Books

Are Libraries Obsolete? An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age


Are Libraries Obsolete? An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age
The digital age has transformed information access in ways that few ever dreamed. But the afterclap of our digital wonders has left libraries reeling as they are no longer the chief contender in information delivery. The author gives both sides--the web aficionados, some of them unhinged, and the traditional librarians, some blinkered--a fair hearing but misconceptions abound. Internet be-all and end-all enthusiasts are no more useful than librarians who urge fellow professionals to be all things to all people. The American Library Association, wildly democratic at its best and worst, appears schizophrenic on the issue, unhelpfully. "My effort here," says the author, "is to talk about the elephant in the room." Are libraries obsolete? No! concludes the author (also). The book explores how libraries and librarians must and certainly can continue to be relevant, vibrant and enduring.

French economist Piketty takes on inequality in 'Capital'

On a recent U.S. press tour for his bestselling book "Capital," French economist Thomas Piketty spoke to standing-room-only crowds about his examination of growing, global economic inequality. Economics correspondent Paul Solman interviews Piketty for his take on why inequality of wealth has reverted to a lofty level last seen in 19th century Europe.

Wondering whether printed books will outlast printed money, or football

When you’re trying to figure out what will happen in the book publishing business in the years to come, any prediction depends on how things work out that are beyond the control of the business, and sometimes well outside it. This will be increasingly the case if the book business, in what has remained a fairly lonely expectation of mine, is increasingly the domain of people who aren’t publishing or selling books as a primary commercial activity, but as an adjunct or complement to some other principal objective.

Full post at -- The Shatzkin Files

Larry McMurtry Loves The West, But Knocks The Cowboy Off His High Horse

Larry McMurtry may well be the only Academy Award winner who used some of the precious moments of his acceptance speech to thank booksellers: "From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world, all are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book, a wonderful culture which we musn't lose," he told the audience in 2006 as he accepted the Oscar for his screenplay for Brokeback Mountain — which was based on a short story.
Full piece

The novel is dead (this time it's for real)

Literary fiction used to be central to the culture. No more: in the digital age, not only is the physical book in decline, but the very idea of 'difficult' reading is being challenged. The future of the serious novel, argues Will Self, is as a specialised interest

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/02/will-self-novel-dead-literary-fiction

F Scott Fitzgerald stories published uncensored for the first time

Sexual innuendo, drug references and antisemitic slurs removed by newspaper editors restored in new edition of Taps at Reveille

The original editions of the stories, she said, "will give people the sense that Fitzgerald is actually a bit edgier, particularly in his later stories; that there is more grit in these tales than people think."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/01/f-scott-fitzgerald-stories-uncensored-sexual-in...

Inside the Supreme Court 'gamble' on same-sex marriage

"Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality," follows the five-year legal battle over same sex marriage that ensued after California passed Proposition 8. The book digs beneath the surface with personal narratives of those who had been the public face of this major civil rights case. Jeffrey Brown talks to journalist and author Jo Becker.

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be Paper

http://www.wired.com/2014/05/reading-on-screen-versus-paper/

“Reading is human-technology interaction,” says literacy professor Anne Mangen of Norway’s University of Stavenger. “Perhaps the tactility and physical permanence of paper yields a different cognitive and emotional experience.” This is especially true, she says, for “reading that can’t be done in snippets, scanning here and there, but requires sustained attention.”

Toronto Public Library Asked To Remove Hop On Pop For Encouraging Violence

Here's [PDF] the Materials Review Committee Reconsideration of Materials Summary for 2013 from the Toronto Public Libraries... It lists a complaint against Hop on Pop... Encourages children to use violence against their fathers: Remove from collection and issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book. "The children are actually told not to hop on pop. "

Amazon Book List Reveals What's Hot In American Regional Cuisine

From upstate New York's heirloom veggie craze to the Pacific Northwest's baking boom, regional fare is taking off.

But with zillions of cookbooks coming out every year, how do you figure out which culinary jewels will be worth your precious time and shelf space?

Amazon, that giant aggregator of all things, breaks down about 500 regional cookbooks into manageable bites by curating what it considers the best of its vast collection.

Full story on NPR

Great American Eats map

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