Bookie Blog

21 Sep

The Benefits of Reading For Adults and Children

September is here which means Banned Books Month is here! Every September, Bookmans proudly celebrates literature that has been banned or challenged in schools, libraries or any public spaces. Censorship is so widespread, it’s even likely that some of your favorite children’s books were once banned. Bookmans stores across Arizona are hosting a plethora of events this month for literary geeks out who are proud to read. To get you started on the right path, we are highlighting all the wonderful benefits of reading for both adults and young children. Reading not only builds intelligence, but it also improves countless other aspects of our lives. Let’s get started!

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20 Sep

Get Crafty | Bookmans Recommends Geeky Projects

As you may have heard, Winter is coming. This means many different things around Arizona, from snow-covered streets in Flagstaff to perfect hiking climes in Tucson. No matter what your fave cool-weather activity might be, we recommend that you throw crafting into the rotation. Whether you’re a geek or not, you can be sure to find something to satisfy your creative side at your local Bookmans. Also, be sure to check our event calendar for creative and crafty gatherings across the state. When it comes to crafting, there is quite a universe out there and Bookmans is ready to help you boldly craft how you’ve never crafted before. All six of our Bookmans locations have a section dedicated to all different kinds of craft books. There are even a few especially for us geeks out there. Today, we highlight the best and brightest in the geeky craft world.

15 Sep

10 Books You Wouldn’t Believe Were Banned

There are definitely times where banning a certain book leaves you with only one question: why? For example, you can look at a book that came out in the early 1900s and see that maybe society wasn’t quite ready for a sexually explicit novel such as Tropic of Cancer. But when some books are banned, it frankly makes most of us want to laugh. Here is a list of 10 banned books that were banned for the weirdest and most ridiculous reasons.

14 Sep

#ArrestedReading | Top 5 Ladies of Banned Lit

As we continue to fight censorship during #ArrestedReading Month this September, we want to highlight those characters who bring girl power to the conversation. Today, we count down our top five heroines in banned or challenged fiction. These loveable yet powerful characters play an important role in challenging the minds of countless readers and that is in itself a timeless story. Not only do these characters represent life, love and coming of age, they show the world through the eyes of a young lady. How is it possible to so accurately capture the essence and adventure of growing up as a girl? These protagonists are written by some of the most ground-breaking authors of all time, who are also women.

12 Sep

Bookmans Recommends | Insomnia Reading List

I sleep pretty well, most of the time. But lately, I’ve found myself waking up at 2 a.m. with lots of ideas on my mind. I recently read an article that recommended powering down all electronic devices and going into another room of your apartment or house when you have a hard time falling asleep. I usually go to my spare bedroom where I keep all my books, write down all of my ideas on a notepad and then grab a book I’ve already read and go through my favorite chapter. Why a book I’ve already read? Because then I won’t stay awake anticipating what will happen next. I learned my lesson when I read Game of Thrones for the first time. I stayed up reading until 5 a.m. because I couldn’t put it down. So, here are few ideas for all of us out there with a touch of insomnia. Whether these are right for you or not, perhaps they will inspire ideas on how to ease your mind back to sleep!

11 Sep

#ArrestedReading | Banned Books for All Ages

By Guest Blogger and Bookmans Enthusiast, Megan Maiden

Every year, the American Library Association releases a list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books. These are titles that were forced to be removed from libraries and schools for various reasons. Like most rebellious children, I never liked being told what to do. I never liked being told that I couldn’t watch a certain kind of movie, couldn’t listen to a certain kind of music or couldn’t read a certain kind of book. “Don’t tell me what I can’t read!” I would screech while causing a scene at the public library. Nothing has ever stopped me from reading what I wanted, whether it was appropriate or not (says the girl that used the novelization of Sleeping with the Enemy for her 4th grade book report). Bookmans opposes censorship of any kind all year, but September is #ArrestedReading Month which includes Banned Book Selfies, Blind Dates with Banned Books and a pretty all-around awesome Fight Censorship campaign. Fighting censorship is never about cramming scandal down people’s throats, but instead about allowing people to read whatever interests them. Banned books, shmanned books! Today, we are highlighting banned books for every age.

06 Sep

Fight Censorship | 5 Unlikely Banned Books

We fight censorship every month at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange. But September is especially awesome when it comes to freedom of speech because we celebrate #ArrestedReading with Banned Book Mugshots and Challenged Literature Displays! It’s always interesting to see what new books have made the banned list and remember those from previous years. There’s something exciting about finding out that one of your favorites is part of the club. I took some time to read about a few of these and compiled of a list of the most random and hilarious reasons that books were banned. I hope some of these are familiar titles for you and the reason they are “unfit” Wheto be read gives you a good chuckle!

