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Jolabokaflod: Iceland’s Christmas Book Flood

By Brian Hoey. Dec 21, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books, Rare Book Gift Ideas

In the United States, there is some disagreement about when, precisely, the Christmas season starts. Extremely conservative estimates might say it starts at the beginning of Advent, some might declare the first of December to be the official start of the season, while increasingly many of us seem to have settled on the discount-fueled pandemonium of Black Friday as our starter pistol. In Iceland, on the other hand, there is no such ambiguity. The Christmas season begins with the annual November distribution of the Bokatidindi—the catalog that lists almost all of the books that will be published in Iceland during the coming two months. 

     
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Five Lesser-Known Books to Read This Christmas

Christmas is a time for traditions. From singing carols to hanging stockings, every family has their own way to celebrate the season. For many people, that includes reading their favorite Christmas stories, like A Christmas Carol or A Visit From St. Nicholas. This year, why not try something new? The following books are a somewhat less well known. Maybe your family's newest Christmas tradition is somewhere on this list.

     
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Top 10 Children's Books for the Holiday Season

By Katie Behrens. Dec 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Christmas Books

Whether you’re eight years old or eighty, there’s something magical about receiving a children’s book as a holiday gift. Whether it's a story you knew and loved as a child, or one you're passing on to a new generation, children's books stir old memories and create new. You open up the wrapping paper to find a beautiful story that transports you to a different place and time.  It is also a meaningful experience for the gift giver, wanting to pass along a character or story that they loved as a child. And for those merely ‘young at heart’, what a joy to receive a rare copy of a book that you haven’t seen in years!

     
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Book Spotlight: Wag-by-Wall by Beatrix Potter

Beloved children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was a staple in many childhoods. Perhaps best known for her Peter Rabbit stories, Potter was a prolific writer with familiar, enchanting illustrations. In 1944, Wag-by-Wall, originally intended for The Fairy Caravan, was published for the first time in The Hornbook Magazine. When published as a book, illustrations were omitted since Potter did not include them in any drafts. The setting of the book is based on the Lake District Potter lived in and loved. Her detailed descriptions of the setting and characters serve as an excellent example of Potter’s skill as a storyteller and her magical ability to enrapture readers of all ages.  

     
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Six Books You Should Give as Gifts This Holiday Season

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 23, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books, Rare Book Gift Ideas

Happy Black Friday, shoppers! We hope you all enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. If you are hitting the sales early this morning or easing in to the day, we have compiled a brief list of classic Christmas books that make for stellar gifts. Put one (or several) in your virtual shopping cart, and start checking names off your list. In case you missed it, last Friday, we rounded up all sorts of books that we think make excellent gifts. You can find that post here. Enjoy!

     
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Ten of the Best Quotes from Charles Dickens

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 7, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Movie Tie-Ins, Christmas Books

Charles Dickens is widely considered to be the most important writer of the Victorian age. Dickens' success came, despite the odds being stacked against him. He had to work in a factory from a young age to support his family; his father was in debtors' prison. Dickens was eventually able to spend two years in school after which he worked at a law office. An interest in theater eventually led to a job as a freelance reporter. He published the majority of his novels as weekly or monthly serials, beginning with The Pickwick Papers in 1836. He was an immediate success, reaching an unprecedented level of popularity at the time.

     
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Influential Images: The Night Before Christmas

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 24, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Children's Books, Christmas Books

"A Visit From Saint Nicholas” has the distinction of being perhaps the most well-known American poem. Also known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “'Twas the Night Before Christmas”, the poem was originally published anonymously in 1823 in the Sentinel, a newspaper out of Troy, New York. It was an immediate hit and was soon reprinted in papers across the country. Though there has been some controversy over the authorship of the poem (with some believing it to be written by Henry Livingston, Jr.), it is most commonly attributed to Clement Clarke Moore who eventually included the poem in a collection of his own work.

     
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Three Victorian Ghost Stories for a Spooky Christmas

By Nick Ostdick. Dec 21, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Christmas Books

Imagine Christmas Eve: Snow sifts down from the night sky, the fireplace glows red and crackles with warmth, and a stately looking family gathers in the living room with food and drink to regale each other with tales of the undead coming to life and psychologically taunting characters until they are driven to madness from fear. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night? Yes indeed. Sweet dreams, little ones.

For as odd as this scene might sound, the telling of ghost stories on the night before Christmas was and is a common tradition in England and throughout much of Europe.

     
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Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

By Matt Reimann. Dec 9, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Christmas Books

Stories are to be found everywhere on this narrative-inclined Christmas holiday—in movies, songs, even in its decorations—but nothing endures quite like the stories that were read to us by family. As we age, it becomes our job to pass on that holiday cheer to the younger spirits in our lives. There is a rich selection of children’s literature to choose from, including classics like Eloise at Christmastime, and modern gems like Angela and the Baby Jesus. Here, we explore the many books available for parents and family members wishing to brighten a young child’s holiday.

     
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The Night Before Christmas: A Pop Culture Rundown

By Nick Ostdick. Dec 6, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books

For some, it may be years since they’ve heard it recited. Others, on the other hand, may have never had the chance to hear the classic Christmas tale from start to finish. But this doesn’t mean The Night Before Christmas is in any way a relic of Christmas past—a poetic ghost clinging to some kind of existence in this world rather than passing on to another.

In fact, as families gather together this Christmas season, the references and allusions to this 1823 work may be more prevalent than you think.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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