Happy September, bookworms! Where did the summer go? I’m technically on vacation this week, but thanks to my blogging break in August, I was able to plan ahead. And it’s a good thing, too, because today’s the day to catch the Hogwarts Express for the new year. One day, I’m going to be in Kings Cross Station on September first and I’m going to make myself look like a fool as I try to run between platforms. (And yes, you can certainly feel free to laugh at and mock me when I end up looking like an idiot.)
- Just in time for the new school year. Amazon has a new service called the Amazon Textbook Rental, which as the name suggests, lets college students rent their pricey textbooks for the semester. Students are required to have a .edu email account to take advantage of the service, which lets them rent their textbooks for approximately four months – and half the price – instead of buying. At the end of the term, they simply return the books. Since it’s a new service, only time will tell how it works in practice, but I sure wish this had been around when I was in college.
- The world now has a Finnick. Last week, news came that British actor Sam Claflin will portray Finnick Odair in the upcoming film adaptation of Catching Fire. As one of the most popular (and attractive) characters in Suzanne Collins’ series, there was much speculation over who would claim this particular role. Claflin is best known for his role in this summer’s Snow White and the Huntsman and will, no doubt, enjoy a surge in increased popularity once the film actually releases.
- Get your tickets now. J.K. Rowling will be in New York City in October for a one-time only public event to promote her new adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. Rowling will speak about her new book as author Ann Pratchett interviews her on stage. There will also be a chance for the audience to ask questions and have Rowling sign books. The tickets go on sale on September 10th and, depending on how you purchase them (in person, online, etc), range from $37 to $44. A ticket to the event include a copy of The Casual Vacancy.
- Between you and me, I think it’s a real game changer. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary added ten new words to its 2012 edition, including “e-reader,” “f-bomb,” “man cave,” “sexting” and “mashup.” Putting aside the fact that “man cave” is technically a two-word phrase and not a single word, the dictionary updates every year with words that have made their way into popular vernacular. And for all their efforts, Merriam-Webster still seems to be behind the times. The Oxford English Dictionary added “sexting” to its version last year. (Excuse me while I go weep at the state of the English language.)
- While Shakespeare might be turning over in his grave at the state of English language today, his works get still being preserved for future generations. Oxford University’s Bodleian Library has launched the Sprint for Shakespeare campaign, a project to digitize and publish the First Folio online. The First Folio, in residence at the Bodleian, accounts for half of Shakespeare’s work published after his death by his fellow actors. The library’s goal of putting the entire thing online would give literature lovers throughout the world access to the very pages Shakespeare himself wrote upon. Consider helping out today.
- Some fun stuff for those who enjoy a little science with their literature. Two different types of literary-inspired tables appeared on the Internets over the last few weeks. Gotham Books released the Periodic Table of Typefaces, outlining the various fonts used in publishing and design.Divided into serif and sans serif typefaces, the poster was released in advance of a new book all about fonts. Meanwhile, over at the School Library Journal tumblr, there’s the periodic table of Harry Potter characters (Harry and Herminone take top honors in the place of hydrogen and helium). The fun thing about this image is how some of the characters’ shorthand and position correspond directly to the scientific element. (What can I say? I’m a nerd who enjoys those little things.)
As always, happy reading.