Archive for the ‘Book Trivia’ Category

With fear ramping up in the face of Coronavirus, it is great to see Australian bookshops taking an active lead in addressing the isolation that many may or will feel over the coming weeks and months.

Just this morning I received a newsletter from Avenue Bookstore which offers HOME DELIVERY for books purchased to the value of $30.

And yesterday, Books+Publishing published an article addressing how booksellers are responding to the crisis.   Included in this article is an annotated list of bookshops across Australia.  Well worth a look.

To help book buyers in Melbourne, Alan Vaarwerk has taken the initiative of creating a Google Map showing which bookshops home deliver!


I can’t think of a better way for us to get through this horrendous time than by disappearing into the parallel universe created between the covers of a book!

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Apart from being a most beautiful installation, the message shared states emphatically the power one book can hold!

Transforming literature into sculpture by inserting just one book into the base of a colossal 75 x 13 foot wall, Mexican mixed media artist Jorge Méndez Blake  makes a powerful statement.  Inserting a copy of Franz Kafka’s The Castle between the floor and the first layer of books, Blake reveals the power of a single book, a metaphor for how a small idea can have a monumental effect.


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Located in Budapest, this book fountain brings warm and fuzzy feelings to me of reading and the joy of reading.  Located in Egyetem Square in Budapest, it was built in 2012.


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I came across this great reading promo cartoon recently:

Created by Hedger Humor, a cartoonist who aims to find the laughter in everyday moments, this really does cut straight to the heart of the joy that books bring to us when we contemplate or envision ourselves reveling in the next good read.

It’s just great!!

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I’ve seen a number of inspirational bookcases and book promos in public places, but this one is really great!!

Located at the University of Balamand in Lebanon, the book staircase, called the Staircase of Knowledge, has been built next to the university library.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if this idea could be ‘built’ into some of our schools or created as an entry to the library.

Well worth exploring!!  Love it!!

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Promoting a love of reading has been taken to a new level by retired Italian school teacher, Antonio La Cava. 

In 2003, after teaching for 42 years, La Cava built a portable library containing 700 books.  Dubbed the “Bibliomotocarro”, he has been driving his portable library around villages in southern Italy ever since.

Reminiscent of my own childhood memories of hearing tinkling music outside my house which heralded the arrival of the local ice cream truck, the sound of the organ announcing the arrival of La Cava’s Bibliomotocarro brings a flock of excited children to his mobile library. 

It takes an experienced teacher such as Antonio La Cava to sum up my own feelings about how reading is being approached in schools:

A disinterest in reading often starts in schools where the technique is taught, but it’s not being accompanied by love.  Reading should be a pleasure, not a duty.”

Just recently I published a post on NovaNews, my other blog, about my own conviction that the joy of reading is being killed by the requirements of the English curriculum in our schools which dictate that novels, referred to as ‘class texts’, should be read, analyzed, discussed and analytically pulled to pieces so that students develop a sharpened appreciation of an author’s craft.

Writing in this post I found myself lamenting the continuing disinterest in promoting a love of reading by English teachers and republished a post I wrote some four years ago:  Do required reading and class texts inspire a love of reading?  The following extract from that post highlights my strong belief that we need to focus more on developing in our students a love of reading.

Over the years, I’ve had lots of ‘heart-to-heart’ chats with senior students about books and reading habits.  Many have expressed their dislike of class texts and the inherent requirement to analyze texts to death.  Many of my chats have been with reluctant readers, who openly confide that they just don’t like reading.  Teasing out the reasons for their disinterest has almost always come down to their experience of being required to read specific books that they have found boring and then having to spend copious amounts of time – often a full term – analyzing, discussing and handing in written reports.

These conversations always leave me feeling bereft.

I’ve spoken with English teachers often about this issue, but always have the same facts thrown at me: students need to study class texts over an extended period of time so as to hone their analytical skills, their critical thinking skills and their appreciation of the classics. This ‘full stop kind’ of response invariably allows no openings to my pleas to  incorporate additional or alternate opportunities aimed at inspiring students to read, read and read some more – just for the joy of it!

Yes, I’ve also faced the argument that I’m not an English teacher who has an allocated number of periods a week within which to teach a curriculum and ensure that students complete inherent required assessments.  I’ve also been reminded that I’m a Teacher Librarian who has lots of time to spend dreaming up, creating and staging a range of enticing literary activities.

Well, yes, I guess that’s correct.  A big part of my job as a Teacher Librarian is indeed to inspire a love of reading.  And that’s just what I do and will continue to do for as long as I work as a Teacher Librarian!  I make no apologies for this!

I’m passionate in my belief that reading is a core skill which underlines all educational achievement.  We need to ensure that we inspire students to read, to read anything and everything they possibly can.  We need to ensure that students leave our classes and schools with an embedded love, desire and appreciation of just how much reading can bring to their lives – forever.  Reading does not just fit into English or Library periods, but is a skill which extends across all aspects and subjects of the curriculum.

As a Teacher Librarian I constantly grapple with the issue of engaging students with literature.  Over the years, I’ve devised many an alternate approach to put books into the hands of students in my school.   Many of these alternate approaches were incorporated into Literary Festivals I organized at one school.  I have also blogged, written and presented about some of the many activities, programs and events I have organized over the years in my library sessions.  If interested, have a read of this post: Engaging readers: Tried and tested ideas that work!

Perhaps it’s time for all of us – secondary school English teachers and Teacher Librarians alike – to step back and take a look at the nature of our program content and question whether what we are doing is encouraging or discouraging our students to become lifelong readers.

NovaNews: Do required reading and class texts inspire a love of reading? November 8, 2015


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With summer coming up and that time of year when trying to think of what to buy for family and friends floods the market, this has to be the perfect gift for book lovers!

A lounge chair for the beach designed specifically for book lovers!

With a hole cut at just the right spot, bookworms can lie comfortably while continuing to read that ‘can’t put down book’!!

The perfect present for those who have everything!!  Read more about it on this Insider post or purchase one online from Amazon.

Just love it!!

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If bears featured highly in your childhood reading ….. and if Paddington Bear happened to be one of your favourites ….. you’re going to love the quirky innovation introduced to the British public by the Royal Mint!

Just recently two new designs featuring Paddington bear on 50p coins have been entered into circulation!

Exploring the city, Paddington can be seen checking out top tourist attractions – St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

So if you’re a British resident or if you happen to be visiting, be sure to check your change careful to catch a glimpse of one of the world’s most popular bears!

Read more about the Paddington Bear inspired coins in this promo piece by Alex Landon (Secret London, 13 August 2019)

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Yikes – the end of the year is fast approaching!!

If you’re like me, it’s about now that you start to rack your brain trying to decide on presents for family and friends!

Well – if your family and friends are anything like you – book lovers – then the task this year is simple!!

Check out Book Lovers to purchase the perfect present for those important to you!

With slick ‘sayings’ and a variety of paraphernalia in an abundance of colours to choose from, the hardest part of shopping this year may be deciding which one and what colour!!

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Even though I’d been working in libraries for a while, it had never happened.

I’d never had to deal with a wet book!!

But ….. it happened!

Just a few weeks into my new job (now some years ago!) it was with the flick of my hand that my cup of tea went flying and literally drowned the precious novel I was in the middle of reading.

Fortunately, an experienced colleague was on hand to smother my embarrassment and calm my nerves by showing me just how easy it was to save a wet book!

A recent post on Open Culture brought memories flooding back!!

And yes – we went through a very hefty bundle of paper towels that day, but the book was saved!!

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