Other bookish fun

Call Me Ishmael

A very tired blogger here, coming to you from the local Panera Bread. I was up all night last night because creaky old houses in windstorms make for very poor sleeping conditions. But that is neither here nor there. Today I’m going to tell you about a really cool YouTube channel that you need to check out. It’s called Call Me Ishmael.

Call Me Ishmael posts videos on YouTube that are voicemails from people talking about their favorite books. Anyone can call and leave Ishmael a message (the phone number can be found on their website and their YouTube channel), and your message could be featured on the channel. You can seriously spend hours watching these videos, which range from heartwarming to hilarious. Here is an example of one of my favorite messages, which is about the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (most of the messages are about novels, but this one is very unique and funny):

Recently, the people at Call Me Ishmael announced that they are setting out to make actual phones to place in libraries and bookstores that will play Call Me Ishmael messages to you! You can see their KickStarter page here and watch the video which explains the phone.

The phone can hold tons of stories, which librarians or booksellers can program as certain numbers on the phone. Just pick it up and select a number to hear a Call Me Ishmael message about that book. You can also upload your own stories to the phone, depending on what books you want to feature in your store/library. Here’s the best part: if you see someone standing by the phone, you can go online (on your own REAL phone) and press a button that will make the phone ring! When the person picks it up, they will hear a message that will perhaps lead them to their next favorite read!

Once you watch enough of the YouTube videos, you will be hooked. Call Me Ishmael is an original, exciting way to share recommendations and stories about how books have made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. I haven’t yet called Ishmael, but one day I might. I have become a backer on KickStarter, and I suggest you become one too! I would love to see these in bookstores and libraries!


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