11 Incredible Historical Libraries That Will Inspire You to Read More

Around 1,500 years ago, the Library at St. Catherine Monastery was founded. Today, it has stood the test of time because of the vision that recorded human history and narrative must be physically collected. And if this is to be done, perhaps it should be somewhere as beautifully appointed as the knowledge that it keeps safe.

Oldest has put together a guide to 11 historic libraries that hold some of the most remarkable collections in the world. Spanning from Egypt to Australia, these buildings represent millions of volumes that contain a vast breadth of human history. From the over 45,000 rare books and manuscripts held at the oldest library in the Americas, Biblioteca Palafoxiana, to the close to 100,000 books housed at the Raza Library in India, each of these buildings are a physical manifestation of the underpinnings of civilization.

Take a moment to be impressed by how much you still have to read to even get a tiny fraction of everything that humanity has retained over the centuries.  

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Best-Selling Author Jon Gordon To Release New Book Titled "The Hard Hat for Kids" On October 9

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A followup to his recently released titled “The Power of a Postive Team” bestselling author, Jon Gordon will release on October 9, “The Hard Hat for Kids.” Despite the book written for kids, this inspiring story has lessons that can be appreciated by everyone. The book's "10 Ways to be a Great Teammate" and the "We before Me" philosophies are the core of the book, engaging young readers and presenting practical insights and life-changing lessons that help children…and adults…understand the power of cooperation, friendship and selfless teamwork.

 The story follows "Mickey," a talented basketball lover who has always dreamed about playing on her school's team.  On the first day of practice, she learns of a special award given to the best teammate – and soon discovers that there is a big difference between being the best player and being the best teammate.  What follows is a story about selflessness, hard work and compassion, and a clear lesson about putting the team first.

The inspiration for "The Hard Hat for Kids" (and "The Hard Hat") is based on Cornell University's lacrosse team and their captain, George Boiardi – grandson of the famed pasta icon Chef Boy-ar-dee.  George was a star on the team, and exemplified being a good teammate and leader at a very young age.  Tragically, George passed away on Cornell's Schoellkopf field while playing lacrosse at age 22, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of those who knew him – family, friends, teammates and generations of students that have come after him.  Loyal and selfless, George led by example.

Says Gordon, "The core of my work has been to develop positive leaders and this has evolved naturally into helping build great teams. I think my books resonate because every one of us has to overcome adversity and challenges, and through great leadership and teamwork we ultimately define ourselves and how we individually and collectively achieve success."  He adds, "I kept hearing from parents and coaches that teenagers and college students are more self-absorbed than ever, and don't know how to be a great team member. I believe if we can start teaching these principles when they are young we can change things for the better."

Says Gordon, "The core of my work has been to develop positive leaders and this has evolved naturally into helping build great teams. I think my books resonate because every one of us has to overcome adversity and challenges, and through great leadership and teamwork we ultimately define ourselves and how we individually and collectively achieve success."  He adds, "I kept hearing from parents and coaches that teenagers and college students are more self-absorbed than ever, and don't know how to be a great team member. I believe if we can start teaching these principles when they are young we can change things for the better."

 The book was co-written with school psychologist Lauren Gallagher and illustrated by Korey Scott.  One hundred percent of the authors' proceeds from the book will go to the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation, which provides financial assistance to elementary and high school students who seek enriching extracurricular activities, and makes grants to organizations that provide those opportunities (https://www.boiardifoundation.org/).

Says Gordon, "The core of my work has been to develop positive leaders and this has evolved naturally into helping build great teams. I think my books resonate because every one of us has to overcome adversity and challenges, and through great leadership and teamwork we ultimately define ourselves and how we individually and collectively achieve success."  He adds, "I kept hearing from parents and coaches that teenagers and college students are more self-absorbed than ever, and don't know how to be a great team member. I believe if we can start teaching these principles when they are young we can change things for the better."

About Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon is a best-selling author, motivational coach and motivational speaker.  His books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals, and non-profits. He is the author of 16 books including six best-sellers: "The Energy Bus," "The Carpenter," "Training Camp," "You Win in the Locker Room First," "The Power of Positive Leadership," and "The Power of a Positive Team." Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, The Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Dell, Publix, Southwest Airlines, LA Rams, Miami Heat, Pittsburgh Pirates, BB&T Bank, Clemson Football, Northwestern Mutual, Bayer, West Point Academy, and more. Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams.

You can learn more about on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagram and YouTube

Source: Jon Gordon

10 Ways to Organize Your Books Your Way

If your bookshelf is overflowing with books, it may be time to get rid of some you haven’t cracked opened in years or that are collecting dust. Reorganizing your book collection can seem daunting, depending on the size. However, if you find a method that works for you, you’ll be able to find your classic favorites in no time.

Consider the purpose for your organization, the genres you have, and how you want your book collection to look. Whether it’s to redecorate or just to declutter, use one of these 10 ways to organize your books to find the style that’s right for you.

Post Credt: Wayfair

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18 Iconic Book Covers and Their Stories

Have you ever stopped to think about how your favorite book cover art was conceptualized? There’s a lot that goes into creating a book cover and how the design is discovered. First, the cover designer is commissioned by the publisher or editor, not the author as some might think. Then, the designer collaborates with the marketing/sales team to develop a concept that is marketable. From there, the designer presents “roughs” to the sales team until a consensus is reached on the direction. This is the process by which some of the most iconic book covers to date were built, and it sometimes starts two years before the book is even published.

This infographic from Invaluable shares some of the most famous book covers we’ve all grown to love and how each designer brought those visions to life. See if you can spot some of your favorites!

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Low Stress Self-Editing Techniques that Guarantee Success

Self-editing can be difficult. It can be tough to objectively go through your writing and find its weaknesses. To successfully self-edit you must eliminate your crutches and bad habits, prioritize clarity and readability, get help from a friend, and remember to go easy on yourself. Editing, especially self-editing, can be stressful and that’s not good for your wellness. Use these techniques to successfully self-edit while keeping your stress levels low.

Eliminate crutches and bad habits

It’s easy to accumulate a few bad writing habits, but it’s important that you identify and correct them, especially when self-editing. Let’s go over some common bad writing habits. One thing to watch out for is commonly misused words, such as nonplussed and bemused. Try to use these kinds of words as little as possible. Even if you know how to use them correctly, there’s a good chance your reader does not and may think you are misusing them. In a similar vein, be very cautious when using metaphors. So many of them are overused and cliche enough that they will take away from the point your making. Metaphors are also commonly misused and mixed up so minimize their use and implement them carefully or you will appear amateurish. Try and track your crutches and bad habits so that you can eliminate them from your writing. Doing this will make your editing easier and less stressful in the future.

Write with clarity and aim for readability

One of your main priorities should be to write clearly and concisely. It’s tempting to bust out the thesaurus and jam your sentences full of complicated words, but resist giving in. “Write with your audience’s understanding in mind. Your goal is communication, not to show off your intelligence and vocabulary. Even when you are tackling a complex subject your goal should be to explain it simply,” recommends Jeff Stewart, writer at Assignment Help. A lot of the time when we talk about readability we are talking about the difference between Latinate and Germanic words. Using Latinate words can make your writing piece sound academic or clinical, so unless that is your goal, try to minimize the amount you use. An example is the Latinate word consume versus the Germanic word eat. The latter is a good deal more approachable and sounds like something you would commonly hear, while the former sounds like something out of a research paper.

Use a partner

It really helps to get a fresh pair of eyes when editing. Have a friend look over your work; it is guaranteed they will spot things you have missed. You want your writing to be easily readable without the reasons and explanations you have in your head. You won’t be there to explain your reasoning to the reader, so you want to have someone else read your work to find these sections that need explaining, and rewrite them with better clarity.

