Banned Books Week (and the naked Mickey!)

September 25 to October 2 is Banned Books Week, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read.

Spearheaded by the American Library Association, the celebration of Banned Books Week emphasizes intellectual freedom, “the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.”

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The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-up

The Little Prince is one of the most meaningful books in my life and I never get tired of reading it. There is also a favorite memory attached to the book — forty four girls in blue and white uniforms, enthralled as one very special teacher read us the following lines:

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose — ” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…”

“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

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Salem ac Leporem (Naughty but Nice)

Here’s another book you’re sure to get a laugh out of: How to Insult, Abuse and Insinuate in Classical Latin by Michelle Lovric and Nikiforos Doxiadis Mardas.

I found this book while randomly browsing on BookMooch and thought it might come in handy for those situations that just call for the choicest words.

For instance, when your credit card company calls you to follow up on your latest payment, instead of muttering “Monkey-faced money-lender!” you could exclaim its Latin equivalent and sound so much better  “Cercopithece Faenerator!”

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula


I’ve been meaning to read the classic Dracula ever since I read (and reread) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. With all the vampire fiction that’s been coming out recently, I realized I really abhor the glamorized vampire and prefer the good, old-fashioned Dracula, and so I grabbed the chance when I spotted the Viking Studio illustrated edition featuring comic book artist Jae Lee at last year’s Cut-Price Sale at National Bookstore, for about P200, along with a copy of Jane Eyre from the same line, also P200.

I knew I read Dracula when I was in 6th grade but it must have been abridged, or maybe I covered my eyes over the scary parts (Rich Hall has a sniglet for it — “snargle” — to lessen the visual impact of a horror movie [in this case, a book] by filtering it through one’s fingers) because I don’t remember much of it.

Anyway, I had to read Dracula because I need to read the book “Mina” by Marie Kiraly, a Dracula spin-off assigned to me by another Flipper for the Flips Flipping Pages Diversity Challenge this year. I also have some more Dracula-themed books in my TBR that I’d like to read so I figured I needed to read the original for comparison.

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Swiss Family Robinson

Growing up, one of the most read books on my shelves was a well-thumbed copy of Johann Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson. It was one of those cheap, watered down illustrated classic editions, but it provided me many long hours of entertainment as I fantasized about what I would do if I were shipwrecked on an exotic island.

That old book has long been missing — I think it was donated to a book drive, and I sorely missed it, so I’d been looking for a nice replacement for the longest time.

Last year, at one of my bargain book haunts (the Book Sale branch in Mall of Asia) I was able to unearth an exquisite Everyman’s Library Classic edition, with a cloth bound, gilded cover, a gold bookmark ribbon, vintage endpapers, and lovely illustrations by Louis Rhead! The best part? It was only P90 (less than $2)!

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