A Bookish Craft to Help You Track Your Reading...

Too often Mary and I read library books or listen to audiobooks only to forget that we ever read them--without that spine on our bookshelves, it's easy to forget.  In 2013, Mary and I decided to start keeping a master list of every book we read ... and we decided to make it GIGANTIC. We did this by painting over an old piece of thirftstore art with white primer: 


We decided to leave a tree and girl on horseback just for fun: 


Then we started writing down the titles of books that we read with a black Sharpie. I was House Scrivener because Mary has the handwriting of a serial killer:


Our rules were pretty simple. Only write each title once (per year). That means if we both read a book or if we re-read something, it wouldn't clutter our list: 

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One year into the experiment, it's become a nice ritual. You'd be surprised how the prospect of adding to the list motivates you to finish a book! Here's the list hanging above our piano in the library: 

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I like the idea that in 30 years, we will have an entire room filled with pictures like this! 


Geek Dad Interview ...

I've got an interview up at the WIRED GeekDad blog today.  This is a big deal for me, as I've been a gigiantic fan of the blog ever since they taught me about this dot-matrix printer made from Legos and Crayola markers:

I was interviewed by Jonathan Liu, who also happens to be a virtuoso Etch-a-Sketch artist.  Check it out:

You can see more of his wizardry at Rainy Bay Art.  (He also does commissions ... don't think I'm not tempted!)

And while you're at it, check out our interview.  Mr Liu and I covered a ton of great topics -- including the importance of men modeling reading, the impact of nonsense on children's literature, the writing process, Laurence Sterne, yo-yos, etc.  Also, I finally talk about the single work of children's literature that influenced me more than any other!  (Hint: it's NOT Peter Pan!)  Wanna know what book it was?  Find out here.




Born on the Fourth of July!

Today is the birthday of America!  Also my wife!  Last year I found an old bicycle and re-painted it for her.  As everyone knows, bicycles need names.  Mine is "Danny the Champion of the World".  I named Mary's after one of her favorite Dickens' characters:  "Little Dorrit".

I leave you all with a patriotic quote from children's author and all-round smartypants, EB White:[1. Thanks to Cheryl Klein for the quotes]

"Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time."

And while we're at it, something from Mark Twain:

"God created war so that Americans would learn geography."

I might add that this is also why God created Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Do it, Rockapella!


Mary is an insane crafter.  I turn my back for ten seconds, and the next thing I know she's making a quilt, or painting a chair, or re-wiring an old chandelier.  As you can imagine, a number of the crafts in our house are book-related.  I thought I'd start sharing some of our more bookish creations on The Scop.  First up, a series of shadowboxes we made for our bookshelves:

The inside is cut from pages of an old German hymnal.   Here are a few pics from an angle: 

But the coolest part is when we put lights in the frames: 

Neat, eh?  In the coming weeks I'll try to post some other book-related crafts (mostly Mary's).  If you've made anything bookish and awesome, send me some pics and I'll feature it!