Reading: A Vintage Idea

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Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. –Author Unknown

It’s not pop-psychology or new age thinking that a love of reading has many fulfilling advantages. Books stimulate the mind, they transport us to different places, we get to meet interesting characters with diverse personalities and learn something about different cultures. Literature broadens our world and exposes us to new concepts and ideas. Here is what some influential writers say about the magic of reading.

Today, I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and see some of the vintage signs that indicate “reading is good for you.” These placards and posters have decorated libraries, reading rooms, bookstores and other platforms over the decades.

Come along and think back to when you obtained your first library card. What did it feel like? A priviledge? Freedom? A passport into a new world?

I heard one man, my father say “the day he got his first library card, it was like the best gift he had ever been given.”  My reply to that was “Oh, and then came the wife and the children….” Just kiddin’ Dad. We know you’d be lost without your books!

Seriously, if you have young children, one of the best things you can do is let them catch you reading, frequently! Happy Reading, everyone!

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This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on the award-winning Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, click here. And for Lessons of Heart & Soul, click here.

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Archives and Architecture

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We all work with one infinite power.” ~ from the book  The Secret 

One of the most magnificent of all museum buildings in America is often over-looked by tourists visiting the Nation’s Capital of Washington, DC. Many walk right by one of the most interesting Federal Buildings, not knowing what they are missing. The real secret attraction is the architecture inside! Fulfilling the need to know what else is in it, lies just inside the walls of the building. The magnificent structure  houses the Library of Congress. Add this Federal Building to your “must see list” of sites to visit next time you are in the surrounds of Washington, DC. 

The structure  is so large  that  it can contain 147 million volumes of cataloged books, music, newspapers, pamphlets, films, technical reports/journals, textbooks, artwork and other published material. It is a library so enormous that it takes up three buildings, all connected by underground passageways. The museum houses publications on an amazing maze of 838 miles of shelving.  

Not only does the Library contain volumes of books, film and sheet music, it is the “bank”for copyright protection and copyright registration, and it is home to the United States Copyright Office

The Library of Congress also includes a motion picture and television reading room, the Mary Pickford Theatre which hosts free screenings of contemporary and classic movies and TV shows.

In recent years, a whole different class of publications have been added to the cataloging system at the Library of Congress. A small but growing collection of archived books is now available on the internet through a library initiative called American Memories. Now, some very frail volumes of books, audio visual materials, manuscripts and maps dating back as far as 1400 have been digitized. For more information on the Library of Congress, please visit http://1.usa.gov/mhUZy2.

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Writers, Mark Your Calendars – Frost & More!!!

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Don’t let this photo fool you – this blog is really not about weather. It is about two writing contests and their deadlines!

Camber Press – Poetry Chapbook Award is coming up.  For details, go to www.camberpress.com or email info@camberpress.org. Mark Doty will be the judge and the prize is $1,000.  Submit a manuscript of up to 24 pages by August 15 with a $15 entry fee.

And, now it is about Frost! The Robert Frost Foundation – Poetry Award. Lots of time to create a winner. Deadline is September 15. The poems should be written in the spirit of Robert Frost and three entries are allowed. The entry fee is $10 per poem. For more information go to www.frostfoundation.org or email frostfoundation@comcast.net.

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