Today I had the great privilege of seeing this amazing stained glass dome and actually speaking with the guys behind this fantastic venture. I was at the Chicago Cultural Center for the (Mini)Tools of Change for Publishing conference. A few weeks ago I found the TOC’s website and was blown away by how cheap it was to attend. So I signed up and today was the big day. I heard a lot of great discussions about new publishing models, the transition to digital books, and the involvement of libraries in book publishing, among other things.
As I was sneaking out early to catch a train, I was incredibly lucky to run into J.C. Gabel and Josh Schollmeyer, the two enterprising young men who’d given a talk about their newest endeavor, resurrecting and reinventing The Chicagoan. I heard about this new magazine idea and all the buzz around it a few weeks ago and was completely taken in by the idea and the great design of the magazine. Hearing them speak about it just made me want to work for them, honestly. They’re going to be moving into new avenues of media and publishing, while remaining in the print culture. The Chicagoan is billed as a Midwestern counterpart to The New Yorker and that’s what I feel like a lot of people are yearning for here. There are interesting artistic and cultural things happening in the so-called “Second City.” Perhaps Gabel and Schollmeyer can shed some light on what’s happening here in “flyover country.” I think it’s a new wave of the future and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Did I talk too fast & sound like an idiot? Yes, probably. But I managed to get my business card into their hands and that’s all I wanted. Then I wandered a bit and stumbled right into the Preston Bradley Hall and that capped off my afternoon. Wow.
Looking up directions freaks me out and makes me really anxious. Most of the time I don’t have to worry about this because I go to the same place every day and in the same way. I like when my commute stays the same because I learn it and then I can stop being anxious about it.
Tomorrow I am attending a publishing conference all day and that requires me to take an entirely different bus to an entirely different area of the city than where I normally go. And yes I am a bit anxious about it.
I think that fulfills my BEDA for the day, right? I’m off to worry.
I don’t really know how to explain how much I need bookstores in my life. I was going to say that it’s akin to how sports fans need sports in their lives, but bookstores are quieter and more solemn. I used to really enjoy going into Borders and just browsing around, but Borders is gone now. Barnes & Noble is all right, sometimes, but there’s something about it that seems too commercial. There are escalators in there. That’s just not quaint or welcoming enough to me for some reason.
Nowadays, Half Price Books is where I tend to go. The place is packed with books, the staff are all awesome, and they have…the bargain corner. In these corner shelves, books range from $1 to $2. It is a paradise. I could walk in with a $5 bill and walk out with 5 books! I’m sold!
Even if I’m in the middle of a book with ten more waiting behind it in line (as I am now and always, basically), I can pick up a book and bring it home. In fact, I often have to pick up a book and bring it home. There are some that just call to me from the shelves and then seal the deal with their $1 price tags. Today, though, I just purchased some British travel magazines because I want to ogle their countryside and the views of London.
Where do you go when you need to find solace? What are your favorite bookstores?
Okay. Those Moments. You guys know what I’m talking about, right? There are Moments that come along where everything seems right. Everything seems still at perfect for a moment. Maybe a song comes on that makes you feel happy, or you notice the way the clouds look in the sky — something like that that makes you pause and acknowledge the world around you.
I had one of Those Moments on the train ride home. I was getting to go home early, the sun was shining on my laptop’s keyboard, and “September” off the new album from The Shins was playing in my ears. It was just awesome. I had just barely caught a bus to the train station (why advertise a 1:40 bus when it’s not even going to show up, guys?) and had speed-walked like crazy to get there on time. So it was nice to have one of Those Moments and just be at peace for a while.
Sometimes you need to stop and realize Those Moments are happening because they fortify you through all of life’s other moments. When Those Moments aren’t happening, you don’t usually think about them, but that’s good because you’re not constantly pining after them or lamenting the lack of them in everyday life. When they do come along, they’re like a ray of sunshine breaking through clouds. I wish all of you Those Moments this coming weekend. And Happy Friday!
Okay. So. I have been experiencing a very strong sense of wanderlust recently. I don’t know why, but wanderlust always seems to hit me in the spring. Last year at this time I was consumed with a need to go to New York City. Well. Scratch that — I had been wanting to go to NYC for about six months. Luckily, I was able to make that wish a reality twice in the space of about five months. It was awesome.
My more recent bout of wanderlust concerns London. I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures of London that I’ve been incessantly reblogging. I don’t even know why, but I am obsessed with London — and the UK in general — these days. Maybe it has to do with discovering the BBC’s Sherlock earlier this year. Maybe it has to do with how much I watch The Thick of It in my downtime. I really don’t know what it is, but I’d love to visit England. I wish that it could be a summer trip, but I don’t have the funds for it right now.
What do you do when you’re consumed with wanderlust but have no money to travel?
