Looters ignore Saddam's books

"They took almost everything. The home of Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy premier, was one of the many of high-ranking ministers to suffer at the hands of the looting mobs in Baghdad yesterday."

"But what they left behind in his library was politically notable: the complete works of Saddam Hussein in Arabic, the mafia novels of Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather, and a book on geopolitics by Richard Nixon, former US president."

"The looters had driven tractors, pick-up trucks, trailers and even a large bus up to the sumptuous villa belonging to Aziz who, before the war, was regarded as the most famous man in Baghdad, apart from Saddam." (from The Herald)


Random House and Online Publisher Agree on E-Book Deal

"An online publisher once sued by Random House Inc. for copyright infringement will be issuing electronic versions of books by Margaret Atwood, John Updike and other popular Random House writers."

"RosettaBooks, which in 2001 angered Random House by putting out digital versions of William Styron's "Sophie's Choice" and other titles without the publisher's consent, announced Wednesday it had agreed with Random House on the release of 51 e-books."

"We're bringing some terrific books and terrific authors into the electronic format," said Arthur Klebanoff, CEO of RosettaBooks." (from AP)


Why are so many Americans turning to Christian books?

SomeOne writes "Maybe it's 9/11. Maybe it's fear over the war in Iraq. Or perhaps Christian books are getting better at answering the spiritual questions of readers.

Whatever the reason, a recent Barna Research Group report that half of all Americans read Christian books and one-third purchase them comes as little surprise to Ken Stephens. Has The Story "


What do celebrities read?

"Works by Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway are among the most popular books with celebrities queried by a retired Maine librarian for her annual "Who Reads What?" list. But there are also a few surprise entries."

"Take Charles Schwab's pick, for example. The investment counselor calls "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay "a must-read not only for all investors -- but for all thinking people."

"So there's a good mix of the tried and true classics and ... a page turner," said Glenna Nowell, who has been compiling her lists since 1988." (from CNN)


Vidal sues over damaged books

"US author Gore Vidal has sued five insurance firms, including Lloyd's of London, for refusing to pay him after water damage ruined first editions of his books worth $60,000 (£38,000)."

"Vidal's works were damaged in 1997 after a water heater burst in his home in the Hollywood Hills in California, his lawyer Baret Fink said."

"The incident led to flooding in the basement and a cupboard where the books had been stored." (from BBC News)


Giving books up for Lent

"I need books. It’s not like drugs or drink or even fatty foods. I need books every day or my brain freezes up like a car in a Minnesota winter. So it is that I made a commitment to my local library, I will twelve-step my way out of book buying addiction with their help."

"The Des Plaines Public Library is an amazing edifice of brick and glass. The first thing that strikes you is how bright it is. Lots of warm natural light fills the whole space and the shelving is white so the whole place seems to sort of glow in the evening. The staff is friendly and helpful, which always makes you feel better about a library. They have a self check-out system too, no long lines." (from Bookslut)


Detector vans will hunt overdue books

"Library users in Bucks are to be targeted in a new scheme that could see detector vans hunting down overdue books."

"And in the pilot scheme, set to be tested exclusively in Booker, High Wycombe, and Reading, Berkshire, library books will also vibrate in an attempt to alert people when they become overdue."

"The scheme is set to be introduced today now library officials at Bucks County Council have been given the go-ahead from the Government." (from The Bucks Free Press)


Bookstores, libraries see new interest in war topics

The Wausau Daily Herald Says Customers are streaming into area bookstores and libraries seeking the latest books on topics related to the war in Iraq.

The hottest books include those on Islam, the histories of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration and terrorism. Maps of Iraq also are selling well.


America's Biggest Readers

"Americans buy more than two and a half billion books per year—about nine each for every man, woman and child in the country. Most Book readers are bigger book readers than that, but what about those impressive few who read way, way more? They're the folks we sought out for our first list of America's Biggest Readers. We canvassed libraries and bookstores and publishing professionals and our friends, and we found ten people (well, eleven, really—you'll see) who plow through more books more quickly than just about anyone we know. It's a cross section of big-reading Americans, some of whom are absolutely the country's most voracious readers—we'd be nuts not to include them—while others are quirkier choices. Think you read more than than this crowd? Then maybe we'll see you here next time." (from Book Magazine)


Bookmarks share readers' tales

"Chandler library aide Marj Pals sees a lot more than words between the pages of returned library books."

"Fancy bookmarks, love letters, lottery tickets - even the results of a pregnancy test from a doctor - have been left as place markers, she said."

"The most colorful ones fill a wall behind her work area at the Sunset Branch Library, 4930 W. Ray Road, where she and other library workers have been collecting the items for about two years."

"When logging returned books, Pals dons black cotton gloves as protection from paper cuts and some of the unusual things she regularly finds between the pages." (from The Arizona Republic)



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