Eight Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books

8 Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books

by Jennifer Ridgway

from Brightly

If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate books into your holiday celebrations, here are a few fun ideas. Some of these may require DIY work (although many can also be found on Etsy). Some will be great for your kids to help you make.

These ideas are but the tip of the snowflake; if you have other ideas for making your holiday more literary, please share in the comments below!

1.  Books As Gifts

books-as-giftsThis is probably the most straightforward idea. There is a book out there for pretty much everyone, even if they’re not readers. You can create a themed gift around a book: a cookbook with an oven mitt, cookie cutters, and cookie sheet; a photography book with a memory card and gift card to print photos; a picture book with a coordinating stuffed animal. Use your imagination! You could also do a book swap in place of Secret Santa or host a book swap party with your friends.

2.  Book Advent Calendar

book-advent-calendarsaw this idea online and started doing it for my twins. Choose 24 books, wrap them, and stack them. Have your child choose one every night in December leading up to Christmas. You can use all holiday/winter themed books or not. You don’t have to buy all new books; I mostly use books we already own. I try to put The Night Before Christmas at the bottom and save it for December 24.

3.  Eight Nights of Books

hanukkah-calendarYou can also adapt the above idea for Hanukkah, doing one book for each of the eight nights.

4.  Books As a Christmas Tree
bibliophile-christmas-tree
Grab a bunch of books and stack them up so that they look like a Christmas Tree! You can place a star on top or use a book propped up as a topper. This will save you money on a tree and the trimmings, as well as being environmentally friendly. Note: This idea is better for those with older children, or you may find your baby/toddler constantly pulling out books. For a smaller tree, you can open books and stack them with the widest at the bottom.

5.  OrnamentsOrnaments, Ornaments
book-ornament
There are a quite a few ways to decorate your tree with bookish flair. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cut the pages of an old book into strips. Grab some clear ball ornaments. Open the top, and curl some of the strips of type inside. Close up and hang on the tree.
  • Make your favorite characters or authors into ornaments. This is a great craft to do with your kids using paper or felt.
  • Print out mini covers and glue them onto cardboard or thick card stock. Your kids can also help with this.
  • You can also create garland with some of these ideas (made by stringing book covers/characters/authors together).

6.  Wrapping Presents
book-page-bowYou can add a bookish aesthetic under your tree with how your wrap your presents. Wrap in monogram colors that have a library/old book appeal (think burgundy, brown, and cream colored papers without shine). Then, print out a paragraph or quote from the wrapped book (or snap a photo) and tape it to the outside. Find wrapping paper with books, book titles, authors, etc. as the print (these can be found at bookstores and on Etsy). Etsy is also a great resource for book washi tape, which you could use in conjunction with single-color paper. There are tutorials online to make bows from book pages. Bonus points for using books such as A Christmas Carol for any of these!

7.  Bookmarks As Holiday Cards

bookmark-holiday-cardRather than sending out holiday cards, make bookmarks! You could still use a family photo, but also include a quote from a book.

8.  Adopt Iceland’s Tradition
iceland
In Iceland, most people receive a book as a gift on Christmas Eve. The whole family then tucks into bed to read their new book that night.

Short, Scary Stories

It’s a busy time of year. So much to do with the school year underway, the days getting shorter, the weather cooling off, the holidays almost upon us. Here are bunches of very short, scary stories to squeeze into what little time you have to read. Maybe just jump into bed and read a short story or two to help you fall asleep.

Good luck with that.

Short scary stories from Reddit 

Abraham’s Boys, by Joe Hill

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, by Neil Gaiman

The Doll, by Daphne du Maurier

Nightcrawlers, by Robert McCammon

Premium Harmony, by Stephen King

Sunbleached, by Nathan Ballingrud

The Third Bear, by Jeff Vandermeer

The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire, by Poppy Z. Brite

How to Get Back to the Forest, by Sofia Samatar

Bog Girl, by Karen Russell

Hello Moto, by Nnedi Okorafor

His Face All Red, by Emily Carroll

Rattlebag, by Neil Gaiman

 

What are your favorite short stories?

12 More Book Dedications to Make You Smile

12 More Book Dedications to Make You Smile

by Kath      May 5, 2019      from For Reading Addicts

Previously, we brought you a blog of 10 book dedications that we thought you might like. They were pretty funny, touching, or witty. Today we’re following that up with 12 more book dedications, but this time we’ve gone for pure humour!

Here are 12 book dedications almost guaranteed to raise a chuckle or two, and the books they come from.

Enjoy!

