Books

Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 Misinterpreted

Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature. “Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was,” Bradbury says, summarizing TV’s content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: “factoids.” He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen. His fear in 1953 that television would kill books has, he says, been partially confirmed by television’s effect on substance in the news. The front page of that day’s L.A. Times reported on the weekend box-office receipts for the third in the Spider-Man series of movies, seeming to prove his point.
From Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 Misinterpreted | L.A. Weekly
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“Hamilton” and the Books That Hamilton Held

Astonishingly, a little inquiry proves that the library not only still keeps records of all the books that Burr and Hamilton borrowed (and, mostly, returned) but also has many of the books themselves—not merely the same titles, but the exact same books that Hamilton and Burr handled and thumbed and read and learned from. What’s more, it turns out that, by a series of benevolent bequests, the library also has a few choice and telling letters from Burr and Hamilton and even from Eliza Hamilton—“best of wives and best of women,” as Manuel’s lyrics have it—all speaking around, and eventually to, the famous and fatal affair. So, hearing this news, we quickly—as a writer would have put it in this magazine in Thurber’s day—hied ourselves over to the Society Library’s reading room, and went to work to find out more.
From “Hamilton” and the Books That Hamilton Held - The New Yorker
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Panic at the Great Books School?

This week, a small, nerdy corner of the internet was dismayed by news of an “impending coup” at St. John’s College, an institution dedicated to the study of the great books of the Western Canon. I’d like to inform them that reports of the college’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
From Panic at the Great Books School? - Washington Free Beacon
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You May Soon Binge Books Just Like You Binge Netflix

But publishing company Farrar Straus and Giroux believes the TV model can lend momentum to a book series. In a move that takes as much from Victorian novels as from limited-run Netflix series, the publisher’s FSG Originals imprint is experimenting with serialized fiction. After releasing Lian Hearn’s fantasy novel Emperor of the Eight Islands in late April, FSG Originals will offer the three remaining books in her Tale of Shikanoko tetralogy—including Autumn Princess, Dragon Child, out today—before the end of September.
From You May Soon Binge Books Just Like You Binge Netflix | WIRED
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The best nonfiction books add up to a biography of our culture

Unlike fiction, nonfiction is not a genre. It’s a headache. Compiling 100 great books of nonfiction in English takes the reader into a universe of titles unrestricted by the limitations of a canon or the strictures of critical theory. Anything goes – so long as it’s in English (once again, to keep things manageable, we have excluded translations).
From The best nonfiction books add up to a biography of our culture | Books | The Guardian
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Literary Dopplegängers and interestingness

I started this post with a few digital-humanities posturing paragraphs: if you want to read them, you'll encounter them eventually. But instead let me just get the point: here's a trite new category of analysis that wouldn't be possible without distant reading techniques that produces sometimes charmingly serendipitous results. I'll call it dopplegänger books. A dopplegänger is, for any world-historically great work of literature, a book that shares many of the same themes, subjects, and language, but is comparatively obscure, not widely read, and--most likely--of surpassingly mediocre quality.
From Sapping Attention: Literary Dopplegängers and interestingness
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The purposeful change at the heart of librarianship

Adaptation to change that’s based on thoughtful planning and grounded in the mission of libraries: it’s a model that respected LIS thinker and educator Michael Stephens terms “hyperlinked librarianship.” And the result, for librarians in leadership positions as well as those working on the front lines, is flexible librarianship that’s able to stay closely aligned with the needs and wants of library users. Stephens’ new book “The Heart of Librarianship: Attentive, Positive, and Purposeful Change,” published by ALA Editions, is a collection of essays from his “Office Hours” columns in Library Journal which explore the issues and emerging trends that are transforming the profession.  Among the topics he discusses are: the importance of accessible, welcoming, and responsive library environments that invite open and equitable participation, and which factors are preventing many libraries from ramping up community engagement and user-focused services; challenges, developments, and emerging opportunities in the field, including new ways to reach users and harness curiosity; considerations for prospective librarians, from knowing what you want out of the profession to learning how to aim for it; why LIS curriculum and teaching styles need to evolve; mentoring and collaboration; and the concept of the library as classroom, a participatory space to experiment with new professional roles, new technologies, and new ways of interacting with patrons.
From The purposeful change at the heart of librarianship | News and Press Center
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Boys who live with books ‘earn more as adults’

Three economists at the University of Padua – Giorgio Brunello, Guglielmo Weber and Christoph Weiss – studied 6,000 men born in nine European countries and concluded that children with access to books could expect to earn materially more than those who grow up with few or no books. They studied the period from 1920 to 1956, when school reforms saw the minimum school leaving age raised across Europe. They looked at whether, at the age of 10, a child lived in a house with fewer than 10 books, a shelf of books, a bookcase with up to 100 books, two bookcases, or more than two bookcases.
From Boys who live with books ‘earn more as adults’ | Education | The Guardian
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Demonstration of a working Gutenberg printing press

The Crandall Historical Printing Museum has the "most complete and functioning Gutenberg Press in the world" and in this video you can see one of the museum's guides demonstrating it for some visitors.
From Demonstration of a working Gutenberg printing press
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