Books

Men make up their minds about books faster than women, study finds

Men and women are equally likely to finish a book – but men decide much faster than women if they like a story or not, according to analysis of reading habits by Jellybooks.

The start-up, which focuses on book discoverability and reader analytics, has tested hundreds of digital titles on hundreds of volunteer readers over the last few months. Working with many of the UK’s major publishers, it uses a piece of JavaScript in the ebooks to look at readers’ habits: when they pick up, complete or abandon a title. The test groups were made up of significantly more female volunteers, with a 20/80 male/female split.

From Men make up their minds about books faster than women, study finds | Books | The Guardian

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The Searcher of Patterns and the Keeper of Things

For Pasanek, finding 18th-century descriptions of the mind also involves a search process performative of his topic. The first decade of his database’s existence maps closely to the history of keyword-searching in the electronic archives, a process no 18th-centuryist today can avoid. While looking for metaphors of mind might once have involved tracking down known examples and following up scholarly hunches, now it involves weighing evidence that accumulates on very different scales. Like the “desultory” readers Pasanek recalls flicking, rifling, indexing their way through books, making connections that never quite line up or that exhaust those that could be made, Pasanek himself works with a large and still-growing stock of somewhat random examples.

From The Searcher of Patterns and the Keeper of Things - The Los Angeles Review of Books

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Time to Make, and Eat, a Book!

The 8th Annual Edible Book Festival is a super fun way to get to know others in the community who have a bent for books, and baking prowess to boot. This is a world wide festival that promotes the book arts. It’s a family friendly adventure, where kids are encouraged to participate from start (creating the book) to finish (eating the book). Judging is based on Best Book, Best Tasting, and Most Creative. In the end, all proceeds go towards WNY Book Arts Center. 

8th Annual Edible Book Festival

Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 3 PM – 6 PM

Western New York Book Arts Center | 468 Washington St, Buffalo, New York 14203

From Time to Make, and Eat, a Book! – Buffalo Rising

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Dirty Old Books

Wear and tear is another way in which the manuscript shows that it was used a lot – that it had been popular among a group of medieval readers. It is not uncommon to see pronounced discolouration at the lower left corner of the page. The dark patches that can sometimes be observed there result from generations of fingers turning the page. Pages with such dirty lower corners usually also turn quite easily, as if the structure of the parchment is loosened up by the repeated turning of pages. Occasionally one encounters a page like the one seen in Fig. 4, which is dirty all over its surface. One wonders how clean the readers’ hands were – also after consulting such a dirty book.

From Dirty Old Books | medievalbooks

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Aritst renders eerie police sketches of famous literary characters

Via Comic Book Resources, Aritst Brian J. Davis has rendered famous literary characters in the form of police sketches — ensuring that if you run into one of these characters on the street, you know exactly what to expect.

Using “commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software,” Daivs drew accurate sketches based on the characters’ descriptions in their respective books. Take a look at even more on Brian's Tumblr page.

Here's Hannibal Lecter from the novels of Thomas Harris,

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What books were taken to the Antarctic 100 years ago?

When Sir Ernest Shackleton set off for Antarctica on his ship Endurance, he made sure he had plenty of reading material. But details of precisely what books he took have remained hidden in this photograph - until now.

From What books were taken to the Antarctic 100 years ago? - BBC News

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Van filled with $350,000 in rare books stolen in Oakland

That novel, once a prized possession of Van De Carr’s, is now gone, along with around 400 of his other books worth well over $350,000. Someone stole his van while it was parked outside a friend’s Oakland home this week.
“The thing about that book is it was as new as the day it was published. Just a perfect, perfect copy. It glistened,” Van De Carr lamented.
“It’s my livelihood, it’s how I make a living,” added Van De Carr, owner of Booklegger’s Books in Chicago. “Now, I have nothing.”

From Van filled with $350,000 in rare books stolen in Oakland - SFGate

You Could Look It Up

Book that has just been released: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia

"Knowledge is of two kinds," said Samuel Johnson in 1775. "We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." Today we think of Wikipedia as the source of all information, the ultimate reference. Yet it is just the latest in a long line of aggregated knowledge--reference works that have shaped the way we've seen the world for centuries.

You Could Look It Up chronicles the captivating stories behind these great works and their contents, and the way they have influenced each other. From The Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known compendium of laws in ancient Babylon almost two millennia before Christ to Pliny's Natural History; from the 11th-century Domesday Book recording land holdings in England to Abraham Ortelius's first atlas of the world; from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language to The Whole Earth Catalog to Google, Jack Lynch illuminates the human stories and accomplishment behind each, as well as its enduring impact on civilization. In the process, he offers new insight into the value of knowledge.

See: http://amzn.to/1Q05Jj5

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Charting Literary Classics’ Punctuation, From Austen to Twain

Calhoun was curious to see how the punctuation in his favorite books stacked up, so he wrote a script that strips the words from the pages. Next to Rougeux’s swirling posters, Calhoun’s visualizations are less abstract, more straightforward. In one, he simply leaves them as-is—a block of periods, commas and dashes in all their geometric, grammatical beauty. In another, he assigns each glyph a color, creating glowing heatmaps that show which marks are most prevalent.

From Charting Literary Classics’ Punctuation, From Austen to Twain | WIRED

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What it looks like to process 3.5 million books in Google’s cloud

What did it look like to process 3.5 million books? Data-mining and creating a public archive of 3.5 million books is an example of an application perfectly suited to the cloud, in which a large amount of specialized processing power is needed for only a brief period of time. Here are the five main steps that I took to make the invaluable learnings of millions of books more easily and speedily accessible in the cloud:

From Google Cloud Platform Blog: What it looks like to process 3.5 million books in Google’s cloud

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