Egypt Independent: Arts-Main news en A good book can change your life <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>New research out of the UK has found yet another benefit of picking up a good book, with avid readers likely to feel satisfied with their lives.&nbsp;</p><div>The study, conducted by the University of Liverpool&#39;s Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society (CRILS), found that reading has many more benefits than simply being good entertainment, with those who read reporting better connections with others and greater feelings of happiness within themselves and with their life overall.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The study also found that books can have the power to encourage us to make life changing decisions, with 27% of people reporting that a book has inspired them to make a change such as look for a new job, or end a bad relationship.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Thirty-six percent said it was a book that inspired them to travel, and 19% said a book that inspired them to take up a new hobby.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And not only did 38% say a book is their favourite way to relax and reduce stress, compared to 31% who choose a glass of wine and 10% who choose a hot bath, but a book has also inspired readers to take better care of their well-being in general, with a fifth saying they started to take better care of their health thanks to a book.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And although they might not be real, our favourite literary characters can also be an inspiration to us, with flawed and more &quot;real&quot; characters such as Bridget Jones showing us that it is ok to make mistakes, and helping us feel better about ourselves. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Commenting on the results Dr Josie Billington, who headed up the study said, &quot;35% of respondents in our research reported that they would like to spend more time reading, but cite using their phones or watching television as frequent distractions: no wonder there is concern that reading is at risk of becoming a forgotten pleasure.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The positive effects that reading can have on society are widely documented and what has been made abundantly clear by this research is that books can help us to enjoy the little things in life, and be happier in ourselves; a useful and timely reminder for all of us to draw on the many benefits that only reading can deliver.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Top 5 most inspiring literary characters from best-selling novels</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Most inspirational characters for women:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>1. &nbsp; &nbsp;Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>2. &nbsp; &nbsp;Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>3. &nbsp; &nbsp;Harry Potter (Harry Potter series)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>4. &nbsp; &nbsp;Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones&#39; Diary series)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>5. &nbsp; &nbsp;Anna Fitzgerald (My Sister&#39;s Keeper)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Most inspirational characters for men:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>1. &nbsp; &nbsp;Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>2. &nbsp; &nbsp;Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings series)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>3. &nbsp; &nbsp;Harry Potter (Harry Potter series)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>4. &nbsp; &nbsp;Robert Langdon (Da Vinci Code / Angels and Demons)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>5. &nbsp; &nbsp;Amir (The Kite Runner) / Pi Patel (Life of Pi)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The study was commissioned by Galaxy chocolate on behalf of Quick Reads, a reading programme that produces short books by well-known authors designed for those lacking the time or confidence to read.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- See more at:</div> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:02:00 +0000 AFP 2466223 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/02/05/43/screen_shot_2016-02-05_at_12.05.48_pm.png Mad Max director George Miller to preside over Cannes film festival <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Australian director George Miller will preside over the 69th Cannes film festival, organizers said on Tuesday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Miller, whose latest installment of the Mad Max franchise, &#39;Fury Road&#39;, kicked off last year&#39;s festival on the Croisette when it was screened out of competition, will award the prestigious Palme d&#39;Or at the end of the May 11-22 cinema extravaganza.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;What an unmitigated delight! To be there in the middle of this storied festival at the unveiling of cinematic treasures from all over the planet,&quot; Miller said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;To spend time in passionate discourse with fellow members of the jury. Such an honor. I&#39;ll be there with bells on!&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Last year&#39;s festival was presided by American directors Joel and Ethan Coen.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Miller, 70, will be the first Australian to preside over the festival.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 10:40:00 +0000 Reuters 2466133 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/05/15/43/screen_shot_2015-05-15_at_12.40.44_pm.png Lady Gaga to perform 'multisensory' Bowie tribute at Grammys <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Lady Gaga will lead what organizers called an &quot;experiential tribute&quot; to late British singer David Bowie at the Grammy Awards this month.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Recording Academy said Gaga would perform three or four of Bowie&#39;s songs in a &quot;multisensory testament&quot; to Bowie&#39;s creativity as a musician whose work constantly evolved over five decades.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Bowie&#39;s unexpected death at age 69 in January after a secret cancer diagnosis shocked fans around the world and came just two days after the release of a critically-acclaimed new album &quot;Blackstar.