Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula

Who is Bela Lugosi?

Bela Lugosi celebrates his 137th birthday or he would have if he wasn’t dead (Bela Lugosi is Dead Bauhaus-1980 English rock band album)( not to be confused with the German School of Art Bauhaus). He was a Hungarian – American actor, who brought Bram Stoker’s Dracula alive on screen in 1931. He had begun his acting career in Hungary, then Germany, and finally America. His heavy Eastern European accent landed him the role of Count Dracula. Unfortunately, his accent kept him typecast for most of his career.

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bela Lugosi’s performance was legendary and put his name on the Hollywood Star Walk. He made Count Dracula real for the audience and further influenced the gothic literature movement. A rush to produce more gothic movies in Hollywood had begun. Bela Lugosi’s story is worth living on. Find these books at: https://www.discoverbooks.com/searchresults.asp?Search=bela+lugosi

“How good and thoughtful he is; the world seems full of good men–even if there are monsters in it.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Before Bela Lugosi, there was the Irish author Bram Stoker. He is the mastermind behind the gothic vampire Dracula. Stoker lived in England and was personal assistant to English actor Henry Irving. Stoker was the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London. He enjoyed the company of many famous authors because of his connection with Irving, including Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Bram Stoker

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

The book Dracula is considered one of the greatest vampire novels of all times. It brings the story of Jonathan Harker’s journey to Eastern Europe to life. Harker is an English lawyer who travels to oversee a real estate transaction with Count Dracula at his castle. Harker soon realizes he is in a state of confinement at the castle. Young female vampires come on the scene and. . . No Spoilers here. Buy a copy today. There are wonderful quotes throughout the book. There is a reason it is considered a classic.

The most interesting fact is Stoker never visited Eastern Europe. EVER! Stoker met  Ármin Vámbéry, a Slovak-Jewish writer and listened intensely to his stories of the Carpathian Mountains. It is believed Count Dracula came from these tales. How did he write about a place he never saw? He read and studied. He combed through countless (like the play on words) Eastern European folktales looking for vampire stories. (Later some speculated the story was based on Vlad III Dracula, but the original notes don’t support that idea.) The original has been imitated many times now with even comic books using Count Dracula, but the original by Bram Stoker is a must-read classic for all genre readers.

“Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men´s eyes, because they know -or think they know- some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Shop Now to Enjoy on Halloween https://www.discoverbooks.com/searchresults.asp?Search=dracula

“Language is the Expression of Ideas. . .”

Noah Webster. Photo is in the Public Domain in the United States

“Language is the expression of ideas, and if the people of one country cannot preserve an identity of ideas they cannot retain an identity of language.” ~ Noah Webster

Noah Webster was an academic by nature. His mother taught him at home spelling, mathematics, and music. He then attended a one-room schoolhouse which he didn’t enjoy and later wrote about the terrible conditions. He went onto Yale and later studied law.

Webster became an educator himself set on teaching American children in an American way. He threw off the shackles of the British education system and books. He began writing his own textbooks. One being the Blue-Backed Speller. It was part of a  3 part series known collectively as A Grammatical Institute of the English Language.

The work consisted of a speller (published in 1783), a grammar (published in 1784), and a reader (published in 1785). “His goal was to provide a uniquely American approach to training children. His most important improvement, he claimed, was to rescue “our native tongue” from “the clamour[30] of pedantry” that surrounded English grammar and pronunciation.” Webster finished his first dictionary in 1806. It was titled, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.

Original copies of his handwritten dictionary notes. This photo is in the Public Domain in the United States.

In 1793, Webster was asked by Alexander Hamilton to write for the Federalist Party newspaper. He also served in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

Upon Webster’s death in 1843, George and Charles Merriam acquired the rights to his dictionary. This is why it is called the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to this date. To learn more about this man, who desired nothing more than to preserve the American Spirit through written words, see our website for a selection of books for all ages.

