“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.
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.
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 UnitedStates 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 YousafzaiI 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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
For those of us without a lot of time to read – or perhaps readers like me who have books all over the house and want to be able to pick up and put down something if we have a few minutes to spare – short story collections are the perfect solution to get your reading fix without having to read hundreds of pages.
Most of us were introduced to short stories in high school. Whether the suspense of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, the heartbreaking brilliance of Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron or the mind-bending consequences in Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, short stories introduced younger readers to the possibilities of fiction without sacrificing language, plot, or characters.
Today, short story collections are everywhere. They allow you to explore new genres and authors without the commitment of wading through a longer novel, but with all the satisfaction of finishing a great story. Once you’ve got short story authors that you really like, you can expand your reading list to novel authors you’ve enjoyed and of whom you’d like to read more.
Since May is Short Story Month, we’re showcasing some of our favorite short story picks for our readers.
Ernest Hemingway is widely considered the grandfather of the modern short story. He has a number of famous short story collections, like In Our Time, but we’d like to point you in the direction of The Nick Adams Stories. This posthumous collection features stories published – and some unpublished – throughout Hemingway’s life. This is one of our favorite collections of short stories to read that are a little off the beaten path.
JD Salinger is widely known for his anti-hero classic, A Catcher in the Rye. He followed his breakout novel with a collection of short stories called “Nine Stories.” It included “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” which was originally published in the New Yorker Magazine a couple years before Catcher came out. This collection was surprising popular (and financially successful) for a collection of short stories and kept Salinger’s literary star in the spotlight as the famous author slid into the seclusion.
Night Shift was Stephen King’s first published collection of short stories. Published right after the success of the Shining, Night Shift features 20 of King’s stories, some previously published by various magazines, others unpublished. Unsurprisingly, many of these stories went on to get film adaptations in Hollywood, including Children of the Corn, Truck, The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, and Cat’s Eye.
Roald Dahl has penned children’s classics such as James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but what many Dahl fans don’t realize is that he also wrote several short story collections from the point of view of children. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More is a collection of short stories written for a slightly older audience than the majority of his famous children’s books, leaning more young adult than elementary school aged readers.
Whether science fiction, classics, horror, Southern literature, or modern authors, there’s sure to be a collection out there that feeds your enjoyment of reading. Check out all of our short story collections here.