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Renewal Issue 001

stamp with text that reads renewal

Welcome to HPLD’s new newsletter blog thingie!

Wow, that’s a very awkward introduction. “Welcome to the Newsly News, a New Newsletter Blog Newsed Up With News and New News!”

You know what? Just take our awkwardness as excitement, because we are excited, nay, pumped, nay, JUBILANT, nay, VERY EXCITED to bring you this, the inaugural Renewal

We love our current newsletter (and plan to keep it rocking!), and we thought maybe there was a need for something brief and frequent, something you could read on a break.

We’ll bring you some easily-digested book news, library news, general bookish stuff that library lovers will enjoy, get it down your gullet quickly, and have you on your way, refreshed and…renewed!

Easily-digested…gullet…this is what we get for working on this right before lunch.

Because HPLD currently allows you to check out an item and renew it three times, we’ll have 4 sections to each newsletter: Checkout, Renewal 1, Renewal 2, and Renewal 3. 

Without further ado:

Checkout: Reading is Precious. Are Books?

You might’ve read Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s piece about book collecting (or hoarding, it’s all perspective) in The Guardian this week, but did you read it under its original headline:

Reading is precious – but the cult of book ownership can be smug and middle-class

Or the revised headline:

Reading is precious – which is why I’ve been giving away my books

To be fair, the revised headline is probably more in line with the article’s central argument, which is that owning a lot of books isn’t for everyone, and sometimes it’s easy to get trapped into thinking that owning a lot of books is what the cool kids do.

If only there were some place where you could have the best of both worlds…some sort of…book…place where you could ACCESS an unlimited number of books without the need to build so much shelving…and it could be FREE!

Okay, that’s going too far into fantasyland.

Renewal 1: Build a Better Bookshelf

Lots of bookish people have lots of varying opinions on bookshelves, but for fans of woodworking, there’s ONE opinion on Tom Silva: He’s the woodshop dad we all wish we’d had…

Of the DIY bookshelves out there, Tom’s stair tread bookshelf for This Old House is one of the best. It’s not too tough for beginners, the materials are relatively cheap, and the end result looks pretty darn good.

How do we know? Because one of us built it! And it’s beautiful. It’s received many compliments, and it really, in Big Lebowski speak, ties the room together.

Learn how to make yours here. 

Renewal 2: Chat With a Book

Wait, what?

Yes, thanks to AI, now you can type questions to a book and get an actual answer.

And the answers are pretty good!

Ask Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics the difference between plot and story. Ask Where the Red Fern Grows whether the dog dies (yes, sadly). Ask Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog whether the dog dies (No!).

There are probably other, non-dog-related questions, but we’ll leave those to you.

Renewal 3: Shakey's Back!

As part of our Adults Read On (ARO) program, we provide booklists, and the latest is Shaking Up Shakespeare: a list of books that look at the man and his works.

kay, yes, that doesn’t sound like a rollercoaster, but hold that phone! Seriously, continue holding your phone and scrolling through that list, because it’s not all monarchical snoozefests, there’s a book on here with a puzzle box that may lead to someone’s doom!


Huh…that sounds familiar…


shakespeare combined with pinhead from Hellraiser