Many years ago (before you were born I’m sure) Hernando Colón, son of Christopher Columbus, collected many books from around the world–close to 15,000 tomes.
After amassing his collection, Colón employed a team of writers to read every book in the library and distill each into a little summary in Libro de los Epítomes, ranging from a couple of lines long for very short texts to about 30 pages for the complete works of Plato, which Wilson-Lee dubbed the “miracle of compression”. — Alison Flood, The Guardian
That summary, The Libro de los Epítomes, was picked up by the Icelandic scholar Árni Magnússon and donated with his collection to the University of Copenhagen in 1730. It has now been rediscovered for the gold mine into forgotten reading that it is and will be made digital next year, giving us good look into the printed material being read in those days. (via Prufrock News)
In St. Petersburg, Russia, publisher Alfaret has opened a Gothic-style library that is more a book-themed experience than a place to read or check out books. In fact, I don’t think you can check out anything from Book Cappela‘s over 5,000 edition collection.
What you can do is pay about £100 for a four-hour visit to study the collection or buy an annual card, making you a “Book Apostle,” for £3,209. Life-long members are also available.
For these prices, you can review Alfaret’s collection of Russian and international masterpieces in leather chairs under the kind gaze of the apostles.
“Book Capella is not a library in the traditional sense, and it is not a museum, although elements of the museum are presented. It’s also not the bookstore, although you can buy our books here. [It] is a new way for people to communicate with rare books,” Irina Khoteshova, the project director, told the Guardian.
Last month, I linked to a story on a 9-year-old boy who had his “little free library” taken down by his city government. Yesterday he appealed to the Leawood, Kansas, city council and won a temporary moratorium on these structures. The council will take up a permanent resolution this fall.
But all was not good in the hood, according to The Daily Signal. “Why do we pay taxes for libraries and have those boxes on the street?” asked one attendee. Another member claimed the little libraries were eyesores and argued, “You will destroy Leawood if you destroy our codes and bylaws.”
One must ask how many towns across America will be destroyed before the freedom to read will be abolished. One can only hope that citizen will vandalize the boy’s little library in the name of John Adams, George Washington, and all of our great forefathers who looked upon their children with books in hand and said, “Not today, son. That’s not what this country is about.”
The city of Leawood, Kansas, shut down a nine-year-old boy’s free book exchange or “Little Free Library” after blood tied to a grisly murder was found on several pages of the books inside.
Ok. The blood part is an irresponsible lie, but the city did shut down the kid’s library this month because it violated an ordinance against detached structures. The news reports tie the decision to a complaint, leading me to wonder if the covered bookshelf would have been left alone had no one complained. The boy is wondering whether tying his library to his house with a rope would make it an attached structure and circumvent the code. He is also studying the law with plans to speak to the city counsel in the near future.
Photo credit: Peter Halasz.
I think this is a good time to let you all know that it’s possible (I’m not sure) that there may be a change in my blogging rate for a time.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been accepted into the Master’s program in Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as an online student. I actually start, in a way, tomorrow, with a streamed orientation day. I don’t know what the time demands are going to be, but I feel safe in thinking that they’ll probably be more than I expect.
So some things will suffer, and blogging is likely to be one of them. I’ll do what I can to post on weekdays, as I have up to now. But I expect I’ll miss it more often. I likely won’t have as much time for light reading. Perhaps I’ll find things in my library studies to share with you. That will fit our purpose more than a lot of the things I’ve been blogging about.
In any case, I thought I ought to give you fair notice.
Author Charles Bukowski wrote this letter in response to a reporter asking for him to comment on the removal of one of his books from a Netherlands Public Library. He makes a good point.
“The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth,” he says. “Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them.”
Thanks for this link to Frank Wilson, who observes the letter “pretty much says it all. But it won’t stop the censors of all stripes.”
Book World declares today “a reading at whim day.” Reading goals are out the window.
Are these meant to be recommendations for librarians who wish to sell wine or library patrons who might want to drink something while reading their latest selection? [seen on Books, Inc.]
Tags: wine, library, books
Reportedly the public library system of Gwinnett County (pop. 700,794) had voted to drop funding for “Spanish-language fiction.” Some folks had complained that the readers of such books could be living here illegally. But after it hit the news, several people in the community and around the world wrote in to praise and complain. The result? The $3,000 line item was returned to the budget.
Do we all feel better now? Sure the illegal alien reason is dumb, but can a library cut any budget items without someone making a stink over it?
Despite this public problem, the library board may have other issues according the AP. They dismissed the current library director without explanation.