Critical Linking: July 27, 2014

A library card signed by Elvis Presley in seventh grade is expected to be among the hottest items at an auction of the late singer’s possessions at his Memphis mansion next month, Graceland officials said on Wednesday.

With a little spare cash, you can own a library card signed by Elvis.

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Life in South Bend, Indiana, without a library card — the life I’ve been living for four years in New York City — would have been unthinkable. I applied for my blue-and-white S library card with almost as much pride as I later received my driver’s license; by the time I left for college, the plastic card was worn away around the corners from loving use. Though I had my bookstore proclivities (the bookstore chains in town stayed open later than nearly every other under-21 venue in town) and loyalties (Barnes & Noble: yes; the gaudy Borders that opened up across the street from B&N: no), the library offered a fantastical wealth of literary riches that meant no expired gift card or lack of allowance would force me to go bookless for even one day.

A feel-good piece about how the library can turn you into a life-long reader.

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Even more than I identify as a writer, I identify as a reader. Reading has always been the primary way I make sense of the world around me; books are my first stop when I want to learn about a new hobby, culture, person or world. When I read a memoir, the author’s story lives inside me, making me feel I know them better than I do many of my close friends. While I don’t necessarily need to own a book for it to have any impact on me, being surrounded by books when I wake up and go to sleep puts me at ease—and gives me plenty to choose from should I find myself up at three a.m., as I often do. I’m not a book collector, though, someone who values signed copies the way toy collectors want their treasures in opened, and therefore more valuable, boxes. I believe books are valuable precisely for the words contained inside of them, rather than the packaging binding them. Books are meant to be savored, labored over, argued with, and shared. 

CAN you own too many books?

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Step into a local movie theater or bookstore today, and chances are one will see adults — who aren’t with teens — engaged in stories featuring Young Adult (YA) characters. The YA genre is increasingly popular today, reaching a far wider audience than just the 12 to 18 year old crowd. More than half of YA book buyers are 18 and older — and 78 percent of those purchasers are buying the books for their own reading, according to a recent Publisher’s Weekly study.

So it’s no surprise that the film versions of already popular YA books are also well-received. The trend can be traced to the record breaking Harry Potter saga and Twilight series, but also seen more recently in successes such as The Hunger Games and this year’s The Fault in Our Stars. But while they may be the most known film adaptations of books today, there are plenty of others with varying degrees of success. Here are five notable YA adaptations coming up this year.

I disagree on their description of two of these as YA, though they’re friendly to those who like YA, but this round-up of upcoming films looks good.

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