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Pride, Prejudice, and Copyright: How Books Reach Public Domain

9 Jun 2021

One might drop by a bookstore in search of timeless classics, and find… something dubious. "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"? "New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Russia"? At first glance, such books are a crime against literature, morality and human taste, but slow down – everything is done within the limits of the law. All books that have become classics are in the public domain, which means they are open to new interpretations. But how do writings get this status? And what happens after? We will try to answer these questions in as much detail as possible, and will understand the public domain inside out.

Author's Point of View

On Slavery, Struggle and Love: 9 Books by African American Authors you Might Have Missed

8 Jun 2021

Books by American authors have long and firmly settled in the readers' wishlists of many of us, but here is something that could have escaped your attention. African American literature is a very specific phenomenon. Hundreds of years of slavery and segregation, inequality and struggle for rights have left their mark on books, and the love of folklore and elements of African mythology have created a unique flavour, noticeable even in science fiction. Today, on the birthday of the first famous African American poetess Phyllis Wheatley, we will recall the writers for whom her work opened the way to literature.

Author's Point of View

About Bookworms: Literally and Figuratively

25 May 2021

You have collected an extensive home library, you spend unthinkable money in bookstores, do not get enough sleep, because every evening you promise to "read just one chapter and go to sleep". You're probably a real bookworm. In your desire to absorb page after page you are relentless and clearly do not hesitate. Now there's nothing wrong in calling yourself a bookworm, is it? Where did that word come from? Get ready: everything is not as simple as it seems at first glance.

Author's Point of View

Time Loop: What is This Trope and Where Does it Lead?

18 May 2021

You open this article: the headline on the main page, familiar photo on the cover caught your eye, and you are probably expecting something about Groundhog Day – you have watched this film. It became a kind of symbol of the time loop as a trope in art. Repetition of the same period over and over again at first glance seems like something ecstatically boring. So why do we keep reading books about time loops? How do authors keep us on our toes? And is there a future for such stories? Let's figure it out.

Author's Point of View

From radio to podcasts: a brief history of voiced literature

15 May 2021

Let's face it: reading is not the easiest hobby. It takes a lot of time, because not everyone manages to concentrate on a book in a subway car, sometimes immersion in the world of literature must take place in very special conditions, in silence and behind a closed door. Everyday life swallows us up, but we want to read so much! So audiobooks come to the rescue. So where did they come from and where does it all lead? Let's take a look at the history of this unusual literature format – audio.

Author's Point of View

Literary Delights: 10 Books with Recipes

8 May 2021

On rainy spring days, you will certainly want to please yourself with something. A good way is to do your favourite hobby, chat with friends or … just eat. Surely, “delicious food” comes right after fiction on your list of favourite things, and when they are combined, it becomes a great way to cheer yourself up and inspire future achievements – maybe even culinary ones. Today we will remember ten excellent fiction books in which cooking plays an important role, and the recipes that are certainly worth a try. Prepare handkerchiefs: some of the descriptions will make your mouth water.

Author's Point of View

A very brief history of the beatniks

5 May 2021

60 years ago, at a poetry evening at the Town Hall Theater in Berkeley, a poem was read from the stage that changed American literature, and then the whole world – "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg. But is there really a need for a reason to write about this very important period in literature? The Beat period not only made modern poetry the way we see it, but even influenced music. Today we take a look at the history of the beat generation – in dates, numbers, faces and the most important aspects. Briefly and to the point.

Author's Point of View

How to Survive: Pandemic Advice from Writers of the Past

30 Apr 2021

It doesn't get easier in time. Uncertainty and anxiety have become our constant companions, and no matter how much time passes, it only becomes more difficult to cope with them: after all, anxiety has an easy cumulative effect. So what do we do? Let's resort to someone else's experience. Surely, you are already tired of all these modern recommendations for dealing with pandemic stress in the style of "sing more often". What can people who have been in it for hardly a year know about real life in a pandemic? Amateurs! Today we'll turn to the experience of isolation in fiction and the lives of writers themselves – they would certainly know a lot about how to stay at home and not go crazy (or at least try).

Author's Point of View

Wheel, hell, death: the wonderful world of book curses

26 Apr 2021

Have you ever lost your library book? If so, then, in addition to an incredible sense of shame, you also received a small fine or a requirement to replace the loss with an exact copy. And you got off easy! Even some five hundred years ago, the loss or even theft of a book could seriously jeopardize the integrity of your mind and body. Today we will continue the topic raised in the previous article and talk about the most unusual way to protect a book from being stolen by an intruder. About the curse.

Author's Point of View

An Incredible Story of Book... Stealing

21 Apr 2021

Reading has never been a cheap hobby. Just think how much you've spent in your entire life on your home library, a part of which you have never even read! Prices keep going up; the wallet becomes empty at the sheer sight of price tags in a bookstore. So what's to be done? Should you just sneak the coveted book on the sly, while no one sees? It's time to get on the slippery slope of crime… and immediately get off it, because stealing a book is immoral and reprehensible. Without a long introduction, let's finally talk about book stealing.

