Wandering the stacks with space superstars: Bookishness for August 19, 2013


Finalists! “Once again I’m struck by the range of perspectives on the city… A novel and a memoir each tackle questions of identity; a volume of poetry connects an iconic Canadian artist to urban life; a book of photographs invites us to really look at the city around us; and a second novel paints an intimate portrait of a marriage. They all make for wonderful reading, and I congratulate...

Be kind to your librarian, send a telegram, and sue Lady Gaga: Bookishness for June 24, 2013


How not to be a dick to a librarian “Don’t tell us you can ‘just Google it’ or find everything you need to know on the Interwebs. We hate that.” Still alive STOP The telegram industry is – well, maybe not booming, but certainly still kicking. (Image via.) Not born that way? French artist Orlan sues Lady Gaga. Poets at the movies “My favorite scene from a movie...

Library lawns, misspelling bees, and naming your book disorder: Bookishness for June 3, 2013


Professor Old Skull Lynda Barry “strip[s] away the stiffness of adulthood and plug[s] people into their creativity.” Everyone steal this idea I’d like to visit a library lawn in every city ever, please and thank you. Every misspelled word in the 2013 Scripps spelling bee Including so many words I have never, ever heard before. BUT Was even the winning word misspelled? You guys...

China watches Jon Stewart, Robin Sloan likes libraries, and NPR tackles race: Bookishness for Apr. 15, 2013


Blog alert “Remember when folks used to talk about being ‘post-racial’? Well, we’re definitely not that. We’re a team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.” NPR’s new blog, Code Switch. Strolling through human knowledge Robin...

36 exposures, Seinfeld vs. Girls, and the underground library: Bookishness for Mar. 11, 2013


1500 volts 36 Exposures “[To] stop. To pause. To Wait. To not know the outcome of a shutter press.” “The whole thing just seems SO self-indulgent.” If people talked about Seinfeld the way they talk about Girls. Bringing the library underground I admire the creativity that went into this as yet imaginary ad campaign for the public library, but as a librarian I have to point...

Hobo-inspired art, cartoons of the past, and the world’s prettiest libraries: Bookishness Jan. 28, 2013


Art in the time of the Hobo Code Inspired by the artwork left on train boxcars by rail riders of years past, Troy Lovegates, AKA Other, has been creating art in public spaces for over two decades. On Feb. 7, Other’s work will be on display at the AGO as part of the gallery’s First Thursdays series.   Peeking at old doodles Canada’s past, seen through historical editorial cartoons...

TRB Podcast: Robert Darnton and the Digital Public Library of America


Listen here: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. It’s always a pleasure when a favourite author turns out to be as charismatic and compelling in person as they are in print. That was my experience recently going to see Robert Darnton, University...

Bookishness: Week of July 2, 2012


“A place where the past sits intimately close to the present” A visit to Paper Books (née Of Swallows). Matisse meets Joyce For those who couldn’t shell out the cash for a copy of Ulysses illustrated by Henri Matisse, Brain Pickings did (a “year’s worth of lunch money”), and posted scans of the book’s etchings. “From taxes taxes taxes to library...

Bookishness: Week of January 16, 2012


027.471 meets 641.874 The Toronto Public Library Foundation aims to recruit a younger set of donors with the New Collection, a membership program for Torontonians under 40. The $300 solo membership ($500 duo) provides members with invitations to special events throughout the year (or, as the National Post puts it, “parties and booze”), after-hours tours of library collections, a...

Bookishness: Week of December 19, 2011


    Independent bookstore lovers unite Book and bookstore lovers spent much of last week raging at Slate technology writer Farhad Manjoo’s essay on the superiority of Amazon over independent bookstores. The piece, a response to Richard Russo’s op-ed on Amazon’s recent thuggish price-check promotion, decries bookstores as user un-friendly (user!?) and “mistakenly...

Bookishness: Week of December 5, 2011

Woman Reading on Sofa

On the couch Rather than plumbing the depths of your subconscious, look, perhaps, to your bookshelves. Bibliotherapy offers a literary cure for what ails; after an in-depth conversation about a patient’s reading life, the bibliotherapist prescribes a reading list meant to address the patient’s “area of curiosity or concern.” Bibliotherapy is offered through Alain de...