Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone

These fabulous letterpress prints made by printer Amos Kennedy would make great holiday gifts for the book lovers in your life. And 100% from the sale proceeds go to the Elmwood Park Library in Detroit. Each piece is hand-pressed and one-of-a-kind. Check it out.


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December is the toughest month

“December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February.”
Mark Twain

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Here Comes The Book Flood

Iceland is known around the globe for its spectacular natural wonders, ultra clean environment, dynamic music scene, and hot springs skinny-dipping, but most folks are unaware that it’s one of the most literate nations in the world.Each year, more than 95% of the adult population reports reading at least one book and more than 50% read at least 10 books. In fact, more than 10% of Icelanders claim to have written at least one book or periodical article.

So, it should come as little surprise to learn that Iceland kicks off the Christmas holiday gift-giving season with the annual Bokatidindi—a catalog of every new book published during the year in the country. The Icelandic Publishing Association even mails a free copy to every household in mid-November.

The Bokatidindi is the foundation the uniquely Icelandic holiday tradition of Jólabókaflóð—the Christmas Book Flood. Nearly every Icelandic family exchanges book gifts on Christmas and starts the holiday by reading their new books.

You can help this wonderful concept to spread to your own country. Just buy book gifts for everyone on your holiday list and request literary gifts for yourself. Before we know it, the entire world will be celebrating a Yule-time book flood.

image by Elsa Jenna

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make a little birdhouse in your soul

For more than a decade, Thomas Dambo has been building birdhouses from recycled wood and installing them around Copenhagen. His Happy City Birds project is designed to bring attention to urban tree loss and to create habitats for city birds. The 3,500+ colorful birdhouses can be found in parks, playgrounds, and on building facades around the city.

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Bookstore Tourism Philadelphia

It’s always a happy occasion when a new indie bookstore café opens, but it’s even more exciting when one launches in an under served area.Last week, CNN political commentator and author Marc Lamont Hill opened Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books in Philly’s historic Germantown neighborhood. The bookshop is named in honor of Hill’s late Uncle, Bobbie Lee Hill, who helped nurture the writer and Temple University professor’s love of reading and social justice.

When you visit Philadelphia, be sure to stop by to browse and have a cup of joe at the welcoming bookstore on the 5400 block of Germantown Avenue.It’s a cozy, sunny space with lots of chairs and couches. The collection is not huge, but it’s been carefully curated by Hill and a select group of contributors.


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Behind the scenes at the museum

If you love visiting museums as much as I do, you will really enjoy this terrific behind-the-scenes peek at the operations of New York City’s amazing Museum of Modern Art. Each Friday, MoMA releases a new mini-documentary episode in the ongoing series “At the Museum”, which follows museum staff as they design, install, and open museum shows. You can find a new offering right here on the YouTube channel.

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Cue the zither music

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The Only Way To Fly

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Plane Spotting

Lithuanian photographer Mindaugas Kavaliauskas has spent years working on travel’AIR a project about people, planes, and airports, which has taken him around the globe to capture the fascination that air travel still holds for people. The newest series in the ongoing project is SPOT, which sees Kavaliaukas focusing on the idea of plane watching. “SPOT is about the people on the ground, who gather around airports and watch airplanes,” says Kavaliaukas. “Plane spotters, watchers, observers have different perspectives of how to enjoy planes. My photographs are not only about who, where, when, but also about how and why.”

Kavaliaukas traveled to many locations around the world for the series including Europe, New Zealand, and North America. For the photographs themselves he sought out the outskirts of city airports, which were frequented by plane watchers, where he found people hanging around parking lots, dirt roads, hotels, airfields, beaches and viewing platforms. “Prior to photographing people, I talk to them to find out the reasons why they are there: waiting to pick up someone arriving, walking a dog, discussing future plans, simply having fun, first date, or just for that moment of thrill as an airliner passes over your head,” Mindaugas explains. “I not only look to photograph, but also to tell stories.”

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Who Needs Turkey

Who needs turkey when you’ve got a Philly pretzel ? This wonderful street art mural appeared recently in Philadelphia’s up-and-coming Port Richmond district. The newest work from the Local Critters Project mural series was created thanks to a crowd funding project launched by neighborhood resident Natalie Shaak. Along with the “happy raccoon”,  the project also raised money to rehabilitate the adjacent kid’s playground. You can learn more and contribute to the ongoing project at their Go Fund me page.

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