The Origins of Books by Sharren Reil


I work in a library, so every day I am surrounded by shelf after shelf of books. I have always taken my access to books for granted, and do not think about the history, and inventions, that have led to our modern libraries full of paper back and hard cover books.

I know a bit about paper because as a young hippy girl, my friends and I made our own paper from local plants that we cooked and mashed, and then put thin layers out to dry on screens. The paper was thick and uneven, but we were thrilled!

So, looking at these books got me thinking about the history of the modern book. Research tells me that we have been passing on information through marks on clay tablets, scrolls, codex’s, and then books for almost two thousand years.

The history of the book starts with the invention of writing. Writing is simply using symbols to mean certain objects or ideas. Writing originated as a form of record keeping in Sumer sometime in the 31st century BC. The Sumerians used clay tablets to record legal contracts, lists of assets, and eventually record literature and myths. While durable, the tablets were obviously heavy and hard to haul around.

Elsewhere, the ancient Egyptians were busy making a type of paper from papyrus reed. They made a rough paper and used this to make scrolls of several sheets passed together to make long scrolls of ten meters or more. The first scrolls we have date from the Fifth Dynasty around 2400 BC. Since you needed two hands to use them, scrolls were awkward to use. The papyrus also cracked very easily and today we only have fragments of ancient scrolls.

The industrious Romans invented the codex. This was a book like format made with parchment. Parchment is animal skin. It is more durable than the plant based scrolls and the Romans bound their books with wood covers. They were the first to add a table of contents and indexes.

Before books, writing on bone, shells, wood and silk was prevalent in China long before the 2nd century BC. Paper was invented in China around the first century AD. Their first books were called jiance or jiandu, and were made of rolls of thin split and dried bamboo bound together with hemp, silk, or leather.

All of the above was slow and took a lot of work to produce each item with writing on it. We have the Chinese to thank for inventing printing sometime around 868 AD. The oldest printed book is called the Diamond Sutra, and was printed using a method called woodblock printing. The text had to be carved into the wood blocks surface, and then some type of ink was put on the woodblock and it could be used to stamp out a page. This was very time consuming, as you had to carve out a woodblock for each new endeavor!

A forward thinking gent by the name of Bi Sheng invented the process of movable type printing. This method would later be improved upon by Johannes Gutenberg. We are now well on our way to the mass production of written works. Before Johannes Gutenberg in 1450, only very rich individuals could afford books. Gutenberg used his skills to design a sturdy and dependable press, using moveable type and printing on parchment. The Gutenberg Bible was the very first book that was mass produced and not copied by hand. With the invention of the printing press, literacy began to flourish!

Reference books became popular and pamphlets were easily distributed which eventually led to newspapers and magazines. I really can’t imagine life without books and reading, and feel so very thankful that I live in a time and place where books are available for everyone to enjoy. Next time you are browsing in your library, stop and think about all the steps that had to be mastered to give us our beloved books!

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Literary Quotes by Hannah Wight

Everyone likes a good inspirational quote. We like to post them on social media, hang them on our walls, and incorporate them into our conversations. Certain quotes have a way of sticking with us, and we may even rely on them in times of stress or when we need motivation. Some sayings have been around so long, or have been used so frequently, that the origins of where they were first read have been forgotten. Below are a list of famous quotes and the books they are from, so that the next time you hear a well-used quote you can say, “Hey! I know where that came from.”




“Not all those who wander are lost.”

Written by J.R.R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings




Order of the Phoenix


“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

Written by J.K. Rowling for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix



Wuthering Heights


“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Written by Emily Bronte for Wuthering Heights




Perks Wallflower


“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Written by Stephen Chbosky for The Perks of Being a Wallflower




Autumn Leaves


“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”

Written by Andre Gide for Autumn Leaves




Phrynette Married


“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Written by Marthe Troly-Curtin for Phrynette Married




Little Women


“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

Written by Louisa May Alcott for Little Women




Peter Pan


“For to have faith is to have wings.”

Written by J.M. Barrie for Peter Pan






“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”

Written by L.M. Montgomery for Anne of Green Gables



If you find yourself reverting to a favourite saying and you’re not sure of the origin, I encourage you to look it up. You may just be surprised!

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I Read Canadian by Alison McCorkle

I Read Canadian Logo 2020

There is a new nationwide initiative of Canadian authors and their works and I’m happy to tell you a little about it.

