Bringing Shakespeare Back

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A while ago, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon some OMG Shakespeare books and I found them so incredibly cool. This lead to my boyfriend surprising me and buying me all the books that were currently out for the series. As a teacher in high school, I find that these books can be used to bridge the gap between Shakespeare and the modern reader. Shakespeare’s language can be intimidating for students, but once they overcome it they begin to realize that within the Early Modern English lies very modern ideas. When I taught Romeo and Juliet for the first time, my students were fortunate enough to have access to a dual book, allowing them to transition between both languages. These books stand out to me because they take Shakespeare a step further into modernity. If you think about it, emojis have created an entirely new language – one that our students are fluent in. Of course I would not teach these books as substitutions for the actual plays, but they are excellent supplemental materials. When reading Romeo and Juliet, I had my students perform character analysis through documenting what would be found in a select character’s phone, and they loved it. I can only imagine how much they would love OMG Shakespeare and I certainly plan on using the series in a future curriculum.

I came across Romeo and/or Juliet recently and I was intrigued right away. Many times students question a character’s decision and ask about alternative choices – but it only ends in speculations because we can only go as far as Shakespeare allows us to. Yet with this book, students (and myself) can take an active role in determining the course of the story. Although I have yet to read this book, I feel like this would be a fun activity for students all while teaching them the importance of character choices and author’s¬†intention.

Some people are thrown off because of books like this because they assume that it distances the reader from the authentic text, but I would argue against it. If anything, texts like this cause a new audience to form – one that may not have existed without such books.

Book Barn

Recently, I made a vow that I would not buy a new book until I have read all of the books that can be found in my personal library.

Recently, I also took a mini road trip to Connecticut because that is the hot spot for spring break. While there, I visited Old Mystic Village that contained a few variety stores, one of which was a kite shop. As this was a small shop, and Connecticut, the man behind the counter was rather friendly.

In the midst of the conversation that he started with my brothers and I, the man asked us if we were the type of people who still liked books. Still liked books, as if I would associate with anyone who stopped liking them. He then informed me of this store called Book Barn that sells used books and serves cheez-its and coffee while you shop. He said the last two as if I needed them as incentives to visit the store.IMG_1579 [392383]

This is what I arrived to:

This was heaven for my bookworm/vintage lover self. Among caddies of dollar books, there is a chess table, a basketball hoop, a fairy garden, a children’s playground, and even goats! The house seen all the way in the back held fiction books.

 

 

Then to the right was haunted/mystery books:

 

IMG_1585 [392387]The main shop was essentially a barn that held children’s literature, teen fiction, history books, and so much more. There was even a cat inside! And cheez-its along with a coffee machine and plenty of coffee mugs. Needless to say, I found myself spending a good amount of time here and constantly wishing that this was located in New York. The ability to sell your books and then buy books at such a bargain along with such aesthetics was a dream come true.

However, I am very proud to say that I did not buy a single book, even though all I wanted to do was throw my money at every employee I saw.

If you are a book lover and are ever in Connecticut, I highly recommend this place. Yet, I would advise to visit this location (as there are multiple ones). I first arrived to the Downtown location and thought that the kite man set me up because all I found were theology books, car manuals, humor, and DVDs. It was a tad small and nothing like the midtown location. I suppose it depends what books you are interested in though.

However, if you are someone with incredibly low will-power when it comes to buying books, or you are attempting to maintain a vow that you publicized, it can be a bittersweet experience.