December 18, 2015

Food for fines

The Jones library and branches will be offering a "food for fines" amnesty period from January 2-31, 2016. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to pay back all those book fines, bring in non-perishable, non-expired food donations and you're absolved!

If only it were that easy to keep all your New Year's resolutions...

December 14, 2015

This saturday, Jedi training is. Yes, hmmm.

And? Come see a funny movie.

As excitement builds for the next film in the Star Wars series, the Jones Library is taking a lighthearted look at the genre. Join us for a screening of the 1987 film written and directed by Mel Brooks, in which a space bum helps rescue a princess from an evil overlord with the help of a benevolent elder. Although it borrows most of its plot from the Star Wars series, this film also pokes fun at Star Trek, Snow White, and Planet of the Apes, in true Mel Brooks fashion.

Join us in the Woodbury Room this Saturday, December 19, at 2 p.m. for the screening of this feature film. More information about the movie can be found on the Jones Library website at The film is rated PG.

Children ages 7 and up are invited to attend a Jedi Training at 11 a.m. on the same day. Come make your Light Saber and a Star Wars craft, then test your skills with our Jedi obstacle course! Costumes welcomed and encouraged. Drop-ins are welcome for the Jedi obstacle course, but registration is required for the craft project. Please contact the Children's Room at 413.259.3091 (or by using Jedi mind tricks) to register.

Free and open to the public. Questions? Please contact Janet Ryan at 413.259.3223.

Also? THIS will be pretty useful to your training, young Jedi.

Friends Book Recommendation of the Month

Written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
This 2015 children’s picture book is simply a visual and literary masterpiece. Children of all ages and their adult companions are invited into a fantastical golden world with a little girl in a red hat who once was given a special book for a day. She soon discovers that many of the words just aren’t there. My favorite illustration shows this girl, so excited to read, running home with her book in hand as the words fly away, in the shape of birds migrating, only to be caught in a butterfly net by a fox. Zagarenski’s landscapes of overlapping shapes, light, and color in a palette reminiscent of Gustav Kilmt give us time to breathe and wonder.
Where are the stories, the little girl wants to know. Along with a lion, a rabbit, bees, bears, and other appealing creatures, she opens her book and reads page after page of beginnings. In a whisper sent to the girl by the wind, she is encouraged to make her own stories: “Start with a few simple words and imagine from there.” And, like the girl, we realize that we, too, can create our own beginnings, middles, and ends. Story-making is for everyone.
- Mary Ellen, member, Friends of the Jones Library System

December 11, 2015

That Charles Dickens...

Apparently Dickens created two bookshelves with completely fake books in his study. He made up the titles all himself and even asked a bookbinder to construct "imitation book-backs" to fill those bookshelves.

Although the Friends didn't get all the humor in the titles, we figured you might. You're way more literary than we are. Here's the list of Charles Dickens's ersatz books, for your reading amusement.

History of a Short Chancery Suit
Catalogue of Statues of the Duke of Wellington
Five Minutes in China. 3 vols.
Forty Winks at the Pyramids. 2 vols.
Abernethy on the Constitution. 2 vols.
Mr. Green's Overland Mail. 2 vols.
Captain Cook's Life of Savage. 2 vols.
A Carpenter's Bench of Bishops. 2 vols.
Toot's Universal Letter-Writer. 2 vols.
Orson's Art of Etiquette.
Downeaster's Complete Calculator.
History of the Middling Ages. 6 vols.
Jonah's Account of the Whale.
Captain Parry's Virtues of Cold Tar.
Kant's Ancient Humbugs. 10 vols.
Bowwowdom. A Poem.
The Quarrelly Review. 4 vols.
The Gunpowder Magazine. 4 vols.
Steele. By the Author of "Ion."
The Art of Cutting the Teeth.
Matthew's Nursery Songs. 2 vols.
Paxton's Bloomers. 5 vols.
On the Use of Mercury by the Ancient Poets.
Drowsy's Recollections of Nothing. 3 vols.
Heavyside's Conversations with Nobody. 3 vols.
Commonplace Book of the Oldest Inhabitant. 2 vols.
Growler's Gruffiology, with Appendix. 4 vols.
The Books of Moses and Sons. 2 vols.
Burke (of Edinburgh) on the Sublime and Beautiful. 2 vols.
Teazer's Commentaries.
King Henry the Eighth's Evidences of Christianity. 5 vols.
Miss Biffin on Deportment.
Morrison's Pills Progress. 2 vols.
Lady Godiva on the Horse.
Munchausen's Modern Miracles. 4 vols.
Richardson's Show of Dramatic Literature. 12 vols.
Hansard's Guide to Refreshing Sleep. As many volumes as possible.

And just for the record? The Amherst libraries do not have any of these titles. Not even "Drowsy's Recollections of Nothing," Volumes 1-3.

But the Friends think they should.

December 10, 2015

Brazil has an excellent idea

In Brazil, people only read an average of two books a year. In order to promote more reading, some Brazilian publishers did this.

Take the subway, read a book. Your ticket is paid for.

How do you say 
"That's a wicked awesome idea, Brazilian publisher people" 
in Portuguese?

December 9, 2015

Michelle Obama Reads 'The Night Before Christmas' With Miss Piggy

And it may be that the very best part of the whole thing is that while the First Lady refers to her reading companion as "Miss Piggy," Miss Piggy calls the First Lady simply "Michelle."

Miss Piggy has always been known to keep it real.

Just giving you another reason to love Michelle Obama.

(Not that you need one.)

December 7, 2015

Books in your house

According to this weekend's New York Times, "Owning books in the home is one of the best things you can do for your children academically."
And if it's in the Times, you know it has to be true.

December 3, 2015

Hey, SOMEONE'S gotta win...

...why not you?

Enter to win a book lover's dream prize from Read It Forward.

And hey, if you win, share with your Friends, m'kay?

December 2, 2015

Tomorrow night

Before you get too wound up in all the holiday dinners and office parties and shopping trips and wrapping of gifts and humming of carols, take a break!

Come to the Jones tomorrow for Trivia Night! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. but the two rounds of quite challenging and utterly inconsequential questions start promptly at 6:30. Bring your team of ringers or make a team there with all the other friendly trivia lovers.

There will be refreshments. And? Maybe even eggnog. And? No fruitcake. How can you pass this up?

Suggested donation of $5 - $10 to benefit the Jones Library.

The Penguin Hotline

You know how Butterball has that turkey hotline you can call with questions about cooking your bird? The folks over at Penguin Random House have got your back when it comes to needing book recommendations for that special someone.

Hanukkah starts on Sunday -- give 'em a call quick!

December 1, 2015