Thursday, September 25, 2008


A few minutes ago, I took delivery of a box of books, now stacked neatly beside my computer. Read Dewey's Box o’ books winners! post to see how I happened to win nine books from Hatchette.

On first opening the box, I looked for the book entitled Dewey (imagine that, Dewey giving away Dewey). This book is why I commented on Dewey's site to begin with, which means I won because I wrote about Dewey on Dewey's blog. The only way you'll be able to make sense of this paragraph is to notice I italicize book titles. Dewey the book is about "The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World." Dewey the person is about friendships and book blogging and stuff like that. Anyway, I would have been happy if I'd won nothing more than Vicki Myron's Dewey, which was published yesterday. I didn't remember a single other title from the list of books I won, but..........

As I looked through the pile of books, another one caught my attention: A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative by Roger von Oech. It's the 25th anniversary edition, revised and updated. Interesting that I don't remember running across this book before, since I taught continuing education classes on creativity back in the 1980s. So even before cracking open Dewey, which I put on the top of the pile, I opened A Whack on the Side of the Head and immediately found something I want to share with you about creativity (p. 111):

This "play with it!" attitude is reflected in one of my favorite print ads, which was created in the 1960s by Charles Piccirillo to promote National Library Week. The headline consisted of the alphabet in lower case letters like so:
It was followed by this copy:
At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry, giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand. It's astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do. In Shakespeare's hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbon pounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.
The ad went on to extol the virtues of reading and mention that good books are available at your library.
Creative, huh?

How would you rate this book?
Not only could I not put it down, I'm still reading it (on Sunday the 28th) and haven't opened a single one of the other books from the box.
Rated: 10/10, couldn't put it down

Synchronicity: The book arrived at 1:11 pm today, and I'm quoting page 111. Is this important? Nah, but I noticed it and smiled.


Bonnie Jacobs said...

Do you think Dewey will be surprised to see that I wrote about her today?

I should have added that she has another Read-a-Thon coming up in October. Go check it out:

Dewey said...

Nine! You were supposed to get ten! Well, last time some people received certain books separately. Maybe you have another one on the way!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I was supposed to get ten? Here's what I received:

A Whack on the Side of the Head
Ethics 101
The Self-Esteem Trap
The Book of Calamities
Say You're One of Them
Titanic's Last Secrets
Bo's Lasting Lessons
Knowing Right from Wrong

I'm not able to get on your blog right now, Dewey, so I can't compare this list with yours.

Susan Tidwell said...

Love the ad for the library, I can see why it is your favorite. I love folks with imagination!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Susan, this is ONE of my favorite ads (another has falling letters assembling themselves as words at the bottom of the page). But those blue words in the indented part of my post are actually quoted from the book, making this ad the favorite of Roger von Oech, the author.

Unknown said...

Yep, amazing what can be done with those 26 letters indeed!
Enjoy your wonderful pile of books, Bonnie!

Bookfool said...

Oh, now, see . . . I didn't even sign up to try to win, but if I'd noticed that book, Dewey, I would have tried. Cats are always a grabber, aren't they? That's a cute cover.

The second book looks interesting, too. Congrats and have fun reading!!

Linda Jacobs said...

I'm definitely going to look for A Whack on the Side of the Head since I teach a poetry-writing class and I'm sure it would help me get the kids to be more creative.

A very interesting and well-written post! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Bonnie on your book win! Any day you get a big box of books in the mail is a very good day indeed.

And I love that library ad, as well. So creative...I'm going to look up that book at my library right away!

Thanks for a very interesting post.