SHIT I LIKE: THE FIRST INSTALLMENT

Dear Reader,

Every once in awhile, something will catch my attention–a quote, an anecdote, a fact–things that are funny or interesting–I’ll hear something and I’ll think, that’s sick. I want to remember that.

So I’ll write it down. I’ll make a note of it wherever I happen to find it. Most of them end up in one of my journals or as a note in my phone, but some of them are all over the place. If I hear something cool in class, I’ll scribble it in the margins of my notes. If I see something interesting on Twitter or Tumblr, I’ll take a screenshot. Sometimes I’ll come across something in a book, so I’ll leave a sticky note to mark the page.

It’s a fine method that works for the most part, but it doesn’t do a great job of keeping them all in one place. And many of these spots are hardly revisited so they’re often forgotten, which defeats the whole purpose.

So now, whenever I come across a random note, I’ll add it to my growing list entitled “Shit I Like.” And I thought I might as well start sharing some of that list on here, as well. So here are some cool anecdotes and quotes from books and movies that I’ve come across lately and have sparked some thoughts within me.

No. 1: The idea behind Penguin Books.

Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin Books, was traveling and had nothing to read. He dreamt of good literature that was available everywhere and cheap. So in 1935, the first Penguin paperbacks arrived, featuring Ernest Hemingway, Andre Maurois, and Agatha Christie among others. They were color-coded (orange-novels, blue-biographies, green-crime) and cost sixpence–the same price as a packet of cigarettes.

The “Armed Forces Book Club” then began to spread joy & entertainment among the soldiers. The small size of these paperbacks fit perfectly in their uniform pockets. They were also prized in prison camps. (Information from Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend)

No 2: From a sign in the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Vienna.

“Penguin Classics opens the door to a treasure house of pure pleasures.”

No. 3: A revelation from the movie Into the Wild. 

HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED.

No. 4: The importance of a single book.

British writer Henry Green is largely forgotten & never sold more than a few thousand copies of his novels, but he largely inspired Sebastian Faulks, Eudora Welty, and Anthony Burgess. John Updike wrote that Green’s novels made “more of a stylistic impact on me than those of any writer living or dead.” Even a book read by only a dozen people can have a massive effect if one of those readers goes on to write a book read by millions. (Information from Books for Living)

No. 5: A message at the beginning of the movie Baby Driver. 

I went and saw Baby Driver in theaters a little over a week ago. Before it played, a man popped up on the screen and introduced himself as Edgar Wright. He thanked the audience for coming to see the movie that he had written and directed, but also thanked us for coming to see it in the form that it was created for. Watching the movie, it was clear what he meant.

The storyline was great and all the elements of the story were there. It’s possible that it could be adapted into a great book or graphic novel or translated onto some other medium–but it was also clear what medium it was meant for. All of the decisions Wright made were clearly intentional and he wanted us to know. He wanted to thank us for coming to experience his art the way he intended for it to be experienced.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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