SAVE 10% at CHECKOUT USE COUPON CODE – WEBSTER

This Halloween – Books Not Candy

Halloween. The day where children dress up in costumes and go door to door asking for treats.  The day where the average child consumes around 3 cups or 7,000 calories of candy. Did that catch your attention?  Just for comparison sake, that is the same as eating 13 Big Macs. Consider how many days they continue to consume this much candy. 

Discover Books wants to help Books Not Candy. We sell children’s book bundles ranging from $5.20 to $11.00. We know for most people, giving out 100’s of books isn’t feasible, but giving 10-20 books is a start.  We have bundle packs of Goosebumps, Dr. Seuss, Clifford, Disney Golden Books, Pinkalicious, Magic Tree House, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Beverly Cleary, and Captain Underpants. Start a new trendBOOKS NOT CANDY.  Together we can not only help reduce the amount of sugar children eat but also give a child the gift of LITERACY.  Order now to ensure delivery for Halloween.

DAILY SUGAR CONSUMPTION 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Union of Concerned Scientists notes “that American children between the ages of 2 and 19 consumed 124 grams of sugar, or 29 teaspoons, every day. Teenage boys in particular (age 12-19) consume an average of 161 grams—or nearly three-quarters of a cup—of sugar daily.”  The American Heart Association recommends for children 2 to 18 is 25 grams of sugar. This daily number combined with the increased intake on Halloween is cause for alarm. Even small steps are helpful.

DAILY READING HABITS

The average 8-12 year old spends 6-9 hours on media and technology a day. That is longer than they spend in school. Even more discouraging is the fact, they spend on average less than 10 minutes a day reading. Reading exposes one to different points of view, different cultures, ideas, and engages the mind and imagination in a way technology can’t match. Encourage your children, yourself, and those in your circle of influence to spend 30 minutes each day disconnected from gadgets reading a real book. 

The benefits of switching 30 minutes of technology time to true reading time are unfathomable. One benefit is the gift of focus or attention. When scrolling through endless content online, we aren’t necessarily engaged or focused. When we read, it trains our brains to be present even as our minds create the pictures in our heads. It takes focus to see the words, create the concepts, and process the meaning of the story. In short, we are exercising our brains. 

INVITATION TO ACT

We invite you again to begin a new tradition this Halloween – Books Not Candy. We’d love to hear your stories as you share the gift of literacy this HALLOWEEN. LET THE STORIES LIVE ON.

Fall Into a New Habit

The fall equinox is the marking point where light and darkness, day and night are equally balanced. One could say, “It’s all downhill from here,” as the daylight fades minute by minute for the next 3 months. 

Perhaps, there is a better way to look at it. Using the equinox, as a mile marker in the year to FALL into NEW HABITS. With the evenings becoming longer, take advantage of it. Find time for you. Find time for family.

RELAX for 30 minutes each night without the aid of an electronic device. Completely shut down the world of electronics, don’t check your phone, email, or stream your favorite episode. There are many reasons to disconnect and read. Yale University School of Public Health had this to say: “Reading can make you think and laugh; it can inspire and teach. … When researchers at Yale University School of Public Health analyzed data from more than 3,600 adults age 50 and older, they found that those who read books for 3½ hours a week—or 30 minutes a day—lived about two years longer than their non-reading peers.” Who doesn’t want to live longer? (https://www.healthination.com/health/benefits-of-reading) Read this article for more health benefits.

ENGAGE with the story. Put yourself in it. Take notes. Ask questions. What does the author want you to know? What is the author hiding? Where is this leading? The more one engages, the more one discovers. The characters, plot, climax, denouement all reveal bits of the beliefs or dreams hidden within the story by the author for you to discover. Engage in the process of discovery. 

ACQUAINT yourself with the characters, location, idea of the book. Meeting new people, places, and ideas stimulates the mind as we work through the difficulties of reality. Can’t escape on a vacation? Take a book in hand and acclimate yourself  into a new world, new time, with new people. Your mind paints the scenery, faces, costumes, landscape that it encounters in the stories you read. This escape reduces stress and anxiety. Take time to RELAX and ENGAGE daily. 

