What if there exist a magical world in which books are living things and could fly? What would librarians look like? Prepare to be amazed by this award winning short film, directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg; and maybe learn how to save a book, when it’s endangered.
It’s often said that when you really like a book, you will sooner or later feel the urge to reread it. You’ll certainly remember this quote by a French author
Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are is true enough, but I’d know you better if you told me what you reread.
It’s easy to agree with Mauriac; there are many reasons that can bring you to read a book; maybe your teacher told you to, or a friend suggested it, you could be into a reading group, the book could be a classic or a best-seller. You could have casually bumped on it. To end this short list you could even be reading it to hit on someone. Many discussions have been made about the probability to like a book, given the reason that brought it into your hands, but that’s not the issue of this post. Instead, rereading a book means you liked not only the plot, when there is, but also the writing and the passages which amaze you as much as the first time you read it. Continue reading
When the Baal Shem had a difficult task before him, he would go to a certain place in the woods, light a fire and meditate in prayer – and what he had set out to perform was done. When a generation later the “Maggid” of Meseritz was faced with the same task he would go to the same place in the woods and say: We can no longer light the fire, but we can still speak the prayers – and what he wanted done became a reality. Again a generation later Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov had to perform this task. And he too went into the woods and said: We can no longer light a fire, nor do we know the secret meditations belonging to the prayer, but we do know the place in the woods to which it all belongs – and that must be sufficient; and sufficient it was. But when another generation had passed and Rabbi Israel of Rishin was called upon to perform the task, he sat down on his golden chair in his castle and said: We cannot light the fire, we cannot speak the prayers, we do not know the place, but we can tell the story of how it was done. And … the story which he told had the same effect as the actions of the other three.
Hasidic tale retold by Gershom G. Scholem, feel free to comment.
It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
Normally when I visit my town’s public library, I deposit the last three books I took and take another three, not because I’m obsessed with this number: it is simply the maximum number of books readers are allowed to take at a time. Since I had been a long time without reading, being busy with my first academic year’s exams, most of the choices were casual. Last time, together with The Buddha in the Attic, I took this novel and it was a surprise to me that it treated a reality so near (same period and nation) and at the same time so far from the previous reading. The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 and has since then raised a large consensus; the Modern Library, an American publishing company, named it the second best English-language novel of the 20th century….well, that’s a better recommendation than anything I could write, but for all it ‘s worth, if you haven’t read The great Gatsby, this could be a good time to pay an extra visit to your local library.
On the boat we carried with us in our trunks all the things we would need for our new lives: white silk kimonos for our wedding night, colorful cotton kimonos for everyday wear, plain cotton kimonos for when we grew old…
Last time I went to the public library I casually picked up, as I actually do most of the times, this little jewel. It was kindly displayed on a small table, below a window, full of books the librarian promised me were fresh readings. I was sceptical about it being able to help me survive this year’s Italian summer (36 °C right now), but it proved itself exceptional, and was capable, during the time reading it and for several days letters, of inverting the melting process of my body and brains on the living room sofa. If you too are looking for something fresh, try this out! However, if you live in Italy you should look for a novel called “Venivamo tutte per mare” – We came through the sea – which is something I’ll discuss later on, in this post. Continue reading