This celebration is I READ CANADIAN and it will take place from the 14th to the 21st of February.   I READ CANADIAN DAY will happen for the first time ever on February 19, 2020.

The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of Canadian books and celebrate the richness, diversity and breadth of Canadian literature.

We at the Temiskaming Shores Public Library will be celebrating I READ CANADIAN on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at the New Liskeard branch.

The English program/celebration will be from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and will feature special guests from the community coming in and reading a Canadian story or poem aloud followed by refreshments.

For our French speaking friends the French program/celebration will take place from 13:30hrs to 14:30hrs with the same agenda.

If you’re looking for more Canadian authors to try or you’re wanting to give Canadian authors a try here are some suggestions:


For adults:  Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Miriam Toews, Michael Crummey, Alice Munroe, Emma Donoghue, Yann Martel,  Joseph Boyden, Carol Shields, Thomas King, Louise Penny, Austin Clarke, Richard Wagamese (my favourite), Elizabeth Hay, Alistair MacLeod, Robert Rotenberg…..just to name a few.


For children: Mary-Louise Gay, Deborah Ellis, Janet Lunn, Dennis Lee, Gordon Korman, Susin Nielsen, Sarah Ellis, Eric Walters, Robert Munsch, Peter Eyvindson, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Elise Gravel, Kathy Stinson, Jean Little, Cary Fagan … just to name a few.


Local authors to read:  Brit Griffin, Mark Howey, Elesha Teskey, Jennifer Jeffery, Bruce Taylor, Charlie Angus, André Mahieu, Charlie Johnson, Margaret Paraskevopoulos….just to name a few.

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L’hiver est arrivé !! par Carmen Peddie


Pour ceux et celles qui n’aiment pas l’hiver je suis désolé mais pour les autres je dis youpi !! Vous me demandez la raison? Voici la réponse : ici à la bibliothèque publique de Temiskaming Shores nous avons plusieurs livres sur l’hiver pour les enfants contenant les sujets suivants : le froid, la neige et les bonhommes de neige, les glissades, le patinage, le hockey, les flocons, la tempête, etc… :


Lucy fait du patinage de vitesse par Lisa Bowes

“Ce livre représente bien la communauté du patinage de vitesse: des membres et athlètes rassemblés pour l’amour du sport dans un fair-play où existe, à l’extérieur de la patinoire, une grande amitié.” Marc Gagnon, Médaillé olympique à cinq reprises en patinage de vitesse sur la courte piste.


La neige parfaite par Barbara Reid

Elle est tombée pendant la nuit.

  • Parfait! s’écrie Félix.
  • De la NEIGE! s’exclame Julien.

Mais comment construire quoi que ce soit…? Les deux jeunes créateurs prouveront que, lorsque amitié, enthousiasme et neige parfait sont aux rendez-vous, il faut s’attendre à de bien belles surprises!


Nicolas fou de hockey! Cinq histoires amusantes par Gilles Tibo

Nicolas est fou de hockey! Il dort, mange et respire avec une seule idée en tête : jouer au hockey! Ce recueil de cinq histoires savoureuses encouragera l’esprit d’équipe chez tous les lecteurs.


Dino-hockey par Lisa Wheeler

Si vous croyez que les dinosaures sont féroces dans la nature, vous devriez les voir s’affronter sur une patinoire! Il n’y a rien de plus excitant qu’un match opposant les Carnivores aux Herbibores!


Une nuit avec les ours par Andrew Breakspeare

Malgré tous ses efforts, le petit Tim ne sait pas patiner…jusqu’à ce qu’il passe une nuit magique avec les ours!


Suprises d’hiver par Jean-Denis Côté

Aujourd’hui, la neige est tombée. Le ciel est bleu et c’est une journée épatante qui s’annonce ! Francis et sa cousine, Clara, vont se promener en forêt avec leur grand-père.

  • Qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans ton sac, grand-papa ?
  • Mystère, les enfants…


Le but du siècle par Mike Leonetti

Nous sommes en 1972. Le petit Paul, qui aime bien jouer au hockey, suit la palpitante série Canada-U.R.S.S. à la télé. Tout a bien commence pour Équipe Canada, mais les Soviétique prennent le dessus et sont bientôt à une partie de la victoire. Quand tout semble perdu, le héros du jeune garcon, Paul Henderson, tire son équipe du pétrin.