DISCOVER new stories, people, customs, lands, and ideas. The gift of discovery is one of the greatest gifts given to humanity. Thinking through complex issues and ideas helps us grow. When they are contained within a story, they provide an opportunity to problem solve and succeed without the consequences of reality. It is a gift to read and discover and see through new lenses.  

Understanding new ideas, people, and the complex world around us requires one to RELAX, ENGAGE, ACQUAINT, and DISCOVER for yourself. This fall balance your life by taking time to  R.E.A.D.  Find a story at Discoverbooks.com.

This fall start a new habit. Help those you love to start a new habit. Take 15-30 minutes daily and become one with a new story. Let us help you by offering 15% off all books USE COUPON CODE FALL2019 at checkout  AND remember SHIPPING is on us too! FREE SHIPPING ALWAYS. 

Books to Film

September brings cooler nights and shorter days. Have you noticed the change? This September, the big screen brings several books to the movies. Whether you enjoy the change from book to film is a personal battle.

Most of the time, the book delves deeper into the characters, details, plot because they aren’t limited by time, only pages. Images come alive in your mind and intertwine with your experiences. You and the author share a sacred moment as you journey mind to mind through the pages.

“But the moon was so large and clear through the uncurtained window that it made me think instead of a story my mother had told me, about driving to horse shows with her mother and father in the back seat of their old Buick when she was little. “It was a lot of traveling—ten hours sometimes through hard country. Ferris wheels, rodeo rings with sawdust, everything smelled like popcorn and horse manure. One night we were in San Antonio, and I was having a bit of a melt-down—wanting my own room, you know, my dog, my own bed—and Daddy lifted me up on the fairgrounds and told me to look at the moon. ‘When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.’ So after he died, and I had to go to Aunt Bess—I mean, even now, in the city, when I see a full moon, it’s like he’s telling me not to look back or feel sad about things, that home is wherever I am.” She kissed me on the nose. “Or where you are, puppy. The center of my earth is you.” Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

The words paint a clear vision in one’s mind, and you can relate to the character. The words take you to your father, mother, room, etc. In film form this interaction might take a minute or less. Perhaps, it won’t make the final cut. Either way, the film isn’t the same. It isn’t your father entering your mind; it’s the actor. The book takes you to your safe place, while the movie creates a new image of a safe place.

The movie just hit theaters this week, so there is time to still read the book. Discover Donna Tartt’s talent for creating dramatic images by reading one of her novels today.

Cinematography is powerful, no doubt. It leaves one breathless at times and a picture is worth a thousand words. The problem is – it isn’t your picture. It is the director’s picture and/or interpretation. That’s the biggest difference between reading and watching. Reading allows you to be involved in the creation of the picture. The author lays the details out for you, but your mind fashions the image.

Downton Abbey fans have been waiting anxiously for the arrival of the new film which hits theaters September 20, 2019. However, what most fans don’t know is Downton Abbey was inspired by a book by Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace written in 1989. The book is called To Marry an English Lord. According to Wallace, the film begins where the book ends. It is, if you will, the back story of Cora and Lord Crawley’s introduction, courtship, and marriage. As you wait patiently (okay not so patiently) for September 20, enjoy the rest of the story of Cora and Robert Crawley by reading the book.

Stephen King is a master at creating suspenseful and supernatural scenes to scare the toughest of reader. King brings our worst what-if scenarios into a realistic plot. That’s what is so terrifying. You have a fear, he makes it realistic. King’s IT was first published in 1986 and the first film came out in a mini-series form in 1990. It became a film in 2017 with the final part of the story hitting the big screen September 9th, 2019. If you haven’t read IT, or you need a refresher, grab a copy while the movie is still in theaters.