Proofreading and editing matter

Here are some resources to help you with your editing process:

#1) State Of Writing & Grammar Checker: Use these helpful guides to ensure your grammar is polished. They take a lot of the stress and work out of self-editing.

#2) Via Writing & StudyDemic: These are useful writing guides that will help take some of the stress out of your work.

#3) PaperFellows & OXEssays: Nobody enjoys proofreading. Use these handy proofreading tools to self-edit your work, suggested by Huffington Post.

#4) Cite It In: Use these helpful resource to make sure you are using citations correctly.

#5) Academized & UKWritings: You can turn to these online writing communities for help and advice with your writing projects.

#6) My Writing Way & Academadvisor: These are interesting and informative writing blogs where you can learn more about your craft.

Go easy on yourself

Self-editing will require that you focus on your deficits and short-comings, but don’t let it stress you out. Just try to see this process as a way to improve your craft and remember to keep in mind all the positive things you did with the piece. Even the best writers make mistakes, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember to watch out for bad habits you have accumulated, aim for clarity and readability, and use an editing partner. Follow these techniques to successfully self-edit while minimizing stress.

About Grace Carter

Grace Carter is a business writer at Resume Writing Service, there she edits CVs and cover letters. Also, Grace is a proofreader at Revieweal, website that reviews online writing services.

How Will Machine-Written Books Change the World of Fiction?

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Writing a novel or any type of fiction writing can be difficult, especially for novice writers. The task of developing a narrative structure and closing it with a logical conclusion several hundred pages later is something that requires talent and patience.

However, some of the more recent developments in writing have proven that these writers have some serious competition to think about. Machine-learning technologies have enabled algorithms to write “new” novels, short stories or even entire encyclopedias based on raw information and no human input.

This development raises concerns about the future of fiction writing as a whole. Will these machine-written books change the landscape of fiction writing or is it just a passing trend?

The ups and downs of fiction writers

Before we talk about machine writing, we need to understand the nature of fiction writing in general. Fiction writers are highly creative, disciplined and persistent people. They are able to dedicate months or years of their lives to developing fictional worlds that can captivate the audience’s attention.

A notable example of this niche is J.K. Rowling with her Harry Potter series which took the world by storm and continues to break sales records. However, the process of writing such a magnum opus is not without difficulties. Writers often face writer’s blocks, depression, self-doubt and in some cases alcoholism or drug abuse. Some of the most famous works by Stephen King were written under the influence of narcotics.

These are only a few notable examples of how fiction writing takes a toll on the person responsible for it. While it can be highly rewarding and enjoyable, it can also be stressful and fraught with pitfalls.

On machine writing

What is machine writing all about? In essence, machine writing represents a process in which a computer algorithm analyzes raw data and creates something new out of it. Let’s take a look at a simple process of machine writing so we can better understand it:

  • Inserting a piece of writing (or several) into an algorithm starts the process of machine learning.

  • As the algorithm becomes “smarter”, it can extrapolate different combinations of words, sentences and entire books in some cases.

  • The algorithm begins writing as soon as you, as the person in charge, give it an instruction. This instruction usually comes in the form of first few words of a sentence.

  • As the process progresses, the algorithm logically continues creating sentences that correspond with what was previously created.

This process means that the machine will only be as smart as the materials you give it. We have mentioned “new” written works being created by a machine algorithm before. The air quotations are there for a reason – a machine will never be creative as a human being.

This means that the machine algorithm is perfectly capable of creating readable works of fiction as long as the human being in charge knows what they are doing. Using some of the top editing services afterwards can make sure that the person in charge of the algorithm leaves a personal touch.

Machine writing can create numerous works of fiction in a matter of minutes. However, the overall quality of those works is up for debate – which brings us to our next point.