Petite Ourse et son bonhomme de neige par Trace Moroney

C’est la première chute de neige de l’hiver, et Petite Ourse a hâte d’aller dehors. Quelle journée parfait pour attraper des flocons et faire des anges dans la neige! Mais quand Petite Ourse décide de faire un bonhomme de neige, elle a besoin de l’aide de ses amis.


Toute une glissade! par Suzan Reid

“S’il te plaît, grand-papa, encore une fois…”

La dernière glissade de la journée devient toute une aventure pour Florence, grand-père Léo et leurs invités inattendus!



La légende de Sedna par Martine Latulippe

Le pingouin que ne savait pas voler par Melanie Joyce

Seth le Sasquatch L’empreinte du monstre! Par Martin Deschatelets

Stella reine des neiges par Marie-Louise Gay

Un manchot marabout de Jory John

La mitaine de laine par Annie Broccoli

La vie secrète des bonhommes de neige par Caralyn Buehner

Un câlin pour le bonhomme de neige par M.C. Butler. Et plus…

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Starting Over and New Beginnings: Winter Solstice and the New Year by Sharren Reil

winter solstice

Our celebration of the New Year on January 1st is not an ancient phenomenon. Many believe that the first recording of this celebration is in Mesopotamia c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox in March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the New Year was March 1st. This calendar had only 10 months until the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February. The New Year was moved to January because that was the beginning of the civil year. The Julian calendar had January 1st officially instituted as the beginning of the New Year. Many countries now use the Gregorian calendar, and the year starts on January 1st. Whatever calendar is used, we all seem to want to celebrate the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one.

Just before our present New Year, we have the winter solstice, also known as the hibernal solstice. I know it as midwinter, or the longest night. I spent many years living in the bush way outside Dawson City, Yukon, and spent most of the winter with just a few hours each day of daylight. The winter solstice was a time of excitement as it meant we were climbing back into the sunshine. The further north you live, the more dramatic the daily increase is in the length of each day.

I think both the New Year and the winter solstice are reflective events where we can take stock of our lives, our believes, and our intentions. It is a time of darkness, cold, and introspection. A time to think of the past, plan for the future, and curl up with a good book by the fire. I have some titles of books about starting over and new beginning for you to curl up with. Enjoy the quiet before the returning sun wakes up our world yet again…



The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The theme of this story is one of finding your destiny. It is a theme as old as the hills, yet rings true today. This book is available in both branches.



love in the time of cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera by Cabriel Carcia Marquez
This books examines social norms and how they impact of personal happiness. Again, this theme is as relevant today as ever. Perhaps the norms are more hidden now, but they impact our choices and decisions. This book is available in Haileybury.



kite runner


Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This is a great tale of betrayal and redemption. The D.V.D. is available in New Liskeard.



Where the Crawdads Sing cover


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This very popular book looks at the themes of abandonment and isolation and the search for connections and love. The book is available in both branches.


jane eyre


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This book is about the search for family and a sense of belonging. The book is available in Haileybury.




The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbough
I loved this story of pain and forgiveness! As an avid flower gardener, I was very interested in all her research of the ancient language of flowers. It is a lost art but learning the meaning of many common flowers was moving for me. This book is only available through our interlibrary loan program, but I had to include it!




Wild by Cheryl Stayed
This is an ancient theme of the redemptive power of travel. A three month hike helps a woman confront her demons and come to peace with herself.


However you mark the returning daylight or the New Year, I hope you do so with compassion for yourself and a touch of humor for this, our human condition.

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TSPL Top 100 Checkouts of 2019

1. Kingdom of t916WB7vJlHLhe Blind by Louise Penny
2. Past Tense by Lee Child
3. Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci
4. The Boy by Tami Hoag
5. Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich
6. The 18th Abduction by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
7. Wild Card by Stuart Woods
8. The House Next Door by James Patterson with Susan Dilallo, Max DiLallo, and Tim Arnold
9. The Reckoning by John Grisham
10. Turning Point by Danielle Steel


91fHIRTrVZL11. Triple Jeopardy by Anne Perry
12. The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman
13. The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
14. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
15. Dark Tribute by Iris Johansen
16. Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly
17. Target, Alex Cross by James Patterson
18. Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts
19. Liar Liar by James Patterson and Candice Fox
20. Connections in Death by J. D. Robb
21. The Lies We Told by Camilla Way
22. A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult



