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Vending Machines Dispense Free Books to Children

In Washington, D.C., some vending machines are providing a new snack: free children’s books.

The Book Vending Machine program is the first of its kind in the U.S. It is the newest addition to "Soar with Reading", a literacy program started five years ago by JetBlue Airlines.

Dozens of books that appeal to children are within reach, at the push of a button...

From Vending Machines Dispense Free Books to Children

The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences

Abstract: This article is a short (well, not that short) summary of our experiences in writing a free online text book known as Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces (OSTEP for short, and sometimes pronounced "oh step"). It has been developed by myself (Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau) and my wife (Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau) over the past many years while teaching CS 537, the undergraduate Operating Systems course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The chapters of the book have been downloaded over 1/2 million times since 2012, and the web page for the book has been viewed nearly 3 million times in the past year, including a recent burst thanks to Hacker News and Reddit. In discussing our experiences, we make the case for Free Online Books (FOBs) - a now-serious alternative to classic printed textbooks.

From The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences with "Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces" | From A To RemZi

The most popular books in U.S. public libraries, mapped by city

The time period for the checkout lists varied by library, but all were each library’s most recent figures. Some libraries provided Quartz with lists for July, others for August, and some provided lists that spanned multiple recent months. Because Go Set a Watchman was released on July 15, its popularity could be underrepresented by some libraries’ lists.

From The most popular books in U.S. public libraries, mapped by city - Quartz

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E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts

When the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Amazon.com Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies.

But in the early going, that strategy doesn’t appear to be paying off.

From E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts - WSJ

Rising to the Challenge: How the Book Internet Delivered

It is not, nor will it ever be, one parent’s duty to parent for the entirety of a group of children. Their job is to watch their child an their child alone. In the instance of Some Girls Are, one parent managed to get a book pulled as an option from a list because she felt it was “smut.” Where it would make sense to tell her child to instead read a different book, she could find no peace in that. She wanted this book removed as an option for all readers.

From Rising to the Challenge: How the Book Internet Delivered

Rarities from My Grandfather’s House of Books

What Chimen did do, though, was pen a series of memoranda about how he had acquired some of his rarest prizes. He wrote, for example, about how, in the early 1950s, he had managed to buy William Morris’s complete collection of the Socialist League’s journal, The Commonweal, along with the wooden box, with a rexine cover dyed blue and lined with a white feltlike material, that Morris himself had constructed to house a 1539 Bible, and in which, ultimately, he kept his copies of the revolutionary newspaper. The pages of the publication—its words printed in double columns originally on a monthly basis, then later weekly, from 1886 until 1895, and filled with the revolutionary musings of Morris, Marx’s daughter Eleanor, and other radical luminaries of the late-Victorian years—had passed from Morris to his close friend, the typographer Emery Walker; from Walker to his daughter; and from her to a poet named Norman Hidden. Chimen eventually bought it from Hidden for £50. And there they stayed, in their Bible box, high on a wooden shelf in the upstairs hallway at 5 Hillway, for more than half a century.

From Rarities from My Grandfather’s House of Books

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3 Million Judgements of Books by their Covers

One last preface: This isn’t a scientific study. The results do not account for how well known a book is (which would influence the rating despite the cover), nor do they account for the fact that Goodreads does not allow ratings under 1 star. Each book’s results certainly had a pattern however, some we found very interesting.

From 3 Million Judgements of Books by their Covers — Medium

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On the Pleasures of Not Reading

And the bigger problem is we’re sometimes wrong. Our distaste for the trappings of publication puts us off from something great. We can tut-tut the marketing departments for this, but we have to shoulder some of the blame ourselves, especially when we allow our attitudes to harden into beliefs. After years of suspecting that I hated Michel Houellebecq, I began to assert as fact that I hated Michel Houellebecq; more recently, I discovered that I deeply enjoy Michel Houellebecq. It took impassioned pleas by not one but several friends to get me to read him—an almost literal conversion effort. People have become Catholic for less.

From On the Pleasures of Not Reading

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Rousting the Book Pirates From Google

Google Play has been criticized as a sort of vast and unruly garden compared with Apple’s impeccably mowed lawns. In Forbes recently, Erik Kain called Google Play “an ugly, poorly organized store filled with myriad knockoffs, dubious ‘games’ and other apps.” That sounds a bit harsh to the Haggler, a Google Play regular who has had mostly positive experiences.

From Rousting the Book Pirates From Google - The New York Times

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