Books

How J.J. Abrams Reinvented the Written Word with 'S.'

“It made me smile, this optimistic, romantic idea that you could leave a book with a message for someone. It reminded me of being in college, and seeing the notes that people would leave in the margins of the books they’d checked out of the library.” With the help of creative writing mastermind and novelist Doug Dorst, Abrams built on the romantic idea of the found object as a storytelling device. He constructed, from the ground up, a meta-narrative, centered upon a novel titled Ship of Theseus, written by fictitious author V.M. Straka, in 1949.
From How J.J. Abrams Reinvented the Written Word with 'S.'
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The Strange and Grotesque Doodles in the Margins of Medieval Books

Manuscripts can be seen as time capsules,” says Johanna Green, Lecturer in Book History and Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow. “And marginalia provide layers of information as to the various human hands that have shaped their form and content.” From intriguingly detailed illustrations to random doodles, the drawings and other marks made along the edges of pages in medieval manuscripts—called marginalia—are not just peripheral matters. “Both tell us huge amounts about a book’s history and the people who have contributed to it, from creation to the present day.”
From The Strange and Grotesque Doodles in the Margins of Medieval Books - Atlas Obscura
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8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year

Centralize reading in your home. Make a public commitment. Find a few trusted, curated lists. Change your mindset about quitting. Take a “news fast” and channel your reading dollars. ....
From 8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year

UK Book sales hit a record as children's fiction gains in popularity

Children's fiction helped drive UK book sales to a record £3.5bn last year, the Publishers Association (PA) has said. The 6% rise came despite the waning popularity of ebooks, which saw sales fall by 3% to £538m last year. Sales of children's books rose 16% to £365m, with the increase due mainly to the purchase of printed works.
From Book sales hit a record as children's fiction gains in popularity - BBC News
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The Fascinating History of Card Catalogs

Yes, according to Vox.com the history of card catalogs is weirdly fascinating.

So don't disengage just yet...

The Library of Congress just released a book on the history of the card catalog, and while I can physically feel you clicking away from this article even as I type I recommend that you don't.

The Card Catalog makes a persuasive case that cataloging knowledge is fundamental to the acquisition and spread of knowledge, and that a working library catalog is, in some ways, a basic necessity of civilization. And since cataloging is a calling that attracts neurotic and obsessive personalities, the history of the library catalog charts a weird, twisty path, with a lot of back-tracking followed by enormous leaps forward.

The Book



The Book

We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages―of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important―and universal―information technology.

The Book
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The Dictionary of the Book



The Dictionary of the Book: A Glossary for Book Collectors, Booksellers, Librarians, and Others

First published in 1952 with eight revised later editions, the ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter has long served as the standard glossary for the book trade. Nicely illustrated with photographs and drawings, The Dictionary of the Book updates Carter’s classic volume with additional coverage on book-printing terms, typography, papermaking, and binding, among other topics. A former museum library director and curator of manuscripts at different institutions, Berger is highly qualified to compile this informative and important work. A venerable bibliophile who delights in all aspects of book production and history, he hopes the readers will get as much 'pleasure out of this book' as he did in compiling it. (Booklist)

Berger is a passionate bibliomaniac with a scholar's eye for details and a bibliophile's eye for the beauty in the details. He takes a language defined (now) long ago by John Carter and refined more recently by Nicolas Barker and brings it into the 21st century with a deft blend of deference and irreverence and more than a dash of humor, to make learning the arcane patois of books an educational treat and a great read. He adds from his own vast knowledge and experience a fresh perspective which will delight beginners and cognoscenti alike, and offers us all a chance to look afresh at our world of books. (John Windle, Owner, John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller in San Francisco)

The Dictionary of the Book is a reference work that is as wide-ranging and encyclopedic as its author. Sid Berger has produced an essential tool for the trade. (Phil Salmon, Bromer Booksellers)

This is not an ABC of book terms, this is an A to Z of all things bookish! From bookbinding to paper making to library terminology, this glossary leaves nothing out and its definitions are clear, concise and on target. No librarian’s shelf should be without it. (Valerie Hotchkiss, Andrew S. G. Turyn Endowed Professor & Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois)
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Documentarian Says 'Anarchist Cookbook' Author Was Filled With Remorse

Excerpt: The information that is in the book is now out on the Internet and in many other places, and was even at the time. I mean, Bill himself got it from the public library, so it was out there in other forms and I think people who were determined to act out violently probably would have found that information or found ways to do it in any case. ... So drawing sort of a direct, causal link I think is problematic. But my sense is that none of that has been any great consolation for Bill throughout his life. ...

I think Bill has for many years wrestled with ... feeling on the one hand that you deserve redemption, that you deserve a second chance, and on the other hand feeling that you have done something wrong and that you feel a sense of guilt over. And clearly I think Bill is a complex enough person to hold on to both of those emotions at once.

Full piece on NPR.
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Printer's Error



Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History

Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.
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The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures





The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures

The Library of Congress brings booklovers an enriching tribute to the power of the written word and to the history of our most beloved books. Featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers, and photographs from the library's magnificent archives, this collection is a visual celebration of the rarely seen treasures in one of the world's most famous libraries and the brilliant catalog system that has kept it organized for hundreds of years. Packed with engaging facts on literary classics—from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare's First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye—this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.

Book at Publisher's website --The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures (Amazon)

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