National Library Week: Saul Bellow

April 18, 2014

Rest in Peace – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

April 17, 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died today, April 17, at age 87.

Found: NYPL – George Washington’s Beer

Found: NYPL

George Washington’s personal recipe for “small beer,” which appears in the notebook dating from 1757 that Washington kept while he served as a colonel in the Virginia militia.

To make Small Beer

Take a large Sifter full of Bran Hops to your Taste. “” Boil these 3 hours. Then strain out 30 Gallons into a Cooler, put in 3 Gallons Molasses while the Beer is scalding hot or rather drain the molasses into the Cooler & strain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. Let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm. Then put in a quart of Yeast if the weather is very cold, cover it over with a Blanket & let it work in the Cooler 24 hours. Then put it into the Cask “” leave the Bung[hole] open till it is almost done working “” Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.

P.S. 244 Students Love The Library

During National Library Week, we are donating a portion of our sales to Public School 244 (Pre-K to 3rd grade) in Queens, New York to help them get a fully functional library.

On our visit to the school last week, we asked the students about their favorite books, characters and what they loved about libraries.

Here are some of their responses!

Find out more about our fundraiser to help P.S. 244 get a fully functional library

WCW – Nancy Pearl

April 16, 2014

Our Woman Crush Wednesday for National Library Week is super librarian Nancy Pearl!

Why Librarians Are Better Than Google

April 15, 2014

Library Fundraiser – P.S. 244

P.S. 244 (The Active Learning Elementary School “TALES”) is an early childhood public school (Pre-K to 3rd grade) located in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York. The majority of students do not speak English at home and qualify for subsidized meal plans, yet at TALES they thrive. A model for public schools at both the national and state level, P.S. 244 has been recognized for its focus on health and nutrition and ranks among the healthiest schools in the country. In 2013, P.S. 244 also ranked 11th in the state for test scores and has been heralded for its innovative curriculum and extremely hard working staff.

With all of these strengths, they also have challenges. The school’s current library has no formal checkout system and relies on volunteer staff. The result? The space serves more like a reading room than a true library. Students aren’t able to check out and read these books at home, families miss out on sharing the joy of reading with their kids and the school is unable to implement a summer reading program to enhance student reading skills during off-school periods.

Help us to give this school and its students the library they deserve. During National Library Week (April 13-20), we are donating a portion of our sales to purchase and implement a scanning system for P.S. 244 and to train staff to manage it. We will post updates after the donation and share stories from students and teachers about the impact of this new system.

National Library Week: Ben Franklin

April 14, 2014

Happy National Library Week, everyone!

We will be expressing our love for libraries all week with quotes, fun facts and other surprises so please share and help us spread the word!

Remembering Kurt Vonnegut

April 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, The Great Gatsby!

April 10, 2014

Celebrity Slam Poetry with Jimmy Fallon

April 9, 2014

Samuel L. Jackson performs slam poem about “Boy Meets World” on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, 2014. (h/t GalleyCat)

Tom Hanks performs slam poem about “Full House” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 2012. (h/t GalleyCat)

Happy Birthday, Barbara Kingsolver!

April 8, 2014

Atticus Finch – Book Madness Champion

Jane Eyre in Seventeen Magazine

April 7, 2014

“Lines Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth

“Lines Written in Early Spring”

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

Book Madness Sale: All tees $20

Sale is good through Tuesday, April 8!

“Love Potion” by Ricardo Hernandez

April 4, 2014

“Love Potion”
by Ricardo Hernandez, Warehouse Operations Manager, Out of Print

I was brought up on the notion that love is a potion.
With every swig at first sight you’d find love apperceptive.
No matter if it’s deceptive, see…
She could say she loves you, and you could say you love her
but the words are just words.
It’s the feeling that counts, the heart that mounts
not the body and the physical touch. More like
mental ties that binds us together tonight, for
an everlasting moment from disrobing to your potent
telepathic motions of, gasping and groping as we
continuously choke out the sensory of my sight.
Leaving me blind and confused from these fused dreams
that began with disturbed REM-sleep. Thinking backwards
now I could remember, there was no love nor nights
of holding each other tight. I was just taken part of a false flight
with no ecstasy in sight. Suffering fright from another love-mare,
leaving me so scared. How’d I allow myself to get to this point?
A metaphorical love loss that wasn’t lost because it never happened.
Reversing backwards to backward thinking, imagination speaking
when my imagination should have been sleeping.
Instead all I’m peeping is her subliminal messages.
Leaving our love even more dismal than offering answers
to my questioning; like, where is she with her emotional maturity?
Is it at the same level of her gratuity, none existent?
Irked with seeing these pet peeves performed by my temptress,
but Cupid is feeling relentless, so arrow after arrow from his quiver
taking shots at me doing damage to my liver.
Plugged my head and chest with ammo from his bow
only to bestow that all this love for her could never grow.
Too many past individuals crossed our life lines
impeding on what should rightfully be: mine, hers, ours.
Too much time passed not enough: chocolate, wine, flowers.
These minutes turn into hours and she’s still in my head.
Shot after shot this drunken poet stumbling back into bed.
Still can’t fully comprehend what’s going on in this head of mine.
Inoperable messages sent both ways through the sands of time,
only to leave us even more confused and less phased
by these chemical compositions that have been mixing
for years, and it’s fallen on deaf ears with words never uttered so clear
from our reverberating hearts, like: I love you.
But it can’t be shown, not for a second nor an hour
so a lifetime of our love is out the window as we cower.
I’m so tempted to leave it in the past, but
I’d be lying if I said she didn’t pass through
memories that are firing with every: rhyme, song, beat.
Needing her close to me making me feel: dumb, stupid, weak.
How much longer will this last? Will it ever truly pass?
Am I to suffer from the gravitational pull of her heart?
You know what- I’m going to kill Cupid and claim self defense
because he slipped me a potion that wasn’t for love
but a poison that was.

