Summary of “A 100-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor on How Books Save Lives”

Only on the rarest of occasions, in the most extreme of circumstances, do books become lifelines in the realest sense.
One such occasion is immortalized in A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader – the collection I spent eight years putting together in the hope of showing young people how essential reading is to an inspired and inspiring life.
There are original illustrated letters about the transformative and transcendent power of reading from some immensely inspiring humans – scientists like Jane Goodall and Janna Levin, artists like Marina Abramović and Debbie Millman, musicians like Yo-Yo Ma, Amanda Palmer, and David Byrne, entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Tim Ferriss, poets like Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Alexander, and Sarah Kay, media pioneers like Kevin Kelly, Jad Abumrad, and Shonda Rhimes, beloved writers of literature for young people like Jacqueline Woodson, Judy Blume, and Neil Gaiman, and a great many celebrated authors of books for so-called grownups.
One day over dinner, having just visited her in Florida, a very animated Neil told me the incredible story of how a book – a particular book – became a lifeline for the teenage girls at the secret school Helen had set up in the Warsaw Ghetto as an antidote to the innumerable assaults against dignity to which the Nazis subjected these Jewish youths: the denial of basic education.
To celebrate the publication of the book, which Helen sees as an invaluable part of her legacy, I asked her to read her letter for the New York Public Library launch event.
Could you imagine a world without access to reading, to learning, to books?
I had spent the previous night reading Gone with the Wind – one of a few smuggled books circulated among trustworthy people via an underground channel, on their word of honor to read only at night, in secret.
To read a book and surrender to a story is to keep our very humanity alive.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Secret to Shopping in Used Bookstores”

A customer walks in, beelines to where I’m helming the front desk, and asks a variation of the same question: “Do you have this specific book?”.
Used books have to be circulated to the public, digested, and then passed through households and among friends like persistent rumors before they make their way to us.
My favorite used bookstores don’t pad their shelves with outdated computer manuals collected from garage sale free bins.
Many secondhand-seekers lean on Thoreau’s advice to “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” A used book’s very endurance is a reassuring vote of confidence that’s harder to find in a new bookstore, where untested titles offer little to go on besides literary world hype and a polished publisher’s blurb.
Used books make the perfect low-stakes, just-because gift that won’t leave anyone feeling awkwardly indebted.
As a good-luck gift, I found a copy of Erica Jong’s aptly titled poetry book Fruits and Vegetables.
Sometimes people come in asking for a specific book and I’m happily able to pull it off the shelf for them.
The wall-to-wall wooden shelves there are wonderfully over-crowded-any space above the rows of upright books is crammed with more books shelved horizontally, in defiance of neat alphabetization.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Italians laughed at Leonardo da Vinci, the ginger genius”

Far from being admired as an extraordinary genius, Leonardo da Vinci was repeatedly lampooned and teased about his unusual red hair and his unconventional sexuality by other leading artists of his day.
In one of its colourful images, An Allegory of Justice, a ginger-haired clerk, or court lawyer, is shown seated at a desk, mesmerised by other young men, and represents Leonardo da Vinci.
“The identity of Leonardo as the red-headed scribe is totally new,” Hewitt told the Observer ahead of the publication of Leonardo da Vinci and the Book of Doom.
He is shown as a “Left-handed clerk with a wooden lyre at his feet: evidently a caricature of Leonardo da Vinci”.
Close study of the illuminated manuscript copy of Gaspare Visconti’s epic poem Paolo e Daria, revealed to Hewitt that Leonardo da Vinci is also likely to be the object of ridicule because of the absent-minded way he is shown to be drawing on the tablecloth, rather than on his sketch notebooks, and by his apparent fascination with a half-naked young man who is clutching “a rocket-like, Leo-invented contraption”.
“Further evidence of Leonardo’s identity, and homosexual leanings, is provided by the group of eight strapping figures alongside,” argues Hewitt, who has conducted five years of research into Leonardo and his circle in search of the truth about a controversial portrait, La Bella Principessa.
Hewitt identifies this as Bianca Sforza, the daughter of the duke of Milan and the subject of the disputed wedding portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, completed a year later.
“As one of the few figures with ginger hair in Birago’s entire oeuvre, this is clearly a mischievous reference to Leonardo da Vinci,” writes Hewitt.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Oldest Treasures From 12 Great Libraries”

