April 22, 2010

Further miscellany...

Glasgow Uni D 655
The first tulip of the season after the longest winter, ever.

Poor Volterra is being overrun with tourists. You know, the home of the Volturi? The imaginary Italian vampires from Twilight? Yeah. Them.

Tourists. Coming to see them. Except, Volterra itself isn't imaginary. It's a little Italian town who had no clue what anyone meant by Team Edward -- and weren't particularly interested in finding out. They've had to... learn to cope, while not getting run over and not turning the place where they have lived for centuries into a ticky-tacky tourist town (like the town next door, who threw themselves at filmmakers so they're in the movie, and not the actual town of Volterra! Volterra actually didn't care.) They appear to have found a way to deal - while still being able to look themselves in the mirror in the morning. Yay, Volterrans.

Has anyone else gotten the newsflash on WE GIVE BOOKS? It's ... a book giveaway. Or, rather, it's a book donation program which allows people to read some really excellent children's books online. For every free online book a parent and child read together, a book is donated in realtime to Books Across America, Haiti Learning Spaces, Books for Asia, or any of several other reading promotional organizations -- the reader gets to pick.

Are you looking for a catch? I was. I mean, these are actual books you've heard of, some classics like Beatrix Potter and The Little Engine That Could, some well-made new releases from DK Publishing and books like Spot Loves His Mommy. There are three read-together libraries for kids ages 0-3, 4-7 and 8-10, although not all age groups have books selected for them just yet. I paged through Animal Families from DK Publishing, and it was the same high-quality color photography that is in the paper text. Readers are given the option to just read the book online or buy it, of course, and I have a feeling that a lot of families will buy the book, so that they can read it and touch pages instead of screen. But reading is free -- always. The giveaway is sponsored by The Penguin Group and The Pearson Foundation. "We Give Books," the people said. It appears they do.

Check it out. Unless there's something that I'm missing, this is a easy way to support reading initiatives in the U.S. and abroad, and spend some lap time with a little person as well. [Via Publishers Weekly]

National Poetry Month is almost over! Are you getting your daily dose of poetry?


Sarah Stevenson said...

Poor Volterra--I was wondering about that. It was only a matter of time, I guess.

It's a very historical place...isn't it the site of a major Etruscan settlement? I find that a lot more interesting than fictitious vampires, personally...

Beverley BevenFlorez said...

I've been enjoying your Miscellany posts.

The whole Volterra thing does make a writer sit back and question whether we should use a real location or invent one for our work. Of course, most of us don't have to worry about a billion fans stampeding Europe after reading one of our books. ;)

Charlotte said...

"while still being able to look themselves in the mirror in the morning" -- I guess that does mean they aren't vampires.

tanita✿davis said...

(Thank you, Charlotte. ::snort::)
A.F.: YES, that is for what Volterra is famed, and now they have a tourist program for all the people wandering through - good for them, I say.

Bev: I always thought it was such a great idea that Meyers picked Forks just off the map -- it seemed a great way to armchair travel! And Forks has certainly benefited from being a poor post-logging town to a tourist destination... I hadn't thought about the impact that Volterra has had to endure at all. It does make me think twice, but I think she wanted a real place to give her fantasy story some anchors. I don't know... I usually choose a real place, and then change the name. In cases like this, it seems a better choice.

Saints and Spinners said...

What's going on with Volterra reminds me of the tourist revival the remote hill-town Civita di Bagnoregio experienced after it was featured on a travel show. Volterra seems better equipped to handle tourists, but still, I cringed when I read about teens carving "Edward Forever" into the wall. I wonder what archaeologists will make of the graffiti thousands of years from now.