Boing Boing 

Polymer junkbot sales benefit literacy center

Etsy seller Deetsy is selling off her adorable polymer clay robots to benefit Ann Arbor's 826 Michigan literacy center. It's part of 826 Michigan's second annual Robot Art Fair, which runs to Saturday with robot-themed activities and art for adults, kids and families.

polymer clay and found object sculpture by deetsy on Etsy (Thanks, Blooflame!)

Inspirational pro-book poster

I love this striking "Books: That is Exactly How They Work" poster design from DeMotivation; it doesn't look like they're for sale, alas, as I'd buy, frame and hang one in a hot instant.

Books - That is exactly how they work

Rock the Drop: carpet the planet in young adult literature

Author Lorie Ann Grover writing on behalf of the Readergirlz literacy project sez, "Readergirlz and Figment are going to ROCK THE DROP in honor of Support Teen Lit Day on Thursday, April 14th. People around the world will find copies of amazing books in unexpected places, gifted out of love for young adult literature. Everyone can participate to raise awareness of the day!"
Here's how you can get involved:
* Snag the banner above, created by the uber-talented David Ostow (who blogs hilarious cartoons here), and add it to your website, linking back to this post to share the love, and proclaiming that you will indeed ROCK THE DROP!
* Print a copy of the bookplate below and insert it into a book (or 10!) that you'll drop on April 14th. Drop a book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?) and you're done. Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!
* Snap a photo of your drop and email readergirlz AT gmail DOT com with the pic -- we'll be posting lots of pictures of drops happening all over the world at the readergirlz blog, and our friends at Figment will also be featuring the event!

Imagine people around the globe finding copies of amazing books in unexpected places, gifted out of love for YA lit. Everyone can participate to raise awareness of the day!

Rock the Drop! (Thanks, Lorie Ann, via Submiterator!)

Read dogs: nonjudgmental greyhounds that listen to kids reading

Inspired by an American scheme, a primary school in Staffordshire, England is using "read dogs" -- specially trained greyhounds that listen patiently and nonjudgmentally while small children read aloud to them.
Danny received five months of training to become a Read dog. Greyhounds are particularly well-suited because they do not bark and their short coat is less likely to trigger allergies.

Nevett hopes that the scheme, piloted in Kent, will spread. "We've had some success stories, including a girl with Down's Syndrome who really took to the dog and improved her reading," he says. "When Danny goes to sleep I tell the children that he's dreaming about their story."

The dogs who listen to children reading

UK charity will give away 1,000,000 books, and you can hand them out!

BillT sez, "A UK-based charity plans to give away a million books - 40,000 copies each of twenty-five selected titles - on March 5 next year. The list of authors includes Toni Morrison, Seamus Heaney, Mark Haddon, Margaret Atwood and Erich Maria Remarque... If you live in the UK and Ireland you can sign up as a book-giver - 20,000 will be selected and each will receive a box of books to hand out." WorldBookNight (Thanks, Bill!)

Help Readergirlz donate 125,000 great books to low-income teens

Awesome kids' book author and literacy activist Lorie Ann Grover sez, "readergirlz and First Book are partnering to give away more than 125,000 brand-new books to low-income teen readers. We need help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Let's get organizations serving these teens registered with First Book so they can be matched with inventory during the holidays. If you participate, drop us a note at to be included in our blog roll of thanks to run December 31."
They're great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël's SHADOWLAND.

We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!

rgz and First Book Partner for A Novel Gift! Over 125,000 free books to low-income teens (Thanks, Lorie Ann, via Submitterator!)

Tank covered in bookshelves: Weapon of Mass Instruction

An Argentine artist has built a tank covered in bookshelves that he drives through the streets of Buenos Aires and remote towns, operating it as a kind of bookmobile, or "weapon of mass instruction."

Literature gets a ride in the streets of Buenos Aires (Thanks, Scott!)

Radio Shack's 1986 electronic book

Here's a 1986 ad for Radio Shack's "Electronic Book," which connected to your computer's joystick port, and the interacted with software supplied on a cassette or disk. The peripheral cost $24.95, and new titles were $19.95 to $24.95 -- so the hardware prices have increased tenfold (unadjusted for inflation) in 25 years, while media costs have actually decreased.

Radio Shack 1986

Cutting Libraries in a Recession...

(Image: CuttingLibraries, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from daniel_solis's photostream)

(via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

Operation Teen Book Drop: getting 10,000 books into the hands of native American teens

Young adult author Lorie-Ann Grover sez, "In 2008 and 2009, readergirlz, GuysLitWire, and YALSA orchestrated publishers' donations of 20,000 new young adult books to hospitalized teens across the country. For 2010, If I Can Read I Can Do Anything has joined forces with these three organizations to drop over 10,000 new YA books, donated by publishers, into the hands of teens on Native Tribal Lands. Nationwide, librarians, over 100 YA authors, YA lit lovers, and teens will drop YA books in their own communities on April 15th, 2010, to raise awareness for Operation TBD 2010 and Support Teen Literature Day. They will participate further by purchasing books from the TBD Powell's Wish Lists during National Library Week. Purchases will be shipped directly to enrich one of two Native American libraries. Everyone will join an online party that evening at the readergirlz blog."

Operation Teen Book Drop (Thanks, Lorie-Ann!)

DRM-free Kindle books: are they any free-er?

Amazon is selling Kindle books without DRM, but they still won't answer three fundamental questions: 1. Whether the terms prohibit moving DRM-free books to non-Kindle platforms; 2. Whether patents or other IP prohibit making third-party readers for the Amazon DRM-free format format; 3. Whether they can still revoke DRM-free files, or disable their features, and if so, which features can be disabled and what circumstances would lead to revocation. The answer to these three questions is the difference between owning a book and having an innocent book used as bait for a tawdry lock-in scheme.