Category: Must Love Books

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 

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @booksturnyouon

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

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @booksturnyouon

 

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 Bookstagram account that is worldly and feminine positive: Cátia, or as you would know her on Instagram, @booksturnyouon.

Here is her story:

image via @booksturnyouon

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

When Cátia stumbled into the Bookstagram community, she decided she wanted to find a way to share her love of bookish culture with her country too.

At the time, I had been studying Portuguese Literature for at least seven years. However, and sadly, I didn’t encounter people who loved reading as often. I had this major passion but couldn’t really share it with anyone. I just wanted to discuss books with others. So, one night I was in bed and couldn’t sleep. I was checking my personal Instagram account and Penguin Random House stories came up. They had shared a post by @bookbaristas. That’s how I found the world of Bookstagram. I couldn’t find one similar account in Portugal, where I’m from. So that’s when I decided to become a Bookstagrammer!

 

Cátia is a fan of world lit, so her favorite books come from many different countries and genres, including:

 

image via @booksturnyouon

 

Cátia’s fun fact is that she reads in a very unique way.

When I connect to a character in a book, I like to say their lines out loud, like I am playing their role in a movie or something. I think that’s funny and I have no idea if other readers do the same. It’s just something I do because I feel very close to that character. My world completely fades away to be replaced by that life. But, when I notice that I am doing it, I laugh at myself.

 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

Bookstagrammers have a trained eye that finds the most photogenic book covers to post to their Bookstagram. Cátia has lots of favorites, but there’s one in particular that stood out to her.

Alfred A. Knopf shared the cover of Yaa Gyasi’s new novel that’s coming out on July 2020 and I must say that it’s terrific! I even shared it on my stories because I was amazed when I saw it.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4VRH9Ug1kF/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

image via @booksturnyouon

 

 

Cátia’s followers consider her personal Bookstagram aesthetic to be vintage.

My aesthetic reflects my own personal style and taste. I love to have a balance between reviews, bookshops, outfits and even lifestyle so I have that in mind when I am creating content.

 

 

What are Cátia’s favorite Bookstagram accounts, and what advice would she give to aspiring Bookstagrammers?

My favorite accounts are @magicpages, @bookmateriality, @brisoler, @umacertagabi, and @coffeeandbookss. I love their authenticity and deep and well-argued reviews. Moreover, all these Bookstagrammers have similar literary tastes to mine so I end up connecting more with their accounts.

If aspiring Bookstagrammers are looking for a curated feed, then I’d recommend to think carefully about the kind of aesthetic they would like to have. The Instagram handle is also important. And, I would suggest they take some photos before creating the account so they can share content consistently at the beginning!

 

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Cátia has over 200 books on her TBR list—that’s a lot of reads! Some of her top TBR books are:

 

Cátia’s publisher of choice to supply her with a lifetime of books would be Riverhead Books of Penguin Random House.

They publish great books and they have an amazing team!

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1lyP2vA-fv/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

image via @booksturnyouon

 

 

Chapter 4: What does bookstagram mean to you?

 

It means a lot. It was life-changing for me. I’ve always thought I wasn’t particularly creative. That’s why I was researching literature instead of writing. For a person who has always loved all forms of art, that made me feel sad. Then, when I created my account two years ago, I had no pressure. I just wanted to have fun and create. So, that’s what happened. In such an innocent and unexpected way, I discovered I am very creative. Today, I work as a creative director and I write. As important as this, my account is a digital space where I can share my passions and ideas: books, bookshops, feminism, fashion. 

I want my account to inspire people to read more. I want to introduce my followers to books they haven’t heard about. I want my account to be a digital space where people can actually have meaningful discussions about books. And, I also discuss feminism on my account so I want to raise awareness. I want to spread the meaning of tolerance, respect and equality on Books Turn You On.

 

Well, what did you think of @booksturnyouon? Isn’t it amazing how passionate she is about spreading her love for books and creativity? 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 @booksturnyouon

 

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @the.cozy.bee

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

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @the.cozy.bee

 

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! Each page has theme colors or an aesthetic, and this Bookstagrammer’s cozy autumnal theme is perfect for October. This week we are getting to know Brittany, or as you would know her on Instagram, @the.cozy.bee.

Here is her story:

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

Brittany started Bookstagram with a cozy theme in mind and as a bookish way to express her creativity.

 

I originally began posting cozy photos of the books I was reading, a way to get creative and document my reads. I then discovered that there was a whole community of people that have dedicated their pages to all things bookish and so I joined the magical world of Bookstagram, found it unintentionally but it was meant to be. 

 

Brittany’s favorite authors and books span across a wide range of genres, including The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Leigh Bardugo, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Atticus Poetry.

 

I could just go on forever—every book speaks to me in some way and I treasure every read for different reasons.

 

The Cozy Bee is a member of the Harry Potter, Grishaverse, Narnia Nation, and the SPNFamily fandoms.

 

 

A fun fact about @the.cozy.bee is that she’s ambidextrous, which is perfect for all of her reading and journaling.

