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“I talk a lot about this metaphor of broccoli and chocolate cake — it’s hokey but it’s important to me. Basically, I don’t think we need to convince people to read because they should, because it’s good for them. I don’t think reading a book is inherently healthier or nobler that watching a TV show or movie, especially a crappy book vs. a brilliant tv show. I also don’t subscribe to the “every time you watch The Jersey Shore, God kills a poet” school of pop culture. I read books because I enjoy the shit out of them. A great novel isn’t a wheat grass shot — it’s an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and hot fudge.”—
Just extending the food metaphors here, an A+ interview with one of my favorite people, Rachel Fershleiser, circa 2011.
“My vision is basically that Tumblr is your dream publishing party, but you’re invited no matter who you are or where you live. You just come on in, and there’s The New Yorker, and there’s Knopf, and there’s Neil Gaiman, and there’s your favorite lit mag and your favorite bookstore, and you can discover them, and they can discover you.”—
This is making my heart swell.
“There’s a growing group of us who are passionate about literature and web culture. I call that The Bookternet, and they’re my favorite people.”—Rachel Fershleiser, responsible for the literature community over at Tumblr, coines the phrase Bookternet. Are you part of it?
Hello, Tumblr! Presenting: Our Favorite Lit-Minded Tumblrs
After an incredible meeting with Tumblr literary high priestess, Rachel Fershleiser, we are ready to unveil the shiny new Black Balloon Tumblr! On it, you’ll find exclusive odds and ends from our books, outtakes from our blog, photos from events and parties, and anything worth reblogging from our literary friends and allies. To commemorate such an occasion, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite literary Tumblrs. Do yourself a favor and follow all these blogs immediately. Your cat-filled, Ryan Gosling-studded dashboard will thank you.
Book Storey: For the extremely detail-oriented design bibliophiles, this collection of rare books will make you swoon. Recommended for people who spend way too much time in the Strand’s Rare Book Room.
Fishing Boat Proceeds: YA author, John Green, is a Tumbly messiah, herding masses of “nerdfighters” to do outrageous things like register to vote and donate to Kiva. If you want to know that the kids are up to these days, jump on his bandwagon.
Underground NYPL: Forget the Sartorialist. This is the street style blog you want to be caught on. Subway riders reading, with the occasional e-reader thrown in for good measure.
Rachel Fershleiser: Obviously.
On the Strand: UK Penguin’s Tumblr ain’t the standard huge publishing blog. They post never-before-seen bits and pieces from their books, and if you’re lucky you can catch an early glimpse of soon-to-be bestsellers, like they did with Zadie Smith’s NW a couple of months ago.
The Collected Blurbs of Gary Shteyngart: Yes, he really did blurb this blurb blog. But this is handy to follow, should you ever need a crash course in book blurbing.
The Composites: “Images created using a commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters.” Either extremely beautiful or extremely upsetting, depending how you imagined Katniss Everdeen to look like.
Book Stalker: Again, obviously.
Bookshelf Porn: A visual case against e-readers.
Better Book Titles: One of the many Tumblrs that has went on to a (well deserved!) book deal but continues to post funny content.
Slaughterhouse 90210: Imperative for anyone who’s ever wondered what would happen to the time-space continuum if Edith Wharton and Blair Waldorf ever crossed paths.