Books

‘The Giver’ Author Lois Lowry Thinks ‘Dystopian Fiction Is Passé’

Author interview in Variety

The economics of a web-based book: year one

"Take the ex­am­ple of desk­top web browsers. Let’s face it, un­less you’re re­al­ly slow on the up­take, you’ve out­fit­ted your web brows­er with an ad block­er. Ha ha, you win! But wait—that means most web ads are only reach­ing those who are re­al­ly slow on the up­take. So their dol­lars are dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly im­por­tant in sup­port­ing the con­tent you’re get­ting ad-free. “Not my prob­lem,” you say. Oh re­al­ly? Since those peo­ple are the only ones fi­nan­cial­ly sup­port­ing the con­tent, pub­lish­ers in­creas­ing­ly are shap­ing their sto­ries to ap­peal to them. Even­tu­al­ly, the con­tent you liked—well, didn’t like it enough to pay for it—will be gone."

http://practicaltypography.com/economics-year-one.html

Unpopular books flying off branch libraries’ shelves

At the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, clustered volumes fill only half of many long, red shelves; the rest stand empty. In the adult nonfiction section, some shelves are completely barren.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/08/07/bpl-push-reduce-books-community-branches-stirs-c...
The library, in Roxbury, once brimmed with books. But officials have been steadily culling its collection the past few months as part of a push by BPL administrators to dispose of up to 180,000 little-used volumes from shelves and archives of branches citywide by year’s end. Library officials say the reductions help assure that patrons can comfortably sift through a modern selection that serves their needs.

This Sex-Ed Book Is Way Too Sexy, Parents Complain

Teaches ninth-graders about masturbation, like they've never heard of it before
California parents are complaining that a new sex-education book for ninth-graders has way too much hot, naked sex in it.
http://time.com/3094386/sex-ed-teens-fremont-parents-virginity/

Sad Book Returned to NYPL After 54 Years

From Melville House:

Every so often, a book is returned to the library so late, it makes headlines. The due date of the sad book in this particular headline was August 17, 1959.

The New York Public Library recently received a copy of Ideal Marriage by Th.H. Van de Velde, M.D. The librarian reports it’s a “very wordy” and scientific guide to sex from 1926. (It’s “certainly more juicy than The Tropic of Cancer,” writes Billy Parrott of the Mid-Manhattan Library.)

It was such a source of shame, it wasn’t returned by the patron, but by his in-laws after the patron’s death:

We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law’s things. Funny thing is the book didn’t support his efforts with his first (and only) marriage… it failed! No wonder he hid the book! So sorry!!

A shocked in-law

Free David Lankes book

You can now download a free copy of the book Expect More for free from David Lankes' website

Book is $9.99 on Amazon - Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today's Complex World

Turning Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ into a work of art


In an old industrial building in San Francisco, the lines of American poet Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” are being printed exactly as they were when the first edition was published in 1855. Jeffrey Brown visits Arion Press, one of the country’s last fine book printers that handcrafts works from start to finish.

Very Cool Book Posters by Gunter Rambow

remarkable book posters by German designer Gunter Rambow for S. Fischer Verlag from the 1970s while compiling images for the post, and I thought I would share them now while you wait.
http://www.casualoptimist.com/blog/2014/07/15/book-posters-by-gunter-rambow/

First printed book in English sold for over £1m

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28344300
A 540-year-old book, known as the first to be printed in the English language, has sold at auction for more than £1m.

The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye is a version of a French book written around 1463.

It was translated over a three-year period by William Caxton, who pioneered the printing press in England.

Books out, 3D printers in for Reinvented US Libraries

How about that headline folks?

From New Scientist:

IN THE small town of Fayetteville in northern New York, you'll find the local library in an old furniture factory dating from the turn of the 20th century. The refurbished building retains hints of its industrial past: wooden floors, exposed beams, walls lined with carefully labelled tools.

But instead of quietly perusing stacks of books, many of the patrons are crowded around a suite of 3D printers. One machine is midway through a pink mobile phone case; another is finishing up a toy sword.
This is Fayetteville's maker lab – and it may very well be the future of libraries.

In 2011, Fayetteville became the first public library in the US to set up a maker lab. Besides 3D printers, the space features a laser cutter, electronics kits, workshop tools, Raspberry Pi computers and an array of sewing machines. It functions somewhere between a classroom and a start-up incubator – a place where people from all over the region can get involved with state-of-the-art technology.

Since the lab opened, similar spaces have been popping up across the country, including in cities like Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Denver and Detroit. According to the American Library Association, about 1 in 6 libraries now dedicates some of its space to maker tools and activities. The New York Public Library – one of the largest in the country – is watching these developments to inform its upcoming renovation.

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