Category: Must Love Books

Top Ten Most-Checked Out Books

The New York Public Library turns 125 this year. In order to celebrate their anniversary, the library has decided to find out the most checked out books that have accumulated over the years. Here are their top ten books.

 

  1. The Snowy Day (485,583 checkouts)

Image Via IMDb

Capturing the first snowball, The Snowy Day is a compelling story that has become a favorite of millions. It attempts to reveal the wonder of a child at a new world, capturing the hope and keeping that wonder forever.

 

  1. The Cat in the Hat (469,650 checkouts)

Image Via Amazon

Sally and her brother are stuck in the house on a rainy day with nothing to do. A giant cat in a hat shows up at their front door, hoping to turn their frowns upside down by giving them an exciting day.

 

 

  1. 1984 (441,770 checkouts)

Image Via Oberon Books

As a reading that is required for students to read, it is the most terrifying novels written. Published in 1949, Orwell was able to show his vision of a bureaucratic world, where everyone and everything is under the supervision of Big Brother. Disobey the law and cease to exist.

 

  1. Where the Wild Things Are (436,016 checkouts)
Image Via Amazon

Max is sent to be one night without anything to eat after he caused some mischief in his world suit. That night, a forest grows in his room and an ocean opens with a boat to take Max to where the wild things are.

 

 

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird (422,912 checkouts)

Image Via Britannica

Rising to success in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird allows readers to dive into what makes up human behavior. It helps to gain a better understanding of life stages from, as the blurb states, “innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.”

 

  1. Charlotte’s Web (337,948 checkouts)

Image Via Memoria Press

This beloved book tells a tale of Charlotte’s feelings for a little pig named Wilbur. Both Wilbur and Charlotte express their love for a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born. This novel involves, as the blurb states, “friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.”

 

 

  1. Fahrenheit 451 (316,404 checkouts)

Image Via Amazon

Guy Montag is a fireman, whose job is to make sure that most of the illegal commodities, like that of books, are destroyed. If anyone tried to conceal these books, then their homes would also be destroyed. Montag has never questioned about the world he lived in, that is before he met Clarisse, who introduces him to a world that isn’t controlled by television.

 

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People (284,524 checkouts)

Image Via Amazon

Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has been a timeless bestseller as it has given advice to millions on how to make people’s lives more successful. Carnegie’s principles help to make sure that you achieve your maximum potential in this age of competition.

 

 

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (231,022 checkouts)

Image Via Amazon

Harry Potter is one of the most classic tales of all time. Left with his relatives to care for him after the murder of his parents, Harry is forced to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. His life changes when he receives a letter of who he truly is, a wizard. Rescued by a mysterious visitor, Harry begins his journey at his new home, Hogwarts.

 

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (189,550 checkouts)

Image Via Teachers Pay Teachers

On a sunny Sunday, a caterpillar hatched out of a tiny egg. He was so hungry that on Monday he at through one apple. Tuesday, he ate through three plums, but it still wasn’t enough. Once he was full, he made a cocoon around himself and went to sleep for several weeks, only to wake up as a beautiful butterfly.

 

Featured Image Via Charlotte Mecklenburg Library


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For Keeps! – Atlanta’s Best Kept Literary Secret!

I haven’t been to Atlanta yet, but after coming across For Keeps!, I may be planning a visit soon! This quaint, little store located a few blocks from The Martin Luther King Jr Church, may seem unassuming from a distance, but it holds quite some significance.

 

image via new york times

 

Rosa Duffy, the 29 year-old artist and owner of For Keeps!, has run this store for rare and classic black books since 2018 and hopes to maintain it with enough effort and diligence so it can eventually become a neighborhood treasure. But regardless of what its future may look like, Duffy hopes to maintain the book store’s reputation as a rare place in her hometown that honors and preserves black history.

 

image via wabe 90.1 fm

 

Her picturesque store harbors not only hard-to-find and classic books by African and African American literary legends like Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Ralph Ellison, Octavia Butler and others, but also carries album covers, unique artifacts and even copies of the iconic black magazine, Jet. Some of the items here are from her personal collection, many of which were swiped from her family members, probably while they weren’t looking.

 

 

The aspect of opening a space dedicated solely to rare black books came to Duffy while she was a student at the New School in New York. As an avid dweller of the city’s bookstores, like Mercer Street Books and Records, the Strand, the Alabaster Bookshop and East Village Books, she eventually gathered up the courage to open her own sanctuary.