 

I can use both my left and my right hands for just about everything.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

As a Bookstagrammer, it’s important to judge books by their covers so you can choose the best aesthetics for your photos. In the world of readers and introverts, more and more book covers are attempting to capture that cozy aesthetic. Brittany’s current favorite is the whimsical cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.

 

 

So when should you look out for Brittany’s newest photos if you’re in the mood to feel warm and cozy with a good book?

 

I post everyday, sometimes twice a day. I just enjoy taking pictures and sharing them with Bookstagram and for the timing of my posts… whatever my Instagram insights suggests is best.

 

But how did Brittany know that she’d made it as a Bookstagrammer? And what advice would she give to future Bookstagrammers?

 

When I made my first friend. Bookstagram is a community where we share our love of books. I ‘made it’ when I joined the community. 

The best advice I could give is to just start. A great way to begin is by participating in Bookstagram photo challenges and by engaging with other Bookstagrammers. The most important thing however is that you are having fun.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Every avid reader has a To Be Read list that they add to in the hopes of acquiring more favorites, and Brittany’s TBR list for this month includes plenty of spooky books to fit her autumn aesthetic. They are:

 

 

 

 

We also asked Brittany if she could pick a publisher to supply her with a lifetime of books and she chose one with a magical theme.

 

Oh wow. I think Bloomsbury Publishing. I think all the magical books come from there. 

 

 

 

Brittany has so many Bookstagrammers that she loves and connects with, and she has positive opinions to share about all of them.

 

  • @sheisconfetti: she has become one of my closest friends and I just love reading her diary entry styled posts each day
  • @geminorum: I have loved her darling account for as long as I’ve been on Bookstagram
  • @bookaline: another long time favourite
  • @mousethatreads: someone I’ve looked up to since starting Bookstagram
  • @gardenofgoldenleaves: another account I have forever adored
  • @wldflowerbooks: a more recent favourite who never fails to make me smile

 

This list could honestly just go on and on, I have met wonderful people on this platform and I am constantly discovering more and more like minded souls with beautiful accounts.

 

Well, what did you think of @the.cozy.bee? Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

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

 

Featured image via @the.cozy.bee

 

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @carlysbookclub

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

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @carlysbookclub

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. What is a Bookstagrammer you ask? 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 Carly, or as you would know her on Instagram, @carly or @carlysbookclub.

Here is her story:

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

Carly was already Instagram famous when she decided to delve into her love for books on a separate account.

I had the Bookstagram handle for about two years before I posted on it. I thought it would be fun but wasn’t sure if I had the time to commit to an additional Instagram. I just started to post earlier this year, and I wish I had started sooner! It’s been so fun to carve a little space in the Bookstagram niche—I love it so much.

Carly’s favorite authors are Elin Hilderbrand, especially for beach reads, and Ann Patchett. She would choose Penguin Randomhouse to supply her with a lifetime of books.

 

 

If Carly was given the chance to take a selfie with any author, she told us:

I’d especially be fangirling with J.K. Rowling or Elin Hilderbrand!

 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

More often than not, we judge books by their cover (especially since they’re becoming more and more pretty these days). That’s not a bad thing! They can help inform our tastes and further develop our appreciation for books (as if we needed any!)

Carly’s favorite book covers are the custom covers created by Juniper Books.

 

 

She has her own favorite Bookstagrammers too and especially loves @katesbookparade.

 

She’s new but I think her content is so cool & unique!

 

Each Bookstagrammer has their own theme and style for their page, so what is Carly’s aesthetic and how does she incorporate it into her content?

 

I like a classic look with a modern spin! 

I try to visit bookstores and libraries. I try to capture where I’m reading as well as what I’m reading! Whenever I stumble on a good “shelfie” (in hotels, stores, homes), I can’t resist snapping a quick pic.

 

When does Carly usually post her aesthetic bookish pics and her journeys to different bookish places?

 

Since this is a second and totally fun Instagram, I mostly just post when I have something new. Maybe a couple of times a week. I probably SHOULD be more active, but Instagram is a huge part of my day job so I try to keep this particular account “fun.”

 

 

We asked Carly how she knew she made it as a Bookstagrammer, and her response was humbling.

Honestly, have I? I feel like I’m so new to this. But one of my Instagrams blew up and got over 9,000 likes. I have NO idea why, but I wasn’t mad about it!

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Carly’s TBR list is overflowing, and most bibliophiles can totally relate to the need to add every interesting book to their TBR in the hopes of acquiring more favorites. Her TBR list includes:

 

 

Chapter 4: What Does Bookstagram Mean To You?

Carly’s love for books and her comforting pictures of bookish places have clearly had an impact on the Bookstagram community. But what does Bookstagram mean to her personally?

 

It’s a space to share the love of reading with other book lovers!

My senior year of college is when I kind of became an avid reader. I was a little lonely at school (all of my friends having graduated a year ahead of me) and started to devour books from the local library. It was the best escape from studying and “required” reading. Since then, books have truly brought me such peace and comfort and I hope to share that love with other people!

 

Well, what did you think of @carlysbookclub? You will love her community and aesthetic on Instagram! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

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

 

 

Featured image via @carlysbookclub