Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Censorship of books in US prisons and schools ‘widespread’ – report to UN

Free-speech organisations find US government is ‘failing to protect the rights of its most vulnerable citizens’ as popular books – including Shakespeare – are banned from institutions
by: Alison Flood

There is “widespread censorship” of books in US prisons, according to a report submitted to a UN human rights review, which details the banning of works about artists from Botticelli to Van Gogh from Texan state prisons for containing “sexually explicit images”.

The report from two free-speech organisations, the New York-based National Coalition Against Censorship and the Copenhagen-based Freemuse, to the United Nation’s (UN) Universal Periodic Review states that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) lists 11,851 titles banned from its facilities. These range from the “ostensibly reasonable”, such as How to Create a New Identity, Essential Throwing and Grappling Techniques, and Art & Design of Custom Fixed Blades, to what it describes as “the telling”, including Write it in Arabic, and the “bizarre” (Arrival of the Gods: Revealing the Alien Landing Sites at Nazca was banned for reasons of “homosexuality”).

Prisoners in Texas are entitled to be mailed books and magazines, but the titles are checked on arrival against a “master list” of acceptable works. If they do not appear on the list, then it is the decision of the post-room officer as to whether they are objectionable.

“Of the 11,851 total blocked titles, 7,061 were blocked for ‘deviant sexual behaviour’ and 543 for sexually explicit images,” says the report, naming artists including Caravaggio, Cézanne, Dallí, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt and Renoir among those whose works have been kept out of Texas state prisons.

“Anthologies on Greco-Roman art, the pre-Raphaelites, impressionism, Mexican muralists, pop surrealism, graffiti art, art deco, art nouveau and the National Museum of Women in the Arts are banned for the same reason, as are numerous textbooks on pencil drawing, watercolour, oil painting, photography, graphic design, architecture and anatomy for artists,” states the submission, with prohibited literary works by Gustav Flaubert, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, George Orwell, Ovid, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Updike, Shakespeare and Alice Walker also on the banned list.

“To survey the list of works banned by the TDCJ is to appreciate the dangers of the broad discretionary powers granted to prison officials under the concept of legitimate penological interest,” says the report.

The UN’s Universal Periodic Review is a review of the human rights records of all UN member states. As well as prisoners, the NCAC and Freemuse’s joint submission to the review also claims the US is failing to protect the right to read of children in public education. Citing titles including Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the report says “hundreds” of books are challenged and banned in America’s schools and libraries every year, with objections centring around moral and religious reasons.

Svetlana Mintcheva, director of programmes for the NCAC, said the US federal government could do “much more” to prevent this. “A good start would be a ‘key policy letter’ by the secretary of education encouraging school districts to adopt formal review policies to ensure greater transparency in their enforcement,” she said.

The report states that the US is “failing to abide by its international commitments to protect fully the fundamental rights of some of its most vulnerable citizens” – prisoners and children – and that “this failure diminishes vital artistic and creative freedoms that are both integral to the dignity of the person and instrumental to the enjoyment and defense of a culture of human rights”, the two organisations make a number of recommendations. These include a call for the attorney general and Offices of the US Attorneys to “investigate violations of incarcerated citizens’ artistic freedoms”, and a call for the Obama administration to “submit for ratification the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provides in Article 31(2) for ‘the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life’”.

“The right to read and to experience art is protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds ‘in the form of art’,” said Ole Reitov, executive director of Freemuse. “The US must honour its obligations to its vulnerable citizens under the care of state institutions.”