 

image via librarything

Duffy’s infectious enthusiasm about books is extremely admirable. Finding a rare book by one of her favorite artists, Carrie Mae Weems, made her ecstatic, as did a copy of Ceasar D. Coleman’s Beyond Blackness to Destiny, which was published in 1969.

 

 

She admits that initially there were concerns that mixing passion with business may cause issues, but has been pleasantly surprised because so far, it’s been fantastic! And when asked, why Atlanta, Duffy quickly replied, “Atlanta was the only place to do it. It’s home and I wanted it to represent the vastness of blackness and allow people to read about their history in a welcoming space.” — which is exactly why For Keeps! is for keeps!

Featured image via the Atlantic Voice

 


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#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @braveliteraryworld

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @braveliteraryworld

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a teacher who is a lover of classic lit and diversity: Esther, or as you would know her on Instagram, @braveliteraryworld.

Here is her story:

 

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Esther saw the Bookstagram community as a way to showcase her passions for both books and photography.

I made my first post on May 23, 2016. I had seen a lot of Bookstagram photos on Tumblr. Before then, I had no idea Bookstagram was a thing. When I saw the photos, I was excited by how people have combined two of my interests– books and photography– to create such beautiful works. In the beginning, my photos were absolute garbage. But I kept at it, focusing on my love of classic literature, and I haven’t stopped since.

 

Since Esther’s favorite genre is classic literature, some of her favorite authors include Isabel Allende, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Jacquline Woodson. But what is her favorite book of all time?

My favorite book is Wide Sargasso Sea, and everyone who follows me has heard me talk about it.

 

View this post on Instagram

How’s the weather where you are? . Fall is settling down here, and its arrival always make me want to pick up stories set in English countrysides, with farmhouses in the horizon and an open sky above. On that note, here are my top favorite English pastoral novels. . • Tess of the D’Urbervilles – a young, naive woman sets out into the world to save her family from poverty, but those who promise hope only bring disaster and heartbreak. . • I Capture the Castle – told through the diary entries of Catherine Mortmain, a teenager ready to take on the world, and set in a crumbling castle in Suffolk. Hilarious and heartwarming. . • Sense and Sensibility – not my favorite Austen, but S&S deserves its place on here for the loving descriptions of trees, hills, skies, and fields. The Dashwood sisters may have fallen down in the world, but they have no shortage of suitors as the girls form and test their own perspectives on love. . • The Small House at Allington – Lily Dale is in love with Mr. Crosbie, whom she calls Apollo. However, while Crosbie is fond of her, he is unsure if he’ll be happy with a poor wife. The most pastoral novel on this list, get ready for flower metaphors, images of rivers and shepherds, and gorgeous descriptions of setting. . • The Fall of the House of Usher – didn’t think that gothic horrors can be pastoral reads too? The narrator shows up at his friend’s dilapidated home, and is informed that his host’s sister has just died. I won’t give away the rest, but this is my favorite Poe story. . . . #classicliterature #penguinclassics #fallreads #fallvibes #janeausten #edgarallanpoe #thomashardy #readmorebooks #readinggoals #october

A post shared by 𝑬𝒔𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 (@lifebyesther) on

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

Esther’s fun fact is that she was born in Taiwan.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

Esther’s preference for classic literature leaves her shelves with a classically clean look that is perfect for Bookstagram. 

 

 

 

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

When it comes to her posting schedule, Esther notes that it’s important for her to post in a way that prioritizes her life.

I used to post around what Instagram has deemed my “optimal” times, but with the algorithm, who really knows? Now, I post when it’s convenient for me. I love Bookstagram, but in this matter, I am putting myself– and the students I teach– first. 

 

 

What are Esther’s favorite Bookstagram accounts, and what advice would she give to those Bookstagrammers who are just starting out?

I will never be able to name all the Bookstagrammers that I love. But I do want to mention that I really appreciate @bluestockingbookshelf and @ab_read‘s honest reviews, that I am always encouraged by @bookplaits, that I am inspired by @beingabookwyrm and @sachi_reads, and that I am happier because of @bookbookchick.

My advice is to do what it takes to make Bookstagram a fun place for you. If that means posting and engaging regularly, do it! If that means posting and engaging when you can, do that. Sometimes, Bookstagrammers— including me— feel guilty for not spending more time on here. But you have to do what works for you. 

