Find A New Book With Internet Archive’s Online Library Explorer

Although it cannot quite replace the crinkling noise of book covers, the website Internet Archive is working to bring the thrill of browsing library shelves to the safety of your own home. Their Library Explorer allows users to browse 3D shelves by subject, age, date, and other sorting criteria. While you could just search for a title you already know, the magic of library shelves—real and virtual—is discovering new reads.
— Read on mymodernmet.com/internet-archive-library-explorer/

Reading Companions

Source: all-cats-are-beautiful-acab

What a sweet fluffy reading companion this beautiful cat makes. My cats absolutely love it when I sit down to read. Sometimes a little too much, because they will literally lay right on top of my book. Do you have a dog or cat that likes to hang out with you while you read? Drop a reply below in comments to tell me all about your furry (or feathered) friends!

Dark Side of Wonderland: Ahead of V&A Museum Show, New Book Explores Alice in Wonderland

As the Victoria & Albert Museum prepares to celebrate Lewis Carroll’s heroine, ties to mysticism and magical societies have come to light in a new work, Through a Looking Glass Darkly

Great art spawns imitation. And great weird art, it seems, spawns still weirder flights of fancy. Lewis Carroll’s twin children’s fantasies, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There have both inspired a string of adaptations, artistic and musical responses down the generations.

Now, as the Victoria & Albert Museum prepares to celebrate Alice and her cultural influence in Curiouser & Curiouser, a landmark exhibition next month, a new book containing unseen original images is to expose the secrets behind the darker world of the second Alice story.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

“Together these books are really the first psychedelic texts and I like them because there’s no moral lesson. They actually parody authority, like the judiciary and the monarchy, rather than supporting them,” said Jake Fior, an Alice expert and author of Through a Looking Glass Darkly. “Carroll had a definite interest in the esoteric. I have a catalogue of his possessions, including his library, and he had lots of books on the supernatural,” he told the Observer. Fior’s fresh version of Alice’s journey attempts to elaborate and even improve upon Carroll’s difficult follow-up work, 150 years on from its publication.

“If you think about the structure of Through the Looking Glass, it’s very weird and I always felt it could be improved. The idea of going through a mirror into a reflected dimension is fine, but then suddenly there is this Jabberwocky epic poem and the Vorpal sword and these mythical beasts which are never mentioned again. It is framed as a chess game in which Alice goes from pawn to queen in eight chapters, but it doesn’t run in a fluid way like Wonderland. It is a more flawed book, yet some of the moments are better, so I kept those in my version.” During the author’s research for his new approach to the story he discovered images that will now go on public display for the first time in the V&A show.

Fior, who is the proprietor of the Alice through the Looking Glass shop in the West End of London, was already the owner of several original pieces of Carroll memorabilia when he came across a sketch book that had belonged to Carroll’s famous original illustrator, Sir John Tenniel.

“It shouldn’t have been there, but I was at a rare book fair three summers ago and there it was, nondescript, with just the word ‘costume’ written on the front,” remembered Fior. As a student Tenniel used to skip his classes at the Royal Academy of Art and take his sketch books to the British Museum instead. This book was full of studies of armour and knights, prototypes of the images he went on to use in the Alice books.

Fior uses these images in his book just as Carroll used Tenniel’s work: a dynamic mix of text and illustration, which he believes looks towards the arrival of the graphic novel. Fior’s story tells, in parallel with Alice’s journey, the true story of Samuel Liddell Mathers, a distant relative of the real girl Alice who had inspired Dodgson.

Fior discovered that he had formed the secret magical society known as The Golden Dawn, patronised by major literary figures such as Bram Stoker, E Nesbit and Arthur Conan Doyle, and also by the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley.

“There is no evidence that Carroll was practising magic, but he was interested in telepathy and was a member of the Society of Psychical Research. He also had a well known obsession with wordplay and especially acrostics, and these come from Hebrew mysticism, which he would probably have known,” said Fior.

While working on the book he found that although Carroll was not a Freemason, the Liddell family were very involved in the organisation. The V&A exhibition, Fior suggests, will be a good opportunity for fans to go back to the darker side of the stories, something that the Disney cartoon version has almost obliterated. “The Disney image has become so strong, it has almost effaced Tenniel. But I find the animated visuals a bit saccharine. I always think of the phrase from Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange “weak tea, new brewed” as opposed to the Tenniel which is full strength, with no sugar.”

1916 Set of Elbert Hubbard’s Little Journeys Books

This lovely early 1900s set of books is for sale!