About the oldest books that a library might hold, there are any number of rabbit holes you can fall down.
What’s the oldest book in any particular city? What’s the oldest book in the world? Well, what do you mean by “Book”? The oldest written text? The oldest manuscript? The oldest printed material? The oldest bound book?
Librarians take these kinds of questions very seriously, so when Atlas Obscura contacted some of our favorite libraries to ask about the oldest books in their collections, we were treated to a wealth of information about the treasures they hold.
The New York Public Library has not only cuneiform tablets and ninth-century gospels, but also a Gutenberg Bible and a copy of The Bay Psalm Book, one of the oldest books printed in America.
In the history of writing, bound books as we know them today arrive fairly late, so there are no actual “Books” on this list.
The natural history museum in New York bought the book in 1923 from Paul Gottschalk, a German book dealer.
Synopsis: This book isn’t exactly the oldest book in the Athenaeum’s collection.
Synopsis: The oldest written items at the Free Library of Philadelphia are a set of cuneiform tablets-a common theme-but its oldest manuscript is a prose version of De Virginitate, About Virginity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 7 Best Books I’ve Ever Read About Writing”

I’ve made a list of the best books I’ve read on writing.
If you write, and you haven’t read On Writing, it’s time to stop everything you do and get that book.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser A solid book with solid advice about writing non-fiction.
Zinsser, a respected writer and teacher, talks about the principles and methods of writing in this book.
Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Larry W. Phillips There’s no point in denying it; Hemingway is one of the best writers in modern history.
Hemingway believed that there’s no pride in writing about writing.
Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit by Steven Pressfield Pressfield is one of my favorite writers.
If you don’t know how to sell your writing, no one will ever read it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The cult books that lost their cool”

What exactly defines a cult book? Its qualities are subjective, often intangible and niche, though we all know one when we see it.
Underexamined, feature of the cult book is this: in contrast to the examples above, it can sometimes age really badly.
Don’t rush to empty your home of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ at the behest of a book that may yet turn out to be our own era’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
As with so many books on this list, its flaws have been magnified by the passage of time.
A few years back, a spate of books and films inspired only a flicker of revived interest in his legacy.
In 2013, the book was updated for the era of internet dating and sexting, but it still seems positively Victorian in the context of a cultural marker like Lena Dunham’s Girls.
Yes, Jonathan Livingston Seagull really is a seagull, but he’s a seagull with aspirations, a non-conformist who yearns to soar above the flock and up into the heavens, just as the book itself conquered the bestseller charts back in the day.
The hero worship has rendered books like Infinite Jest – whose physical heft makes it big enough to be used as a weapon – symbols of ‘bro-lit’.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses”

Given the extreme effort that went into creating books, scribes and book owners had a real incentive to protect their work.
At the beginning or the end of books, scribes and book owners would write dramatic curses threatening thieves with pain and suffering if they were to steal or damage these treasures.
“These curses were the only things that protected the books,” says Marc Drogin, author of Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses.
Drogin’s book, published in 1983, is the most thorough compendium of book curses ever compiled.
While researching his first book, he came across a short book curse; as he found more and more, hidden in footnotes of history books written in the 19th century, his collection grew to include curses from ancient Greece and the library of Babylon, up to the Renaissance.
To those historians, the curses were curiosities, but to Drogin they were evidence of just how valuable books were to medieval scribes and scholars, at a time when even the most elite institutions might have libraries of only a few dozen books.
Drogin’s book had dozens of such curses in it, and he had collected at least a dozen more to include in the second edition, which was never published.
Inside his copy of the book, he still has a baggie of antique file cards, full of book curses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Oprah, Reese, And Jenna Bush Hager Are Making America Read Again”

