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Around The Web: Free Libraries, Early Drafts, Proofreading and Spelling Backwards

Welcome back, friends. I hope you’re having a fantastic week! If you’re looking for some bookish or literary content to read, you’ve come to the right place. This week, I’ve got a look at little free library use during the pandemic, a piece on early manuscripts of classic novels, a profile of an anonymous Twitter proofreader, and a Guinness word record.

Hope you enjoy!

Little Free Libraries

Street Library

Are little free libraries helping people access books during the pandemic? The Los Angeles Times weighs in on the purpose and actual use of these free book boxes, noting that they have noble goals but aren’t always well-curated.

Proofreading by Tweet


Grammar and spelling can be contentious topics on the Internet. This is exemplified by the existence of a Twitter account created for the sole purpose of pointing out typos and other errors in the New York Times. The Ringer has a full profile of this curious proofreader who has risen in Twitter popularity as copy desks in newsrooms have continued to dwindle and disappear in favour of faster publication.

Early Manuscripts of Classic Novels

Handwritten notes

The BBC recently shared some “surprising secrets of writers’ first book drafts.” English majors will no doubt be familiar with a number of the novels discussed in this piece, but the early manuscripts may provide further insights on the final publications. At the least, early manuscripts show some interesting differences. For example, The Great Gatsby’s Daisy and Nick were originally Ada and Dud.

A Guinness World Record

word collage

Did you know there’s a word record for spelling words backwards? Well, there is, and Pam Onnen now holds it after spelling fifty-six words backwards in a minute. Laughing Squid has a video, and it’s the oddest spelling-bee I’ve seen, but it’s clear there’s some real skill involved.

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