A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader — Edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Zoe Bedrick — From Enchanted Lion Books

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Some say this book is for Ages 9-11, but we think it is for those who love books and reading — at any age.

A Children's Book Council "Hot Off the Presses" Selection for December 2018

What at wonderful and beautiful book...about the power and magic of reading!

In these pages, some of today's most wonderful culture-makers ― writers, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and philosophers ― reflect on the joys of reading, how books broaden and deepen human experience, and the ways in which the written word has formed their own character.

On the page facing each letter, an illustration by a celebrated illustrator or graphic artist presents that artist's visual response. Of A Velocity of Being's 272 pages, 111 are color illustrations. Such a treat!

A Velocity of Being is an expansive collection of love letters to books, libraries, and reading, from a wonderfully eclectic array of thinkers and creators.

Among the diverse contributions are letters from Jane Goodall, Neil Gaiman, Jerome Bruner, Shonda Rhimes, Ursula K. Le Guin, Yo-Yo Ma, Judy Blume, Lena Dunham, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Jacqueline Woodson.

There also are contributions from a ninety-eight-year-old Holocaust survivor, a pioneering oceanographer and Italy's first woman in space.

Some of the illustrators, cartoonists, and graphic designers involved are Marianne Dubuc, Sean Qualls, Oliver Jeffers, Maira Kalman, Mo Willems, Isabelle Arsenault, Chris Ware, Liniers, Shaun Tan, Tomi Ungerer, and Art Spiegelman.

Another gem from Enchanted Lion Books, A Velocity of Being is is woven entirely of goodwill, generosity of spirit, and a shared love of books. Everyone involved has donated their time, and all of the publisher's profits from the book will go to the New York Public Library systems.

Check out what co-editor Maria Popova wrote about this inspiring labor of love — the illustrations are amazing!

So, consider a copy for every person you know who loves to read! This gem truly is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. 


Format: New, Hardcover

Published: November 27, 2018

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

ISBN: 978-1-59270-228-2

Pages: 272, 111 illustrations

Dimensions: 5.9" inches W x 8.3" inches H

Weight: 3.25 pounds shipping weight 

Rating: ★★★★★


Maria Popova has been writing since 2006 about what she reads on Brain
Pickings (, which is now included in the Library of Congress archive of culturally valuable materials. She is a priceless gem and Brain Pickings is such an incredible treasure trove of writing and discovery.

Claudia Zoe Bedrick is the publisher, editor, and art director of Enchanted Lion Books (we are HUGE fans!), an award-winning, family-owned company in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The thoughtfulness and creativity of her son, her nieces and nephews, the young people with whom she works, and of children everywhere nourish her sense of hope every single day.

Enchanted Lion Books


The Forest was published by Enchanted Lion Books. We love them, and they can share their vision, mission, raison d'être in a much more articulate way, as I usually as reduced to "Ooooh!" and "Wow!"

"Enchanted Lion Books is an independent, family-owned publishing company based in Brooklyn, NY. We opened our doors and published our first list in spring, 2003. We love books, well-told stories, and illustrations that open up the visual world and deepen a child's sense of story.

We publish illustrated books from around the world, convinced by the power of cultural exchange to inspire curiosity, awareness, and wonder in children everywhere. We reach across time and oceans to find new authors and old treasures to share with a new generation of readers.

We select the books that we publish with great care. We seek out those that we believe children will enjoy and that reflect an individual voice or vision.

We live with the books we publish long before they go to press, and we share them within our communities. We also sleep with many books under our pillows, and we publish the ones that invade our dreams.

We believe in the books we publish because they are beautiful and lively, thoughtful and full of feeling. They evince a fierce belief in the imagination, exploring the inner world as richly as the world around us.

Our books explore the feelings and imaginative lives of various animal and human characters, but they also travel out into into northwest Pakistan, China during the Cultural Revolution and the Levantine world during the golden age of Arab science.

We have published books from authors and illustrators in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland and the US.

Books allow us to explore worlds long before we travel and long after. We therefore seek to give children books that will help them feel that this world we share, with all its surprising, wonderful complexity and beauty, is home

As we all know, books help children to cross all kinds of boundaries and borders long before they begin to grasp the world through actual travel and experience.

We thus take as our task that of connecting young readers to the wonderfully diverse modes of expression that exist in the world, so that in the end they will feel that the whole world—with all of its wonderful, surprising and very real similarities and differences—is their home."