 

 

If Esther got the opportunity to take a selfie with an author, there are some classic authors that she’d love to meet.

I once met Rushdie, and I was so excited I dropped my phone! I would like to meet Amy Tan, and I would’ve loved to meet Toni Morrison.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Esther’s TBR list is full of reads by diverse authors, including:

 

Her publisher of choice to supply her with a lifetime of books is Penguin Random House.

I have been really lucky to work with Penguin Random House a few times in the past, and I would love to work with them again. I especially love how they have been celebrating authors of color in their classics line. 

 

 

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

 

Chapter 4: What does bookstagram mean to you?

Besides sharing her love of reading with the world, what are Esther’s personal hopes for her Bookstagram?

 

I love classic literature, and I love talking about them with other people. However, lately, I have also enjoyed using my account to showcase diverse voices, especially monumental works likeThe Woman Warrior orPalace of the Peacock that are less well-known. In addition, as of the past few months, my job as a 6th grade English teacher has led me to discover many amazing middle grade texts that I am excited to share with Bookstagram.

I tell my students to just read. Graphic novels, magazine articles, comic strips, audiobooks, whatever. Read, read, read. And don’t let anyone make you feel bad about what you like to read.

 

Well, what did you think about @braveliteraryworld? We love answering her book trivia highlight! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image via @braveliteraryworld

 

 

Enter the World of Secret Libraries

Everyone knows about the libraries that burned, but what about the ones that were hidden? In desert caves and the basements of ancient cities, these libraries were sealed, sometimes for centuries, to protect books from censorship and cataclysm. But don’t worry, not all is lost – some secret libraries are uncovered, and some you can still visit, with the proper credentials

 

 

Dunhuang Cave Library

Mogao Grottoes

Image via Thought Co

In a series of sacred caves at the northern edge of the Gobi desert in western China, a hidden treasure trove of manuscripts from between the fourth and eleventh centuries. After being sealed for a thousand years, they were found. It took ten more years for what remained the tens of thousands of manuscripts to be collected by the Chinese government, according to the BBC. Though much was lost, the bright side is that you can view many of these documents from anywhere in the world, thanks to the efforts of The International Dunhuang Project. Happy reading!

 

Family History of the Silk Road

Image result for haaretz an afghan cave"
Image via Haaretz

 

An Afghan cave along the silk road held thousands of documents dating to the 11th century, written by a family who lived on the silk road. Written in many languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, according to RT. They aren’t the first to be found – the Ben Daniel family, merchants from northern Afghanistan, left caches and records elsewhere on the silk road, as well – an earlier discovery was made in Egypt. The papers are expected to be sold to an appropriate institution, but nothing is confirmed.

 

Bodleian Library

Image result for travel with mei and kersten bodleian library"

Image via Travel with Mei and Kersten

 

Actually a series of thirteen libraries spread over Oxford, some more than 400 years old. These libraries are still very much active, but you’ll have to apply, as access is restricted to the most intensive research purposes, both private and institutional. Don’t be too heartbroken, though, if you’re on the wrong side of the pond – you can apply for digital access through their website if you need their collection. I’m going to have to start research on a relevant topic, just for access. And also fly across the world.

 

 

Featured image via Bodleian Libraries Blogs

4 Best Facts About Bram Stoker

In honor of Bram Stoker’s  birthday here are the four most interesting facts about him.

 

Image via Encyclopedia Britannica 

 

4. Romance Extrodinaire

Stoker is an horror icon but for those read his other works wouldn’t know that he was a major romantic. His romance novel’s include, The Shoulder Shasta, The Watter’s Mou and Miss Betty.

 

3. Index Card King

He’s most recent book, well  by today’s standards was completely written on index cards. The book Seven Golden Buttons was published in 2015.

 

 

 

2. Bram Stoker v. Oscar Wilde

These two juggernauts knew each other and went to the same college in Dublin, Ireland. Florence Balcome, Wilde’s friend/ childhood sweetheart married Stoker and subsequently Wilde left for England. That must have been major tea back in the day.

 

1. The Bodyguard’s Ashes

Stoker died in 1912 and was cremated. His ashes are in the Golders Green Crematorium were you can visit but you have to be escorted. Either they are super tight around security there or is there’s another mysterious reason why they don’t want you to go alone?

 

 

 

Featured image via Pinterest