98-Year Old Learns to Read and Writes Autobiography

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks had never met Jim Arruda Henry. Henry spent the first 91 years of his life illiterate. However, when he turned 92, Henry decided it was time to learn. Henry said that the tipping point for him was when he heard about George Dawson, another elderly gentlemen who learned to read when he was 98-years old.

“I said if he can do it, I’m going to try,” Henry said.

For many years, Henry hid the fact that he could not read from most of his family and friends. It makes sense that the career fisherman who only had a third grade education would be able to cope with this problem, but some of the ways he did so are quite interesting.

For example, when he went out to eat with his family, “he would wait for someone else to order and say, ‘That sounds good, I’ll have that,'” his granddaughter, Marlisa McLaughlin said. “Or if he had a bill, he’d just requisition the guy and say, ‘So how much do I owe you?'”

Finally, Henry decided it was time to learn to read when he went through a painful family situation. Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries Swap Stacks of Books for Robotic Retrieval Programs

girls in a libraryWhat do you expect to see when you enter a library on an university campus? Besides dozens of students cramming information into their brains in the hours before an exam, I expect to see thousands upon thousands of books. However, as part of its overhaul of its library, San Francisco State University is going against the norm and has hidden away 75 percent of its books in favor of digitizing its collection.

This school is not alone. In fact, many schools are digitizing their libraries in an effort to make it easier for students to find the volumes they are looking for. At San Francisco State University, the old library was a “rabbits’ warren,” according to the librarian, Deborah Masters. Now, after its “facelift,” the library has put an emphasis on open spaces, more computer and technology available for students’ use, and areas where students can study in groups or grab a coffee in the new cafe.

Some books will remain on display where students can access them on their own. These books will be the ones that are in highest demand, were published recently, or are recommended by a specific department. If a student wants to reach one of the many other books that are not currently on display, he can enter his query in a search engine, which will then cue a robot in another building to retrieve the book and delver it to the student in the library. This entire process is expected to take less than 10 minutes.

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Catholic School Student Runs Illegal Library from Her Locker

Sometimes it makes sense to ban a book from a school library. For example, students should not be reading books about building bombs or any other form of violence in a library that students have access to.

However, does it make sense to ban books such as The Canterbury Tales, Paradis Lost, and Animal Farm? Evidently, one private Catholic school seems to think so because these books go against the school’s religious beliefs.

One student at the school, who is known only by her alias, Nekochan, decided to take action. She recently posted a question on Yahoo Answers to see if people thought it was “OK to run an illegal library from [her] locker at school.” Nekochan explains the situation in more detail in her question:

Read the rest of this entry » Lets Students Earn Money for Their Assignments

Many students who are pursuing their master’s degree or doctorate degree can probably relate to this situation: After four years of undergraduate work, at least two years of graduate work, endless hours spent devoted to selecting the perfect thesis and even more endless hours actually writing the thesis paper, you turn the project that has consumed your life for the past several years in to a professor who reads it, grades it, and then never glances at it again. What a complete let down! However, a new website is giving these hardworking souls something to grin about, and it is so proud of it’s ability to do so, that it is simply called is an online community of authors, students, professors, and millions of users who come together to share their knowledge. was created by Europeans who wanted to allow anyone to publish their works online as books or ebooks so that they could make a monetary profit off of all their hard work. This allows writers to become published authors, a process that can be very difficult, expensive, and time-consuming when you use a traditional publishing house. With, all a person has to do upload their book to the server, and if it is accepted, they automatically earn 10 Euros and their paper is published on the website.

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CampusBooks Can Save You Money When Shopping for Textbooks

Buying a book for your college classes can be stressful. You have to drive from local bookstore to local bookstore, search the best rental companies, and even surf or to find the best price for your books. The entire process of comparing books at every venue becomes frustrating.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just tell someone what book you are looking for and then that person would find the cheapest option for you? Well, I haven’t found a person to do that yet, but I have found an iPhone and Android app that will.