14 Volume set – PLUS: Guide Book and Biography of Hubbard (making this a set of 16 books)

This is a collection of biographical pieces written by Elbert Hubbard, and published monthly starting in 1894. The pieces were collected and republished in a 14-volume Memorial Edition in 1916, shortly after his death. The first volume includes a memoir of the author, and the last volume includes an index to the entire set. 14 Volume set – PLUS: Guide Book and Biography of Hubbard (making this a set of 16 books).

  • V. 1. Good Men and Great;
  • V. 2. Famous Women;
  • V. 3. American Statesmen;
  • V. 4. Eminent Painters;
  • V. 5. English Authors;
  • V. 6. Eminent Artists;
  • V. 7. Eminent Orators;
  • V. 8. Great Philosophers;
  • V. 9. Great Reformers;
  • V. 10. Great Teachers;
  • V. 11. Great Businessmen;
  • V. 12. Great Scientists;
  • V. 13. Great Lovers;
  • V. 14. Great Musicians.

Features the following (and more):

Jane Austen – Empress Josephine – Mary W. Shelley – William Shakespeare – Thomas A. Edison – George Washington – Benjamin Franklin – Thomas Jefferson – Samuel Adams – Michelangelo – Rembrandt – Rubens – Gustave Dore – Richard Wagner – Paganini – Frederic Chopin – Robert Schumann – Sebastian Bach – Felix Mendelssohn – Franz Liszt – Ludwig van Beethoven – George Handel – Giuseppe Verdi -Wolfgang Mozart – Johannes Brahms

Take a short video tour of this set with the Solitary Bibliophile

Elbert Hubbard had been influenced by the ideas of William Morris on a visit to England. He was unable to find a publisher for his book Little Journeys, so inspired by Morris’s Kelmscott Press, decided to set up his own private press to print the book himself, founding Roycroft Press. Roycroft was a reformist community of craft workers and artists which formed part of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States. Elbert Hubbard founded the community in 1895, in the village of East Aurora, New York.

Interested in purchasing this set? Have questions? Please leave a comment below or send me an email.

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A LIBRARY CAT DURING THE PANDEMIC

Library Cats are still working!

By lsimon on August 24, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries across the country have closed their doors to the public—but what has that meant for the cats who call America’s libraries home?

Libraries have long been home to feline residents who keep patrons company, promote activities and programs, and assist with pest control. We checked in on four library cats (and their humans) to see how their lifestyles have changed during the pandemic

A grey cat sitting among library bookstacks

Browser from Texas’s White Settlement Public Library may be one of the nation’s most famous library cats. In a viral story from 2016, a city council member tried to oust Browser from his position at the library; after a public outcry, Browser was reinstated for life while his political opponent lost his reelection campaign.

Browser has stuck around the library during the pandemic closure but seems to be missing the crowds.

“He is generally quite independent, but since the closure he always wants to be near people. We can usually find him in the lap of a staff member, or lying helpfully on their keyboard,” library staffer Kathryn King told I Love Libraries. “Now that we are offering curbside service, he posts himself at the window during curbside hours to watch the patrons come and go.”

See more library cat photos and read the full article! Original post here: http://www.ilovelibraries.org/article/what-it’s-be-library-cat-during-pandemic

On a Greek Island, a Bookstore With Some Mythology of Its Own

SANTORINI, Greece — On a wall above rare first editions, old maps of this volcanic island and a stained linen lampshade, a painted timeline traces the evolution of Atlantis Books from a wine-drenched notion in 2002 into one of Europe’s most enchanting bookstores.

A terrace overlooks the Aegean Sea. Bookshelves swing back to reveal hidden, lofted beds where the shop’s workers can sleep. Somewhere along the way, word spread that visiting writers too could spend summer nights scribbling and snoozing there, and the owner began receiving emails requesting a bunk at earth’s most stunning writer’s colony, on an island Plato believed was the lost Atlantis.

Read more >>

The Library Was My Refuge

I love my Library! My first Library memory was at Leland R. Weaver Library in South Gate, California. I still remember the smell of the Library (and the books), story time, crafts and movies in the hot Summer. I also remember the card catalogue and the Librarian explaining how to find books using it.

I got my first library card there and I remember signing the back of it like a “big girl” – I don’t recall how old I was but my Mom may remember?

This is the place that my love for books truly bloomed.

Going against the decluttering craze: the book hoarders who defy Marie Kondo | The Independently

Stuffed closets. Dangerous junk drawers. Crowded cabinets. Bloated bookshelves. All have come under the gaze of Marie Kondo and her legions of folding-frenzied fans. But none hit a nerve quite like the bookshelf. On an episode of her smash-hit Netflix special, Kondo advised a couple to edit their shelves, maybe get rid of a few. The Internet did what it does best: It went
— Read on www.independent.co.uk/life-style/marie-kondo-bibliophiles-books-decluttering-tidying-a8864926.html