December 28, 2016

It’s a Great Time to Return Overdue Library Materials!

The Jones Library and branches will be offering an amnesty period from January 9 – 31, 2017 for library patrons who return overdue library materials. Library patrons are encouraged to bring a non-perishable, non-expired food donation for the Amherst Survival Center when they return overdue library materials during this time.
For further information about returning overdue items, please contact Amy Anaya at 413-259-3132.

December 26, 2016

"Unlimited reading on any device."

Friends, maybe Amazon has recently told you something like...

Oooooh. Wow. One month.

Up your game, Amazon! 

The Jones gives you unlimited reading for every month of your life. And? They've got e-readers and play-aways and a personal librarian who will drive to your house and read to you while you lie on the couch and eat bonbons.

Okay, well maybe not one of those things...

December 24, 2016

Baby, it's cold outside!

If, by chance, it's too cold to go sledding and the snow's just no good for snowmen, the Friends have some indoor action for you with your favorite colorer. Go grab your crayons and check out these holiday printables and activities. You could even make one of these wee gifts and then wrap it in one of your finished colored pages.

Martha Stewart has nothing on us, Friends.

December 20, 2016

Friends? We may be in the wrong line of business.

A brief article for your perusal on how much Amazon interns make

(Millions of liberal arts majors quietly die a little inside.)

December 19, 2016

Book banned in Virginia

Each year the Amherst Regional Middle School assigns Harper Lee's classic coming-of-age novel To Kill A Mockingbird to their 8th grade class. Not every American school kid is that lucky.

December 16, 2016

Road trip, Friends!

Last week's NYT article Hotels for Book Lovers was written just for us! 
Let's hop in the car and go.

We call shotgun.

December 15, 2016

Short Stories on Wine Bottles

An Italian winery and a design firm have created fabulous new wine packaging. Check it out.

We're kind of wondering if they had to keep it to haikus on the little wine bottles airlines give you...

December 13, 2016

December 12, 2016

Nothing to read?

Just finished your book and the library's closed? Oh Friend, we feel your pain.

In addition to being able to check out e-books from the Amherst libraries any ole time, you can also go to Project Gutenberg. They've got over 53,000 titles to choose from, including that old beloved chestnut The History of Punch.

You're welcome.

December 9, 2016

The Hogwarts Guide to Company Culture

(Click on image to read more.)

Guess which house Apple got sorted into?

December 8, 2016

Looking For The Best Books Of 2016?

Look no further! The good folks at NPR have got you covered.

More than your usual top 10 end-of-year list, it's got more than 300 recommendations
If you can't find something to pique your fancy here, 
we highly recommend visiting with your local librarian.

They're like an end-of-year list but interactive.

December 7, 2016

Thank you, Brookfield Farm!

We live in such a great community, Friends. Last month the Friends sponsored an art class for 11-14 year olds. The kids were going to paint still lifes of autumnal squashes and pumpkins and gourds. Board members donated veggies but so did Brookfield Farm, a wonderful neighbor. The Friends asked if Brookfield had any vegetables to donate and the farm came through in spades (and trowels). Teeny patty pans and huge butternuts. Rusty oranges and bumpy greens. It. Was. Excellent.

So, dear Friends, if you ever think of joining a CSA or if you just want to stop by a farm shop and buy some local meat or cheese, please keep in mind the great folks at Brookfield Farm.

Supporting our libraries, one vegetable at a time.

Writing contest, dear Friends!

Didn't quite finish up your NaNoWriMo novel? All good. You just need 1,000 words to win this writing contest.

Plus? $250. Woot!

December 6, 2016

There's still time!

Just in case you missed the Barnes & Noble bookfair to benefit the Jones Library, you can STILL make your purchases and help the library out. If you shop at Barnes & Noble online before December 9th and use the code 12048773, the library gets a percent back. Just look for the box at the bottom of the payment screen labeled "Apply Bookfair ID" and enter the code. Easy peasy.

(click on image to enlarge)

Yeehaw! Go do your holiday shopping right now!