“Calling it a simple schoolgirl crush was like saying a Rolls-Royce was a vehicle with four wheels, something like a hay-wagon. She did not giggle wildly and blush when she saw him, nor did she chalk his name on trees or write it on the walls of the Kissing Bridge. She simply lived with his face in her heart all the time, a kind of sweet, hurtful ache. She would have died for him..”
― Stephen King, It


International Literacy Day

Literacy: What exactly does it mean? Do we still have literacy problems in the modern world? Well, on a basic level it means to possess the ability to read and write efficiently. Beyond the basics, it also includes recognition of languages and cultures within the learning process. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization had this to say about International Literacy Day:

“Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures,  worldviews,  and  knowledge  systems.  Embracing  linguistic  diversity in education  and  literacy  development  is  therefore  a  key  part  of  developing  inclusive  societies that  respect “diversity”  and “difference”, upholding human dignity”. Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of the International Literacy Day

Literacy rates have been on the upswing across the globe with some countries reaching a 100% literacy rate. While that is amazing, the United States and others haven’t reached the 100% rate yet. (For more information on literacy rates around the globe click here to go to UNESCO site for actual numbers.) According to UNESCO, there are still 750 million illiterate people around the world with the largest percentage being female. We can each reach out and help someone become confident and self-sufficient within our own communities. This issue can be solved if we work first within our communities and then globally. Take time this week to ponder the blessings of a free education and how you can bless the life of someone struggling to read or write.

“‘Let us pick up our books and our pens,’ I said. ‘They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’” (Page 310) Malala Yousafzai I Am Malala (Incredible book that changed my perspective and worldview forever.)

Join DiscoverBooks.com in celebrating the accomplishments of this journey towards 100% literacy rates by Reading a Book to a Child, Working with an Adult, or Just Enjoying Your Own Literacy by Reading a Book on World Issues.

Enter coupon code ILD2019 to save 15% off all books purchased now through Sept. 22nd.

Tribute to J.R.R Tolkien

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” -The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien

COUPON CODE TOLKIEN2019 AT CHECKOUT

J.R.R. Tolkien chose to spend his time enlightening the imaginations of millions of readers throughout the world. He created worlds of his own and left part of himself on this earth contained within his stories.

Yesterday marked the 46th anniversary of the death of this creative soul. His life experiences and beliefs are captured in print forever. All we need to do is open our minds to the worlds he shaped to help us better understand how to live in this world.

Library of Congress

Tolkien’s book(s) beckon us to move forward against all adversity, trials, and self-doubt. The journey is before us every day and we can rise to the challenge of it and face it with courage. #Letthestoriesliveon

Tolkien’s life represents this concept. His life was marked with adversity from a young age. First, when his father died and left the family with no income. His mother, brother, and self moved in with his mother’s family in Birmingham England. His mother taught him at home which allowed him to explore subjects he loved such as botany, nature, languages, and fairy-tales. He loved to read George MacDonald and Andrew Lang (wikipedia) Second, when at twelve years of age, his dear mother passed.

During World War I, he was a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He had already married Edith Bratt by this time. The separation was long and hard as it was for many during that time. Life was a journey and he was facing it head on.

Wikipedia

September 21, 1937 marks the publication day of his first novel The Hobbit. It is here, we begin the matter of fact journey into mythical creatures and beings not yet imagined. The world was suffering from the great depression, the Hindenburg disaster, and the dust bowl not to mention Hitler was setting the stage for Germany’s world domination campaign. The campaign against the Jewish people was just beginning as Tolkien introduced his imaginary world with Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves to mention a few. #Letthesstoriesliveon

Library of Congress

Join us on a quest to remember and honor this creative mind by reading either again or for the first time one of his fantasy novels. Perhaps, you haven’t read his commentary on Beowulf and would enjoy it. Try a book about Tolkien or his worlds. Find them all at Discover Books. Use Coupon Code Tolkien2019 at checkout for a 15% discount on all books. Good until 9/8/2019.


