Call Me Ishmael,
Honorable Mention for the 2015 Innovations in Reading Prize

February 2016



Call Me Ishmael is a simple concept: anyone can call “Ishmael” and leave him an anonymous voicemail about their favorite book and what it means to them. Founders Logan Smalley and Stephanie Kent convert calls into videos, with each transcript scrolling on a vintage typewriter.

Thousands of people have called in to share their connections to books such as, Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Since 2014, Call Me Ishmael’s featured videos have been listened to over 200,000 times. With callers sharing stories about their struggles with cancer, issues with their family, or memories of random acts of kindness, Call Me Ishmael is documenting our relationship to literature and how it shapes our lives.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to witness, firsthand, what it means to cultivate a lifelong love for books,” says Smalley.

You can call Ishmael at 774-325-0503, or connect on Skype.

You can learn about this year’s honorable mentions here, or explore the impact of Innovations in Reading honored programs in our new infographic.