“With its ambitious blend of history and imagination, the novel might be at home on the reading list for a literature seminar cross-listed with urban studies”: Ellen Prentiss Campbell on Nathaniel Popkin’s new book.
The town of Shutesbury, in rural western Massachusetts, needs a new public library to replace their tiny, antiquated one (there’s no running water!). The state will cover 60% of the cost—IF the town can raise $1.4 million by June 30. Shutesbury has made this adorable video explaning the situation and making the case for a new library. (And if that’s not enough to convince you to watch, I have two words for you: ukulele soundtrack.) This video—especially the lists of things the patrons hope to do in their new library—remind me that libraries aren’t just shelves of books: they’re community […]
Do you have a cell phone? Of course you do. Everyone does. So what will become of all those public pay phone booths that no one needs anymore? Columbia architecture grad John Locke has an idea: turn them into public bookshelves. Reports The Atlantic Cities: [I]n the past few months, the Columbia architecture grad has slipped around Manhattan with a sack of books and custom-made shelves, converting old pay phones into pop-up libraries. The concept, sponsored by Locke’s imaginary Department of Urban Betterment, is that New Yorkers will pick up unfamiliar titles while running their errands and then, perhaps, replace […]
Writers are sometimes a shy bunch, but two recent writing-related mysteries take that to a new level. Call it “stealth lit,” maybe. Case #1: The Mysterious Incident of the Sculptures in the Libraries Intricate sculptures carved from books have been appearing in Scottish libraries. Way back in March, the Guardian reported on the first occurrence: A tiny tree has taken root in the hearts of librarians at the Scottish Poetry Library. None of the staff at the Crichton’s Close library know who left the fragile paper tree on a table among their bookshelves. It was discovered by Julie Johnstone on […]
We’re delighted to present the following post by Nicole Aber, our FWR editorial intern. Enjoy! Last summer, I worked a few blocks away from the regal main branch of the New York Public Library near Bryant Park. During the interlude between the end of the work day and the start of a class I was taking, I’d sometimes take refuge in the humbling building, its architectural beauty and breathtaking murals never ceasing to amaze me. So when I came across the story of a young girl aiming to keep the city’s libraries open by writing comical postcards to New York […]
Speaking of judging books by their covers, one branch of the New York Public Library recently asked readers to do just that. The NYPL blog explains: At the Webster Branch, we recently put up a display with all of the books covered in brown paper. Above it there is a sign that reads: “Do You Judge a Book by Its Cover?” The rules are if you unwrap a book—based on the short description taped to it—you must check it out. Even if you’ve read it before, or if you think you won’t like it. Take it home, give it a […]