Books

Fine Points of Dashes Make a Buzz

Steve Fesenmaier shared This NYTimes Story on the new 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, published this month.
It has been 10 years since the last edition of the manual, which is published by the University of Chicago Press.
The new one is the most significant revision since the 12th edition in 1969. It is the first edition, for instance, to address electronic publishing seriously. It also has the manual's first chapter on grammar and usage, written by Bryan A. Garner, with instructions on whether it is all right to use "and" and "but" at the beginning of a sentence. "And" has been O.K. since Chaucer's time, Mr. Garner said.

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The Shakespeare bible

CNN has This AP Story on "Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies," AKA, a First Folio, owned by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen.
In a small theater anteroom, enclosed in a custom-built case and watched over by surveillance video and electronic alarm, lies a relic that connects the Oregon Shakespeare Festival through time almost to the bard himself.

Formally titled "Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies," it is popularly known as a First Folio, an original copy of what is considered by many scholars to be the greatest book in English literature, and a touchstone of almost religious significance to those who love Shakespeare.

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More pointless book burning

Arson is suspected in a fire at shuttered community center near Honolulu that destroyed over 2000 books held in storage by the Friends of the Waialua Library. Also incinerated are more than 2000 pounds of coffee stored by the Dole company. More here from the Honolulu Advertiser.

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Manga Mania Comes to the West

Gary Deane spotted Manga mania comes to the West from The Globe & Mail.
They say the only area of steady growth in the comic business seems to be in manga, graphic novel-based black-and-white comics from Japan. Even stranger, it turns out that most of this growth can be attributed to a single new market: Teenage girls.

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Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest - 2003 Results

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners have been announced!
"They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined
string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . ."
That was this years opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

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More than just Earthquakes

The July 17 edition of the Los Angeles Times bears an article about the abundance of used bookstores in this area of the country. I read the article with pleasure not unmingled with shame, owing to the fact I somehow managed to miss some of the stores named despite all my book-loving years of residence here.

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America\'s Most Literate Cities

By way of the Toledo Blade...
There\'s a study out by the University of Wisconsin that profiles the reading habits of people in the nation\'s 64 largest cities. The data, compiled this summer, goes according to education level, population, libraries, bestsellers, publications and newspapers, and indicates that reading doesn\'t appear to be too high on most peoples\' list of activities. According to the article, \"Some big cities generally recognized as cultural centers fared poorly in the study. You can view the results of the study Here.
Check out the Blade article Here.

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Library Lets Kids Pay Fines by Hitting the Books

The following comes by way of the Columbus (OH) Dispatch...

\"When library cards get blocked because of unpaid fines for overdue books and videos, children can get shut off from reading. The notion troubled the staff at the Columbus Metropolitan Library\'s Franklinton branch, which sits in one of the city\'s poorest neighborhoods. Staff members found chores that allowed children to work off fines, then came up with a more appropriate option three summers ago.
Why not let the kids \'\'read off\'\' their fines?
For every 15 minutes of reading with staff members or volunteers, a child eliminates $2 in fines. Read More.

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Professors fight to keep Swift on syllabus

James Nimmo writes "Some of the great works of English literature could be scrapped from the syllabus of one of Pakistan's leading universities because of what professors fear is a rising tide of Muslim fundamentalism.
A review of books studied in the English courses at Punjab University in Lahore singled out several texts, including Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels as containing offensive sexual connotations which were deemed "vulgar".

Academics from the English department have fiercely resisted the proposed culling of the syllabus and warn of other moves to curtail liberal and critical opinion in favour of Islamist thinking. "Ordinary, professional liberals feel that there is no space for us in our own town now," said a senior academic. "I feel increasingly that Lahore is polarised and the threshold of tolerance is falling."

Full Stoy."

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Bookish Seattle Among the Most Literate Cities

Gary Deane sent this one in.

Looks like other cities had better get reading; Seattle and Minneapolis are making us look bad.

Five years ago Margit Rankin moved to Seattle from Manhattan, the red-hot core of the literary world. One of her first nights out was at a reading featuring Charles Frazier, author of "Cold Mountain," appearing with fellow Southern writer Kaye Gibbons.

Rankin was stunned. About 2,500 people showed up. At the mere mention of the Elliott Bay Book Co., a treasured independent bookstore trying for a new life after an ownership change, the audience rose and gave a standing ovation.

"That was my initial impression of Seattle" as a reading town, said Rankin, now director of Seattle Arts & Lectures. "And it hasn't been diminished in the least."

Yesterday a survey of literacy in 64 cities confirmed what Seattle bookworms have long suspected. It named Seattle as one of the country's two most-literate cities, edged out for No. 1 only by Minneapolis.

Here's the full story from the Seattle Times (where most paragraphs are, evidently, two sentances long.)

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