Blog Posts

If Classic Novels Had Clipart Covers

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.

Library Card Memories: The Hollywood Library

(Image via flickr)

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.

A Lifetime in Libraries

Via New York Public Library's Facebook

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.

Five Slightly More Plausible Dystopias We'd Love to See in YA Novels

I love a good dystopian novel as much as the next member of the target 18-25 year old female who reads upwards of 50 books per year demographic, but I’m also a skeptic. Frankly, it takes me a Golden-Gate-sized suspension of disbelief to buy some of these “kill all the kids” and “let’s all wear tunics” scenarios.

Yes, the government’s probably evil, but they’re also not that organized (I mean, just look at how long it takes them to crank out census data every decade. Do you really think they’re going to force everyone to Sorting-Hat themselves into Factions? Think of the paperwork!)

With that in mind, I’ve come up with some realistic, low-stakes dystopian situations for the near future. The next hit series could be here! But probably not!

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