Litographs

Litographs.com

littlebrown:

bartlettsquotes:

RIP #GabrielGarciaMarquez

We’re remembering a great writer today.

littlebrown:

bartlettsquotes:

RIP #GabrielGarciaMarquez

We’re remembering a great writer today.

What makes a city great for readers and writers?

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I’m not big on lists unless there is substantial evidence to back up ranking metrics. To their credit, MyLife.com did a great job explaining their reasoning for the 10 Best Cities to be a Writer

That’s all well and good, but are you going to move to the St. Louis, the land of opportunity, just because it ranked #1? Probably not. If you’re staying put, here are a few things that you’ll need and probably already have. 

1 Bookstore

Wouldn’t it be great to plan bar crawls that really went to bookstores because there are so many in your city that you can’t walk down the street without seeing a sign for one and you could fill up on knowledge and heroic prose instead of gin & tonic? Yes, that would be amazing. Are you drinking gin right now, though, instead of planning your book adventure? Probably. 

Even if bookstores were as plentiful as Starbucks, we’d probably find one we liked (read: the closest one) and give it all of our time and money, kind of like a puppy.

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4 Seasons

You need the depths of winter as well as the promise of spring to be able to write characters who are optimistic as well as the character based on “Judy,” the office rules stickler no one can stand.

Coffee. All of it.

Or tea. Or juice. Or dunkaroos. But definitely not Red Bull. Whatever makes you tick can surely be replicated anywhere. 

So, you see, it might sound like a distant city could propel your writing, but the truth is, you need your roots and your experiences and your mailman and all the people who make your life simultaneously great and miserable because it all boils down to the what you write best. 

What makes your city great for reading and writing?

theparisreview:

“We Americans share more than what divides us.”
For National Library Week, a photographic essay by Robert Dawson on America’s public libraries.
theparisreview:

“We Americans share more than what divides us.”
For National Library Week, a photographic essay by Robert Dawson on America’s public libraries.

theparisreview:

“We Americans share more than what divides us.”

For National Library Week, a photographic essay by Robert Dawson on America’s public libraries.

National Library Week

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It’s been a few months since I’ve made it to my local library, but National Library Week reminds me that it’s high time that I made it back. 

I’ve never used the library as my source for new books because it’s stiff competition to get at the top of a waiting list for a high-profile new release. Besides, it’s more fun to experience the roulette-like feeling of walking into a library with a few titles or authors in mind and seeing if my numbers come up. 

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I’m not sure how my library feels about dancing in the stacks, but I know there are a good many librarians out there who are encouraging the use of their libraries for nontraditional means like aerobics classes.

Are you visiting the library this week? Are you checking out a novel to read for pleasure or using the myriad other resources?

I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give.

Thomas Jefferson, born this day in 1743
Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary was published on this day in 1857. See our whole MB collection here.

Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary was published on this day in 1857. See our whole MB collection here.

Don’t I know you? What to do with characters based on real people

There are all kinds of writing to try throughout the course of our artistic lives. Creative, poetic, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, that elusive novel and, well, you get the picture. 

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On a recent trip to my native Florida, I returned to the place where I was supposed to have learned a thing or two (the jury’s still out on that one) about writing — my high school. I was there to honor the memory of a friend by presenting a scholarship in his name to graduating seniors, and I found myself writing in a style I (thankfully) haven’t had to practice much. 

My friend was a voracious reader and talented writer, and the submission process challenges applicants to write an essay in which they tease out their experiences, passions and difficulties in order to synthesize how they will combine all three into living a more purposeful life.

The scholarship is several years old so I felt it was important to espouse the virtues of the man it commemorated rather than the perfunctory details of the prompt and the elicited responses.

While the man being spoken of wasn’t there to critique his portrayal, his parents, along with others who knew him well, were in attendance. The speech was purely tributary, but it did get me thinking about the daily inspiration of our friends and foes and the characters they eventually become in our writing. 

They may be named Jean instead of John, have brown hair instead of blonde, and smoke a few more cigarettes on the page, but if you pricked them, these characters would bleed the same blood as their realistic counterparts.

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Do you like knowing the biographical influence behind characters you’re reading? In your own writing, how do you walk the line between an outline and a caricature?

What does your litograph say about you?

A lot goes into buying a litograph — it’s one part love of a book, one part love of a design, and, let’s be honest, sometimes the most important factor is how much wall or closet space you have in your apartment.

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Some of us want to display our favorite book over our fireplace and some want to wear it on the go. Regardless of whether it hangs in your living room or off your body, your selection says something about you. Obviously, it shows your impeccable taste in books, but an individual title might also reveal more.

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On the Origin of Species, for example, sends a far different message than The Last Unicorn, and White Fang's design is a little more fierce than the poems of Emily Dickinson.

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I happen to love Dickinson’s poetry more than the design and feel inversely about White Fang, as the design takes the cake there. When choosing shirts and prints, though, I consciously choose to rep the books that have made an impact on me with their words. It’s fun to wear Walden around New England and strike up conversations with people who have read the book as well as visited the pond.

That doesn’t mean I expect your little one to have read of Captain Ahab before her first birthday just so she can justify Moby Dick on the wall of her nursery.

There are any number of reasons that a litograph is right for you —  the content, the design, the fashion statement and more. What’s the deciding factor for you?