For a book club that only started in March – when Jenna Bush Hager was named the Today show’s new fourth-hour cohost with Hoda Kotb – Read With Jenna has proven to be a force in the world of publishing.
“Then fast-forward to the Today show, where I got invited to be on the show with these incredible women. Oh my god.” Kwok noted that Hager was an especially astute interviewer with a real knowledge and love of the book: “She’s reading all these books by herself. She got my book because her sister said that she loved it, and was like, ‘You gotta read this.'”.
So how did Crawdads become a breakout novel? Credit certainly goes to the nascent power of the celebrity book club in the age of social media: Reese Witherspoon picked Crawdads for her book club in September 2018, and it received an immediate boost in sales.
On Sept. 17, 1996, Oprah announced the first edition of Oprah’s Book Club on her eponymous talk show: “I want to get the whole country reading again; those of you who haven’t been reading, books are important.” She raved about her pick of the month, Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novel The Deep End of the Ocean, “Y’all are going to have to buy it – I have no [financial] interest in it, but I like the book.” She told her audience that questions could be asked via a PO box address and AOL. She promised to have Mitchard on to discuss the book the following month.
In the July 2012 issue of O magazine, Oprah enthused over Wild: “I love this book. I want to shout it from the mountaintop. I want to shout it from the Web. In fact, I love this book so much and want to talk about it so much, I knew I had to reinvent my book club.” This 2.0 version of Oprah’s Book Club was revived for the internet with exclusive reading questions available online, conversations on Twitter and Facebook, and Oprah writing about her favorite passages.
“And when someone like Oprah comes along, a lot of people who wouldn’t have necessarily heard of your book get it in their hands, and then they tell their friends, and they tell their friends – it’s how a book spreads.”
In November 2019, expect to see the Oprah Book Club “On steroids,” according to O magazine’s books editor, Leigh Haber.
At the same time, with the explosion of social media, book clubs have been able to move online, finding a niche on Instagram and Facebook with homegrown communities like Well-Read Black Girl and Girls’ Night In. When it comes to sales and influence in the book industry that rival Oprah’s picks, Reese Witherspoon and Jenna Bush Hager are the breakout stars.

The orginal article.

Summary of “7 Books That Will Change How You See The World”

My favorite moments reading non-fiction are when a book bitchslaps my brain and reconfigures my entire understanding of reality and my place within it.
I never know what the hell to say because so many of the books that have influenced me have done so not because they’re so good or brilliant, but mostly because they addressed the issues I was going through at the time I was reading them.
So instead of divulging what my favorite books are, I’ll leave you with something better: seven of the most mind-fucking, reality-reshaping, Keanu Reeves “Whoa” inspiring books that I’ve ever read. In no particular order.
Bonus Points For: Being perhaps the wittiest and best-written psychology book you’ll ever read.If This Book Could Be Summarized in An Image, That Image Would Be: A dog named “Humanity” endlessly chasing its own tail with a big slobbery smile on its face.
You want to read a book that explains happiness without mythologizing it or worshipping it.
If he’s trolling the world with his writing style, he’s doing a good job, because some passages are almost impossible to get through without either rolling your eyes at him or shoving the book through a paper shredder.
You want to have your conception of “Success” and “Progress” completely flipped on its head. you want to read a book that while consisting of maybe 60% bullshit, will have you still thinking about the ideas years later.
Bonus Points For: It was apparently one of President Eisenhower’s favorite books.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What’s the Point of a Travel Agent in 2019?”

The extreme admin support offered by Beagelman and company does illustrate one reason why travel agents as a profession have themselves manage to survive in the age of online booking, flight-comparison websites and infinite reviews, Instagram streams and travel blogs covering every conceivable corner of the planet.
The professional body that certifies travel agents in the U.S. and advocates for personal-service travel experiences throughout the industry.
“While I’d likely save a lot of time using an agent, doing the planning myself is all part of the learning process. Moreover, given the type of travel I do, I don’t need a travel agent. It’s just me, some hostels and some flights. Nothing complicated that would really require one.”
View from the Wing., explains, even for simple trips, people used to buy airline tickets as a matter of course “From brick and mortar travel stores – the traditional travel agent.” Back then, the air carriers would pay the agents healthy commissions for each ticket sold – which is why, as a consumer, you used to be able to walk into a travel agent’s office and use their services for free while thumbing through a dog-eared brochure.
Of 2,000 British travel customers carried out at the start of 2019 found, “Almost half of millennials booked at least one vacation with a travel agent in the past 12 months.”
As the mechanics of price-comparison and deal-brokering have become less central to the job, travel agents have instead doubled down on travel knowhow and destination expertise as marketable assets.
Howard thinks ASTA’s lobbying on behalf of travel advisors, and the glossy meta-concierge service offered by its Travel Sense platform, will protect her profession from that.
In the short term she would like to see many more under-40-year-olds joining the young-at-heart retirees as intrepid lone-ranger travel advisors – partly to meet the demands of all the millennials expressing interest in tailored travel advice: “It would be a little different in terms of identifying the trends of where they’re going and what they’re doing, if they actually had a millennial as their travel advisor.”

The orginal article.