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Read It And Leap — Celebrate National Library Week With These Out of Print Goodies For Stylish Bibliophiles

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Did you know that April 12ht through April 18th is unofficially known as National Library Day? Well, ’tis true, my book-loving friends! These are the days to celebrate our united quest for information ad erudition; our quest to be educated, titillated, and touched by the written word; our desire to find answers to the seemingly inexplicable or to philosophize about the true manifestations of human nature. Now, granted, as a proud book worm, I spent a sizable amount of time in Harvard University’s libraries during my undergraduate years – whether I was climbing up and down narrow stairs in Widener Library’s stacks, coughing from all the dust accumulated on those century-old tomes while trying to find the ever-elusive light switch within every pitch-black, painfully narrow aisle; looking through library catalogues and navigating through the oft-confusing shelves at Lamont Library; or scouring for a a rare manuscript on performing arts within the Houghton Library. As much as I may have moaned and groaned about my library trips back then, there was also something magical about them. I loved how every search for a book felt like a treasure hunt of sorts — and not so lame backyard scavenger hunt, but a true Goonies-worthy expedition. I even loved the dusty, ripped-up covers of those often ancient tomes, their musty smell, and the yellowish tint of the pages. Often, I’d find myself staring at the library cards affixed to the inside of the front cover, browsing through the dates on which the book I was grasping had been borrowed by previous readers or checking out their signatures. To me, those library cards were tiny histories of a book’s life, a fascinating account of its trajectory. Nowadays, virtual libraries, audiobooks, digital downloads, online research databases, and e-books have facilitated students’ and readers’ access to different titles, but they’ve also made the experience so impersonal. I, for one, insist on physical copies of books because I crave the feel of paper in between my hands, the rustling of pages. And, while I don’t frequent libraries as often as I did during my collegiate years, I am a proud, card-holding member of the New York Public Library community.

If, like me, you have a sentimental attachment to libraries and a fondness for nostalgic references, you’ll be smitten with the newest additions to Out of Prints “Library Stamp” collection — among them the Library Stamp Fleece ($40 at OutOfPrintClothing.com), a long-sleeved sweatshirt with a front kangaroo pocket, a ribbed hemline, a snipped-looking collar, and a vintage-looking stamp print with a range of dates in 1984 (perhaps a nod to George Orwell?); and the Library Stamp Tee ($28 at OutOfPrintClothing.com), a poly/cotton V-neck T-shirt with a slim, body-skimming-fit. Each time one of these garments are purchased, a book is donated to a community in need.

If you like quirky socks, meanwhile, check out the Library Card Socks ($10 at OutOfPrintClothing.com), now available in an aqua blue shade. These cotton blend socks feature the gridded pattern commonly seen in library cards along with the typical headings so that “Author,” “Title,” and “Date Due” are printed along the top three lines on one sock and “Borrower’s Name” is printed on the matching sock, within the third line so that it lines up with the “Date Due” field in the other sock. When worn together, then, these socks perfectly replicate a classic library card — except, of course, it’s a brand new one that has yet to be filled!

This week, in celebration of National Library Week, 10% of all sales will help to stock the shelves of Coffeeville Elementary School in Mississippi, a facility that serves approximately 400 students in grades pre-k through 7th and which currently only stocks 1,000 books, many damaged or with missing pages. After a teacher from the school took the initiative to reach out to Kids Need to Read, the latter organization approached Out of Print Clothing and now they’re all working together to give these children a fully stocked library.

So, what do you say? Why not celebrate your love of reading and pay it forward?

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