from: Guardian

Monday, October 20, 2014

Indie Bookstores Aren't Dead -- They're Making A Comeback

by: Kevin O'Kelly

"The Death of the Independent Bookstore?"; "Is the Bookstore Dead?"; "Why Bookstores are Doomed": those headlines are from Slate (2006), Jewish Journal(2011), and Business Insider (2013). For years, journalists have made these types of predictions about the death of independent bookstores: if the chains didn't crush them, Amazon would. If Amazon didn't, they would die anyway because people just weren't reading.
For a few years, facts on the ground seemed to support this dire prognosis. During the early years of the new millennium, bookstore after bookstore closed in some of the most reading-friendly cities in America: the Madison Avenue Bookshop in Manhattan (2002), The Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Greenwich Village (2003), Wordsworth's in Cambridge, Mass. (2004), Cody's Books, Berkeley, Calif. (2006). "Every month, it seems, another landmark independent bookstore closes its doors," remarked a contributor to Poets & Writers in 2009.
But around the time of that lament, a sea change occurred. Bookshops continued to close, but others began to open. In 2009, the number of independent bookstores in the nation stabilized at around 1,400, and then slowly began to grow. As of last May, the number of indie bookshops in the U.S. was 1,664.
Why the turnaround? Part of the reason was the long, slow implosion of one of indie bookselling's biggest competitors: Borders went heavily into CDs and DVDs only to find itself competing with iTunes, and then outsourced its online bookselling to Amazon. The company's last profitable year was 2006. It filed for bankruptcy in 2011.
Other factors, such as the buy-local movement and an increase in reading among adult Americans, have helped as well. But the biggest reason independent bookstores are still around is that the store closures of the previous decade alerted people to what they were in danger of losing. Author Ann Patchett wrote that when the last two bookstores in her hometown of Nashville closed, "The Nashville Public Library organized community forums for concerned citizens to come together and discuss how we might get a bookstore again." When I first read that passage two years ago, I was struck by the public reaction. A community wouldn't respond like this to the loss of just any business.
That's because books, by their very nature, are communal. Reading itself may seem a solitary act, but when we read a book we open ourselves up to the mind of another person, to his or her ideas, to the stories this writer has to tell. And when a book is good, people want to talk about it. Therefore, bookstores themselves are social spaces. Often when I go into a bookstore I notice people animatedly talking in a way they don't in any other type of shop. For avid readers, a bookstore is as much part of the social fabric of the community as is an old-fashioned town square or a beloved park.
For the past year I've been talking to bookstore owners around the country, and it's clear that although bookstores are businesses, a good bookstore is never just a business.
Matthew Norcross owns McLean and Eakin in Petoskey, Michigan, a summer resort town with a permanent population of 5,000 people. He cites the advantage of living in a "very literate community attuned to the need to buy locally." But it's also clear that his love of books is contagious, and that's made McLean and Eakin a very special place.
Many of the town's vacationers become year-round customers. "We do more online selling than ever before," Norcross says, adding that shopping at McLean and Eakin becomes a habit that spans not only the seasons but also generations. "I see customers I first saw as kids in our children's section bringing in their own kids."
And that love of the store has a ripple effect.. "One time a woman came in mid-September," Norcross told me, "and said, 'I had to come here because one of my students came back from summer break and now he's a reader, and I had to see this place that made this kid who hated reading into a reader.'"
Like other successful bookstores, McLean and Eakin has also become a venue for literary events. Norcross and his staff bring authors to northern Michigan to do readings, hosting local book clubs as well as internationally known events such as the roving book lovers' retreat Booktopia.
John Evans, the owner and founder of Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi, echoed Norcross' sense of bookstores as a place that matters to people. He founded Lemuria in 1975, back when "you had to hunt down books and hunt down records; you couldn't just look stuff up." He says his store has survived the "super-storing of America" and the "Amazon-ing of America" because it's a place where people want to be.
"The customers who have stuck with me feel like they're part of the store," Evans said. "It's not really my store, it's their store. It's a business, but hopefully it's a meaningful part of their lives."
And what helps make Lemuria a place where people want to be? Not only its collection of books, also its knowledgeable staff. " I have to figure out what books I need to buy to support the good books that don't sell very often. That's the only way we can have a good bookstore, and that's one of the ways we compete with Amazon. "You come in and explore and prospect and hopefully find something to read you didn't know you wanted to read. That's the magic of it."
As a veteran bookseller, Evans was eminently established and experienced when the funeral bells began to toll for the independents. But when David Sandberg and Dina Mardell bought Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., in 2013, the conventional wisdom was still against the indies.
If you ask Sandberg why he and his partner decided to buy Porter Square Books when it went on the market, he'll admit it was on impulse.
"We bought it without a particular rationale. We thought [running a bookstore] would be a great thing to do, even though we had never thought about it before. We just did it."
But he doesn't regret the decision. "We love owning a bookstore," he says.
It's obvious to Sandberg that the store provides people with more than just a way to buy a book: "The previous owners and their staff created a community. And the customers appreciate the expertise of the people who work here. They like knowing someone is going to help them, and that's hard to do in an online environment."
As for the business end? "The store's never had a year when sales have gone down."
from: HuffingtonPost

