Instead of begging, homeless man reviews books on the street and sells them (but not to kids)

Jun 20, 2014 By Abraham 4

Philani is a homeless man in his mid-twenties in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many people in his situation simply stand at corners begging. And that can sometimes meet basic needs…but it certainly doesn’t set a person apart or motivate people walking or driving by to donate.

But Philani does it differently. Every day he takes his ever-changing library to a different corner and sets up a sort of impromptu literary discussion group and bookshop.

Homeless Bookworm

For anyone interested, he will review his books…which he has read all of…and then you can buy one from him. In this way, he raises money for himself and his homeless friends as well as spreading happiness. He says…

Reading is not harmful. There’s no such thing as harmful knowledge. This thing is only going to make you a better person.

(via Reddit, SA People)

And if he has a kids book you’re interested in, it’s free, so that you can give it to a child. Because…

They can still take this reading thing and turn it into their habit, their life-long habit.

Kids visit nihilistic art show in hilarious parody of vintage children’s books [9 pics]

Jun 19, 2014 By Abraham 1

What if a couple of 1950′s children went to the art museum with mom and the story was told in a book for emerging readers, so they could learn a bit about art as they practice their reading and learn new vocab?

That sort of book could definitely exist. It probably already does somewhere.

But what if the museum mom and kids went to featured modern art and the particular exhibit was a nihilistic look at god, death, and the meaning of nothingness?

Fortunately that book exists, too — We Go to the Gallery by artist and comedian Miriam Elia.

Here are some sample pages…

Vintage kids book at the modern art museum - 10

Vintage kids book at the modern art museum - 02

Vintage kids book at the modern art museum - 03

Read More ›

LeVar Burton watches Reading Rainbow cross $1,000,000 in real time, tearfully thanks you

May 29, 2014 By Abraham 0

Yesterday was a big day for LeVar Burton, as you know by now. He launched his campaign to bring back “Reading Rainbow,” and 12 hours later reached the $1,000,000 goal he set.

Here he is responding to all his supporters after watching the numbers on his Kickstarter page add up past that million-dollar mark…

Stephen King didn’t get paid for “The Shawshank Redemption”…because he used the check for a joke

May 27, 2014 By Abraham 1

When The Shawshank Redemption came out in 1994, it was not an immediate smash hit. Its legendary status came with time. And even the movie’s creators couldn’t have predicted it.

Shawshank Redemption - 02

Years before, when the movie was simply an idea, the influence and prominence that it would achieve was all but unimaginable to the then-unknown filmmaker Frank Darabont — who would later direct the movie — and Stephen King, whose book the movie was based on. Their unawareness of the story’s cinematic potential is hinted at by the fact that King optioned the movie rights to Darabont for a mere $5,000.

Stephen King and Frank Darabont

Or maybe King knew exactly what he was doing…

The uber-famous author has a history of offering the rights to his books to aspiring, unknown filmmakers for a pittance, so perhaps he had some inkling that The Shawshank Redemption would be a massive hit and simply chose to not get rich from it.

His lack of interest in making money from the project was later proven by a package he sent to Darabont.

It turns out he didn’t even cash the $5,000 check that Darabont had given him in 1987. Instead, years later after the movie came out and was a huge success, King framed it and sent it back to Darabont with a note…

In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve.

Why George R. R. Martin wrote “Game of Thrones” on a 30-year-old word computer

May 14, 2014 By Abraham 1

The first five novels in George R. R. Martin’s wildly popular A Song of Ice and Fire series have checked in at a staggering 5,216 pages. Many authors might worry about losing their work to a computer virus, but Martin is not one of them.

During a recent visit with Conan O’Brien, the author explained his eccentric computer set-up for writing his enormous manuscripts. He maintains one computer for browsing the internet and a separate computer that’s a simple DOS machine.

Using a 1980s word processor called WordStar 4.0, Martin writes his epic novels on a screen that looks like this…

Game of Thrones on Wordstar

WordStar is no longer maintained or developed, but the antiquated program remains Martin’s tool of choice. He explains,

“It does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn’t do anything else.”

You can check out Martin’s full explanation in his interview with Conan below…

Does every book about Africa have the same cover?

May 13, 2014 By Abraham 0

Doctoral candidate in international history Simon Stevens was reading Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun when he realized it looked kind of familiar. He did some looking around on Good Reads and discovered something intriguing about books related to Africa…

An inordinate number get “the acacia tree sunset treatment”…

Book designs and Africa

The site Africa Is a Country, whose ironic flair you can guess from their name, summarizes their analysis of this cover collection…

In short, the covers of most novels “about Africa” seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King.

Read more at Quartz.