It was bad enough when magazines were piling up from my having no time to read them. As an enthusiastic reader of anything language arts, I just keep finding more and more sites to favorite, pages to like and twitter accounts to follow. (And everything increases exponentially when you decide the ‘net is a cheap way to practice your high school French.)
When it comes to literature and language, the World Wide Web is an oyster. Here’s a few sites for the hungry book lover looking for more fun to pile onto their plate.
Now, you probably know all about this, but I just discovered it a few months ago. It’s like flipping through enormous scrapbooks of pictures important to people from all over that may or may not appeal to you, too. So, if you have an interest – say, Agatha Christie book covers – you can just search and make your own virtual corkboard of photos by ‘pinning’ them up on your own account. There’s plenty out there to satisfy any literary fetish you might have. Snarky memes, vintage book covers, illuminated manuscripts from museums we might never visit. It’s some great eye candy. http://pinterest.com/.
2- Massachusetts Center for the Book
I’d never heard of this, but it seems to be part of a network of state centers connected to the Library of Congress and promoting books and literacy. What fun!! Of course, Massachusetts is – at least to me – a very special place. It’s pretty much, as they say, home to the Cradle of Liberty (Boston) and a significant place in the history of American wordsmanship. Boston was home to The Old Corner Bookstore, a publishing company where lots of the great old writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used to mingle. So, a website celebrating Massachusetts writers and writing (and books and reading, in general) is a perfect idea, I think. Here’s the link: http://www.massbook.org/index.html Be sure to check out the Literary Map; so far it’s my favorite part. You can’t beat a good literary map.
3 – Linguapax
I’ve always kind of had a fantasy that I’d help decode a language no one ever encountered before, but I think it’s much more likely that I would do some good by helping to preserve a language. According to its site, Linguapax is an organization largely based on the idea that the world needs “language diversity” in order for its inhabitants to coexist peacefully. Here’s a part of its mission statement:
“Its [Linguapax’s] main aim, synthesized in its name, is to rally linguistic communities worldwide around the belief that the maintenance of language diversity is inseparable from the goals of peace and intercultural understanding.”
I find this a very cool idea, and look forward to finding out more in the future. Here’s the site where we can all do that: http://www.linguapax.org/.
So that pretty much runs the gamut from silly to serious, as if you needed more spots to find on the world wide web. But these do seem pretty promising, no?