Friday, October 17, 2014

JukePop Wants To Bring Indie Titles To More Libraries

Finding authors from small presses might be getting easier.
by: Alice Truong

It's tough being an indie author. These writers lack the marketing resources of those working with big publishing houses, making it difficult to get their works on the shelves of bookstores and libraries. Readers, meanwhile, often have no idea where to start when navigating all the self-published content that exists on the web.

And this issue may be even worse now that e-books have changed the market.

JukePop, an analytics and distribution platform for independent authors, is hoping to chip away at the discoverability problem by partnering up with libraries. The startup piloted a program with the Santa Clara County library system, making 1,000 e-books available to the library for free. On Tuesday, it launched a Kickstarter campaign to expand its program to more libraries across the country.

"There's some key reasons why libraries haven't been able to jump on the e-books wagon," JukePop cofounder Jerry Fan told Fast Company. "A large part of that is because it takes a lot of infrastructure to set up some sort of repository for e-books."

Instead, JukePop is building out the infrastructure and hosting the books itself, requiring no resources on the libraries' part. The startup has more than 1,000 authors on board who distribute serialized content one chapter at a time. Using its reader analytics, authors can see how readers respond to their plot lines. Currently, neither writers nor readers pay to use the platform, though authors can set up paywalls for their completed books.

Library patrons can read from the web or send the e-books to their reading apps or devices. If a reader downloads a book that is still being written, JukePop will send them the latest, most completed version, along with update notifications.

As part of the program, JukePop will provide libraries with a list of its most popular content, as determined by reader analytics and votes. The librarians use that short list as a jumping-off point to curate a collection for their readers. None of the stories will include copyright protections, which most of JukePop's authors see as a hinderance to discovery, said Fan.

"Libraries are a great, tremendous resource," he said. "Publishers know this, so they actually spend years building up relationships with libraries. Even though they don't necessarily make a lot of money from libraries, the people who read at libraries will talk about [their books]."

JukePop hopes to meet a minimum fundraising goal of $15,000, which would go toward building a user interface and to scale the program to 60 libraries. With $25,000, the company said it could serve 200 libraries. A much-more ambitious goal of $150,000 would fund the development of a tool that lets authors publish to libraries, Amazon, iBooks, and other e-book sellers with the click of a button.

from: Fast Company

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Have we fallen out of love with e-readers?

by: Caroline Corcoran

"Print is where words go to die." So went the theory in 2007 when Amazon launched the Kindle. In fact, so sure was the world that books were dead that when Ikea redesigned its ubiquitous Billy bookcase in 2011, it was thought to be so that it could accommodate knick-knacks rather than "archaic" paperbacks.

But while it's true that e-books show no signs of disappearing – the new Kindle Voyage launches next month hot on the heels of the "Kindle Unlimited" subscription service that came to the UK last month – neither does print.

Recently, I realised that I had become so addicted to the speed of new book buying on my Kindle that I had barely bought anything in print in the past year. I had read Americanah and The Luminaries and tens of others on my e-reader, and I was sad that such great books were missing from my bookshelves. Worse than that, though, was a feeling that plots had started to blur, even with books that I had loved. The only way I could explain it is that they had never had a physicality. Not like the black and gold cover of The Secret History, or its weight when I picked it up from my bedside table.

So I decided to go back to books. On my first trip to Waterstones, I left with a hardback of the new Howard Jacobson that there is absolutely no way I can take on the bus. But I don't care – somehow a story like that should have weight, and it feels so luxurious to get into bed and prop up that beast of a dystopia on my knees.

In 2013, British consumers spent £2.2bn on print, compared with just £80m on e-books and last November, statistics by the Association of American Publishers showed that adult e-book sales were up just 4.8 per cent in a year, while hardcover book sales had risen by 11.5 per cent. Nielsen BookData analysis showed e-book sales in May and June last year fell by 26 per cent from 2012.

