Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Argentine Book Tank

In Buenos Aires, an artist created a "book tank" out of an old military vehicle. He has driven through Argentina handing out free books as an effort for "peace through literature." He calls his creation a "weapon of mass instruction."
See the video on YouTube where it is clear that the sight of this book-clad vehicle raises curiosity and attracts attention.
(h/t to Michael Lieberman of Book Patrol)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Russia is for Reading Books, Then and Now

The Moscow city government has launched a campaign to encourage reading. It includes placing 100 billboards around the city with the slogan, "Read Books."

The theme is an old one in Russian culture. Michael Lieberman on Book Patrol points out these posters from the Russian Revolution tauting reading as the path to social revolution. The images come from the New York Public Library's digital gallery, "Posters of the Russian Civil War, 1918-1922."

Ot mraka k svetu. Ot bitvy k knige. Ot goria k schast'iu. [Book with slogan: From darkness to light, from battle to book,...] (1917-1921)

Gramota - put' k kommunizmu. [Literacy is the road to communism.] (1920)

Kniga nichto inoe kak chelovek, govoriashchii publichno. [The book is nothing else than a publicly speaking person.] (1920).