It was 2013 and I was browsing old paperbacks in a local bookshop that sadly no longer exists. I remember the shop well, it was one of those cozy narrow stores that was crammed full of leaning stacks and overflowing shelves. I liked it because they had low prices on classics, and bought used books for store credit. So I shopped there a lot, always looking to add something to my collection that I didn’t already have. I had never seen or heard of this book before, but when I saw it and had to have it.
I honestly couldn’t place what drew me to Lost Horizon. Perhaps the stunning vintage paperback art style and the striking sprayed pages? Maybe it was the smell of old book that greeted me every time I flipped a page? Or simply that the short tale captured my imagination and took me on an adventure. At the time I was really into hiking and maybe I was drawn to the mountainous cover art, or maybe my wandering soul craved the isolated utopia I found within the book. I guess it was all of it, the experience as a whole.
Lost Horizon is best remembered as the origin of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian lamasery located high in the mountains of Tibet. Though I had heard of Shangri-La before, I never really thought about what it symbolized or where it came from. Until I found Lost Horizion.
I finally read (and watched) Little Women! The movie made me do it. So actually, I claimed a free trial of Masterpiece PBS through my Amazon account, which came with unlimited period dramas and was the BEST way to pass the shelter-in-place restrictions. I binged on Jane Austen (they had Sanditon & Northanger Abbey) and Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White … AND THEN the 2018 Little Women series!! I loved it, and ran out to get the new movie from Redbox. And then I had to read the book. I devoured it, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read! The characters are so genuinely good-hearted, and there are so many simple lessons that can be gleaned from the stories-within-the-story. This is definitely a new favorite for me, one I can see myself re-reading for years to come.
The 2018 Little Women miniseries was the first one I watched, and honestly I am glad I did. Of course the book is always better than the movie, and I prefer to read the book before watching, but in this case I think it was great to know the story before reading the book. Little Women is a big read and a lot happens, so having a visual in my mind was helpful for keeping the story straight in my head. Also, it was fun to compare-and-contrast what happens in the movie to what happens in the book!
Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, the cofounders of Out of Print, have launched an app that brings together books and social media.
Out of Print, an established literary themed apparel company, brings consumers wearable works of literature, offering men, women and childrens clothing as well as accessories and gifts. Purchases made to Out of Print help to “promote literacy in underserved communities: each purchase helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need. It also supports the authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of our lives.”
“We see Litsy as an extension of Out of Print’s mission to get people talking about books and starting conversations,” Lawton said. Litsy exists as a sort of amalgam of the current giants of social media, combining elements of Instaram, Twitter and Goodreads into a one-stop-shop for everything book-ish. “What we wanted to do was take the best, the most fun aspects of other social media platforms and back it with an amazing book database.” Continue reading