04 Sep

Adam Rex: King of Kids’ Books

Moonday, Cold Cereal and the New York Times bestseller, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich have one hysterical thing in common — Adam Rex. True to his name, the author/illustrator/artist is a literary king and a gateway author for young readers. You might have seen his books or attended one of his popular sessions at the Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) or maybe you’ve seen the DreamWorks movie Home based on his book The True Meaning of Smekday. If not, you’re in luck! The one and only Adam Rex will be making an appearance at Bookmans Midtown on September 9th at 11am. Don’t miss out on a short reading provided by this Tucson celeb. Mr. Rex will be drawing one of kind creatures with the help of his audience and reading one of his acclaimed children’s books. Until then, geek out with us as this U of A alumnus shares his thoughts on creativity, Magic: The Gathering and Bookmans.

Adam Rex

10 Aug

Movie Madness | Book to Film Adaptations

Hollywood has a long tradition of using literature to inspire film and television. This long standing alliance between actors, writers, directors and authors has produced some of film’s finest works. Bookmans staff has a deep affection for both mediums and lots and lots of opinions on where film adaptations of novels are successful (and where they fail). The following Book-to-Movie discussion will look a little deeper into the elements that work toward transferring words to the screen. We will also have a look at a few films that are noteworthy. The list is far too long to discuss more than just a few titles. In fact, while researching, we uncovered a couple of titles that surprised even us.

08 Aug

A Rose by Any Other Name | Catchy Book Titles

Every now and then, we come across a book title that really stops us in our tracks. If you are a life long reader, there is an excellent chance that a title has lept out and grabbed you. Book titles can convey feelings to readers that resonate with real situations in their lives. Is it fair to select a novel based solely on its title? Let’s have a look at a few of those titles that caught our attention. Some of our selected titles are coupled with cover art that perfectly marries two concepts and some are so lyrical that they stand alone.

07 Aug

Love for Literacy at Bookmans

At Bookmans, our mission is to spread love for books across the state. We present early literacy story times at each of our six locations around Arizona. By providing fun and interactive story times for the surrounding communities, our goal is to instill a love of reading in youngsters and grow a new generation of avid readers. Local non-profit organization, First Things First (FTF) believes that literacy is a skill that should be developed before kindergarten. FTF states that “A child’s environment – and the amount of nurturing and care they get from the adults in their lives – shapes their brain development. If you think of the brain as a human skyscraper, a child’s experiences in the early years are how the foundation is built.” With so many amazing books from which to choose, let’s get building. Stop by any Bookmans location for fun, free and interactive weekly story times.

02 Aug

Bookmans Summer Sale | BOGO Mystery and Romance

Bookmans stores across Arizona will be hosting a Summer BOGO Sale this weekend, August 4th and 5th! Stock up on everything you need to escape the heat this summer and be entertained…indoors! Head to Bookmans stores for this sweet Summer Sale as we offer a buy-one-get-one deal on all mystery and romance novels. This promotion cannot be combined with other offers or discounts and is limited to one per customer. In honor of this amazing sale, we once again offer up a few suggestions for must-have mysteries and lusty literature. So sit back and relax as we provide some genre fiction sure to be added to your TBR pile.

28 Jul

Bookmans Recommends | Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein

National LGBTQ Pride Month is observed across the country each June. But here at Bookmans, we like to keep the celebration of diversity going all year round. What better way to reflect on acceptance and diversity than to read incredible books? Today, we highlight Kate Bornstein’s Gender Outlaw, a multi-genre biography about a multi-genre life. This book is about humanity, journeys and choices. The pages are filled with gumption and wisdom. It is written in a relatable way that encourages readers to reflect on their own individual experiences with misunderstanding and adversity. Bornstein sets an example of how readers can speak and live their own truths. She has dedicated herself to redefining ‘identity’ and is an inspiration for living life in an understanding and creative way.

