Sunday 26 February 2012

What is reading for?

Last weekend in her excellent column in The Times Erica Wagner mentioned the pamphlet What is Reading For? by Robert Bringhurst. He's a historian of typography and, writes Wagner, 'reading is as much a physical process as an intellectual one. "Reading" began with our bodies. Literature predates the book by tens of thousands of years; literature was, for most of human history, passed from mouth to ear, and came out of humankind's deep physical engagement with the world. Literature is life.
Life and literature both deserve celebration--and respect. Bringhurst does not dismiss the e-book; rather he draws our attention back to the possibilities of the text embodied in beauty.'

Monday 20 February 2012

Helping Elsewhere: Books to Mandrem in Goa

Give a Book is sometimes asked to give books to charities or projects other than our regular recipients. We recently sent out books to a school in Goa. Claudia and Andy took them out and now Claudia has written to us:
"We delivered the books to Mandrem school last Friday, so that the headmistress Jacinta could be there and Helen who runs the helping elsewhere charity.
...We took the suitcases to the library and unpacked them with the headmistress, a class and the science teacher.
The look of amazement on their faces was wonderful.
...About 20% of the books  have been given to [another] school, about 4 hours drive into the interior, up in the hills behind behind the coastal strip, where any sort of movement into the 20 th let alone 21st century is very slow... Apparently this little school has even less than the Mandrem school and the books were really [to] help the teachers help the children and provide some sort of starting point to teach from.
.... it was a real delight seeing their excitement when they received the books."

Saturday 18 February 2012

Quick reads

Article about Tony Parsons and the Quick Reads campaign to help people struggling with literacy. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall-- a great champion of literacy-- participated.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

The future of publishing

We recommend an important and interesting article in The Guardian a couple of weeks ago by Stephen Page CEO of Faber. Optimism, realism and bite...

Sunday 5 February 2012

Why read?

A centre recently opened at the University of Liverpool with just this question in mind: The Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems. The Director is Prof Philip Davis, editor of The Reader magazine, and the Centre will research the impact of reading on health--it looks at the effects of shared reading, reading in prisons, the role of reading in treating mental illness and much more besides. We look forward to following its progress.

Friday 3 February 2012

Pratichi Trust

We were pleased to visit the Pratichi Trust in Santiniketan, West Bengal. They've sent us pictures of books that they're sending out to children in schools in rural West Bengal. They have a festival of books, of books by and for children. They do much wonderful work, including helping children to start to love reading books.

The 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world

Someone thought we'd like these pictures of the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world. Thank you, Dawn. We do!