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This 'Future Lover' Is A Library

"The more I visit libraries the more I find myself opening up to them," writes Ander Monson in his essay collection Letter to a Future Lover. It's not surprising that an author would be attracted to libraries; they are, after all, some of the last places in the world dedicated to the preservation and celebration of literature. They're also at risk of becoming endangered, casualties of budget cuts, increased Internet availability, and apathy. But for Monson, libraries are something more than just buildings filled with books. He's interested in libraries as a concept, as a living, adapting exchange of ideas, as a way people can connect with one another, even across generations: "To keep a story on a shelf or to remember then retell it means that it will be more likely to exist to those who come after we have gone. It will all be gone in time. Maybe this is the best we can do." Full piece here: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/05/381651740/this-future-lover-is-a-library

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Software that can publish every draft of a book simultaneously shows the true beauty of the creative process - Quartz

Once his book, Benjamin Buckingham And The Nightmare’s Nightmare, was finished, Mazurek publicly shared the GitHub project so anyone could see the changes he made to the story along the way. Mazurek said that he originally hadn’t intended to make the project public, that he had just used GitHub as a way of keeping track of his thoughts and making sure he could access his work from multiple computers. But after he showed the project to his friends, they convinced him that there was artistic value in sharing the changes made along the way, as well as the novel itself.
http://qz.com/335942/an-author-used-a-tool-for-programmers-to-write-a-book/

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Paper Books Will Never Die

This blog post on Gizmodo makes the case for paper bound books.

"So how can I be confident that paper books are going to be with us for a long time to come? First of all, because they're lovely and I refuse to believe they'll ever disappear. But also because paper books are still a fantastic and irreplaceable piece of technology.

Believe it or not, paper book sales have made a modest comeback in the past year. Ebooks are mainstream. But paper books have too many benefits to simply die out anytime soon."

Boy Says He Didn't Go To Heaven; Publisher Says It Will Pull Book

Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/01/15/377589757/boy-says-he-didn-t-go-to-heaven-pub...

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E-Books Are Damaging Your Health: Why We Should All Start Reading Paper Books Again

Reading regular books comes with a slew of health benefits that their electronic counterparts don't have.

Research and opinion from Medical Daily.

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What We Lose if We Lose the Canon - The Chronicle Review

http://chronicle.com/article/What-We-Lose-if-We-Lose-the/150991/

On the other hand, once the present began to seem divorced from the past, modern writers felt they knew more than had their ancestors, and to distinguish themselves from both the ancients and their own contemporaries, they had to write works unbeholden to previous efforts. In Edward Young’s Conjectures on Original Composition (1759), we find the notion that "the first ancients had no merit in being originals; they could not be imitators. Modern writers have a choice to make and therefore have a merit in their power."

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Using the book: an introduction | Using the medieval book | Khan Academy

More extensive notes were sometimes written on tiny paper or parchment slips like the one seen here. Students are known to have used them to take down notes in the classroom or when they were studying a text at home. Few of them survive today. Not only were they easy to lose, but many of them were actually thrown out, similar to the fate of our modern day "sticky notes." In some manuscripts they survive because they were tucked in between the pages, as seen here.
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/medieval-book/using-medieval-book/a/us...

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Marginalia as Gold Dust

From the New York Times (scroll about halfway down to Found in the Margins):

In the last few months, foundations have given out hundreds of thousands of dollars to support research on the scribbles in the margins of old books.

Johns Hopkins University, Princeton and University College London have received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to partner on a database, “The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe.” It will focus on 16th-century marginalia from the writers Gabriel Harvey, Isaac Casaubon and John Dee. Earle Havens, a library curator and professor at Johns Hopkins, said in an interview that the three “could not open a book without a pen in their hand.”

“The Archaeology of Reading” will result in searchable transcriptions of the annotators’ outrage, gossip, cross-references to other books and uncensored colloquial reactions. Harvey’s annotations are particularly revealing; he longed, futilely, to overcome his humble origins as a rope maker’s son and become a prominent legal figure.

Lisa Jardine, a professor at University College London, said that in Harvey’s marginalia, “You watch him move up the social ladder, but then he can’t straddle the final hurdles.”

Volumes marked up with handwriting used to be described as “dirty books” among dealers, she added. But in the modern age of words mostly appearing online, marginal notes can actually increase value. “Now they’re gold dust,” she said.

Doris Lessing's Books to Go to Zimbabwe Libraries

From ABC News:

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing, who died last year, spent her early years in Zimbabwe. She is still giving back to the country whose former white rulers banished her for speaking against racial discrimination.

The bulk of Lessing's book collection was handed over to the Harare City Library (at the corner of Rotten Row and Pennyfeather), which will catalogue the more than 3,000 books. The donation complements the author's role in opening libraries in Zimbabwe, to make books available to rural people.

"For us she continues to live," said 42-year-old Kempson Mudenda, who worked with Lessing when she established the Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust.

"The libraries she helped set up are giving life to village children who would otherwise be doomed," said Mudenda, who said he used to trudge bush paths daily to reach remote villages with books.

Lessing's trust started libraries in thatched mud huts and under trees after the author was allowed to return to Zimbabwe following independence in 1980.

Unique gift inscription in book

A blog post about a very unique gift inscription in a book.

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