An Innovative Way to Use Your Books to Create Art

There was a  bibliofile  who loved books and shoes

But she had so many books she did not know what to do.

Yad Vashem books burnt by the Nazi

This book owner has learned a creative way to use her books as art.

over the moon bookstore and galleryReblogged from the Book Candy section of Over the Moon Bookstore presents Shelf Awareness.:  My Modern Met showcased a book lover who “arranges her huge library of novels into imaginative scenes.”

The colorful pictures are incredible from a mermaid to ying/yang.


Book Art Book Displays by Elizabeth Sagan


USS Midway and the Naval Institute Proceedings Project

proceedings-first-issueOne of the USS Midway  Carrier Museum Library’s projects is a joint project with the US Naval Institute  in Annapolis, MD.  The Proceedings has been published since  1874 and is one of the oldest continually published magazine in the United States. From Wikipedia;

Proceedings covers topics concerning global security and includes articles from military professionals and civilian experts, historical essays, book reviews, full-color photography, and reader commentary. Roughly a third are written by active-duty personnel, a third by retired military, and a third by civilians. Proceedings also frequently carries feature articles by Secretaries of Defense, Secretaries of the Navy, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and top leaders of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Phil Eakins is the project lead.  From  the USS Midway Library webpage.

In a joint project with the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), we have volunteers reading every article in the Proceedings back to 1874. These volunteers catalog and summarize all important articles from each issue. The volunteer team compiling summaries for the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) Proceedings Database cruised into its fourth year of work recently in what appears to be a 10-year project. The searchable database, which will eventually be accessible via the USS Midway Museum and USNI websites, will provide interested parties with a valuable research tool heretofore unavailable. Over 5,000 summaries have been completed of a target set of over 12,500 main articles covering the period 1874 to date. As part of the join project, USNI has recently digitized its entire Proceedings collection and will soon have that available on their website.

Phil was kind enough to send me a VT-8 related summary from the Proceedings Project.  Ferrier, the wounded sailor from the VT-8 blog post, wrote this piece when he was a lieutenant in 1964.


usni photo of topedo squadron eight
USNI Photo from Ferrier’s article in USNI Proceedings, Oct 1964


USNI Proceedings, October 1964, pg. 72

Title: Torpedo Squadron Eight, the Other Chapter

Author: Lt. H. H. Ferrier, USN

Summary by: Bill O’Hara

Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) was commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia, in the late summer of 1941 as an element of carrier Air Group Eight, better known then as the Hornet Air Eight. The first commanding officer of Torpedo Eight, who also led the squadron in their fateful flight, was Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron, U.S. Navy, a veteran of more than 20 years of naval service. The first aircraft assigned to the squadron were SBN-18s, which were a mid-wing design of the Brewster Aircraft Company, manufactured by the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia and were used to provide pilot training for this newly commissioned squadron. Following a shakedown cruise by the USS Hornet and her embarked air group in January 1942, the Hornet left Norfolk with the main portion of the squadron and headed for the Pacific.  She left behind a detachment of 80 officers and men who were to be sent to the Grumman factory on Long Island to learn as much as possible about the airplane from the engineers and builders before taking delivery of the new Grumman Avengers (the Avenger tag was given to the airplane after the Battle of Midway to exemplify the mission and dedication of all torpedo squadrons – to avenge the heroic sacrifice of their predecessors.) During this time of testing the new airplane, the first high-speed torpedo drops of a newly designed torpedo which was capable of surviving drop speeds of 125 knots and 125 – 150 feet of altitude were made. Following completion of these tests the planes were flown across country to San Diego to join their shipmates in the Pacific on the Hornet. Because the Hornet was at sea in the Pacific the planes were loaded onto the USS Kitty Hawk (APV-1) in San Diego for transport to Ford Island in Hawaii. Following arrival in Hawaii a message came from Midway Island for volunteers to fly six of the Avengers to Midway.  Upon arrival the planes were prepared for combat which included loading one each of the newly tested torpedoes and ammunition for the two .30 caliber machine guns and the .50 caliber gun. On the morning of June 4, unknown planes were spotted approaching Midway Island and the order was given to take off and find the Japanese carrier force that had been sighted some 15 miles off the coast.  The Japanese force consisted of four carriers and seventeen other ships in formation.  The six Avengers were attacked almost immediately after they had sighted the enemy ships and were outnumbered six to one by Japanese fighters.  Only one of the Avengers made it safely back to Midway Island with one of its gunners killed and the pilot and other gunner severely injured.  Overwhelming odds claimed the other five planes and their crewmembers on that fateful day. Keywords: Naval battles.


Bonnie and Pat share the Midway Magic on the Road–at the Naval Institute Proceedings in Annapolis, Mar 2018
Phil get's his 9000 hr award  Apr 2016.JPG
Phil upon getting his 9000 hour pin (He now has over 13,000 volunteer hours.)


He Who Steals My Purse Stills Trash, but He Who Steals My Book….

quill pen and parchmentBack in the Middle Ages, when books were written by hand in natural light only (because candles were deemed too dangerous around the books), the best way to prevent a book from being stolen or damaged was to include a book curse. (Fortunately most people believed in such things then. )

Nowadays libraries and archives rely on theft detection strips, sensitizing/desensitizing stations, , traffic control, and surveillance measures.  (Most people do not seem as susceptible to curses these days.)  Unfortunately, thefts from both regular and special collections seems to be on the rise.  It can be books, documents, artifacts, or parts of the same.

On my last trip to the  National Archives in College Park, Maryland, there was a rogues’ gallery of known archive thieves at the entrance to the second floor research center.

Why do we steal?  Do we want the secret satisfaction of owning/handling/seeing something that nobody else will have access too?  Do we think we are getting something over on the Man or Woman?

