The Weekly Reader: 29/01/14

Happy Wednesday, my literary lovelies!

I would like to start this post by thanking you all for the fantastic response to last week’s post on my experiences with Bibliotherapy. Your messages have meant a lot and I am delighted to hear that I am part of a wide number of people who have used books in a similar way. I have had a few emails with requests for specific book recommendations that might help in combatting the symptoms of various mood disorders and general life situations – while I’m certainly not qualified beyond my own personal understanding, and knowledge of books, I am endeavouring to respond where I feel able to do so. If you have queries along this line, I am totally happy to discuss – drop me an email at I would also recommend that you have a look at Tolstoy Therapy as an excellent point of reference.

Having absented myself from the blog for a few days last week, this edition of The Weekly Reader is a catch-up. Enjoy, with tea in hand!


‘Sense And Sensorbility: The Book That Lets You Feel Your Protagonist’s Pain’ – The Guardian

Academics at MIT have created a vest that allows readers to experience the emotional and physical state of a book’s protagonists. The vest contains a “heartbeat and shiver simulator,” as well the ability to alter the body temperature of its wearer. Sensors are able to detect the page being read, and act accordingly to induce physical sensations mimicking that of the book’s protagonist. The researchers claim that “sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating stories.” They also envision the possibility of authors creating books tailored specifically for the sensory experience, “creat[ing] an immersive storytelling experience tailored to the reader.” Undoubtedly an interesting development. I would perhaps steer clear of the horror genre though.

‘Dylan Thomas Unaired Screenplay To Get Radio 3 Premiere’ – BBC

BBC Radio 3 has announced its intention to air the world premiere of Dylan Thomas’s screenplay, The Beach of Falesa, in honour of the centenary of his birth. The production is set to air on 4 May. Interestingly, the broadcast will also coincide with a spring season that celebrates the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. On 20 April, Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston (who recently performed together in a remarkable production of Macbeth) will reunite for a radio production of Antony and Cleopatra. Plenty of reasons to dust off that old radio and tune in!

‘How To Get Back Books You’ve Loaned Out’ – Book Riot

Long-time readers of this blog will be well aware that I have one pet peeve before which all others shrink into unimportance: a failure to return borrowed books. So imagine the nods of agreement that occurred as I read through this article by Alison Peters, over at Book Riot. Among the five tactics recommended for retrieving unreturned books is theft of your lendees belongings, until return of said book. While I do not advocate crime of any kind, I am considering employing this particular method. You have been warned.


‘Rob Delaney In Conversation With Hadley Freeman’, 5 February – Foyles, Charing Cross Road

Comedian and writer Rob Delaney, (also one of the world’s most popular Twitter users, with over 1 million followers), is coming to London to discuss his new memoir with journalist Hadley Freeman. Known for lampooning celebrities and politicians alike, Delaney is also a vocal advocate of women’s rights and gun control. Regardless of your political views, this should make for an extremely interesting conversation.


I am currently contemplating reorganisation of my books – not least in an attempt to eliminate some of my floor book stacks. While the system has worked for some time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to extract novels from the lower-half of these tottering safety hazards. As any book lover knows, a good set of bookends is an indispensable tool. So to inspire my plans, and perhaps give you dear readers some ideas, this week’s Book Fetish section focuses on the glorious world of the bookend!

‘T-Rex Attack Metal Art Bookends’ – KnobCreekMetalArts

Oh yes, the clue is in the name. Brilliant for younger readers or those with taste.

‘Record Bookends’ – WhenTheMusicsOver

For those who have a penchant for the retro look, or a particular love of vinyl records. Good enough to help me overlook the grammatical oversight in the name of the shop.

Well, maybe not that good.

‘Whimsical OOAK Alice In Wonderland Inspired Bookends’ – FakeCupcakeCreations

Books and cupcakes. What’s not to love??


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