-specific paper rope swings, The Line, by Amanda Thackray, and Leading Lights by Katarina Jerinic in the Pilot House.”
The ship will offer outdoor reading areas, a listening room, and many free activities (like roundtable discussion on the environment, politics, and culture). Hours are: Saturday & Sunday 2-7PM; Wed.-Fri. varied (check the website).