Become Someone Else

“Become Someone Else” is a clever ad campaign for the Mint Vinetu which is a popular independent secondhand bookshop and cafe in the heart of Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania. The cozy shop also sells vinyl and provides a venue for local musicians and writers.

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Pierre; or, The Ambiguities

To be perfectly honest, I have always been ambivalent about Herman Melville. When I read Moby-Dick in high school, I found it to be an uneven slog. However, his iconic short story Bartleby the Scrivener provided me with a role model for life. The wonderful illustration below was created by artist and writer Nathan Gelgud to celebrate Melville’s birthday. And, by the way, if you are into arch gothic romances, or are just a big time Melville fan, you can download a free copy of Pierre; or, The Ambiguities right here.

 

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The Book Thing (revisited)

The Book Thing in northeast Baltimore has been called a library without a return policy and a bookstore without a cash register. This amazing community institution has been giving away books for more than 18 years. Staffed by volunteers and stocked entirely with donated books, The Book Thing is the brainchild of Russell Wattenberg whose two decade-long commitment to the project has even survived a devastating fire.

Back in 2016, I posted a story on the tragedy (link) and passed along the call for help and donations. It’s been nearly 7 months since the store’s re-opening and I am happy to report that The Book Thing is bigger and better than ever. You can learn more about this laudable project and find out how to help on the website.

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Word on the Street: Do it for Others

I have been an active community volunteer for many years on projects aimed at food insufficiency, substance abuse, mental health, and senior services. So I am always excited to see clever ways to spread the word on the joys of volunteering. Mural artists, Graffiti Life, have collaborated with papercut artist, Poppy Chancellor, to create London’s largest ever paper cut. They’ve transformed a brand new design by Chancellor, into a five-meter mural in Ebor Street, Shoreditch, London showing how volunteering is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that can build relationships in the community.

The mural shows a group of women giving each other piggybacks with the slogan “Do It For Others”. The project is supported by NCVO, an organization that encourages volunteering and the positive impact it has on society. To discover more check out ncvo.org.uk.

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The American Library Project

Cleveland’s main public library branch is hosting an extraordinary exhibition created by renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. The American Library consists of 6,000 books bound in colorful batik fabric displayed on back-to-back bookshelves. Many of the volumes are gold-stamped with the names of Americans who are first generation immigrants ,or whose antecedents were immigrants.

The exhibition, which runs through September 30th, was inspired by the ongoing debate in the United States over immigration and was commissioned by FRONT International, Cleveland’s new Triennial for Contemporary Art. You learn more about the project right here.

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Bookshelf Sleuthing

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Bookstore Tourism : London

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to visit each of the 17 wonderful bookstores in this charming short video from Abebooks. The little tour manages to cover antiquarian, secondhand, and indie community bookshops in every corner of London. Enjoy.

 

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Go For The Books, Stay For The Beer

Büchermeile Düsseldorf  is a mile-long book market of stalls along the banks of the river Rhine in Düsseldorf Altestadt. It happens on three weekends in the summer, the last one of this year will be September 22-23 (weather permitting of course).The event features booths by more than sixty antiquarians and secondhand booksellers. There even a few private collectors selling their personal treasures. Best of all, it’s possible to get free appraisals from expert bibliophiles. When you’re exhausted from browsing, the city offers some of Germany’s finest local brews.

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Banksy Takes A Seaside Holiday

The slippery street artist(s) known as Banksy recently dropped a new work in the old English seaside town of Clevedon. As an “old” person I resent the implication, but it does make a point.

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Word on the Street : Philly

An anonymous street artist who goes by the moniker mpeachhim has been installing tiles around Philadelphia that are clever and to the point. If you’re in the city, they can be found at 10th & South St., Lombard & Broad, and Modine & Market. You can also follow the project on Instagram here.

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