Hello Labor Day

Labor Day. The day of sales. The transitional end of summer vacation. The call to go one last time to the beach, camping, boating, or to host a barbecue. The signal to get serious in your studies. The herald of fall, football, school, and cozy blanket weather. But what does it mean? Who started it? What exactly are we celebrating?

Labor Day begins with the industrial revolution and the moving away from the homestead into the city for work. It ends with you and how you celebrate your opportunities for employment. It’s more than just a holiday. It’s a day about people, labor, history, industry, and law. It’s about Americans who believed in living life and not just surviving. #Letthestoriesliveon

I’m a people person. I like to understand and comprehend how people think, live, feel, and express themselves in all times. As humans, we analyze, categorize thoughts and ideas as we watch and learn about people. Let’s begin our journey to learn together. #Letthestoriesliveon

From the Lewis Hine's Collection Library of Congress. In 1954 the Library received the records of the National Child Labor Committee, . . . 350 negatives by Lewis Hine. In giving the collection to the Library, the NCLC stipulated that "There will be no restrictions of any kind on your use of the Hine photographic material."
Library of Congress Lewis Hines Collection

Labor Day is an opportunity to glimpse back through history to a time when industry was king. People flocked to it. Families worked to create it with little in return. As we turn back time, we see fathers with large families laboring in dirty, dim factories or mines to bring something, anything home to their families. Mothers struggling to keep house and a job that required 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week. Children as young as four crowded into factories because they were cheap labor. We see the business owners trying to balance the cost of business with profits.

Library of Congress Lewis Hine Collection

We see life. Life in a different era. We struggle not to judge, but use it as an example for our own lives. Gratitude. Gratitude for those who risked everything to change the system. Men like Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire, who are accredited with bringing us what is now known as Labor Day which was established as a federal law 1894. A day for celebrating the accomplishments of American workers.

Lives were altered, ended, supported, and made throughout the history of the industrial revolution. Learning about those lives and their impact on history helps us develop an understanding of the many blessings we have because of those who came before, and the legacy we want to leave for those who come after. #Letthestoriesliveon

Book Recommendations for your personal journey through the industrial revolution through the campaign to better conditions for workers and the enactment of the LABOR DAY HOLIDAY. Enjoy your long weekend. (And thank you to those who will work during the holiday to keep us safe and comfortable.) Use code LABOR19 at checkout for a 15% discount.


Dr. Seuss’s Birthday – Read Across America

DB00003-2

Saturday, March 2, is not only a day to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, it is also the NEA’s Read Across America event.  Thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers celebrate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.  If you’d like to get involved, you can find out more here.

mullberyStreetDo you remember your first Dr. Seuss book?  The odds are you can’t if your parents started reading to you at a very young age…just as I have done with my children.  But surely we have our favorites.  Wocket in my Pocket (for its silliness), To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street (for the imagination), and of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas (for the change of heart).

Dr. Seuss is not only a star in the book world.  His books have become huge movies and TV shows.  The first Grinch movie came out in 1966, and has been a must-watch movie each year.  Who can forget the song You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch (as sung by Thurl Ravenscroft – he also provided the voice of Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes commercials “They’re Great!”)?  Then in 2000, a live-action movie version of the book came out starring Jim Carrey.  And just last year, a new CGI movie version of the book came out under the title The Grinch.  These serves as a reminder of the staying power of Dr. Seuss’s story-telling.

 

Other recent movies include 2003’s The Cat in the Hat, 2008’s Horton Hears a Who!, and 2012’s The Lorax.

catInHatPremiering in 2010, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is a TV series featuring the voice of Martin Short as the cat who takes Nick and Sally, the Fish, and Thing One and Thing two on adventures in his Thinga-ma-jigger “vehicle.”  The series focuses on science and learning concepts.   A tie-in book series has been published too, exposing another generation to new variations of the Seuss world.

To celebrate Reading Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we’re having a “Buy 2 Books, Save 15%” promotion.  Enter the coupon code SEUSS19 on the cart page.  Good through March 2, 2019.  And let books take you to all the places you will go.

seussPlacesGo