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Gaga, a six-time Grammy winner, is also known for reinventing herself many times since she rose to fame in 2008. She had already been booked to perform at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 15.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;But when David passed &mdash; almost in a single moment &mdash; we knew we had to change direction,&quot; Grammy ceremony executive producer Ken Ehrlich said in a statement.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;We immediately spoke and agreed that she (Lady Gaga) should be the one to honor David. She&#39;s perfect for it,&quot; Ehrlich added.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Music producer Nile Rodgers, who worked on Bowie&#39;s 1983 album &quot;Let&#39;s Dance,&quot; will be the musical director for the tribute.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 09:56:00 +0000 Reuters 2466129 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/24/43/lady_gaga.jpg New “A Book and a Loaf of Bread” campaign promotes reading among Egypt's poor <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Egyptian government has launched a new campaign called &ldquo;A Book and a Loaf of Bread&rdquo;, which provides a 90 percent discount on books at the Cairo International Book Fair to people who hold ration cards in an effort to promote reading among Egypt&#39;s poor.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The campaign was founded by a cultural initiative called &ldquo;Battana&rdquo; and was launched by the ministries of culture and supply and domestic trade.</div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img src=";oe=57389297&amp;__gda__=1466854067_d231f895715141e3901cbb49062014c5" style="height: 499px; width: 536px;" /></p><p><em>Source:</em> <a href=""><em>Facebook page</em></a></p><div>Supply and Domestic Trade Minister Khaled Hanafy said the government is granting thousands of families who have earned extra points on their ration cards a free book every month for a year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Hanafy said the initiative comes in the wake of a partnership between the government, private sector and civil society to build a link between bread and books as both are the basis for prospective development in society.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><br />He added that the project aims to reward citizens and motivate them to achieve better consumption rates on subsidized bread. &ldquo;It also helps raise cultural awareness and increase the consumption of Egyptian cultural products,&rdquo; said Hanafy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Unfortunately, the relationship between the Supply and Domestic Trade Ministry and citizens is confined to subsidized food, but we are trying to build another image in people&rsquo;s minds by linking bread and books,&rdquo; said Atef Ebied, the founder of Battana.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ebied noted that the government showed interest in the project when he proposed it and took swift action in implementing the idea.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Speaking about the people&#39;s feedback towards the project, Ebied told Dream channel that he guessed that people&rsquo;s reaction will be modest, but was surprised by the large number of people who flocked to the initiative&rsquo;s booth holding their ration cards to purchase the books.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ebeid emphasized that the initiative will not be limited to the book fair, and Battana are planning to proceed with a mobile library that will wander Egypt&rsquo;s streets, especially the rural areas which suffer the most from a lack of cultural awareness.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Moreover, I am thinking to bring some of the authors travelling with us to sign their books for owners of ration cards to further promote the important image that we are trying to build between bread and books,&rdquo; Ebied said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He said the initiative&rsquo;s booth in the book fair accommodates many Egyptian book types, including novels, poetry, and books by intellectuals. &quot;We have a variety of books, but we may not have all book types for all tastes,&quot; said Ebeid.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The 2016 Cairo International Book Fair began on January 27 and will run until February 10 under the title &quot;Culture on the Frontlines&quot;.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The campaign has received good feedback from people who were encouraged to visit the book fair to buy books with the 90 percent discount. <em>Al-Shorouk</em>&nbsp;reported that dozens of people were queued to get their books from the campaign&#39;s booth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;The idea is perfect, actually one of the better initiatives launched by the government to encourage reading,&rdquo; said Heba Hashem, a graphic designer. Hashem has not dropped by the book fair yet, but said she will take part in the initiative if she finds books by her favorite writers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Echoing Hashem, Mohammed Moustafa, a translator, said that the initiative will help in returning the popularity of printed books especially given that e-books have recently soared in popularity among the youth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;The 90 percent sale is a very catchy discount, especially given that many citizens are facing economic woes due to the country&#39;s ailing economy and many find the prices of books in the book fair to be high,&rdquo; Moustafa said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Throughout Egypt&rsquo;s modern history many campaigns were kicked off to motivate reading. In the 1990s, Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, launched a &ldquo;Reading for All&rdquo; intiative which opened thousands of libraries to the public in the summer and copies of books were printed to encourage reading among the youth and children.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The project lasted for years and on its fourth anniversary the &ldquo;Family Library&rdquo; initiative was introduced as part of the &quot;Reading for All&quot; project, which printed millions of copies of important titles by leading authors in many fields, including literature, arts, history, science and religion.</div> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:00:00 +0000 Hend El-Behary 2466114 at sites/default/files/photo/2013/02/10/9948/libya.jpg