Check It Out

Libraries are the best–free books, movies, games and music; cool events like readings and musical performances; helpful resources; free internet; meeting spaces; and more for patrons.

And of course, librarians are the coolest, like when they put together a fun Taylor Swift-inspired video all about how great libraries are. From the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library for National Library Week:

I already practically skip when I leave the library with an armful of books. Now I’m going to have to hold back from singing, “Check it out!”

YA Readers in Real Life

A little YA humor for your Thursday:


I have to admit, I do totally categorize people by House. (Hufflepuff pride!) I’ve also used the phrase “May the odds be ever in your favor,” in a non-YA-related professional setting.

Bad Reviews as Read by Children’s Book Authors

Normally I don’t approve of authors responding to bad reviews, but this is too good to pass up:

To be fair, I’d be a little concerned about that lion in the rain, too.

It’s a good reminder that even well-respected and established authors, who get lots of positive reviews, also get some bad reviews. Just gotta shrug it off, smile, and keep going.

(via bookshelves of doom)

Poetry for Office Survival

It’s mid-July. A lot of people are on vacation. Going to work can feel like you’re in a barren wasteland of tumbleweeds. But this Wednesday, you don’t have to battle it out alone with the freezing office AC–it’s Take Your Poet to Work Day! Cut out a picture of your favorite poet, decorate him/her, attach it to a popsicle stick, and take your poet-puppet to work.

My work poet has to be T.S. Eliot:

Whenever I’m shuffling on public transportation with a lot of other commuters, I think about The Waste Land. Particularly:

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.

If anyone understands how necessary that extra cup of coffee is, it’s Eliot. My suggestions for Take Your Poet to Work Day activities:

  • Write haiku about your favorite office supplies.
  • Print out sonnets and put them in random mailboxes.
  • Instead of listening to streaming radio, crank up your favorite poetry reading recordings.
  • Take meeting notes in iambic pentameter.
  • Have fun with your punctuation, ala e.e. cummings.

Share your ideas for Take Your Poet to Work Day in the comments.

(H/T bookshelves of doom)

Don’t Hate Boo Radley, Hate the Game

In college, my friend a professor whom we all described as the filmmaker version of Shaft. He was a dedicated teacher, a bold and thoughtful filmmaker, and his syllabus included the phrase “Get ya asses to class.” Needless to say, his students loved him.

Thug Notes has a similar approach to the canon of English literature. Sparky Sweets, PhD recaps the plot of classic novels and dives into the major themes of the books. For example, his take on To Kill a Mockingbird:

Even cooler? In the Youtube comments, people are clamoring for Sweets to tackle other works of English literature. Most badass way to get people involved in literature ever.

(via Book Riot)