Who said water and books don’t mix!
There are a few places where we dream of curling up to read a book. Mostly, these include treehouses, cozy attics and the Gilmore residence in Stars Hollow. But now there’s another: artist Beatrice Glow's floating library. Who said water and books don't mix?
Docked off Pier 25 in New York City beginning September 6, the library-slash-art-installation will include an outdoor reading lounge on the upper deck that will, according to its website, be “conducive to fearless dreaming.” Glow’s project will be taking over the Lilac Museum Steamship, a decommissioned steam-powered shipthat once carried supplies to lighthouses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
When 900 notable authors signed an open letter to Amazon, they made their stance on the ebook distributor clear. Although the petition claims that many of its signees have long been supporters of Amazon, the company’s recent battle with Hachette, which has involved delayed deliveries and a refusal to provide discounts, has forced them to change their tune. Michael Lewis, Stephen King and Jonathan Lethem were among the participating authors. A portion of the letter reads:
As writers — most of us not published by Hachette — we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation.
So, writers generally aren’t keen on Amazon’s recent practices. But how does this sentiment manifest itself in their daily lives — namely, in their reading habits? Do authors find the convenience of a tablet alluring, or are they still taken with the tactile experience of curling up with a paperback? If the authors we’ve spoken with below are an accurate representation, it seems that writers are, unsurprisingly, traditionalists in terms of book-reading.
Forget the room of one’s own - write in the kitchen, lock yourself up in the bathroom. Write on the bus or on the welfare line, on the job or during meals, between sleeping and waking. I write while sitting on the john. No long stretches at the typewriter unless you’re wealthy or have a patron - you may not even own a typewriter. While you wash the floor or clothes listen to the words chanting in your body. When you’re depressed, angry, hurt, when compassion and love possess you. When you cannot help but write.
"Do not fear for Eddy!" the doomed man called out as he boarded a steamship out of Brooklyn.
These, among Edgar Allan Poe’s last words to his family, were spoken to his aunt Maria in June 1849; in October he was found dying in the street in Baltimore, incoherent and dressed in another man’s clothing. The irony of his departing words, and the mysterious circumstances of death, all seem rather fitting for the father of the detective story.
Yet for a biographer, what’s striking in that line is that last word—Eddy. To the world, he is the iconic Edgar Allan Poe, author of “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and dozens of other vital classics of American Gothicism. But to his aunt, his neighbors, his colleagues, he was indeed Eddy — a hardworking writer and careful craftsmen, bedeviled by drinking and literary quarreling, but as ready to earn his living by penning puzzle columns and editorials on "Try a Mineralized Pavement" as by “The Fall of the House of Usher.” And it’s perhaps in those curious moments and foibles of ordinary life that the lesser-known glimpses of “Eddy” emerge:
1. Poe employed an impressive array of assumed names. His first, quite unwillingly, was his college nickname: “Gaffy.” Other false names were out of necessity, as when hiding from creditors (Henri Le Rennet) or to enlist in the army (Edgar A. Perry). He also indulged in them to write a campaign song (as Thaddeus Perley), to pack a magazine with his own work (Littleton Barry), and to stalk a potential fiancée (Edward S.T. Grey).
No summer, no matter how sunny and fun-filled, can last forever, as kids must painfully remember every year with the return of back-to-school shopping and early-morning alarms. Now that back-to-school season has rolled around once again, kids everywhere are engaging in a time-honored ritual: pulling out the school summer reading lists they’ve been ignoring since June and groaning with dismay and panic.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Sometimes reading books we’re assigned to read, rather than those we would pick up on our own, can be a blessing rather than a curse. It can lead us to unexpected treasures, introduce us to unfamiliar and unexpected points of view, and challenge us in surprising ways.
We rounded up our favorite required reading from our school years and revealed what made those assigned books so memorable