You can follow Ricardo on:
Twitter: @Ricky_Poet
Instagram: Ricky_Poet
Facebook: The Poets Settlement

And join Ricardo and The Poets Settlement this Tuesday, April 8, 7pm ET at Breuckelen Colony for their Open Mic series featuring poet and NYU Professor Yuyutsu Sharma. Full details on their Facebook page:

Happy Birthday, Maya Angelou!

You can view our I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings shirt here

“Five Directions to My House” by Juan Felipe Herrera

April 3, 2014

“Five Directions to My House”
1. Go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance
2. Walk up to the canvas door, the short bed stretched against the clouds
3. Beneath the earth, an ant writes with the grace of a governor
4. Blow, blow Red Tail Hawk, your hidden sleeve—your desert secrets
5. You are there, almost, without a name, without a body, go now
6. I said five, said five like a guitar says six.

The video above is courtesy of the Poet-to-Poet project by from the Academy of American Poets

“For National Poetry Month 2014, we introduce Poet-to-Poet, a multimedia educational project that invites young people in grades 3-12 to write poems in response to those shared by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors: Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Edward Hirsch, NEA and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Hirshfield, Lannan Foundation Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye, Pulitzer Prize-nominee Ron Padgett, Jackson Poetry Prize-winner Arthur Sze, and Cofounder (with Allen Ginsberg) of the Naropa Institute Anne Waldman.

Students—to participate in Poet-to-Poet, watch the videos below of Chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems. Then, write your own poem in response and email it to us at by April 30, 2014. Please include your name and the name of the poet below who has inspired your poem. We will consider all student poems for publication on in May 2014.

Teachers—if you are interested in using Poet-to-Poet in the classroom, we worked with a curriculum specialist to design a series of activities, aligned with the Common Core, especially for you. Go to the lesson plans here.”

“Amen” by James Baldwin

April 2, 2014


No, I don’t feel death coming.
I feel death going:
having thrown up his hands,
for the moment.
I feel like I know him
better than I did.
Those arms held me,
for a while,
and, when we meet again,
there will be that secret knowledge
between us.

via Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin, published by Beacon Press

Happy Birthday, Hans Christian Andersen!

National Poetry Month – Rita Dove

April 1, 2014

Tshirt Quilt by Project Repat

We found a new way to get cozy with our soft shirts! Thanks to Project Repat, we turned our tees into an amazing custom t-shirt quilt blanket!

Happy National Poetry Month!

You can check out the poster gallery here.

Book Madness: Day 5 – Sweet 16!

March 28, 2014

Sweet 16 matchups

Satan vs. Voldemort
White Witch vs. Dracula
Sauron vs. Big Brother
Lady Macbeth vs. Nurse Ratched

Jane Eyre vs. Aslan
Odysseus vs. Frodo
Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Potter
Atticus Finch vs. Lisbeth Salander

Voting closes Tuesday, April 1 at 11:59AM ET!

Vote here:

Book Madness: Day 4

March 27, 2014

Remembering Walt Whitman

March 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Robert Frost!

Book Madness – Day 3: 1st-round results

2nd round matchups:

Satan vs Prof Moriarty
Iago vs Voldemort
Wicked Witch of the West vs White Witch
Bob Ewell vs Dracula
Sauron vs Kurtz
Big Brother vs Moby-Dick
Count Olaf vs Lady Macbeth
Napoleon vs Nurse Ratched

Jane Eyre vs Huck Finn
Aslan vs Katniss Everdeen
Odysseus vs James Bond
Meg Murry vs Frodo Baggins
Sherlock Holmes vs Charlotte A. Cavatica
Harry Potter vs Othello
Atticus Finch vs Jean Valjean
Don Quixote vs Lisbeth Salander

Happy Birthday, Flannery O’Connor!

March 25, 2014