Friday, September 11, 2015

Free Libraries on the World Map

“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”
~ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

In movie after movie, people merely ran away from the stampeding monster, and no one tried to face up to the issue of accountability ...

Intelligence is about obtaining information once and use it mAny, many, times

Little Free Libraries are proliferating around the world – Take a Book – Leave a Book. Here in America these libraries can found in gardens, on homeowners front lawns, in coffee shops, on outdoor trails – they are sponsored by individuals and groups whose goal is to promote literacy, to provide free reading material to children and adults and to keep books in circulation that would otherwise end up in the dump. The Little Free Libraries themselves are hand built by individuals and groups – as team, school, group or individual projects.  There are many resources available to learn how to build a Little Free Library – and also a searchable World Map of Registered Free Libraries that provides a plethora of information on the history of Little Free Libraries, associated regulations and charters, locations, building ideas, free signage and books labels, and stories on how to establish, maintain and communicate about the libraries.
  • See also this related article from The Atlantic – The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit
  • The Open Book shop in Scotland’s ‘national book town’ of Wigtown has been listed on room-letting website AirBnB offering wordy holidaymakers the chance to work a 40-hour week selling books and customising the store with their ‘own stamp’.” The Independent (UK)

“Historically, women librarian have been more avid users of social media than men – a finding consistent across several Pew Research Center surveys. In fact, in November 2010, the gender gap was as large as 15 percentage points. More recent data, however, show that these differences are no longer statistically significant. A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that a similar share of men and women say they used social networking sites this year, consistent with what we found in 2014. Some 73% of online men use social media, which is on par with the 80% of online women who say they do so. Although the overall percentage of men and women who report using social media is now comparable, there are still some gender differences on specific platforms. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram have a larger female user base, while online discussion forums like Reddit, Digg or Slashdot attract a greater share of male users. Gender differences on Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn are not significant.”

When it comes to travel, skip the iconic.

Claire Messud on Elena Ferrante in the FT:
…the novelist remains true to her broadest undertaking: to write, with as much honesty as possible, the unadorned emotional truths of Elena Greco’s life, from timid peasant schoolgirl to respected literary icon, riven always between her origins and her ambitions, between her intellectual pursuits, her romantic desires, and her maternal responsibilities — always with Lila as her fractured mirror.
I’ve pressed Ferrante’s novels on friends with mixed results. Some fall upon the books with a familiar eagerness, but by no means all: one woman said, of My Brilliant Friend, “How’s it different from Judy Blume? Just girls getting their periods.” But I end up thinking that the people who don’t see Ferrante’s genius are those who can’t face her uncomfortable truths: that women’s friendships are as much about hatred as love; that our projections determine our stories as much as does any fact; that we carry our origins, indelibly, to our graves. To imbue fiction with the undiluted energy of life — to make of it not just words upon a page but a visceral force — is the greatest artistic achievement, worth more than any pretty sentences: Ferrante has done this, if not perfectly, then with a rare brilliance.
Here is a good review of Ferrante from The Economist.  As I’ve been saying for a while, this is one of the important literary projects over the last decade or more.  And of course we still don’t know who Elena Ferrante really is, her (his?) true identity remains a secret.  And here is the new Vanity Fair interview with Ferrante.

Is there too much cream cheese on your bagel for the same reason the air conditioning is too cold?