December 5, 2016

*** Friends Book Recommendation of the Month ***

by J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir of growing up in Appalachia. This is a wonderful book, very well written. The author credits a few people with encouraging and motivating him to get out of a cycle of poverty. He went to college, completed law school and has a successful career.

-- Dorothy, member, Friends of the Jones Library

Authors React to the Results of the 2016 Presidential Election

I'll tell you how I feel: I am absolutely petrified for my friends who do not have the luxury, as I have, of having been born white, male, cisgender, and straight. If this is a nightmare for me, I literally cannot imagine what hell they've already conceived, with the knowledge that reality very well could be worse. I yearn to be a comfort to them, yet I know that nothing I do or say will ever -- could ever -- compensate for what our fellow Americans have unleashed. We're living in a dystopian novel, but there's no plucky hero who can rise up to save us all. So, we'll have to do it ourselves.

-- Barry Lyga, author

More thoughts by J.K. Rowling, John Green, George R.R. Martin, Grace Lin, and Maggie Stiefvater here.

December 2, 2016

"We're all mad here."

It's definitely getting chillier out. Need some tights to keep your legs warm? The Friends have you covered.

(rim shot.)

Literary tights. An idea whose time has come.

December 1, 2016

Bad Sex in Fiction Award

The Friends didn't know about this award but now we. Oh ho ho, now we do.

Literary Review has bestowed this award since 1993. "Organizers say the purpose of the prize is 'to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction.'"

This year's shortlist nominees can be found here

November 23, 2016

Feeling fragile?

"None of those other things makes a difference. Love is the strongest thing in the world, you know. Nothing can touch it. Nothing comes close. If we love each other we're safe from it all. Love is the biggest thing there is." -- David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars

Be it because of politics or the upcoming family gathering (or lack thereof) or your own personal demons, we all feel lost sometimes. Here are some quotes to help bring you back...

November 22, 2016

Literary puns

Well yes, they're horrible puns. But sometimes we all need a reason to crack a smile and these days are seeming darker than most. So with that caveat, have at it, Friends. Pre-emptive apologies.

Why is John Milton terrible to invite to game night? Because when he's around, there's a pair of dice lost.

What makes "Civil Disobedience" such a great essay? Thoreau editing.

What happened when Past, Present, and Future walked into a bar? It was tense.

How does Voltaire like his apples? Candied.

Why did the run-on sentence think it was pregnant? Its period was late.

When I was a kid, my teacher said, "Name two pronouns." I said, "Who, me?"

What was Socrates' favorite thing to mold? Play dough.

Why did Shakespeare write in pen? Because pencils confused him -- 2B or not 2B??

Honestly, everyone should just leave writing to the prose.

That Charlotte Brontë, she's a breath of fresh Eyre.

What do pregnant women and apostrophes have in common? They're prone to contractions.

What do writers eat for breakfast? Joyce Carol Oatmeal.

What's the difference between a cat and a comma? Cats have claws at the end of paws. Commas are a pause at the end of a clause.

Why are writers cold? Because they're always surrounded by drafts.

And finally, a shout-out to the Belle of Amherst:
Who was Emily Dickinson's favorite reindeer? Dasher.

November 20, 2016

Barnes & Noble fundraiser for the Jones

Print off the attached voucher and bring it with you to Barnes & Noble in Hadley on Sunday, December 4. A percentage of your purchases that day will be donated to the Jones.

The only catch: you MUST present the voucher in order for the money to be donated to the library.

OR, you can place an online order and enter the voucher code (12048773) upon checkout.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Don't feel like printing this voucher out? Stop by the Jones and just pick up a copy!

November 19, 2016

Free Poetry For The Masses!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. Most recently, he has co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.
Jeffrey Yang is the author of the poetry collections Vanishing-Line and An Aquarium. He is the translator of Liu Xiaobo’s June Fourth Elegies, Su Shi’s East Slope, and Ahmatjan Osman's Uyghurland, the Farthest Exile, and the editor of Birds, Beasts, and Seas: Nature Poems from New Directions and Time of Grief: Mourning Poems. Yang works as an editor at New Directions Publishing and New York Review Books.

