The Very First Coloring Book, The Little Folks’ Painting Book (Circa 1879)

≡ Category: Books, K-12 |Leave a Comment

Funny how not that long ago coloring books were considered the exclusive domain of children. How times have changed. If you are the sort of adult who unwinds with a big box of Crayolas and pages of mandalas or outlines of Ryan Gosling, you owe a debt of gratitude to the McLoughlin Brothers and illustrator Kate Greenaway.


The 20 Most Influential Academic Books of All Time: No Spoilers

≡ Category: Books |7 Comments

Image by Let Ideas Compete, via Flickr Commons
Sometimes I’ll meet someone who mentions having written a book, and who then adds, “… well, an academic book, anyway,” as if that didn’t really count.


How to Make a Book From Scratch

≡ Category: Books |Leave a Comment

In a new video series from “How To Make Everything” — a Youtube channel dedicated to finding out how to break down complex production processes and make things from scratch — you can watch Andy George create a book using very traditional techniques. And when I say traditional, I mean traditional.


The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, the Pre-Civil Rights Guide to Traveling Safely in the U.S. (1936-66)

≡ Category: Books, guides, History, Life, Travel |2 Comments

Popular entertainment has romanticized the idea of the road trip as a wholly spontaneous adventure, but for mid-century African American motorists, planning was essential. The lodgings, restaurants, and tourist attractions where they could be assured of a warm welcome were often few and far between in the era of segregation.


Download 650 Soviet Book Covers, Many Sporting Wonderful Avant-Garde Designs (1917-1942)

≡ Category: Archives, Books, Design |Leave a Comment

Americans like to pride ourselves on the numerous ways our pop culture penetrated the Soviet Union and seduced its youngsters, sending them to bed with dreams of Mickey Mouse, Billie Holiday, Elvis, and Star Wars.


815 Free Art Books from World Class Museums: The Met, the Guggenheim, the Getty & LACMA

≡ Category: Archives, Art, Books |Leave a Comment

Whatever else Banksy’s 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop suggests about the strange relationship between the worlds of gallery and street art, its title alone hints at a serious problem with the art establishment: museums are expensive! Unless you are in Washington, DC, where most of the museums are free, you must not only pony up an


An Introduction to the World of Haruki Murakami Through Documentaries, Stories, Animation, Music Playlists & More

≡ Category: Books, Literature |2 Comments”>Haruki

Some of you may wonder what inspires such devotion among the fans of Haruki Murakami, the world’s most internationally popular novelist. The rest of you — well, you’ll probably already know that today is the man’s birthday.


The First Photo-Illustrated Book, Anna Atkins’ Austerely Beautiful Photographs of British Algae (1843)

≡ Category: Biology, Books, Photography, Science |1 Comment

Some of our favorite, and most popular, posts at Open Culture focus on book illustration. From fine art to graphic design, from the sublime to the ridiculous to the purely technical, the art used to visualize beloved works of literature and scientific texts captivates us.


Brazil Gives Out Books That Double as Subway Tickets, Promoting Literacy & Mass Transit at Once

≡ Category: Books, Design, Life, Travel |8 Comments

One of the things I miss about living in a city with a subway system is the myriad thoughtful design elements that go into managing a perpetual flow of tourists and commuters. New York’s subway map presents us with an iconic tangle of interlocking tributaries resembling diagrams of a circulatory system.


Bill Gates, Book Critic, Names His Top 5 Books of 2015

≡ Category: Books |Leave a Comment

When you think Bill Gates, you think Microsoft co-founder and big-time philanthropist. Now you can add to the list, book critic. This weekend, The New York Times profiled Bill Gates’ penchant for reviewing books on his blog, Gates Notes, and how (much like Oprah) when Gates gives a book a thumbs up, it moves copies. Many copies.


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