Words Have Power

Libraries, booksellers, publishers, schools, writers’ groups, and other organizations in North America are gearing up to mark Banned Books Week 2017, which runs from September 24 to the 30th. Many bookshops and libraries have gotten a jump on the upcoming events by setting up displays of banned and censored books. On Sunday the 24th, hundreds of bookstores will also be taking part in a Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out, now in its seventh year. Shops will set aside space for visitors to record videos of themselves reading from banned books. The recordings will then be uploaded to a dedicated YouTube channel.

By focusing attention on efforts to restrict access to specific books, Banned Books Week shines a spotlight on the deleterious impact of any form of censorship. Each year BBW raises awareness about efforts to restrict or remove access to books in schools and libraries. Our efforts as booksellers, librarians, publishers, readers, and free speech activists shows ongoing support for the freedom to read and express ideas, even when those ideas maybe controversial or unpopular.

You can discover more about Banned Books Week and how you can participate in related activities at these websites: bannedbooksweek.org and bookweb.org/abfe .

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London: the cycle of futility

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Go Ask Alice

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by A.H. Watson, Collins 1939.

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Boom for Real

The ever elusive British street artist known as Banksy has confirmed via Instagram that two new artworks on the walls of London’s Barbican Centre are his creations. One image is of a ferris wheel with people lining-up at the ticket booth and crowns replacing the ride’s passenger cars. The second piece is a reference to the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and an upcoming exhibition at the Barbican titled Basquiat: Boom for Real. This mural seems to be a commentary on how the black artist would be welcomed by London police today.

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The Mind Loves The Unkown

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown since meaning of the mind is itself unknown.”

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Entropy Always Wins

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Bench Press

Poland’s Zaczytani Foundation recently completed the installation of a series of benches modeled on open books. The colorful seating, which can be found in the center of Warsaw, Gdansk, Kracow, Poznan, and Wroclaw, references works by famous Polish writers, such as Jan Brzechwa and Agnieszka Osiecka. Along with promoting literacy, the project is also raising cash and book donations for libraries and charitable organizations.

You can learn more about the book bench project at the Zaczytani Foundation’s Facebook page.

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Spend Your Money Wisely

Roughly translated: Spend your money wisely, buy a book.

 

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Every Picture Tells A Story

Placing ordinary objects such as globes, books, lights, and furniture in wilderness locations, Norwegian artist and photographer Rune Guneriussen creates unusual narratives and surprising stories. The video below explores his artistic process in the creation of these extraordinary installations.

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Save That Book

Anyone who has experienced a wet book will appreciate this primer on rescuing water damaged books. The video from Syracuse University Library provides a practical action plan to rescue that paperback you dropped in the tub or your rain-drenched textbook. With back-to-back hurricanes here in North America, it’s particularly timely.

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