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.)


20 Books That Changed America

Book Magazine, in honor of America's 227th birthday, set out to find the twenty novels and nonfiction titles that have had the greatest impact on the history of the country: the ones that led to concrete, definable changes in the way Americans live their lives. Here They Are.


Revolting Librarians Redux website

Steve Fesenmaier writes " has finally posted a page for the best library book of the century - so far! Read my review...or order a copy! Every librarian I have shown it to loves it....
Check it out at: "

Table Of Contents, is available at Library Juice as well.


Cutting 'microcopy' isn't the end of the word

Telly writes " Reports in the dictionary business, words are important only if people are using them. And in the judgment of the people who put together the latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, microcopy just didn't make the cut.

It's not the end of the world — microcopy and the other 3,000 or so words cut from this, the 11th edition of this seminal desktop lexicon, will remain in the company's larger unabridged dictionary — but the axe did have to fall somewhere.



Clarion Losing MSU Funding

Jen Young writes " Says Michigan State University will cut funding for the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop, throwing the venerable program's future into question, workshop director Lister Matheson told SCI FI Wire. "We're going to find some way to keep it going, but it may not be at Michigan State," Matheson said in an interview. The Provost of Michigan State University has stated that the university will no longer be able to fund or support the workshop.



Oprah, book clubs help readers find their 'Eden'

Gary Deane points us to httpthe Boston Globe and a story John Steinbeck's 1952 novel, ''East of Eden,'' which TV talk goddess Oprah Winfrey named the first book in her revived Oprah's Book Club.
Winfrey announced the selection on June 18. That was nine days after Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's ''Living History'' hit store shelves, quickly sold more than 600,000 copies, and rocketed to the top of The New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list. And it was three days before J. K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' smashed records, selling more than 5 million copies in its first 24 hours on sale.


This Summer GLBA Wants to Catch You ...

"Have you ever been caught doing it? On film? Well, if you live in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, or Michigan, odds are over the course of the summer someone might try to catch you reading. The Great Lakes Booksellers Association (GLBA) has organized a regional Get Caught Reading Photo Contest. The contest, a variation of the Get Caught Reading campaign sponsored by the Association of American Publishers and the Magazine Publishers of America, calls for regular (nonfamous) people to shoot pictures of other regular people reading." (via Bookselling This Week)


Book Buyers are Buying but not at Bookstores

Steve Fesenmaier points us to The NYTimes and an article on the book business, "the spinster aunt of the entertainment industry."
They say it's enjoying a rare star turn this summer, thanks to three record-setting blockbusters: a new Harry Potter novel; the memoir of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Oprah Winfrey's new Book Club choice, "East of Eden," by John Steinbeck.


New words find place in updated Webster's

CNN Is One Place To Read An AP Article on The 11th edition of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, available in bookstores Tuesday, includes 10,000 new words and more than 100,000 new meanings and revisions among its 225,000 definitions.
Some of the new words have been a longtime getting the widespread assimilation that merits a move from the unabridged dictionary to the Collegiate. The citation file on the Yiddish exclamation "oy," for example, dates back to the immigrant waves of the 1890s. Others have zoomed into the language with the speed of the Internet.
Pop culture still remains a vibrant source of new words, with such additions as "headbanger" (defined as both a hard rock musician and a fan), "dead presidents" (paper currency), "McJob" (low paying and deadend work), and "Frankenfood" (genetically engineered food).


What I read over summer vacation

Buffalo Bill writes "Holly Auer, reporter for the Buffalo News says sell your jet ski, leave your tangled-up badminton net in the garage and toss the filthy old Slip 'n Slide in the trash. There's a much better hot-weather sport out there for athletes and loungers alike - summer reading.
But it's so much more than a sport - it's a movement, and perhaps for some, a seasonal addiction. While smutty Jackie Collins paperbacks remain fabulous seasonal diversions, true summer reading far transcends the stereotypically mind-numbing beach read genre.



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