Saturday, November 03, 2012

Book Weeks

Late last September, I found the following note on the Facebook page of one of my overseas friends: "It's International Book Week. So, take the book nearest to you, go to page 54, and write the fifth sentence as your status on Facebook. Don't indicate the title. Write the rules together with the sentence. Happy reading!" (Modification of the translation by Bing from Italian.)

Following this note, the friend wrote a sentence that seemed to have been taken from an astronomy book for laypersons. The book I was reading that day happened to be of a similar kind. So, I wrote the fifth sentence on page 54 of that book in the comment column of her status message. I also wrote (in English) the above rules and the same fifth sentence, as my Facebook status. I thought that this was like a chain letter. However, I did the same as the friend, because doing so seemed to cause no adverse effect.

Later, I made a Web search of "International Book Week" and found just the explanation that it is a meme (Ref. 1). I also found a blog post (Ref. 2) which, after describing it a meme, writes the rules and the word "Let's celebrate!" In the well circulated version of the rules, the passage you should share seems to be, not fifth sentence on page 54, but page 52, line 5.

At that time, I also consulted about Reading Weeks in Japan on the Internet and found the following explanation on the Wikipedia (Japanese edition) page: "Reading Weeks are the days of two weeks from October 27 to November 9 for intensively carrying out activities to promote reading." Today, it is the day at the center of Reading Weeks in Japan. Please share page 52, line 5 of the book you are reading.

I am now reading two books in parallel, and page 52, line 5 of each of these books is as follows (you can see the titles of the books in the photo below):
"advanced stage of evolution; already several planets have been thrown"
"concern of numerology, people are the object of interest. After more"

By the way, the four Chinese characters to express "Book Weeks" in Japanese remind me of a comic strip of Sazae-san by Machiko Hasegawa. I wrote about the related story in the blog post "Comics" (Ref. 3) years ago. Please read about it there.

  1. Wikipedia: Articles for deletion / International Book Week (27 September 2012 at 16:16).
  2. Megan Frampton, Celebrate International Book Week: Share Page 52, Line 5. Heros and Heartbreakers (September 21, 2012).
  3. Comics, IDEA & ISAAC: Surely I'm Joking (October 17, 2004).

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