20 Jul

Book Blog | Creative Cover Art

As the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. In reality, we all judge books by their covers and it’s not always a bad thing. In the past, publishers concerned themselves more with the binding and fabrics for covers rather than cover art. Times have definitely changed and cover art is now an art form all its own. While walking the aisles or perusing displays at your local Bookmans, one might think that every section is the art section. There are breathtaking examples all around our stores of ingenious, skilled, dramatic and evocative covers that run the gamut of mediums. No one style can claim the title of “Best Cover Art.” We see brilliant covers done with painting, photography, graphics, collage and mixed media. It would be a waste to not take these wonderful covers into consideration when deciding upon your newest read. The covers are well thought out and are often a collaboration between the artist and the writer. That collaboration gives the potential reader a fairly accurate idea of what to expect from the pages inside. Today, we take a look at some classic covers that consistently drive readers to purchase the book – sight seen.

06 Jul

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Once upon a time, 20 years ago to be exact, a book was released into stores that would change the world of fiction as we know it. Readers’ patience would be challenged like never before. Obsessions would be ignited over the book release dates, who might die next, who would fall in love, and what cape should be worn to book club. Best friendships would dissolve in arguments over which quidditch team was better. Relationships would be tested when one party failed to understand the importance of reading the series multiple times in between viewings of the films in theaters. No, I am not talking about a daytime soap opera or telenovela. I’m describing the phenomenon we now know as Harry Potter. 

04 Jul

Bookmans Recommends | A Darker Shade of Magic

Phoenix Comicon has become a well-known convention for many genre authors to attend, perhaps even more so than most comic conventions. This year, the author guest list was rounded out with such genre greats as Terry Brooks, Timothy Zahn, and Diana Gabadon. We had the opportunity to meet lesser known fantasy author V.E. Schwab, whose work we had been eyeing for some time, but had never gotten around to actually reading it. We were first introduced to V.E. Schwab’s work through an excerpt of her book, A Darker Shade of Magic, in a sci-fi/fantasy magazine. We enjoyed the Gaiman-esque style of her writing style. The story did not feel heavy or overly involved as many epic fantasies do, but still drew us in and kept us interested. She treats the concept of magic as something close to home rather than being otherworldly as many fantasies represent it.

Darker Shade of Magic

30 Jun

Book or Movie | Which do you prefer? (Part 1)

Some of the best movie ideas come from books. Movie adaptations have been a staple for Hollywood from the start. How many times did you watch To Kill A Mockingbird in high school? Being book and movie lovers, the Bookmans staff has many opinions on which is better, the book or movie. So what is the answer? Well, it depends on which book to movie adaptation you are discussing and who you ask. This is, like all artistic criticism, a highly personal viewpoint. It often comes down to which you experienced first, the book or the movie, or which you are more loyal to. Let’s dive in to a few examples.

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26 Jun

Tarot Cards | Tarot Throughout Time

For all of recorded history, mankind has longed to lift the veil of the unknown. Humans have an innate desire to explore both inner and outer realms and realities. We also long to know the future, to be able to have some warning or insight as to what is headed our way, both in our personal lives and on the global stage. What awaits humanity, society or the future of our very planet? Mankind has developed, or uncovered, many methods by which this exploration can take place. History tells us of ancient shamans, wizards, goddesses and oracles who probe the mysteries of existence with runes, fortune sticks, tea leaves, palmistry and crystal balls. Here at Bookmans we are not immune to the charms of crystals, pendulums or talismans but we prefer to leave the rabbit’s feet to another era. Let the bunnies keep their feet. Luckily folks have many other alternative methods by which to explore their realities. One such method is the ancient practice of reading Tarot Cards.

tarot cards

02 Jun

Evolution of Wonder Woman | From Amazon Princess to Warrior

“Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules.” With these words Wonder Woman creator, William Moulton Marston set out to create the ultimate feminist icon. There were plenty of superheroes that were role models for boys, but what about girls? Great Hera! 

wonder woman

26 May

Queen of Geek Town | Graphically Speaking

Common wisdom for writers suggests that one sticks to writing what they know. Once a writer has a few works under their belt and is a bit seasoned, they can reach out past their lives and daily concerns, but in the beginning, most writers should stay on the porch. I’m not a writer.  Does that mean I get to write about any ol’ thing that strikes my weird fancy? No. I should really stick to what I know. I give myself some freedom this time around because being a geek is something I know pretty well. Geeking out over pastimes and items of interest is a task I was born to live out! One could say I am the Queen of Geek Town; busily spazzing out over a variety of things that I find especially entertaining. Personal history has proven that not only am I comfortable geeking about but that I am in the right place. Bookmans IS Geek Land and has it’s own Geek Zone. In fact, May is Geeking Out month, so lets let our geek flag fly and get our geek on!

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