published by Eric Smith on April 15, 2014 - 11:28am
Easter is this weekend. Me, I'm heading home to run around my house looking for Easter baskets and plastic eggs with my little nephews. Over the years, the difficulty in finding Easter swag at my parents' home has escalated from the obvious to the damn near impossible.
Whither clipart? The ubiquitous, cartoonily slapdash style of grab-n-go graphics has faded into technological memory as fast as the ZIP disk (case in point: my first clipart library was stored ON a ZIP disk).
But no more! Clipart deserves to be an immortal art form, and what better way to make it so than by pairing it with deathless works of classic literature? (Don't roll your eyes—this is a Very Good Idea.) Here are seven new clipped-up covers, in all their garish glory.
The Hollywood Library—Hollywood being a neighborhood in Portland, not the Hollywood—was a home away from home when I was young. The building’s exterior had a very 1960s red mosaic tile, and inside was a drinking fountain epic for its strong flow and cool water. Light poured in from huge windows; in my memory the lights are always off in the library and the sun just pours in, though that can’t possibly be true in rainy Portland. The librarians were friendly but matter-of-fact—even as a hyperactive child I knew the library was no place for being rambunctious.
Libraries have always been an important part of my life. When I was younger, going to the library was a regular occurrence for my family. Since we lived in New York City, there were a few of them that we would frequent and each one was special in its own right. The one closest to us had three floors and I remember climbing up and down those stairs to the different levels, each section brimming with books.
This was the first library I became familiar with and I can still picture it even though I haven’t been there in a very long time. One thing I’ll never forget is the feeling when a librarian guides you to the book you had inquired about, takes it off the shelf, and puts it in your hands. It’s a magical transaction, like being given a ticket to journey to another world.
The library of my teenage years was in a turn of the century Carnegie building and also the largest library in my borough. One time, I spent hours there with my father collecting data for a science project, something that would have taken a fraction of the time if the internet had existed, but it’s a happy memory that I would not have had if that were the case. When I was old enough, I went there by myself to work on research projects for school, looking for resources as I navigated the stacks.