From

No Way Back – Matthew Klein

Source

From

An Introduction to Algebraic Topology

Source

From

This Book is Full of Spiders

Source

From

Ruins

Source

From

You Might be a Zombie and Other Bad News

Source

 

From

Otherland #1

Source

This joke continues through the book series too

#2: This Book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
As I said before, Dad doesn’t read fiction. He still hasn’t noticed that this thing is dedicated to him. This is Volume Two—let’s see how many more until he catches on.

#3: This is still dedicated to you-know-who, even if he doesn’t.
Maybe we can keep this a secret all the way to the final volume.

#4: My father still hasn’t actually cracked any of the books—so, no, he still hasn’t noticed. I think I’m just going to have to tell him. Maybe I should break it to him gently.

#5: Everyone here who hasn’t had a book dedicated to them, take three steps forward. Whoops, Dad, hang on there for a second…

From

The Selection

Source

From

Ready Player One

Source

From

Psychos

Source

 

 

From

Lets Pretend this Never Happened

Source

From

A Memoir of Heartbreak, Hookups, Love and Brunch

Source

And a double whammy to finish from

This is Going To Hurt

Source

We hope you enjoyed those!

10 Book Dedications to Make You Smile

10 Book Dedications to Make You Smile

by Shan Williams   Jan 16, 2017    from For Reading Addicts

When you open the pages of a book for the very first time what do you do? Do you read everything that is available to you or are you a skipper? Do you ever read the dedications? I do, especially as now I have the honour of being mentioned in a dedication and also as we at For Reading Addicts appear on the back cover blurb for another.

Ever since I began reading these little gems from the many authors whose books I’ve read I’ve been pleasantly surprised by just how much many of our favourite authors share with us in those final few pages before the back cover is closed and some of them are outright hysterical. Take a look at these book dedications and then make sure you keep an eye out for any humorous ones you come across in your day to day reading.

House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Short, sweet, and to the point. Fair enough Mark, but I still read the book.

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

Always listen to your grandmother; she knows.

Moorchild by Eloise McGraw

How amazing to know that there is someone out there who knows just exactly how you feel.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Embrace your inner Titan Rick.

The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell

You can see into my heart Jen.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

You’re right Neil, we love you too.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Come on Jenny, let’s not beat about the bush; say it like it is.

Over Seventy by P. G. Wodehouse

Nothing better than proving someone wrong is there.

No Way Back by Matthew Klein

Cringe.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

You blew it Mr Darcy, you had your chance and you blew it.

I’ve often heard of mystery book buys where the book is wrapped in brown paper and you purchase it purely on the basis of how the first line of the book sounds, I wonder if anyone has ever bought a book just because the dedication caught their eye?

 

Bring a book, ride the trains for free!

from The Independent

NETHERLANDS MAKES TRAINS FREE ON NATIONAL BOOK DAY FOR THOSE WHO SHOW A BOOK INSTEAD OF A TICKET

Special book given out as gift to readers during National Book Week is accepted instead of ticket

Jon Stone 4/1/2019

Dutch book lovers got free rail travel across their country’s entire network this weekend as part of the Netherlands’ annual book week celebrations.

Every year since 1932 the Netherlands has encouraged reading with Boekenweek– a celebration of literature marked with literary festivals and book signings across the country.

Traditionally, a well-known Dutch author writes a special novel – the “book week gift” or Boekenweekgeschenk – which is given out for free to people who buy books during the festivities or sign up to a library.

But the special book – this year the novel Jas Van Belofte by celebrated author Jan Siebelink, can also be presented instead of a rail ticket on every train in the country on the Sunday of book week.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch state railway company, has long been a sponsor of the annual festivities – and even organises book readings signings by top authors on its trains.

“It is good to see all those happily surprised faces of travellers,” author Jan Siebelink said after boarding a train for the city of Utrecht to meet passengers and read his book.

“We are talking about everything, including their journey. A traveller just said he was on his way to Velp, my birthplace. Often there are also children and I naturally hope that they start reading. That’s what we do it for.”

Murat Isik, who wrote the annual bookweek essay, a companion to the novel, added: “How incredibly beautiful and dynamic to meet readers on the train. Unfortunately, this is also the end of Book Week. A week full of wonderful meetings and conversations.”

This year the book week gift was given out by bookshops to anyone who spent €12.50 on Dutch-language books.

The state rail company, which has now been offering the annual free travel promotion for 18 years, said in a statement: “NS has a warm heart for reading, because reading is one of the favourite ways to spend time on the train.”

“That is why we have been the main sponsor of a number of reading campaigns for years, including Book Week.

“On Sunday 31 March, the Netherlands travelled en masse for free by train on presentation of the Book Week Gift, written by Jan Siebelink.”

