As we prepare for the long, homebound winter months and set up automatic pizza delivery, we at Harriet HQ are collecting reading material so that we may all remain cerebrally stimulated while deprived of sunlight, physical exercise, and basic human interaction.

To keep our reading muscles in shape, we begin with a basic literacy test. Retake as needed.

If you live in a colder area, as we do, this winter may be prime time to live vicariously through writers raised in on the balmier turf of Mexico. Robert Trejada has the hook-up, including his philosophy on translation (which can be the difference between loving a book in English and hating it).

Sometimes translation can create something entirely new. Witness Mary Jo Bang’s Inferno, a new walk through the hottest place on earth.

You may want to stock up on chapbooks. Chapbooks are so hot right now.

Worried about libraries losing funding? You can do what we do: Check out stacks of books in September, keep them around until April because you’re too lazy to walk to your branch, and vote with your overdue fines. Kate Schapira has a better idea.

If you’d rather own your books outright, Greying Ghost and SPD are both running late-summer liquidations.

BOMB is blowing up this week—along with Tejada in the magazine, they’ve got a great Sharon Olds interview that’s worth printing and saving for a late-January self-awareness fix.

Want to catch up on the classics this winter? If you’ve never read Howl or Leaves of Grass, you may want to go ahead and do that before you’re exposed to this week’s takedowns.

Congratulations to the people at Wichita State U., who will not spend the winter trudging through the drifts in search of their Robert Frost bust.

Originally Published: September 7th, 2012