So have Kindle converts returned sheepishly to the book shop? And if so, why? The theory that the e-book reading experience simply isn't rich enough is a popular one. There is no "book smell"; no rustle of pages that can't be turned quickly enough.

One study showed that in a group reading the same book, e-readers had a lower plot recall, which was credited to a lack of "solidity". When we can't see the pile of pages growing on the left and shrinking on the right, the book is, apparently, less fixed for us.

Scott Pack, publisher at HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project, isn't surprised. "I retain a very physical memory of a book for some time after reading it," he says. "I can recall whether a particular scene or quote appeared on the left- or right-hand page, towards the top or bottom, and sometimes the page number, too."

In September this year, The Bookseller conducted research that found nearly three quarters of 16- to 24-year-olds preferred print to e-books and when asked why, the sentence "I want full bookshelves" cropped up, bringing to mind Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst's recent "shelfies" at the London Art Fair. What better route into people's minds than via their bookshelves? Piled up Lonely Planets, a well-thumbed Maya Angelou... our personal libraries give an insight into who we are. And if our bookshelves stop being updated, we may be eternally identified by our university penchant for Mills & Boon, even if most of what we have read in the past five years is contemporary American dystopia.

"I believe the reader of 2020 or 2030 will have two libraries, print and digital, with different types of books and publications in each," agrees Scott Pack. "While I have no qualms about trying out a debut author on e-book or loading up some holiday reading on to my Kindle, when it comes to my favourite authors I have to own the print edition, and I remain a sucker for a beautifully designed and printed book."

Somebody had better tell Ikea to redesign that Billy bookcase again.

from: Independent

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Try Your Local Library Instead of a Coffee Shop to Get Work Done

by: David Greenbaum

When you think of a library, most people think of a quiet place to study. If you want to get work done and spread out, you go to a coffee shop. Newer libraries offer the same amenities as coffee shops, and sometimes even more.
Fast Company says libraries have turned into great workspaces:
For the growing ranks of freelancers whose alternatives range from a cramped corner of their bedroom to a $500-a-month, private coworking space, the new library work zones are a boon. Decked out with fast Internet, 3-D printers, meeting rooms, whiteboards, and plenty of space to spread out, they're much better suited to getting work done than jostling for counter space at a noisy coffee shop
My local public library has study rooms and outlets everywhere. The Wi-Fi is fast and I can bring food and drink in with me. Many libraries, including my local library, have an on-site coffee shop too. Most surprisingly, nobody comes over to me and goes "shhh", even when I talk on the phone.
Check out the link for more details on why you might consider working at the library for a change.

from: LifeHacker

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

References, Please

by: Tim Parks
Honoré Daumier
In the age of the Internet, do we really need footnotes to reference quotations we have made in the text? For a book to be taken seriously, does it have to take us right to the yellowing page of some crumbling edition guarded in the depths of an austere library, if the material could equally well be found through a Google search? Has an element of fetishism perhaps crept into what was once a necessary academic practice?

I have just spent three days preparing the text references for a work of literary criticism for Oxford University Press. There were about two hundred quotations spread over 180 pages, the sources being a mix of well-known nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels, very much in the canon, some less celebrated novels, a smattering of critical texts, and a few recent works of psychology. Long-established practice demands that for each book I provide the author’s name, or the editor’s name in the case of a collection of letters or essays, the translator’s name where appropriate, the publisher, the city of publication, the date of publication, and the page number. All kinds of other hassles can creep in, when a book has more than one volume for example, or when quoting from an essay within a collection of essays, perhaps with more than one editor, more than one translator, more than one author. Since the publisher had asked me to apply the ideas I develop in the book to at least one of my own novels there are even three quotations to be referenced from Cara Massimina, a noir I wrote way back in the 1980s.

As it turns out I don’t have a copy of Cara Massimina in the flat I am presently living in, so while writing my critical book I bought a copy on Kindle to find the quotations I needed, using the electronic search facility to pick up key words in half-remembered sentences. Easy. But now that I’m preparing the footnote, where am I going to get the info on the edition, which notoriously Kindle doesn’t give? From the Internet of course. My publisher’s website, or Amazon, or any number of other sources. So there’s no need to get hold of the book itself, the paper version that is. Good.

