I've always dreamt of living in a space with 12, 15-foot bookshelves, with a ladder on wheels to roll between them. There's a loft in Kensington Market that has such a thing (sorry for peeking in your windows all the time, lofters!). Though this just might replace the classic library in my dreams. It's a bookshelf staircase*! I think my heart stopped.
The Book Inscriptions Project is another one of those things I really wish I'd thought of (like Seen Reading). I think I've already mentioned how much I love used books for the notes I'll sometimes find in the margins. I'll write notes back, often, to the mystery author. I'll wonder if they used the book for a course, or were simply the sort of reader that has to respond to the text in the text. The Book Inscription Project also engages with these mystery writers, through the notes they leave for the recipient of the book. It's addictive reading, for me at any rate.
From the "about" section:
We collect personal messages written in ink (or pen or marker or crayon or grape jelly) inside books.
Pictures count. So do poems. So do notes on paper found in a book. The more heartfelt the better. [...] For whatever reason, I happened to open the book and saw the message from Mark to Joey.
Something about that note, handwritten by an unknown to an unknown of whose whereabouts,
gender and relationship I was unaware, struck me as both tragic and powerful. Since then I’ve been searching for more inscriptions and, after poring through thousands of books at garage sales, libraries and book sales, I now have a large and ever-growing collection.
Books That Make You Dumb correlates the favorite books of respondents, and their SAT scores**. Here's how they did it:
1[...]download, using Facebook, the ten most frequent "favorite books" at every college (manually -- as not to violate Facebook's ToS). These ten books are indicative of the overall intellectual milieu of that college.
2. Download the average SAT/ACT score (from CollegeBoard) for students attending every college.
3. Presto! We have a correlation between books and dumbitude (smartitude too)!
Books <=> Colleges <=> Average SAT Scores
4. Plot the average SAT of each book, discarding books with too few samples to have a reliable average.
5. Post the results on your website, pondering what the Internet will think of it.
My favourite book doesn't even make the list. I'm not sure what that says about me, so I'll assume it means my genius is off the charts. Heh.
**So, yes, it's based on U.S. info.