Little Tree (Free) Library in Idaho

Little Free (Tree) LibraryOne of the latest Little Free Libraries is actually made from a tree stump in Idaho.   When the cottonwood tree started losing branches and the core was found to be rotten, the  approximately 110 year old tree had to be taken down.  The owners always wanted a Little Free Library and found an innovative way to create one.

For more details and pictures also click here.

Bibliophile Killed by Toppled Bookshelf

book shelves falling overBefore you begin staying awake nights obsessing that your overflowing bookshelf will smother you in your sleep, THIS IS FAKE NEWS.  It is also a catchy lead into why you should buy more books than you’ll ever read

Surrounding yourself by books (read or unread) is a way to jumpstart your creativity. There is a lot of untapped knowledge stored in those physical or virtual volumes.

Although I personally disagree with the term “antilibrary”:

An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations — the vast quantity of things you don’t know, half-know, or will one day realize you’re wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself toward the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning.

My husband wants me to get rid of the cutter that lines the walls of our bedroom. I want to tell him, it’s not clutter, just reservoirs of knowledge I have not yet acquired. It’s also a sign of my comparative modesty because it is a visual reminder of what I do not yet know.

Library Carrels III: Deck the Shelves

Deck the Shelves

Deck the shelves with books in order

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Now’s the time to ease disorder

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Don we now our reading glasses

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

As through the shelves we make our passes

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

The LC system is our bible

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Dewey is it’s closest rival

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

First the number, then the cutter

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Such details are our bread and butter

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Now in order, on the shelves

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

You can find the books yourselves

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

No more searching high and low

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

You’ve found your books, so please now go.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Library Carrels II: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

That glorious book of old

Was finally returned in the book drop

It’s worth it’s weight in gold

It was a valuable, gorgeous book

When from it’s shelf it left

Some think it was checked out by mistake

But I think it may have been theft

Though not a Shakespeare portfolio

Or printed by Gutenberg’s press

It’s provenance was  distinguished enough

It’s disappearance created a mess

The Head Librarian was almost sacked

Her future was looking quit dim

The security camera captured the deed

When the volume was returned by him.


Library Carrel I: Silent Night

Silent Night

Silent Night, Lovely Night

Not a single cellphone in sight

Students are studying, it’s final exams4_JWG_West_Point_Library_c1900

Last minute worriers are starting to cram

Hope that all of you pass

If you fail then you’re out on your ass

Library at Night book jacket

Silent Night, Will Be  a Long Night

Open 24 hours ’til relief is in sight

No backup available, no one is on call

After midnight there’s a funereal pall

I’m looking for anyone around

For once I would to like to hear sound.





The Misadventures of Houdini Hamster: The Great Escape

The continuing Misadventures of Houdini Hamster.

Chapter 6—The Great Escape

Stirred up by all of the excitement, Houdini was like a robo-hamster.  He paced around his cage. He stuffed his cheeks with the green pellets.  As soon as Pippa and Brenda left, he rolled his can over to the poorly secured door.  He wriggled through the door and jumped down to the book case his cage was on.  No visiting the gerbils this trip.

Carefully he walked to the edge of the book case, climbing down a large picture book on the shelf below.  Crawling from book to book, he descended three book shelves until he could safely jump to the floor below.  He crawled around the perimeter of the children’s room, sniffing and swiveling his head in all directions.

The next morning, his cage was empty.  Since it had gotten so cold, he had begun shredding the pine chips to insulate the front of his can, so his escape was harder to detect.  Pippa’s first thought was that he had gone to visit the gerbil brothers, but L.C. and Dewey were alone in their cage eating breakfast.  She carefully looked around the floor base and under the book cases.  No Houdini.

She went back to the office and got some green pellets.  She laid them down on the floor beneath Houdini’s cage.  She hoped to set up a trail that the hamster would follow back to his cage.  For the next hour, she explored the library.   Still no hamster.

“Pippa, you need to leave for school now. He will probably be back by the time you get home from school.”

Pippa wanted to stay and keep looking for Houdini, “Please let me stay, Mom.  I can go to school tomorrow.”

“If you want to keep caring for the animals, you have to go to school.  Otherwise, no more Houdini, L.C., and Dewey.”

“Ok, but if he is not back by the time I get home, I’m going to look for him.”

By closing time Pippa was afraid that Houdini had escaped outdoors.   It was so cold outside that even the field mice had tried to come into the library for food and shelter.  Pippa had seen one climbing up the curtain.  She had noticed that even though they were the same color as the gerbils, the head was shaped differently.  If the wild animals were coming inside, how will Houdini survive? 

            Three evenings later, as Pippa sat alone in the library office doing her homework and thinking about Houdini, she heard a scratch-scrabble.

She turned her head.  “Scritch-Scratch” seemed to be coming from under the book case behind her chair.  She removed a few books from the bottom shelf.  Silence.  Then a few minutes later she heard “scratch-scrabble” again.  It sounded like it was coming from underneath the bottom shelf.

Grabbing a flashlight, she lifted up the right hand corner of the bottom shelf.  Two bright beady eyes stared back at her.  This is my crash pad.  Back off!  His claws had shredded a silver dollar sized patch of rug to make a nest.  Several green pellets were scattered around the nest.  He seemed right at home.   Pippa figured he had found water at night while he was roaming around the empty library.  The only thing missing were the sunflower seeds he had neglected to take with him

“Mom, I found Houdini.  He was under the book case in the office.”

She grabbed his soup can from his empty cage and tossed in a few sunflower seeds.  He noticed the seeds before climbing into it.  He gnawed on one as he rode the can back to his cage.

“Good for you, Pippa.  Houdini is almost as good an escape artist as the real Harry Houdini.”

And Pippa is a good detective—next time I’ll need to find a more secret escape pad…