Weapons cheaper than Books in South Africa!

SomeOne writes "Here is a copy of a press release which has been circulated this morning -- there is no URL.

AK-47s cheaper than books.

It is cheaper in South Africa of today to buy a second hand AK-47 assault rifle than it is to buy a new JK Rowling Harry Potter book. That is the
message author, satirist and social campaigner Pieter-Dirk Uys will bring to Cape Town today (23 April - World Book Day) as part of the campaign to have VAT removed from books.

From police and other sources he has discovered that it is possible to buy one of these weapons for as little as R150. Many paperback books, let alone hard cover editions, are considerably more expensive.


Bookmobile torched: police

"Irene Roberts sits back in her rocking chair, hands folded neatly across her lap, looks out the window and slowly shakes her head. "Oh, all those beautiful books," she says wistfully."

"The Guelph woman, who recently celebrated her 82nd birthday, was reacting to news the Guelph Public Library's popular Bookmobile was destroyed early Monday, in a fire police say was deliberately set." (from Guelph Mercury)


Vikings? Such friendly folk, say textbooks

A Very Defiant Duckling Named Ender spotted This Guardian Unlimited Article that says Schoolchildren are getting rewritten histories of Europe that are politically correct but cut out the awkward facts.
Children are being taught a sanitised version of European history in which Napoleon is depicted as primarily a reformer and the Vikings are portrayed as peace-loving traders, according to new research.
The move is part of a new drive towards political correctness in which national identity, as well as controversy and conflict, have been wiped from secondary school textbooks, the study claims.

A somewhat related story At on new text books now under development in Washington for Iraqi schools.


A Good Time for Great Books

Lee Hadden writes "A Good Time for Great Books

There is a good article on bioehtics and great books in the Wall
Street Journal, April 18, 2003

To the debate over science and man's destiny the President's Council on Bioethics has
just added its own contribution: a booklist that reaches beyond science to include everything
from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins and excerpts from the Book of Job to the first
three chapters of sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson's memoir. Also included is a
Nathaniel Hawthorne story ("The Birth-Mark") -- the same story with which Dr. Leon
Kass, the council's chairman, opened the council's first meeting in January 2002. The
selections, which include introductions and sample study questions, are all
accessible by clicking the "bookshelf" section on the council Web site.

Read more about it at: (subscription required).



Book at Center of Tattered Cover Fight Irrelevant to Police Case

"On behalf of his client, the lawyer representing the customer at the center of a landmark case involving Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store and its fight to protect the privacy of customer records recently authorized Tattered Cover's legal counsel to reveal the name of the book that had been sought by law enforcement officials for more than two years. The title, Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters by Kenneth G. Henshall, had nothing to do with the case involving a methamphetamine lab. Bookstore owner Joyce Meskis, who knew the name of the book, chose to fight in court to protect the privacy of her customers' records. "You cannot pick and choose your times [to protect purchase records]," Meskis told BTW. "[A bookstore's] role is to protect the privacy of the customer." (from Bookselling This Week)


Spreading the Joy of Reading -- Get Caught Reading Month

"May is Get Caught Reading month, and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) have planned a major publicity blitz to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. Public service advertisements running in MPA member publications representing millions of reader impressions, and reading events and celebrity posters displayed in schools, libraries, and bookstores throughout the country will all impart the message that "reading is one of life's true joys." (from Bookselling This Week)


Moon landing notebook fetches $222,000

Jen Young noticed This CNN Story that says flight document carried to the surface of the moon during the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969, and signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, fetched nearly a quarter of a million dollars after an all-day auction on Saturday, a spokeswoman for the Swann Galleries said.

Highlight of the auction was a "Data Card Book," essentially a navigational notebook that also bears smudges of moon dust that was the property of Aldrin. The 8 by 10.5 inches (20 by 27 cm) document containing 16 numbered pages on 11 loose leaves sold for $222,500 to a unnamed Pennsylvania dealer specializing in 19th-century art and autographs.


Cookson\'s library reign expected to end soon

The Guardian Has More on the PLR popularity charts of writers most borrowed in public libraries.
They say Catherine Cookson's reign as queen of British fiction for five years after her death is due to end within the next two or three years. Leading children's writer, Jacqueline Wilson, is said to be "in the frame" to take the top position in the longer term. And, in an unprecedented development, five other children's authors have reached the top 12, demonstrating the vigour of their genre. They are RL Stine, black comedian of the Goosebumps series, Mick Inkpen, Janet and Allen Ahlberg, and Lucy Daniels, of the Animal Ark series.
JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the overall most borrowed book of all library titles, while Jamie Oliver's Return of the Naked Chef won the honour of being the most borrowed title in the cookery section.


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)



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