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Bulletin

Read Everywhere, Part 7 (or, the Hashtag Wars)

August 8, 2014 | by

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The Paris Review’s Hailey Gates with a remarkably familiar slogan outside the New York Public Library.

This week, the New York Public Library launched a campaign to celebrate “the excitement and personal joy of reading”—an initiative we wholeheartedly support.

As do celebrities, apparently: the NYPL has photos of Hillary Clinton, Mindy Kaling, and the cast of Big Bang Theory reading contentedly in various corners of the earth.

There’s just one problem. The slogan for their campaign is Read Everywhere. And, like, not to get all petty or whatever? But we’ve been using that slogan for weeks to promote our summer subscription deal with the London Review of Books. (We’re having a Read Everywhere photo contest now, too, with lavish prizes.)

Our initial impulse was to retaliate, swiftly and with style. But how? A lawsuit would be costly. Vandalism would be unseemly. And some kind of ritualistic book burning … well, that wouldn’t be terribly stylish.

We settled on a time-honored subversive tactic: appropriation. Above is Hailey Gates, our head of advertising and promotions, in a defiant act of détournement. In Bryant Park—where plainclothes librarians and aides-de-camp are legion, and the lions are always watching—she managed to evade detection. We commend her for her bravery.

Your move, NYPL.

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