Keeping Things Brief

Things have been more than a little hectic lately—for many, that’s an understatement. So I’ll be keeping my updates brief today. I only hope that all of you are well and happy and staying safe. There’s not much I can add that hasn’t been stated countless times, but once more won’t hurt: wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Grab a book. Happy reading.

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Anyone Missing a…?

There aren’t many things that can shock a librarian or archivist. They’re a special class of people, trained to anticipate both the unexpected and the inevitable. After all, when working with the general public, anything is possible. That’s why a recent discovery by the Cambridge University Library Special Collections caught my attention. In an interview with The Sun, Deputy Keeper of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Emily Dourish noted that staff had a unique reaction while examining a tome published in 1529: “When we gave it to our conservationist, his jaw dropped.”

So what could have possibly sparked this reaction? Their tweet says it better than I ever could…

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He’s Read, but He’s Not Well-Read

For the past two weeks, I’ve been devoted to the classics—those ever-present works that have appeared on every reading list since the dawn of the high school book report. Those books that, while they might show some age around the binding, prove that they still have staying power. Those books that get a special section and fancy covers at Barnes & Noble.

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When the TBR Shelf Topples Over

Between an overflowing bookshelf and a public library right up the road, I’m never at a loss for books to read. So when I stumble across a work in the wild that looks interesting, I might not get around to it immediately. Instead, if it sounds interesting enough, I add it to a list on Goodreads so I’ll remember to read it … eventually. That’s the idea, anyway. When done a few times, this isn’t bad. But I’ve been compiling for years, and a few weeks ago I finally looked through this running tab of tomes and realized that I’ve stacked up over 500.

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Grab Your Scissors, It’s Book Cutting Time

A post on Twitter this week sparked a debate—big surprise, I know—over the treatment of books. In it, user Alex Christofi shared a tip for making incredibly long reads more portable: chop them in half. Two camps instantly sprouted in the comments: those who upheld the sanctity of the published tome and those who broke out their copies of Infinite Jest and a pair of scissors.

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State of the Stacks: Calm Edition

We’re nearing the middle of January, which hardly seems possible, but here we are. Nothing major to report this week, though I’m currently barricaded inside my home because of snow this weekend. Otherwise, it’s been a calm start to the year. So read on to see my current bookish updates (and about works that contain far more drama than I do in my current life) on this week’s State of the Stacks.

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State of the Stacks: 2020 Challenges Edition

We’re officially in 2020 and, while most people tend to set goals before a new year actually starts, I—well, I don’t. And that’s especially true when it comes to reading goals. For me, books are mostly about having a good time, so I try not to turn them into work. However, I’ve stumbled into a couple of reading challenges that are both fun and low stakes that I’ve decided to participate in. Read on to find out more about them and other bookish updates on this week’s State of the Stacks.

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State of the Stacks: 2019 Wrap-Up Edition

2019 is quickly fading into 2020, and usually this time of year inspires a great deal of personal reflection for me. But this year I’m just feeling content. It’s been a great period filled with good reads and great times with new and old friends. Thank you for being part of it. And as always, read on for bookish updates and other news on this week’s State of the Stacks.

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State of the Stacks: Pre-Christmas Edition

Christmas is practically here and, personally, I could not be more excited. Though that’s possibly from the frenzy that accompanies just finishing a post-midnight grocery shopping trip … Or it could stem from the thought of having two days in the middle of the week where my area effectively shuts down—meaning I really have no choice but to sit home and read. Either way, bring on the festivities, and read on to see my current bookish updates on this week’s State of the Stacks.

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