NS is not the only railway company to accept physical objects in lieu of payment. This time last week for a week UK rail company Virgin Trains offered a 1/3 discount to passengers aged 18-30 who presented an avocado to ticket inspectors, as a dry joke about the delayed Millennial Railcard.

Your Kids Can Now Watch Astronauts Reading Stories From Space

Your Kids Can Now Watch Astronauts Reading Stories From Space

by Sarah Aswell at ScaryMommy

 

IMAGE VIA GLOBAL SPACE EDUCATION FOUNDATION/YOUTUBE

Reading to kids is wonderful and everything, but reading to kids from space is super awesome

If you need to mix up your bedtime story routine a little bit, the Global Space Education Foundation has just the thing for you: Story Time in Space.  It’s exactly what it sounds like — astronauts on various missions in space read popular children’s books while floating about, and the videos are edited and shared with kids way down on Earth.

The results are adorable as well as educational and inspiring. Check out astronaut Kathleen Rubins reading Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and try not to get choked up at how amazing this all is.

The concept was developed by Patricia Tribe, the former director of education at Space Center Houston, and Alvin Drew, the first NASA astronaut to read a story in space for the program, during the final mission of the space shuttle Discovery. The pair were looking to find a way to encourage reading among kids while also promoting STEM education, and landed on the idea of having on-duty astronauts reading science-based kids’ books, gravity-free.

Since the initial reading, all of the story times have taken place on the International Space Station, as it hurtles through nothingness at 17,500 miles per hour around the planet. It’s only a guess, but this may be slightly more interesting than your kids listening to you feign excitement while reading The Mitten again.

“What better role models to engage kids in science and to engage them in reading?” Tribe told the Huffington Post. “You’re not only looking and listening to the books, you’re looking around the International Space Station.”

Astronaut @Tim Peake tweeted from the ISS about his reading of The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home by Lost My Name book that he has read for us!
“I enjoyed reading this “Story Time” for the kids- my boys will like this too 
check out the pic!!! So excited!

Not only are does Story Time in Space aim to make reading out of this world, it also stresses the importance of diversity. Tribe and her team select books for a wide range of reading levels (though all can be read in 15 minutes or less) and from a wide range of STEM topics, from physics to engineering to biology. The group also selects a diverse set of astronauts to read the books, so that kids can see that people who look just like them can reach for the next frontier. For example, Japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata read Max Goes to the International Space Station in Japanese for the program this summer.

The Story Time from Space program is also expanding. The group is working on adding a set of nine simple science experiments for kids that were conducted from the space station, involving concepts like energy transfer and surface tension. In addition, more books are on the way, including A Moon of My Own by Jennifer Rustgi, The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm by LeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo, and Moustronaut by Astronaut Mark Kelly.

While those projects are being completed, Earthlings can enjoy the rest of the collection, which includes Max Goes to Mars, by Jeffrey Bennet, as read by astronaut Mike Hopkins.

Let’s just hope that these awesome videos don’t ruin regular books read in gravity, from the ground, by plain old mom who probably isn’t even an astronaut.

Spinning a Yarn? Nope, Crocheting It!

I saw this piece on BookRiot about “Literary Crochet” recently. Amigurumi, the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting stuffed dolls and animals, has been around a while, and of course crocheting blankets and scarves has been around much longer. I’m also pretty sure it’s a law that if you have two or more hobbies or interests, you *must* combine them at some point. Therefore, it was inevitable that we would see our favorite scenes and characters show up in crochet eventually.

On a recent trip to etsy.com, for Paddington Bear alone, you can find aimage 0 finished crochet bear, a pattern for a bear and his clothes, and a finished blanket with 3D effect.

 

 

Paddington not your thing? What about a pattern for Star-Bellied Sneetches, from Dr. Seuss?

Have a younger child, or fond memories of board books? catclose1smallMake your own Very Hungry Caterpillar, to play with or wear!

 

 

Fond of Young Adult works? How about Rob Anybody from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series?  Maybe Le Petit Prince is more your style?

Ah, you adult-fiction readers!  For you, we have all sorts of grown-up crochet! From Gandalf (and Gandalf) and Gollum to Game of Thrones. (Along with Goodnight, Moon of course!)

Image result for captain ahab crochetCheck out these pictures and patterns

Literary Crochet, from #AmReading

10 Lovely Literary Crochet Patterns, from BookRiot

Literary Yarns: Crochet Patterns Inspired By Classic Books, by Cindy Wang — and if you want to see more of Cindy’s work, check out her blog!

Make your own Captain Ahab right now!

I’d love to see what you decide to make!