Ah, but what about the page number? The Kindle edition doesn’t give page numbers, though some e-books now do and some newer Kindle devices apparently have a way to reveal them. For a moment this seems an insuperable problem. Would I have to order a paper copy of my own book? No. I typed the first of my quotations out in Google Books and in a twinkling there it was. With the page number! My reference was complete: Tim Parks, Cara Massimina (London, Vintage, 1995), p. 11.

Excellent. So now any reader who wishes to see if I am quoting correctly from my own book can buy or borrow a copy of Cara Massimina—assuming, of course, they get hold of the same edition I cite, in this case the Vintage paperback published several years after the original—go to page 11, scan the page, and check the words. Or they can stick it in Google and get there in two seconds.

This is the point. And this is what made these three days’ labor so galling.

Footnotes of course come in all shapes and sizes. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries there was an admirable push to use properly referenced citations to allow greater precision, in particular in relation to historical texts. Sources would be meticulously listed; where there were pirated and often corrupted editions of older texts, the most authoritative version would be identified. In The Footnote: A Curious History (1999), Anthony Grafton traces this aspiration back to Pierre Bayle’s 1697 Dictionnaire Critique et Historique. By referring to an authority the author could both invite a skeptical approach on the reader’s part— I don’t want you to accept anything I say on trust—while simultaneously suggesting that possible objections had already been met by reference to a previous text. Anyone reading academic texts, however, will know how wearisome this strategy has become in recent scholarship. Too often, writers will use it to mention as many other texts as possible, covering their backs even where cover is hardly necessary (an academic journal recently forbade me from using the term “postmodern” without a supporting reference to a definition of the concept); or alternatively, with the hope that with so many references and notes no one will actually check that the texts referred to do not cover their backs at all. Chuck Zerby’s The Devil’s Details: A History of Footnotes offers curious examples of what you can find if you do go and check up the texts referred to.

Never mind. It is not to the “appeal to authority” footnote that I am talking about, but the exhausting overkill of information when nailing down a citation. Do readers need to know that Yale University Press is based in New Haven and Knopf in New York? How does this add to their ability to track down a quotation? Once one has the title and the surname of the author, do we really need the author’s initials or first name (Oxford University Press wants the full first name, which can sometimes be very difficult to find when the author him or herself prefers to use initials)? But the real question is, are we never going to acknowledge that modern technology has changed things?

Almost twenty years ago I wrote a much longer, more elaborate academic book, Translating Style. On that occasion the job of adding the citations took a whole week and was extremely laborious. But I do not recall feeling irritated about the effort at all. It was obviously necessary. There was no way readers could access a literary quotation and check the work I had done if I didn’t provide them with adequate references. They needed to know the edition and the page number because there might be different page numbers in different editions. However with this new book I was acutely aware that one reason I was preparing the references more swiftly than in the past was precisely because rather than going to my shelves to pull out the various books I was using Google. So any reader could do this too, and my careful notes were completely unnecessary.

Of course there are objections. For many texts Google Books has stopped giving page numbers. For example, in one chapter I had included quotations from Claire Tomalin’s biography of Dickens—which I had read on Kindle. The fact is, when you are reading a novel in view of an eventual essay, an e-book has the advantage of being rapidly searchable, while any notes I make on my portable Kindle are immediately synchronized with the app on my computer and easier to browse while writing than notes scribbled on paper. The snag being, again, the absence of page numbers.

Needless to say Google Books had Tomalin’s book and when I typed in the quotations I wanted they came right up, but without the page numbers. This occurred with three or four other recent publications. Presumably in alliance with the publishers, in order to force those of us who need to prepare footnotes to buy paper editions, Google has stopped giving page numbers. Of course, since the reader could always check the quotation on Google without knowing the page number, you might ask why publishers still insist we put the numbers in? And in fact I am asking that. Obviously they are necessary with paper. It can take forever to find a quotation if you don’t know the page number. But where there are electronic texts online, particularly in reliable online libraries like The Gutenberg Project, I’m not sure we need page numbers.

I decided to ask my contacts at the Oxford Press about this and did get one concession. Where a novel was famous and the final text not a matter of dispute, we would just give author, book title, and chapter number. This eliminates the need to mention editions and page numbers. It has to be said, though, that some chapters of Dickens are very long, while it’s a matter of dispute whether Ulysses has chapters at all. Never mind, the method worked wonderfully well with Hardy and Lawrence. There is no need for the same notation to be used with all books.