CampusBooks allows you to scan the bar code of any book that you are looking for and it will instantly bring up a list of the cheapest bookstores and online websites where you can buy the book. Or if you do not have the book in front of you where you can scan the bar code, you can type in the name of the book, ISBN, author, or keywords to find what you are looking for.

Another very cool feature of this app is that it has GPS technology that shows you which bookstores are closest to you so that you do not have to drive all over town, searching for the bookstore that promises to save you the most money. This app also has a feature that lets you sell your books, allowing you to earn money from this app instead of spending money on it. You can also visit this page for great deals and coupons.

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Take a Trip Down Memory Lane with This Summer Reading List

Nobody likes taking an English class in the fall because we all know that this means we will get a long list of books that we have to read during the summer to prepare for the class. Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy reading a good book, but being forced to read some Victorian novel every summer and then answer questions about it in the fall? That’s not nearly as appealing.

So, what if we made our own summer reading list? Sounds like a good idea to me. And since I just graduated from college and am feeling a bit nostalgic for my younger years, I thought a reading list of books from my childhood would be a fantastic way to avoid thoughts of being a grown up. If you are in a similar situation (or just want some fun books to read) check out this Summer Reading List: A Trip Down Memory Lane.

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The Best Books of 2010

Winter break is finally here! That means anywhere from two weeks to a whole month of no school, no obligations, and lots of relaxation. This all sounds wonderful, until you are about half-way into the break and realize that the only productive thing you have done during your vacation is catch up with the Kardashians or work on your baseball pitch with your little brother. (Both are worth-while activities, I’m just saying they aren’t exactly “productive.”)

Maybe instead of sleeping in until 1:00pm every day, you could do something slightly productive and that will also prevent your brain from going to mush over the break. Now, let’s not get too crazy here: I’m not suggesting you write a 10-page thesis paper about the economic, political, and social impacts of World War Two, but how about giving your brain a little exercise by reading a book? And not just any book, but one of the best books that were written this year?

Barnes and Noble recently announced the Best Teen Books for 2010. These books range from “nuanced paranormal romance” to “important, more problematic teen issues” to “well-crafted genre fiction.”

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Crisis on Campus Provides the Solutions to the Problems with College Education

Crisis on CampusMark C. Taylor is the chair of the department of religion at Columbia University. Obviously, this is a man who has spent years teaching and who has had plenty of experience with the college education environment. Considering this, it makes it even more interesting that he has written a new book called Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities.

In his book, Taylor argues that the higher education system in the U.S. does not prepare students for success in the real world. He also claims that is is “headed for a financial meltdown.”

“If we project from where we are today, within ten years, the cost of four years at a top-tier school will be $350,000,” said Taylor. “Parents used to pay for their kids’ education by taking out a second mortgage, but of course that option has blown up.”

If the cost of an education does increase this drastically, we can be sure that the average student will graduate with even more debt. Today, the average student graduates with $23,000 in debt; imagine how much debt he/she will graduate with in 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Jimmy Fallon’s Do Not Read Book List

Jimmy-Fallon-show-imageA big percentage of homework consists of reading. Rather than adding books to your reading list, Jimmy Fallon is attempting to help lighten the workload of students everywhere with this comical “Do Not Read” list. Here are the books he suggests you stay away from, just in time for back to school.

If you need a recap, or wish to purchase one of these books for that special frenemy, here’s the list:

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Summer Reading List for the Young and Young at Heart

karinToday’s guest author is Karin Meares, an elementary education teacher who lives in Oklahoma City with her buddy and their dogs Augustine and Pandemonium, cat Somali Wild Ass and hedgehog Hedgie.

As the summer days stretch long and wake up calls come later and later, it is the perfect season to indulge in late night reading. The following list, filled with classic and contemporary works, is sure to sate any little bookworm!

It is hard to compile a list without some of the classics that we, and our parents even, grew up with. Where the Wild Things Are, (Maurice Sendak) has a simple, uncomplicated story with dark and page encompassing illustrations. The beauty of the story lies in the simplicity. Read the rest of this entry »


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