Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Reader Thanks Day: What Are You Thankful For?

Apparently today is Reader Thanks Day. I've never heard of this before--in fact, I think it may have just been created--but I kind of love it already.

Reading means so many different things to so many people. Why not share what makes it special for you, what you love about it, who inspires you, and more?

So in the spirit of this new holiday, I'll go first and tell you a little about some of my own reader thanks:

I'm thankful for characters who I never expected to relate to, who teach me something about myself I never knew before.  
I'm thankful for libraries that let me take out ten books at a time each and every week of the summer when I was a kid, and to my mom for driving me there. 
I'm thankful for the pencil and paper that helped me escape into my own version of reality for a while as I was growing up.   
I'm thankful for books that make me laugh out loud and smile really, really wide, even when life is kicking my butt. 
I'm thankful for authors like Laurie Halse Anderson and Davida Wills Hurwin for being the first authors to show me that you can a difficult topic and make it accessible to a young audience. 
I'm thankful for first editions that take me back to the time and place they were written with the smell of their pages, design of their bindings, and beauty of their content. 
I'm thankful that books that challenge me, that make me feel, and make me--and everyone who lets them--dream big.

Now it's your turn. 

What are you thankful for? 

Share with us in a comment, and don't forget to use the hashtag #readerthanks when you share with the Twitterverse!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sitting Down On Literature: UK Literacy Campaign to Launch Summer 2014

The UK's National Literary Trust has recently started working on their summer 2014 campaign to take place in London, "Books About Town." It's a program that not only celebrates the city itself but its literary and artistic heroes. But more than that, it's pretty darn cool. 

Passersby in the city will get to experience the magic of reading in the form of public benches. Yes, you read that right. Benches. The NLT website tells us more:

‘Books about Town’ will feature a series of BookBenches, individually designed by top international and local artists to celebrate stories linked to London, and to promote reading for enjoyment. The benches, shaped as open books, will be unveiled in various locations across the capital from next July 2014 and visitors will have the chance to discover them by following literary trails around London.    
Supported by Visit England, Books about Town will build on the legacy of the Olympic mascots in London in 2012 and become a major tourist attraction for the city in 2014.  The project will help raise valuable funds for the National Literacy Trust to tackle low literacy levels in deprived communities across the UK.   
The charity is inviting local and national businesses to be a part of this exciting new venture and sponsor a BookBench. Businesses can either choose a title from a Books about Town list of books linked to London from J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or select their own title to be brought to life on a BookBench. A range of businesses have already signed up to sponsor a bench, including Global Business firm KPMG and publisher Walker Books, who will have their very own We’re Going on a Bear Hunt themed BookBench. 
Author Michael Rosen says: 
“I love the idea of sitting on giant books. With the Bear Hunt big BookBench, I suppose you can say that you can't go through it, but you can go over it, you can go under it or better still you can sit on it!” 
KPMG is sponsoring a Peter Pan themed BookBench. Partner Mona Bitar says:
“KPMG is delighted to be supporting the National Literacy Trust’s Books about Town project. The BookBenches programme is a great way to bring literacy to life across London and to raise awareness around the fantastic work of the National Literacy Trust, who are one of KPMG’s national charity partners. We are looking forward to seeing the initial designs for our bench very soon.” 
Wild in Art are collaborating on the project as the UK’s leading producer of public art sculpture trails. Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Wild in Art’s Director says:   
“Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to thousands of people whilst offering new ways to explore a host city or town.  We are delighted to be working with the National Literacy Trust on this dynamic project bringing many of our favourite books to life through the visual arts.” 
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust says:  
“We are delighted to be launching Books about Town to spread the love of reading across the capital. This is such an exciting opportunity for businesses to be a part of this unique literary attraction set to hit the streets of London next summer.” 
See the original post HERE

A very fun, unique project if you ask me! And from the looks of it, anyone can help sponsor a bench. The NLT encourages interested parties to contact Lorna Taylor at or visit for more info.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Is DIVERGENT Diverging Its Audience?

As I imagine most of you know, last Friday was opening day of the much-awaited film adaptation of Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy. I, of course, was at the front of the line with my friend Kelly that evening to see it. Not only was I stoked for the movie itself, but I also couldn't wait for the previews.

Why? Because I knew they'd show the recently released trailer for Divergent, the first film based on the trilogy of the same name by Veronica Roth.

I adored this series and have been excited for the film from the moment the first actor was cast, making it a sure thing for its production. For me, the preview incited extreme chair bouncing as well as gleeful squees.

But for Kelly, who hasn't read the series (yet!), she wasn't so thrilled. From the slightly confused look on her face I could tell that she didn't quite follow what was going on. And after watching it again when I got home, I could see exactly why: the trailer was relying on the book to snag its audience. It didn't give enough about the story for those peeps who haven't read the books, thus potentially alienating a good portion of its potential audience.

This is actually something I haven't come across in a while, but it does make me wonder how the film will tackle the book as a whole. I have no doubt that I will love the movie, but how will it build the complex and powerful faction-filled world for non-readers? My fingers are crossed that it doesn't follow in the trailers footsteps, as amazing as it is for those of us who have read the books.

Have you read Divergent? What do you think about the trailer?