23. Pandemic by Robin Cook
24. Holy Ghost by John Sandford
25. The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich and Peter Evanovich
26. Wolf Pack by C.J. Box
27. The Stationery Shop: A Novel by Marjan Kamali
28. Saving Meghan by D. J. Palmer
29. The Lost Man by Jane Harper
30. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
31. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
32. Women Talking by Miriam Toews
33. A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux



34. The Summer of Sunshine & Margot by Susan Mallery
35. Sea Of Greed by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
36. The Perfect Alibi by Phillip Margolin
37. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
38. A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron
39. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
40. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
41. Blessing In Disguise by Danielle Steel
42. Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber
43. Where the Crawdads Sing: A Novel by Delia Owens
44. We Went To the Woods: A Novel by Caite Dolan-Leach



45. Watching You by Lisa Jewell
46. The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
47. The Rule of Law: A Novel by John Lescroart
48. The Hiding Place by C. J. Tudor
49. Such a Perfect Wife: A Novel by Kate White
50. Starlight by Richard Wagamese
51. Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline
52. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
53. Shadow Rider: Blood Sky at Morning and Apache Showdown by Jory Sherman
54. Run Away: A Novel by Harlan Coben
55. Pretty Revenge by Emily Liebert



56. The Oracle by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
57. A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
58. No Exit: A Novel by Taylor Adams
59. Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbø
60. Lost And Found by Danielle Steel
61. Lock Every Door: A Novel by Riley Sager
62. The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever by Mark Sisson
63. Keto Diet: Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, Boost Brain Health, and Reverse Disease by Josh Axe




64. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
65. The Girl in the Glass Box by James Grippando
66. Final Report by Rick Mercer
67. Dead and Buried by Tim Bryant
68. The Cliff House by Raeanne Thayne
69. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
70. Cemetery Road: A Novel by Greg Iles
71. California Girls by Susan Mallery
72. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
73. The Better Sister by Alafair Burke
74. Beauchamp Hall by Danielle Steel
75. Ambush by James Patterson and James O. Born



76. 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan
77. You Don’t Own Me by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
78. Watcher in the Woods: Rockton by Kelley Armstrong
79. The Warning by James Patterson and Robison Wells
80. Unleashed by Diana Palmer
81. The Unbreakables: A Novel by Lisa Barr
82. Tightrope by Amanda Quick
83. The Suspect by Fiona Barton
84. Sisters of Summer’s End by Lori Foster
85. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
86. Silent Night by Danielle Steel



87. The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen
88. Shamed by Linda Castillo
89. Redemption by David Baldacci
90. The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
91. Paranoid by Lisa Jackson
92. One Good Deed by David Baldacci
93. The New Girl by Daniel Silva
94. Murder on Trinity Place by Victoria Thompson
95. The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets: A Novel by Molly Fader
96. The Man with No Face by Peter May
97. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff




98. Looker: A Novel by Laura Sims
99. The Ketogenic Cookbook: Nutritious Low-Carb, High-Fat Paleo Meals to Heals Your Body by Jimmy Moore
100. Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks

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I Almost Broke Up with this Book…But I’m Glad I Didn’t! by Hannah Wight

We’ve all been there. We’ve picked up a book and looked forward to getting immersed into the story, only to find ourselves confused, bored, and wondering if it’s worth the read. One such book that I almost broke up with was Life of Pi by Yann Martel.




Life of Pi is a Canadian fantasy adventure novel. The main character in the novel is Pi Patel, an Indian Tamil man from Pondicherry, who is recounting his childhood story of survival to a journalist.  As a boy, Pi finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck in the Pacific Ocean. The novel is structured into three sections, with the first section focusing on Pi reminiscing on his childhood in India. The second section follows Pi’s adventure aboard the Tsimtsum freighter that is carrying his family and their zoo animals to North America, as well as the sinking of the ship, and Pi’s 227 days aboard the lifeboat. The final section describes the conversation Pi has with officials, who are making an inquiry into the sinking of the ship, after being rescued. Pi gives the officials two differing stories, allowing them to choose which one they like best.




Many of Pi’s encounters are quite bizarre, and it often leads the reader to wonder if he is really experiencing these events. Despite the strange musings Pi reverts to and the whirlwind adventures he experiences, this novel is jam-packed with relevant themes.

Such themes include the will to live, the importance of storytelling, spirituality, and growth through adversity.

I almost broke up with this book, but because I didn’t, I found myself enraptured by a novel written with warmth and intrigue. Life of Pi is a perfect blend of the fantastical and truth, and it allows the reader to decide which story they like best.




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