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)


Huckfest takes readers to infinity and beyond

The seventh annual Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival at the University of Redlands last Friday and Saturday. They included such writers as Kristine O'Connell George, an award-winning poet from Los Angeles, and illustrator David Diaz, of Rancho Las Costa, who won the Caldecott Medal in 1995 for his work on "Smokey Night," awarded by the American Library Association for distinguished contributions to children's book illustration.
Full Story

"The world really first opens up to children in books," said La Tempa. "Very real places are described in books that are first imagined by children and later fondly remembered by adults."


Weston school to teach with computers rather than books

"Good morning, class. Please pull out your laptops, plug in your wireless network card, and click into your virtual organizer. You may want to cross-reference your data by reverting to the Web links you cut and pasted from your e-book yesterday. Any questions?"

"This is a likely scenario students will encounter at Sagemont Upper School in Weston this fall."

"The 300-student private school, known for its generous attention to technology, is taking a bold step: becoming the first school in South Florida to toss out its paper textbooks. Students will do all their coursework online using electronic textbooks." (from The Sun Sentinel)


New Oxford English Dictionary Words

Michael Foight writes "
The online OED (Oxford English Dictionary) quarterly adds a host of new words to the canon of what has become the standard dictionary of the English language(s). Out-of-sequence new entries
from across the alphabet start half-way down "This Page.

Some of the new words include, arse-licker, n.
ass-backward, adv., blog, v.
blogger, n.
blogging, n.
weblog, n.
weblogger, n.
weblogging, n.


For book clubs, Shakespeare and sugar cookies

"Armed with a Nancy Drew novel or other preteen reading fodder, I stepped into the book club circuit while attending elementary school."

"My concept was simple. When play dates arrived at my house, I gave them a book and continued reading mine. Of course, we were never on the same page, but I was able to entertain while keeping my nose in a book. Not surprisingly, ''club members'' were visibly relieved when my parents, hip to my self-centered literary schemes, confiscated my book and pushed us outside to play."

"These days, however, book clubs are much more sophisticated, especially when Type A business professionals are involved. And, typically, there's very little arm-twisting and lots of food as South Florida business professionals organize, analyze and schedule reading lists and meeting times." (from The Miami Herald)



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