Of course it will be objected that Google is not always accurate and does not yet include everything. Who would disagree? Though my experience with literary texts is that Google Books, or again Project Gutenberg, or the online University of Adelaide Library are accurate in an overwhelming majority of cases. But if they are not, let’s insist they become more accurate and more comprehensive, particularly with all works that are now out of copyright.

Simply, it’s time to admit that the Internet has changed the way we do scholarship and will go on changing it. There is so much inertia in the academic world, so much affection for fussy old ways. People love getting all the brackets and commas and abbreviations just so. Perhaps it gives them a feeling of accomplishment. Professors torment students over the tiniest details of bibliographical information, when anyone wishing to check can simply put the author name and title in any Internet search engine. A doctoral student hands in a brilliant essay and the professor complains that the translator’s name has not been mentioned in a quotation from a recent French novel, though of course since the book is recent there is only one translation of the novel and in any event anyone checking the cited edition will find the translator’s name in the book.

There is, in short, an absolutely false, energy-consuming, nit-picking attachment to an outdated procedure that now has much more to do with the sad psychology of academe than with the need to guarantee that the research is serious. By all means, on those occasions where a book exists only in paper and where no details about it are available online, then let us use the traditional footnote. Otherwise, why not wipe the slate clean, start again, and find the simplest possible protocol for ensuring that a reader can check a quotation. Doing so we would probably free up three or four days a year in every academic’s life. A little more time to glean quotes from Barthes, Borges, and Derrida…  
from: NYBooks

Friday, October 10, 2014

25 examples of street art and murals about books, libraries and reading

by: Piotr Kowalczyk

Street art and murals about #books #libraries #reading
There are many ways to express that books are an essential part of our life. Street art with books in focus is one of the best.
Whenever you visit a crowded tourist destination, or a little quiet town, and spot a great street art, go make a pic and share it with your friends. The lists like this could be possible, and they can further spread the word.
My favorite works are the Valencia stuff from a famous street art group Escif, but also the one painted by Andreyante AO in Nizhny Novgorod, and the mural in Łódź created by a Polish street artist Barys.Books are an important part of life. They provoke to think, to argue, to make an opinion, to succeed. This is very well reflected in street art.
When going through a lot of fantastic pictures, I realized one thing. A lot of street art is coming to mobile devices – in a variety of screen wallpapers or designer cases.
On the other side, almost no modern gadgets appeared on the streets so far, although they are becoming an important (if not overwhelming) part of life.
If you know of any great street art that should be featured in this list, please share it in the comments.

Street art and murals about books, libraries, reading


Street art - Book Riot
Book Riot. The painting is a part of a series of murals painted in Valencia, Spain, by a group of artists and performers from Escif. ⇢ Credits.


Street art - Literary Mural
Literary Mural. This outstanding mural was created by Jane Brewster and is located in Portland, Oregon, in the neighborhood of Hawthorne Boulevard Books and Powell’s Books bookstores. ⇢ Credits.


Street art - Transformer Books
Transformer Books. Art-Facade, mural art studio from Saint Petersburg, Russia, created in 20 days this great book mural art on a transformer sub-station near Rossiysky Prospect.
Instead of bricks, typical for transformer sub-stations, we see the bookshelf full of oversized classic literature titles. “The creative concept design allowed us to put an elegant link between safety regulations and the world’s famous titles.” ⇢ Credits and info.


Street art - Book-themed Mural
Pilsen Books. This book-themed mural is a part of an ongoing street art project by Chicago-based creative collective, Pawn Works. The mural was painted in Chicago, on a lengthy old wall in Pilsen neighborhood. ⇢ Credits and info.


Street art - Reading Punk
Reading Punk. A part of a street art project by Buenos Aires street artist Patxi Mazzoni Alonso.
The project’s idea is “to promote study, work, education and music and show the punks visually to people who have rejected them and don’t recognize who they are.” ⇢ More photos and info.


Street art - Education is the Key to Knowledge
Education is the Key to Knowledge. Created by street artist Marcin “Barys” Barjasz, in Lódź, Poland. Photo by Regina Lang. ⇢ More info.