November 18, 2016

Books On The Subway

So we're country mice, not city mice and, as a result, we're a little late to the Books On The Subway game. But we think it's brilliant. Brilliant!

Makes us want to have a subway in Amherst 
just to leave books around stations.

November 17, 2016

A National Culture of Reading

In January 2018, the United Arab Emirates will institute a 5% VAT on goods in its country. But not on books. And not only that, the new measure also permits employees in the UAE to read during working hours.

Just 40 years ago the UAE had an illiteracy rate of almost 50% of the population. Today? Less than 1%.

The Friends think that's pretty cool.

Unity. Kindness. Peace. Booklist.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has released a new booklist to share the message of creating unity, acting with kindness toward others, and promoting peace. Check it out.

November 16, 2016

“Absolutely. If it’s at all possible.”

You know that guy who won the Nobel Prize in Literature? Well, he'll go pick it up at the ceremony if he doesn't have anything else going on. Whatevs.

The Friends are willing to travel to Stockholm and accept it in his place. For the good of the cause.

November 15, 2016

Jones Library book sale! This Saturday!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Man Booker Prize

Friends, undoubtedly you knew this already but it's worth touting again: an American won the Man Booker Prize. For the first. time. ever.


November 14, 2016

Amazon and Barnes & Noble book reviews

A longtime literary agent's argument 

He may have a point 
but it doesn't make those reviews any less fun to read...

November 13, 2016

The Cost of Attending Hogwarts

The Candidate Who Lost (similar to The Boy Who Lived) had proposed free tuition for public institutions. Since that's no longer an option available to Americans, we propose attending another tuition-free institution instead: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

Click here to find out how much you'd have to pay for your very own brass scales, Quidditch robes, and cauldron.

November 11, 2016

Pet names in literature

Stumped what to call your new fluffy bundle of love? 
The Friends have some literary suggestions!

November 10, 2016

Book-inspired yoga

Perhaps you are already familiar with Babar's Yoga for Elephants?

But did you know about Harry Potter yoga??

Does this mean it's called a Descendo Dog now?

November 9, 2016

It's getting to be hot beverage weather!

And the Friends want to make sure you've got something in which to put your tea, coffee, hot toddy, soup or pizza (hey, we don't judge). If you haven't already picked up a fashionable Friends mug:

to go with your delicious Friends tea:

put down your iPad right now and run to the Jones Library to acquire those coveted items. Because they're currently available but you know they're going to go fast.

However, perhaps you are a cutting-edge person who already owns the aforementioned collectors items?

The Friends have another set of mug suggestions for you: 8 Jane Austen mugs you will ardently fall in love with.

Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Friend in possession of a good tea must be in want of a mug.

October 31, 2016

Dallas closes the book on regulating Little Free Libraries

"We've got big problems in Dallas, and it's not Little Free Libraries...It's just not. We cannot be known as the city that regulates Little Free Libraries. What's next Tree houses? We're going to make it not fun for a kid to live in Dallas."


October 29, 2016

How DO you say "Muggle" in Estonian???

The troubles translators ran into when trying to render Harry Potter into their target language.

Imagine how hard it was to translate into Parseltongue...

October 27, 2016

October 24, 2016

Free art class for your 11-14 year old!

Hey, do you happen to know any budding artists? 
We've got a class for them! 
Check this out!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Free art for the masses!
Or at least masses of 11-14 year olds.

October 19, 2016

Well, hey! Did you know...

We're kind of hoping to win Miss Congeniality.

P.S. Happy National Friends of the Library Week, Friends.

October 6, 2016

Library wallpaper

Don't actually have bookshelves filled with first editions, leather bindings, and other beautiful book treasures? It's okay! The Friends are here to make you look smart anyway! Here's library wallpaper you can use to smarten up any room in your abode.

Now go put on those faux eyeglasses and pretend away.
Your secret's safe with us.

October 5, 2016

Our 7 Favorite Literary Coffee Shops

Coffee shops wonderful enough to make you want to start wearing black and writing that Great American Novel.