Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Friday, December 12, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Shakespeare’s First Folio – containing 36 of his 38 known plays and printed in 1623 – is one of the most valuable books in English literature. It’s also one of the most closely inventoried. Of the 800 copies thought to have been originally printed in the 17th century, 233 are believed to still exist today. And now we can add the 234th to the list.
This particular First Folio has lain dormant in the library of Saint-Omer, an obscure French town near Calais, for over two hundred years.
Medieval literature expert and librarian Rémy Cordonnier stumbled across the book while searching for items to use in a planned exhibition of Anglo-Saxon authors.
“It had been wrongly identified in our catalogue as a book of Shakespeare plays most likely dating from the 18th century,” Cordonnier said in an interview with The Guardian. “I didn’t instantly recognise it as a book of value. It had been heavily used and was damaged. It had seen better days… [But] it occurred to me that it could be an unidentified First Folio, with historic importance and great intellectual value.”
Cordonnier then reached out to American professor Eric Rasmussen for verification. Rasmussen, affiliated with the University of Nevada, was in Britain at the time to study at the British Library. Rasumussen quickly hopped on a train to France. After arriving at Saint-Omer, Rasumussen authenticated in the First Folio in a matter of minutes.
“This is huge,” Rasmussen said in an interview with The New York Times. “First folios don’t turn up very often, and when they do, it’s usually a really chewed up, uninteresting copy. But this one is magnificent.”
Needless to say, the book will become the centerpiece of the Anglo-Saxon exhibition at the library next summer.
In the meantime, don’t sit around waiting for the next First Folio to be unearthed. Their average rate of discovery? Once every ten years.
Posted by Sky Cosby at 8:45 AM
Friday, October 17, 2014
Estimated age: 494 years old.
Estimated age: 559 years old.
Estimated age: 938 years old.
Estimated age: 1,145 years old.
Siddur, Jewish Prayer Book
Estimated age: 1,173 years old.
Book of Kells
Estimated age: 1,213 years old.
St Cuthbert Gospel
Estimated age: 1,315 years old.
Nag Hammadi Library
Estimated age: 1,693 years old.
Pyrgi Gold Tablets
Estimated age: 2,513 years old.
Etruscan Gold Book
Estimated age: 2,673 years old.
Posted by Sky Cosby at 12:58 PM
Friday, September 26, 2014
Here's a teaser, check out the rest.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
by Maria Popova
by Maria Popova
“It is essential of the happy life that a man would have almost no mail.”
I’ve had a longtime fascination with the daily routines of notable writers and their creative rituals. One of the most lyrical, opinionated, and altogether wonderful comes from C.S. Lewis — a man of great wisdom on writing and extraordinary capacity for nuance in existential matters. In his 1955 spiritual memoir,Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life(public library), Lewis outlines his ideal daily routine, modeled after his time studying privately at Great Bookham with his father’s old tutor at the age of fifteen:
[I] settled into a routine which has ever since served in my mind as an archetype, so that what I still mean when I speak of a “normal” day (and lament that normal days are so rare) is a day of the Bookham pattern. For if I could please myself I would always live as I lived there. I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought me about eleven, so much the better. A step or so out of doors for a pint of beer would not do quite so well; for a man does not want to drink alone and if you meet a friend in the taproom the break is likely to be extended beyond its ten minutes. At one precisely lunch should be on the table…
Like artist Maira Kalman, who has long advocated for walking as a creative catalyst, Lewis was an avid walker — but with a key disclaimer:
By two at the latest I would be on the road. Not, except at rare intervals, with a friend. Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one … who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.
(Of course, walking with the right kind of companion can only amplify our capacity to pay attention, rather than diminishing it.)
Lewis holds equally strong opinions about his tea. One can almost picture him demanding a strict adherence to George Orwell’s eleven golden rules for the perfect cup of tea as he describes the afternoon ritual:
The return from the walk, and the arrival of tea, should be exactly coincident, and not later than a quarter past four. Tea should be taken in solitude…
He goes on to outline the qualitative norms for permissible multitasking during mealtime, with some humbling criteria for what he considers light — “gossipy, formless” — reading:
Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably. Of course not all books are suitable for mealtime reading. It would be a kind of blasphemy to read poetry at table. What one wants is a gossipy, formless book which can be opened anywhere. The ones I learned so to use at Bookham were Boswell, and a translation of Herodotus, and Lang’s History of English Literature. Tristram Shandy, Elia and The Anatomy of Melancholy are all good for the same purpose.
And then, it’s back to work until bedtime, the latter being a matter of strict discipline — because, lest we forget, the correlation between sleep and literary productivity is not to be dismissed:
At five a man should be at work again, and at it till seven. Then, at the evening meal and after, comes the time for talk, or, failing that, for lighter reading; and unless you are making a night of it with your cronies (and at Bookham I had none) there is no reason why you should ever be in bed later than eleven.
But Lewis’s most prescient money-quote — the one likely to elicit a bitter cackle from today’s inbox-weary writer — comes at the very end:
But when is a man to write his letters? You forget that I am describing the happy life I led with Kirk or the ideal life I would live now if I could. And it is essential of the happy life that a man would have almost no mail and never dread the postman’s knock.
Complement with Lewis on how to write with authenticity and what free will really means, then revisit the daily routines of Charles Darwin, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, John Updike, Joy Williams, Kurt Vonnegut,Herman Melville, Henry Miller, Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce, and other literary titans.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
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Saturday, June 28, 2014
This is in the UK, but I thought it might be of some interest to booklovers on this side of The Pond.
Welcome to Independent Booksellers Week!
Independent Booksellers Week 2014 will take place from 28th June to 5th July this year.
Independent Booksellers Week is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign, and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland. We do this with events, celebrations, reading groups, storytelling, author signings, literary lunches and face painting! Your local bookshop will have their own way of celebrating, and we encourage you to visit to celebrate with them.
To find your local independent bookshop, check here
You might also like to VOTE for your FAVOURITE Bookshop – our colleagues at National Book Tokens Caboodle are running a competition for consumers to do just that – check it out here
And if you are interested in the fabulous books stocked by indie bookshops, check our our IBW Book Award Shortlist and visit your local indie bookshop to pick up a copy of one of these wonderful titles – here
The Guardian newspaper is publishing a supplement on Saturday 28th June, featuring the best of children’s books, reviewed by some of our leading children’s booksellers. Look out for the Guide this weekend.
And you may have seen the very exciting news about James Patterson donating £250,000 to independent bookshops in the UK & Ireland – make sure to help celebrate these wonderful places by visting your local bookshop during IBW, and every week! See JAmes Patterson talking about his gift here
Check out our Twitter account – @IndieBound_UK – for regular updates on IBW event and bookshop happenings, including the Bookshop Crawl on Saturday 5th July, our Great Bookshop Debate at Foyles on 2nd July and our IBW Literary Death Match on 3rd July – here’s more info on all of those:
If you are a publisher interested in getting involved in IBW for 2015, please email email@example.com. If you are a bookseller who would like to register to participate in IBW 2015, or to receive the 2014 IBW POS Kit, again email Sharon and she will register you.