The Internet Sacred Text Archive

SomeOne writes "The Internet Sacred Text Archive
This site is a freely available non-profit archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language.

This site has no particular agenda other than promoting religious tolerance and scholarship. Views expressed here are not necessarily endorsed by the hosting organization (, our ISP or any sponsoring individuals or organizations.


Publishers, Open Your Books! We Know the Numbers Lie

An interesting look at the publishing industry From The New York Observer.
They look why publishing, alone among the "entertainment industries," is so closed-mouthed on numbers. The author says nobody talks about publishing numbers because they are so unbelievably low.

"Well," she said, "writers don’t want their neighbors, their school boards, their friends to know what they’re making," adding that the publishing industry isn’t interested in blowing its own horn.


Digitizing our past for the future

"One of the enduring feelings of the Iraq war has been the sense of timelessness. Images of flat, featureless desert punctuated by sloping lines of smoke on the horizon could have come from so many times in the past five thousand years of the region. If Ur and Babylon gave us writing, laws and cities, they also gave us warfare."

"And records of those wars, some of which were lost when the libraries and museums of Iraq were looted and burned by unknown forces during the last couple of weeks. It's hard to overstate the shock, horror and misery that this vandalism has spread through the literate world." (from ZDnet)


The Librarian's Book Club selects books for May

Troy Johnson writes "The Librarian's Book Club has selected two books for the month of May. They are "Vandals in the Stacks?: A Response to Nicholson Baker's Assault on Libraries" and "Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman".
Go to for more information.



More World Book Day Stories from South Africa

SomeOne Else writes "Two stories from the Cape Argus relate to the removal of VAT (tax) on books -- one saying that it is cheaper to buy a second hand weapon that it is to buy a book, and the other a report where "critics throw the book at VAT". Brian Wafawarowa, chairman of the Publishers' Organisation of South Africa praised other African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Zimbabwe, where tax on books has been scrapped.

Read the Weapon story Here

and the "Critics throw the book at VAT"
Right Here. "


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)



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