April 24, 2012

It's World Book Day!

It's April 23rd and that means it is Shakespeare's birthday (presumed), the day Miguel de Cervantes died, and World Book Day!
World Book Day is a yearly event observed in over 100 countries, which UNESCO started up in the last century (that's 1995) to celebrate books and reading; and yes, publishing and copyright too, although I'm going to go with my heart here and do some celebrating of reading.

Here's the display the talented Melissa Clairmont made for the joy of Central Library customers and staff, inviting us to enjoy books, books about books, and books as works of art:

The Times of India today featured a top story from Chennai about World Book Day which burst forth with a great quote from Somerset Maugham, "To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life."

An instant to cheer that, and I was already intrigued by what followed it: "For once, we are in complete agreement as bibliophiles across the planet cheerfully observe World Book Day today". For once, what? For once we agree with Somerset Maugham? Or, for once all of us here in the Times news room agree on something? I'll go with the latter: hot-headed reporters ("How can you recommend that trash!") roundly deciding to stop arguing about the newly-announced IMPAC shortlist, leave an hour early and go home and read a novel.

Each year during New Zealand Book Month we ask readers visiting the library to comment on "The book that rocked your world", and I've just this week gotten time to read all the submissions. I'm always pleased by the variety of answers we get. It's fun to see how many different kinds of reading people are doing out there, and how many different kinds of ways books can surprise people. World Book Day seems an appropriate time to share some of them.

We had (maybe this was my overall favourite, incurable romantic that I am) Love in the time of cholera, with the comment "I am hoping my true love will return to me when I'm older" and (well, actually maybe this one is my favourite) Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad Trilogy, about which Agustiah said "Its analogy of little frogs living inside bromeliads awoke me from isolated life/culture."

We had stories on stories. Daniel on The giver by Lois Lowry: "Taught an 11-year-old that books can be powerful and I've been reading ever since." and Makyla on The Land of O by Maurice Gee: "My father read it to me as a child one summer holiday. I was so excited about the sequels I read them myself - and so began a lifelong love of books and reading."

I loved the combinations from the people who couldn't name just one. Ritesh had three: The power of your subconcious mind, Think and grow rich, and The way of the peaceful warrior, and then there was a great duo from Irina: How to win friends and influence people and War and Peace ("If everyone could read these books, the world would be better").

Some of the other choices were Sophie's world by Jostein Gaarder (Tami: "It got me thinking about the universe in a new way when it introduced me to philosophy"), the vintage classics Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice (the comments for these signed with the same last name, two sisters perhaps?) and the modern classic The Handmaid's Tale (Vani: "It made me see myself as a woman with responsibility for future generations"), Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan (Dan: "This book reveals the meaning of life. Cool huh"), an Atlas Shrugged (there is always an Ayn Rand novel -- my comment, not the reader's), the Diaries of Anaïs Nin (there isn't always but there should be), Kazuo Ishiguro's dystopian novel Never let me go, and two wonderful outliers, The womanly art of breastfeeding ("It changed my way of mothering and even my career, and healed my past hurts") and Factory physics, a book which, like Gaul, is divided into three parts:

I. The Lessons of History; II. Factory Physics; and III. Principles in Practice. The scientific approach to manufacturing and supply chain management, developed in Part II, is unique to this text. In addition to enhancing the historical overview of how these systems evolved, the authors show explicitly how users can achieve Lean Manufacturing objectives (faster response, less inventory) using the integration aspects of MRP/ERP/SCM systems along with the variance analysis methods of Six Sigma. Factory Physics provides the overarching framework that coordinates all of these initiatives into a single-focused strategy. (Google Books)

Cool huh.

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 03:00


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