Celebrating St Valentine’s Day with Love in Art

couples-in-artFebruary has always been a month for romance, although the origins of St Valentine’s Day itself have become murky. Way back in the day, on February 15th, pagans celebrated Lupercalia; a fertility festival dedicated to their God or Agriculture, Faunus. But the 5th century arrived all too quickly for the pagans and Lupercalia was outlawed by the Christian Church. It was replaced with St Valentine’s Day (Valentine being one of three possible Saints of the same name), and moved to February 14th.

bridal-fashionsRomance only really came to Valentine’s Day during the 14th and 15th centuries, when some clever Englishmen and Frenchmen thought February 14th was the first day of the birds’ mating season. Thus, from then on, St Valentine’s Day became a day of not only birdy romance, but a celebration of human love.

Art, literature and music have often found their muses in romance, and the work of artists, writers, poets and musicians often celebrates the love symbolised by Valentine’s Day. Find artistic inspiration in our selection of books celebrating love in art.

The Butterfly Tree and the Lost Child

In 2011, the first mystery paper sculpture was discovered in the Scottish Poetry Library. It was an incredibly delicate gift; a tree growing out of a book, an eggshell of poems and a little card with read:

dsc_4944_582“@ByLeavesWeLive and became a tree….We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words…This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..”

More sculptures were discovered that year at the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the Filmhouse, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and here at Edinburgh Central Library.

The identity of the artist was withheld, and to this day we don’t know who the artist is.

We do know that this sculpture, the Butterfly Tree and the Lost Child, is dsc_4953_591her last and we are tremendously privileged to have it here at Central Library.

You can see the small sculptures donated to Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Central Library’s foyer or online on our Capital Collections Website. You can go to Wikipedia for more information on all the sculptures.

 

The Healing Power of the Piano

rhodes-bookPianist and author James Rhodes’ argues in his latest book `How to play the piano’ for the therapeutic benefits of music and in particular the healing power of playing the piano.
Setting the challenge that anyone can learn to play Bach with just 45 minutes’ practice six days a week for six weeks; this book aims to encourage non-players to take up the instrument. Rhodes passionately believes in the power of music in counteracting the pressures of 21st century life.

The Music Library holds both piano tutor books and the piano to get you started! Choose from our wide range of books aimed from beginners upwards, get advice from the knowledgeable Music Library staff, and search for a piano tutor on Your Edinburgh or reserve from our selected list of titles of starter piano tutor books.

Drop in to the Music Library to use our piano or telephone/email to make a booking. Contact us by tel on 0131 242 8050 or email central.music.library@edinburgh.gov.uk

Listen to a good book today!

digital-reading-week-logoLove audiobooks? Whats not to love! – they are ideal for the morning commute, the gym or while you’re doing the cooking, housework and DIY. Edinburgh Libraries has a fantastic selection of audiobooks for you to enjoy.Did you know you could download hundreds for free at home from Edinburgh Libraries? We have three different downloadable audiobook suppliers so we can give you the widest choice possible of authors and publishers.

Check these out today –

OverDrive – checkout over 1500 adult, teen and child audiobooks with OverDrive. You can borrow up to 10 at a time and either stream over the internet or download on your mobile device or computer.

OneClickdigital – has a great range of bestselling British authors such as Peter May, Cecelia Ahern, Val McDermid, Peter James, David Walliams and Santa Montefiore. Borrow another 5 titles here with automatic returns and no fines. 1500 titles to choose from including children’s, teen and adult titles.

Borowbox – our newest audiobook provider has a super easy to use app and a growing collection of over 400 adult audiobooks. Some fantastic titles including The Muse by Jessie Burton, The Widow by Fiona Barton and My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith.

 

Happy Read an eBook Day!

Today is the third annual International Read an eBook Day and you’re all invited to take part!  Read an eBook Day is a yearly celebration of modern story telling. It’s a day dedicated to promoting the convenience, capability and excitement that digital reading provides.

RAEBD---Social media image 2_504x504OverDrive, our eBook supplier, are encouraging people to use the hashtag #eBookLove today on social media to be entered into the  chance of winning a free tablet.

Visit the Read an eBook Day website for more information. There you’ll find reading recommendations, links to social media posts, a place to share what you’re reading and even interviews with authors who are participating in Read an eBook Day.

Show your #eBookLove all day long and join us in celebrating the ability to read anytime, anywhere!

Get Them Learning Online!

Recent research by the National Literacy Trust into technology and reading suggests that alongside books technology can play an important role for children in supporting early communication, language and literacy.

Edinburgh Libraries has got a brilliant range of online resources for children and teens to help them do just that! They are all available to use from home or the library. So get them started on –

  • OverDrive Kids & Teens – an ebook and audiobook site just for kids, filled with a fantastic array of titles and authors. Favourites include ebooks by Roald Dahl and the Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry. As well as using a website version of OverDrive you can also use a range of easy-to-use apps.
  • GridClub – set them loose on this huge website with over 500 fun educational activities. Covering activities for children aged 5-12 years you’ll find lots of material on English, but also maths, science, history, languages, geography, health, art, music and more.
  • Spellzone – provides a full online course to improve your grammar and spelling and is suitable for ages 10 and above. Spellzone can also support pupils who are dyslexic or for whom English isn’t their first language.

If they need some support with maths as well get the best online help from –

  •  Mathletics – access the world’s most used mathematics website covering all aspects of maths with 1000 different learning activities for students aged 5 up to adults. Register your child at their Scottish school level so they are getting work at exactly the right level for them. As well as a huge variety of fun but educational maths activities, learners can also compete against others from all over the world in live maths games of speed and skills.

Dr Book Festival surgeries

With the summer holidays coming to an end why not spring into the new term with fun new authors and books to explore and enjoy! Our enormously popular Dr Book service is hosting clinics across the festivals, prescribing books packed with belly laughs and pulse-quickening adventures.

Dr Book reading surgery

We’ll be at the BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals site on Lauriston Place on Thursday 11th August (2pm – 4pm) helping young readers discover books and authors they will #lovetoread

We’re also visiting our friends at Edinburgh International Book Festival in Charlotte Square for the WHOLE DAY on the Friday 19th August. We will also be in attendance at the Schools Gala day on the 30th August and will be on hand to treat any reading emergencies caused by the return to school and the end of the Summer Reading Challenge!