Street art - Girl Reading
Girl Reading. Street art in Gloucester. Found and pictured by Donglos Images.⇢ Credits and more info.


Street art - Reading While Growing Roots
Reading While Growing Roots. A surreal mural in Nuñez, painted by a Colombian artist Loto. “A pseudo human being is reading while growing roots.” ⇢ More info.


Street art - Kid Reading a Book
Kid Reading. Mural on the side of the Trilok School on Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn. Created by a legendary Chile-based artist Nelson Rivas (Cekis). ⇢ Photo credits.


Street art - Reading: A Journey
Reading: A Journey. This huge mural was created by Donald Gensler, and can be seen in Philadelphia.
The mural is a part of The Mural Arts Program that has created more than 3,000 paintings representing important aspects of Philadelphia’s African American history. ⇢ Credits and more info.


Street art - Read - Jay Giroux
Read. Sticker and poster campaign that started in 2005. Created by Brooklyn-based artist and performer Jay Giroux. ⇢ Credits and more info.


Street Art - Climb Over Books
Climbing Over Books. Street art by Andreyante AO, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. ⇢ More info.


Street art - Oye Read
Oye Read. From Brooklyn Street Art resources. Artist unknown. Photo by Jaime Rojo. ⇢ More info.


Street art - X-Times People Chair
X-Times People Chair – Woman Reading. A part of a street art performance by a German artist and performer Angie Hiesl.
Elderly people sit on white chairs that are mounted on buildings at a height between three and seven meters. They perform rehearsed, everyday activities in a reserved manner: they read the paper, slice bread, fold clothes… ⇢ Credits and more info.


Street art - La Bibliotheque
La Bibliothèque. A small mural on a library building in small town near Fontainebleau, France. Pictured by Kelly Robic. ⇢ More info.


Street art - Dr Seuss Read Sculpture
Dr Seuss “Read” Sculpture. This amazing giant display was made of 25,000 Dr. Seuss books in front of the New York Public Library, between the library’s iconic lion statues.
The sculpture was a collaboration between the National Education Association and Target Corporation, and is a part of the Target’s plan to donate $1 billion to education-related programs by 2015. ⇢ More info and photos.


Street Art - Inside a Bookshelf
Inside a Bookshelf. Mural by Susanna Hesselberg, in Örebro, Sweden. Credits,⇢ More info.


Street art - Bookstore Mural
Bookstore Mural. Created on a side wall of Circle City Books and Music in Pittsboro. ⇢ Photo credits.


Street art - Wall of Books
Wall of books. A 10-meter wall made of ceramic books, Amsterdam. ⇢ Photo credits.


Street art - Larchmere Mural
Larchmere Mural. The mural graces the east wall of Loganberry Books bookstore, located in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Created by artist Gene Epstein, the painting reflects the neighborhood’s people and history. ⇢ More info.


Street art - La Bibliotèque De La Cité
La Bibliotèque De La Cité. A beautiful fresco-style mural on the façade of the Lyon Municipal Library, France. ⇢ More info.


Street art - School Bookshelf
School Bookshelf. This huge bookshelf was painted in a school yard in Tyumen, by Russian art group Color of the City. ⇢ Credits and more info.


Street art - Heart culture and pedagogy
Heart, Culture and Pedagogy. An amazing mural located in the College of the Sacred Heart of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, on a wall of Éva-Senécal library.
Created by artists from M.U.R.I.R.S. and influenced by master painters oftrompe-l’œil, it is a metaphor of the local literary universe, with more than 100 authors represented. ⇢ Credits and more info.


Street art - Flying Books
Flying Books. Jazz mural by artist Bill Weber on Jackson Square, San Francisco. Flying books in front are Brian Goggin’s “Language of the Birds” installation. ⇢ More info.


Street art - Library Mural
Library Mural. Created on seven walls of Ustroń Public Library, Poland, and taking over 500 square meters, the mural shows the interiors of the Trinity College Library in Dublin. ⇢ More info.


Street art - Dublin Digital Classics
Dublin Digital Classics. A part of a street campaign by Dublin City Council to get the young generation interested in reading. ⇢ More info.
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