July 18, 2014
"Fascism is cured by reading, and racism is cured by traveling."

— Miguel de Unamuno

July 17, 2014

Istanbul’s amazing book benches

Benches placed in puclic places such as parks and bus tops all over the city. The project covers the works of 18 classic Turkish authors and each bench is opened in the most memorable page of the book.

Sources: 1, 2

July 17, 2014
"I am a product […of] endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents’ interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass."

— C. S. Lewis

July 14, 2014

Nadine Gordimer for 21 Icons Project
Photographer and creator of documentary short films with South Africa’s most special people, Adrian Steirn asked Nadine Gordimer about what it means to be a writer, and about her friend Nelson Mandela. 
Read the complete article.

Nadine Gordimer for 21 Icons Project

Photographer and creator of documentary short films with South Africa’s most special people, Adrian Steirn asked Nadine Gordimer about what it means to be a writer, and about her friend Nelson Mandela. 

Read the complete article.

July 14, 2014
"Your whole life you are really writing one book, which is an attempt to grasp the consciousness of your time and place– a single book written from different stages of your ability."

— R.I.P. Nadine Gordimer

July 9, 2014

Details of the Biblioteca Palafoxiana. Check our previous post with more photographs.

Read the complete postEn español.

Photographs by Beco (Alberto Alcocer)

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Tumblr

* Another post by Beco: Gertrudis Bocanegra Public Library.

July 9, 2014
"Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you’re working. Tell them it’s research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone."

— Jennifer Weiner

July 8, 2014

Mysterious Book Sculptures

Photographs and text by Chrisdonia.

One day in March, staff at the Scottish Poetry Library came across a wonderful creation, left anonymously on a table in the library. Carved from paper, mounted on a book and with a tag addressed to @byleaveswelive – the library’s Twitter account – reading:

It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… … We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)

Next to the ‘poetree’ sat a paper egg lined with gold and a scatter of words which, when put together, make “A Trace of Wings” by Edwin Morgan.

Nobody knew where it came from, nor was anyone forthcoming with information in person or online, despite a fair amount of local news coverage.

It looked like this was a one-off, a beautiful and delicate piece of art created by a fan of the Poetry Library. Until, in late June, the National Library of Scotland found themselves the recipient of a similar piece.

A gramophone and a coffin, sculpted from a copy of Ian Rankin’s Exit Music, and again deposited anonymously. The tag in this case read:

For @natlibscot – A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. (& against their exit)

And soon afterwards, the Filmhouse had a pleasant surprise!

This time the sculpture is a complex scene in a paper cinema; punters arrayed on seats watching men and horses coming alive from the screen and charging outwards.

The tag?

For @filmhouse– A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. and all things *magic*

Amongst the audience is a figure with Ian Rankin’s face, clutching a Deuchar’s.

In early July the Scottish Storytelling Centre found a dragon nesting in a window.Once again carved from a Rankin novel, they don’t know how long it might have been sitting there unnoticed as it’s quite well hidden. Perhaps the loveliest tag so far:

For @scotstorycenter – A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas….. Once upon a time there was a book and in the book was a nest and in the nest was an egg and in the egg was a dragon and in the dragon was a story…..

28/08/11. Two more appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

One, addressed to @edbookfest (the Book Festival), was left on one of the signing tables in the Bookshop. 

The tag on this reads:

To @edbookfest ‘A gift’ This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…… & festivals xx

It includes a teabag filled with cut out letters, on the tag of which are the words “by leaves we live”. The cup on the top has a swirl of words which read ” Nothing beats a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and a really good BOOK”, and on the ‘tray’ next to the cupcake it says “except maybe a cake as well”.

(to be continued…)

Read the complete story here.

Visit Chrisdonia’s flickr album to enjoy his amazing photographs of each book sculpture and its details.

Soon we’ll publish the next set of these mysterious sculptures.

You can find Chrisdonia: Web, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter.

July 7, 2014
"Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes — characters even — caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you."

— Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

June 30, 2014

In the city of Puebla, México, there is an old and very important library: La Biblioteca Palafoxiana (something like ‘Palafoxian’ Library would be the literal translation, noting that in Spanish biblioteca is where the books are for public read but not for sale as in a librería).

It would be completely useless trying to describe the bunch of feelings you get while entering the Biblioteca Palafoxiana room. The air is filled with the smell of cedar and old books, huge lines of thousands books’ spines on each side of the room, a XVIII century altarpiece at the end of the room, under the arched ceilings, furniture from different eras still —in use—… all that history and knowledge stored on those three stories with about forty thousand volumes.

Is considered the first public library in the continent.

Read the complete post. En español.

Photographs and information by Beco (Alberto Alcocer)

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Tumblr

* Another post by Beco: Gertrudis Bocanegra Public Library.