Author's Point of View

Nothing is Sacred: Why Reading Over Your Shoulder Annoys You

16 Apr 2021

It happened to each of us. You cram into a crowded subway car, you can hardly find a free space to fit at least your head, a book is in your hands, you open it – after all, you stopped at the most interesting moment, how can you not read it? That is when it happens. Someone else's curious glance slides over the pages, the uninvited reader almost puffs in your – what an audacity! Although... What's the big deal? Why does a glance at someone else's book, thrown by a fellow passenger, awaken so much anger and irritation in us? Let's try to figure out.

Author's Point of View

Missing Girls: The Story Trope We Need

15 Apr 2021

The disappearance move is almost more common in detective stories and thrillers than finding a dead body in a locked room or investigating serial murders. The main character follows in the footsteps of the lost lover, daughter or close friend, revealing more and more secrets that filled her life along the way. Fascinatingly, isn’t it? Certainly. Just pay attention: the statistics of such literary disappearances has a significant gender preponderance. So why does a woman disappear in every book? Let's take a look at the history of one of the most popular tropes in modern detective fiction.

Author's Point of View

The Art of Sorting: How to Organize your Bookshelves and Stay Sane

8 Apr 2021

Take a look at your bookshelf. Closer. What does it remind you of? An uneven row of books of all sizes and colours? Perfectly even row, where everything is arranged exactly in alphabetical order? Chaotically volumes thrown on each other mixed with postcards and magazine inserts? Whatever is in your bookcase, you've probably thought about sorting it at least once. Home libraries always look flawless in photographs and in movies – if only it were like this at home! It's time to dust off the spines and learn about ways to tidy up your bookshelves. And to figure out how the National Library is doing it.

Author's Point of View

A Brief History of Reading in Four Acts with Interludes

2 Apr 2021

Arguably, the history of reading is the most curious and non-standard element of book culture, because the process is so natural! We wonder about the origins of book spines, bookmarks, capital letters and archetypal plots, but what about reading itself? From clay tablets to libraries, from reading aloud to speed reading: a fascinating story was under our own very noses all this time. It's time to dig into it.

Author's Point of View

Famous writers and their crazy daily routines

30 Mar 2021

How does your day begin? The howl of an alarm clock, a whistling kettle, the noise of a crowded bus, the click of a turnstile in the subway ... It's sad to admit, but everyday life is everyday life - our daily routines are usually simple, prosaic and similar to each other like two drops of water. But for people from the world of creativity, isn't everything different? Writing isn't waiting for you in the office from nine to six, it's always with you. So how can you live if work does not leave you for a minute, and inspiration is ready to slip away at any moment? Let's take the liberty of taking a look at how famous writers of the past lived – point by point and by hour.

Author's Point of View

Books written in the second-person: all the pros and cons

16 Mar 2021

If writers have unspoken rules, one of them almost certainly sounds like "don't write in the second person." After all, such an appeal to the reader looks at least specific, as a maximum it is uncomfortable, it is better not to risk it. But is it worth it to be so categorical about this technique? Well, let's find out!

Author's Point of View

The fascinating history of an ex-libris

22 Feb 2021

We love buying books even more than reading. After all, who doesn't dream of your own home library? Acquiring a new book is a very special excitement, the feeling of having something truly amazing, a whole world in paper. And, of course, on such important things one involuntarily wants to write in big letters "MINE". Humanity has courteously taken care of this. Keep your sense of beauty and possessiveness at the ready: today we will look at a brief history of ex-libris.

Author's Point of View

Reading Aloud: How, With Whom and Why

11 Feb 2021

Remote work, self-isolation and other "pleasures" of modern life sometimes make you feel disconnected from society. There is only you and the walls of your apartment. Do you feel like the last person on the planet? Are you losing touch with family, friends and reality? We have one fun way to get you back on the ground – with the help of books, of course. Or rather, with a way to absorb them. Stretch your vocal cords: it's time to talk about reading aloud!

Author's Point of View

What is ergodic literature and why You should not be scared of it

3 Feb 2021

Ergodic literature sounds like something sinister and forbidden, doesn't it? It would be worth calling ergodic old books in leather covers, hiding in themselves dark secrets or something like that. It's too much like Lovecraft. But it is worth looking at such books closer, and it turns out that there is nothing frightening in them (except the name, of course). Gather all your literary makings: we immerse ourselves in the world of books, whose text is curled up so that you love and hate it at the same time.

Author's Point of View

Book Walker, Book Mouse or Audiohound: What Kind of Reader are You?

29 Jan 2021

Everything affects our perception of a book – our mood on that day, the quality of the paper, the time of day and, of course, the place of reading. What can be more important than that? When you are comfortable, even the most difficult constructions are read in one breath. It is easier for someone to concentrate in the deep silence of their own room, and someone can not read without a library atmosphere around. So many places to read, so many nuances!

Author's Point of View

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Traveling Mood

7 Jun 2021

We invite you to the "Traveling Mood" exhibition in the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Department Reading Room (room 164) from June 7 to August 27.

The Earth: One Planet for All

2 Jun 2021

A thematic exhibition "Earth: One Planet for All" dedicated to World Environment Day is on show in the Official Document Service Department (room 207) from June 2 to July 13.