A Velocity of Being

A Velocity of Being

Letters to A Young Reader

Book - 2018
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In these pages, some of today's most wonderful culture-makers--writers, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and philosophers--reflect on the joys of reading, how books broaden and deepen human experience, and the ways in which the written word has formed their own character. On the page facing each letter, an illustration by a celebrated illustrator or graphic artist presents that artist's visual response.

Among the diverse contributions are letters from Jane Goodall, Neil Gaiman, Jerome Bruner, Shonda Rhimes, Ursula K. Le Guin, Yo-Yo Ma, Judy Blume, Lena Dunham, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Jacqueline Woodson, as well as a ninety-eight-year-old Holocaust survivor, a pioneering oceanographer, and Italy's first woman in space. Some of the illustrators, cartoonists, and graphic designers involved are Marianne Dubuc, Sean Qualls, Oliver Jeffers, Maira Kalman, Mo Willems, Isabelle Arsenault, Chris Ware,Liniers, Shaun Tan, Tomi Ungerer, and Art Spiegelman.

This project is woven entirely of goodwill, generosity of spirit, and a shared love of books. Everyone involved has donated their time, and all profits will go to the New York Public Library systems.

Edited and introduced by
Maria Popova , who has been writing since 2006 about what she reads on Brain
Pickings (brainpickings.org), which is now included in the Library of Congress archive
of culturally valuable materials; Edited by Claudia Bedrick , publisher, editorial
and art director of Enchanted Lion Books.
Publisher: New York : Enchanted Lion Books , 2018.
ISBN: 9781592702282
Branch Call Number: j 028.55 VELOCITY
Characteristics: 256 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm


From the critics

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Jun 15, 2019

If you want high brow juvenile this is for you. I get the feeling it is less about the reader reading than about the author's pride in creating this collection. There are some interesting pictures but they seem like they're for older children or young teens. I only skimmed the contributors and pictures. I give it two stars for effort and young art.

May 08, 2019

This is a remarkable book by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick. Anyone who subscribes to Popova's weekly Brain Pickings — which you should do for yourself and others — will automatically reserve this book, as I did when I found it among SFPL's holdings. The two women have chosen gifted writers and equally talented artists to express to young readers (middle & high school) or to parents and grandparents why reading is so liberating. You will find many writers you're familiar with, numerous new ones and a range of delightful artists. They will show show you why reading is a mind-forming habit, best started as early as possible. A wealth of a lifetime's treasured reflections here can inform young readers willing to learn from pioneers.
I think that the only thing I might add — in addition to subscribing to Popova's Brain Pickings — is to look up numerous of the authors and see which of their works you might want to follow. Perhaps choose them and prioritize them according to how you valued either their advice or writing. Don't forget to look up other books or articles by the illustrators, whose work you may treasure independent of these authors.
This could start you on the journey of a lifetime. ~TED

Apr 10, 2019

I wonderful, heartwarming collection of (love) letters & illustrations that present reading in all its glory. The book itself is made with love and great attention to detail. (Don't miss the final note about 'endpaper'.)
A must for every bookworm at heart.

Mar 23, 2019

I am loving this book! A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, edited by Maria Popova (Brainpickings) and Claudia Bedrick, is a collection of over 250 letters from authors, poets, philosophers, composers, actors, astrophysicists... written to a young reader. They are magic. Martha Nussbaum says, "I work a lot in India, where a majority of poor people are illiterate. Here's what one woman in her thirties, a manual labourer, said about the experience of learning to read for he first time: "Whenever I am alone, I sit with the books. If someone behaves badly with me I go home and sit with the books. And my mind becomes better."" This made me so aware of the privilege of literacy and having books to read. Every letter has entered my heart in its own way. Read it. Buy it, especially if you have a young reader in the house. Buy an extra copy to give to a young reader niece or nephew or grand-daughter...


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