The argument of quality and quantity

It’s easy to notice that real-world writers pour their hearts and minds into their writing. Machines are different in that regard and tend to follow logic instead.

If we ask the question of which of these two systems of writing is better, we should think of something else instead. Which one is usually better: A writer that writes a novel every two years or a writer that writes a novel every few months?

Machines are able to write perfectly serviceable fiction books based on the information and context given by their users. However, they are better suited for technical writing, medical books, engineering manuals and similar non-fiction writing.

This type of writing corresponds to their very nature, something that they are unable to achieve in fiction writing. This effectively means that writers and machines can coexist without one harming the other. Writers are still able to create wondrous fictional writing that is closer to art than technical writing.

To put it in the words of Isaac Asimov: “Machines are unable to create art, but are we?” That very question means that we are able to achieve a higher understanding of the world around us than a machine ever could.

The future of written word (Conclusion)

There is no doubt that machine writing will continue to evolve as more data becomes available. However, writers should refrain themselves from using machines to “write” fiction and non-fiction literary works and label them as their own. When it comes to experimental writing and AI development, machine writing should definitely get the spotlight it deserves.

However, abusing this technology for personal gain with very minimal effort can and will backfire eventually. The credibility of a writer is only as strong as their work would suggest. Writers that focus on fiction writing should not be undermined or scared about the future of their profession.

The creative spark that is within each writer will never be available to machine writing algorithms, just like with emotions or physiological needs we experience daily. Seize the opportunity to express yourself in writing anytime you come up with a new idea. Chances are that your spark is very worth pursuing.

Writing A Book And Everything You Need To Know

Is it true that everyone has a book inside them, waiting to be written? Perhaps not, but you may well think you have a great idea for a story, how to guide, or memoir, just begging to be put down on paper. However, writing is book isn't as easy as it looks. Here's everything you need to know about writing a book yourself.

You need to decide why you want to write

The reason for writing a book will be different for everyone. You need to decide what your reasoning is, as it will inform how you approach writing. For example, you may want to write because you feel there's a gap in the market for your book. Maybe you've been asked to write, or you just feel the need to get it down. Either way, know your reasoning before you start working.

Work out why your book is unique

There's a lot of books being published every day, and there's going to many that cover the same topics you're covering. You need to discover just what it is that makes your unique. Does it look at a subject from a different angle, or give a new perspective on an old formula? Whatever it is, have that firmly in your mind as you write. That edge could be just what you need to get published.

You'll get a lot of rejection letters

Rejection letters are just a fact of life when you're a writer. Mary M. Matthews from Best Australian Writers says 'I hated getting rejection letters at first. However, I found that when I read them carefully, there was a lot of useful information in there I could use. I would edit my manuscript and send it out again, and the improvements eventually helped me get published.'

You need to approach writing professionally

Many would be writers give up, as they see writing as just too difficult. If you approach the process properly though, it's easy to get that manuscript written. Treat writing your book as a professional process. This will be harder if you have a day job, as you'll be working on top of writing your book. However, even if you can only dedicate half an hour a day to your book, do it. Set time aside every day to write, and don't deviate from this routine. Little by little, that book will get written.

Give yourself goals

It's a long hard process if you don't give yourself goals. The best way to keep yourself motivated is to set weekly goals for yourself. Having a set word count to reach is often the best way of doing this. If you can see your progress, it's easier to stay on target and get that book written down.

You'll need a good place to write

As with any task, environment is important. Think about where you can write every day. For some people, they can focus better in a quiet and distraction free office. Others would prefer to work in a coffee bar and have access to hot drinks on tap. Figure out what works for you, and go for it.

Don't give up if things don't go right

Sometimes things won't go to plan. The book may not feel like it's working, or you'll be turned down by publishers. Writing is a tough business, but the rewards are worth it. Take your time and have back up plans in case things don't go your way.

If you have a book in you, it's time to write it. Now you have the information you need, you can write the book you've always wanted to write.