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FedEx: The Office Meeting

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish 'n' chips wrap?

Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading.

Cell Tower Deaths

FRONTLINE and ProPublica investigate the hidden cost that comes with the demand for better and faster cell phone service.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cell-tower-deaths/

After Long Resistance, Pynchon Allows Novels to Be Sold as E-Books

Thomas Pynchon, author of “Gravity’s Rainbow” and “The Crying of Lot 49,” characteristically declined to speak about his decision.

http://libwire.blogspot.com/2012/06/after-long-resistance-pynchon-allows.html

Digital wars

A librarian friend of mine who makes thoughtful book recomendations said that - Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internetwas an excellent and timely read.

The Story of Ain’t

Book

The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published

Humanities editor Skinner, who is on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, offers a highly entertaining and intelligent re-creation of events surrounding the 1961 publication of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary by G. & C. Merriam. The dictionary, assembled at a cost of $3.5 million, included a press release from Merriam’s president Gordon J. Gallan, which said the work contained “an avalanche of bewildering new verbal concepts.”

Mike McGrady, Known for a Literary Hoax, Dies at 78

As a Newsday journalist, Mr. McGrady led his colleagues in the creation of “Naked Came the Stranger,” a steamy parody novel.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/business/media/mike-mcgrady-known-for-a-literary-hoax-dies...

Bladerunner fans

Bladerunner fans may be interested in this new book that discusses the law of replicants - A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents

Pocket Ref 4th Edition

Pocket Ref 4th Edition The concise all-purpose pocket-sized reference book featuring abundant information on many subjects, hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants and conversions. If you need to know it, it is in this book!

Extending the life of bookstores is critical, but devilishly difficult

I’ll admit that I would have thought a few years ago that by the time we got to the point when more than a third of unit sales for major houses had gone digital — and perhaps more than half for fiction — that the future shape of the book business would be discernible. But, at least according to what I learned from one Big Six house last week, we have reached that level of ebook uptake and despite that, the business still looks very much as it has. It seems impossible to me that it will stay that way.

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