This week on Facebook, we noticed some favorite friends posting a line from their current leisure read, in response to National Book Week, and thought it sounded like fun. Well, first, we thought, “How did we miss National Book Week?” Quick clicking informed us that, in fact, next week, August 20-26th, is the official NBW; too, it’s not happening here, but in Australia–sponsored by the Children’s Book Council. Who knew? Now we do. So, anyway, we love the idea of, as the Council directs, flipping to page 56 of the book we’re reading (or the closest book at hand), quoting the fifth line from the top, and letting this random text float as our status update on Facebook–without citing the book’s title, incidentally.

Okay, good–now we get the Baltimore Book Festival every September, the festive CityLit activities come spring, and our new-found Australian celebration, not to mention oodles more book-centric to-dos we can no doubt tap into via Facebook, Twitter, and la interweb, if we take the time to surf. Will these sorts of bookish networking “parties”–whether virtual or live–get more people reading? Maybe not. But they may give the already converted a better idea which cover to flip open next.

From the Baltimore Fishbowl staff now, a few examples of line five, page 56, with titles included (and please add yours below!):

“My attention was now called off my Miss Smith desiring me to hold a skein of thread: While she was winding it, she talked to me from time to time, asking whether I had ever been at school before, whether I could mark, stitch, knit, etc.; till she dismissed me, I could not pursue my observations on Miss Scatcherd’s movements.” (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte) –Kristin Hughes

“Bossypants by Tina Fey. Page 56 is blank.” –Susan Dunn

“Luke was appalled that this was Sasha’s idea of suitable company for their daughter and her friends–she, after all, had set up the table, which Luke had paid for.” (The Good Life by Jay McInerny) –Marion Winik

“The likely dating of Jubilees, its apparent opposition to Hasmonean control, and the placing of the total prohibition of warfare at the very end of the entire Book of Jubilees incline me to think otherwise.” (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus Volume IV by John P. Meier) –Robert M. O’Brien

“After the commission of horror-story crimes, forgetting blood happens more often than not.” (Crossed Over by Beverly Lowry) –Betsy Boyd

“The captain, imagining matters to be considerably worse than they were, immediately took measures to remove his provisions into the second mate’s boat and mine, in order to lighten his own.” (The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase, Iola Haverstick, and Betty Shepard) –Sara Lynn Michener

One reply on “It’s Always National Book Week Somewhere”

  1. “I stood balanced on the pinpoint of my own sanity, a small, cracked tile on the floor.” –Frank Conroy, Stop-Time

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