(a slightly belated DAY 4 post)
When I first made the “25 in 2012” page here on my blog, someone suggested that I fill in the list with 25 titles and stick to that reading plan for the year. Well. That would be more aesthetically pleasing and it would be wonderful in theory. But I know pretty much for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to stick to a “read this at this time” schedule. I like the freedom of finishing a book and then shelf-browsing until I find title I haven’t read yet or just feel like reading. So, I won’t be mapping out 2012 in books. However, in this post, I will be naming a few book touchstones I’d like to make throughout 2012.
1. A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka: This book has been sitting on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time. And it has an interesting story to go along with it! Brigid Pasulka did a reading/lecture at my university and I was lucky enough to attend. Afterward, she was signing and selling this novel of hers and I wanted it very badly, but I had no cash on me at the time. So I talked to Brigid and she was lovely. The next day, my Creative Writing professor told me to stop by her office because she had something for me. She had bought me the book after I’d left that afternoon and had Brigid Pasulka sign it for me. So. I should really get around to reading it this year.
2. My First New York by various authors: I got this book as a gift this past Christmas because I am obsessed with New York and want to live there one day. I know this would be a quick read and I know I’m going to love it, so let’s read it in 2012!
3. Thud! by Terry Pratchett: I am slowly making my way through the daunting mountain that is the Pratchett bibliography and this is next up according to the order in which I’m reading the books. I’m really excited to read it.
4. One of the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde: I’ve read them all already, but I’d really like to go through this series again.
5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: This would be a re-read also…I just want to experience the story again. Sigh.
6. A book published where I work: This is very vague because I have poached about a dozen books or so from the office. I just want to read ONE of them this year, for crying out loud…hopefully I can find the time.
Those are just some of the books I hope to read in 2012. I’m not setting anything in stone because my Reading Sensibilities can be very fickle. What are you hoping to read this year?
Last week I was going through a bout of stress. I don’t know what it was, but everything was putting me on edge and I had to take some time off work because of it. One morning, though, when I wanted to power through and make it to the office, I was staring at my bookshelf, trying to decide which book would help me relax on my train ride into the city. This got me thinking about my Stressed Out Book.
Everyone goes through these stressed out moments and, for those of us who are bibliophiles, reading can be a source of relaxation and solace. For most bibliophiles, there is a go-to book that you re-read time and time again. This book is probably your Stressed Out Book. When you have a story that you love unreservedly and would like to visit as many times as possible, it doesn’t require a lot of work and is likely to give you pleasure. That book is your Stressed Out Book. If you’re having a rough time at work or school, find that Stressed Out Book among your shelves and spend an afternoon with it.
For me, I usually grab a Harry Potter book. That whole book series reminds me of my childhood and how much fun I had when first reading the story. If I’m not in a Harry Potter mood, I’ll go for some Terry Pratchett, or — a more recent addition to the Stressed Out Books — The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
I have searched and searched for some good, generic prompts for the Blogging Every Day in April challenge that I’m undertaking, but to no avail. I did, however, find a post via the BlogHer website that offers a prompt each day in April. The prompts probably won’t be tailored for the bookish bent my blog has, but I’m going to try to tweak the prompts to be more bookish. We’ll see how this goes.
Today’s prompt on the aforementioned site is to talk about the first poem you ever memorized.
I’ve never memorized a poem, but I have memorized a section of Hamlet. In my senior year of high school, I was in an AP Language & Composition course. A lot of what we read that year was non-fiction. A lot of creative non-fiction essays, argumentative essays, and the like. But for some reason we also read Hamlet and watched my favorite adaptation of the play — the film version with Kenneth Branagh. One of our Hamlet projects was to memorize a section of the play and recite it in front of the class.
Well, with my fear of public speaking and my anxiety about cramming things into my brain to somehow remember them, I was thrilled about this project! /sarcasm
I did it, though, obviously. And I still remember bits and pieces of the scene. A partner and I performed the scene where Hamlet is trying to convince Polonius that he is indeed out of his mind. I remember that Polonius (whose lines I memorized) had several asides and was trying to draw Hamlet out of his “playacting.” And Hamlet said something about a fishmonger.
Though I was initially afraid of the project, it ended up being a lot of fun. It’s just another chapter in my love affair with Hamlet (which is a story for its own blog post) and I got to fake a British accent in front of my AP Language classmates.
BEDA stands for Blog Every Day in April. I’ve been looking for a way to jumpstart this blog and write more actual posts rather than just reblog pretty pictures of books/teacups/London. And this seems to be a good gateway into writing more in this blog. So, you heard it here, I will be blogging every day this month and they will be actual blogs about actual things. Revolutionary, right? So, stay tuned for more content here on a daily basis!