Chip Kidd: The art of first impressions — in design and life

Book designer Chip Kidd knows all too well how often we judge things by first appearances. In this hilarious, fast-paced talk, he explains the two techniques designers use to communicate instantly — clarity and mystery — and when, why and how they work. He celebrates beautiful, useful pieces of design, skewers less successful work, and shares the thinking behind some of his own iconic book covers.

'Patience And Fortitude' And The Fight To Save NYC's Storied Public Library

Since it opened in 1911, the building has become a New York City landmark, praised not only for its beauty but also for its functional brilliance. In the words of one contemporary architect, the main branch of The New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street is "a perfect machine for reading." The grand Reading Room sits atop seven levels of iron and steel books stacks whose contents could, at one time, be delivered to anybody who requested a book within a matter of minutes via a small elevator. Those stacks also support the floor of the Reading Room above.

Financial support for The New York Public Library, however, was never as firm as its structural underpinnings. In a gripping new book called, Patience and Fortitude (the title, of course, derives from the names of the two iconic lions that guard the library's entrance), reporter Scott Sherman details how deficits and bottom-line business logic very nearly gutted one of the world's greatest public research libraries.


The man who builds up private libraries - book by rare book

Where do the impeccably selected libraries that appear in society pages and design magazines come from? Many are the work of private library curators - who scour the world to find the books that will both look pleasing on the shelf and reflect the interests of the library's owner.

From The man who builds up private libraries - book by rare book - BBC News


How to Read A Book

The goal of reading determines how you read.

Reading the latest Danielle Steel novel is not the same as reading Plato. If you’re reading for entertainment or information, you’re going to read a lot differently (and likely different material) than reading to increase understanding. While many people are proficient in reading for information and entertainment, few improve their ability to read for knowledge.

From How to Read A Book

So Which Is It? Wikipedia II

A project in utilitarian data visualization...or an absurdist poetic gesture?

From The New York Times:

IT is a mammoth undertaking by College of Staten Island teacher Michael convert the online encyclopedia Wikipedia onto the printed page possibly in hundreds of volumes.

“When I started, I wondered, ‘What if I took this new thing and made it into that old thing?’ ” he said in a recent interview in his studio in Downtown Brooklyn. “ ‘What would it look like?’ ”

On Thursday, he and the rest of the world will find out, when the exhibition “From Aaaaa! To ZZZap!” based on his larger project “Print Wikipedia,” opens at the Denny Gallery on the Lower East Side. There, Mr. Mandiberg will hit “start” and a computer program will begin uploading the 11 gigabytes of very compressed data from a Mac Mini to the print-on-demand website

Author, whose book was rejected 44 times, has won a £25,000 Scottish literary prize with a 'mesmerising' work

AUTHOR John Spurling has won a £25,000 literary prize with a "mesmerising" book that was rejected 44 times before being published.

He was awarded the sixth Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for his novel set in imperial China, The Ten Thousand Things.

The book is set in 14th-century China, during the final years of the Mongol-ruled Yuan Dynasty, and is the story of Wang Meng, one of the era's four great masters of painting.

From Author, whose book was rejected 44 times, has won a £25,000 Scottish literary prize with a 'mesmerising' work - Daily Record


New Title: Biblio Tech by John Palfrey

Review of a new book entitled Biblio TECH on how to keep libraries relevant in the digital age. John Palfrey’s lucid, passionate account of the state of American libraries reminds us both how important public libraries are to a healthy democracy and how close they are to going the way of the dodo bird. The author is the Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover.

We are in the midst of a tectonic societal shift from print to digital and without a concerted effort to transform the library into its 21st century equivalent we just might lose these hubs of democracy for good.

The disconnect is huge; survey after survey remind us how important libraries are to their communities while in budget after budget funding for libraries continues to get slashed.

Fantasy must shake off the tyranny of the mega-novel

Series novels are common in many genres of fiction, none more so than crime, mysteries and thrillers. The formula of a lone detective investigating a new murder in each book has changed little in the decades between Agatha Christie and Lee Child. Serials, which tell one ongoing story with the same cast of characters that continues through each volume, are considerably rarer. But it’s exactly this serial format that has come to dominate the fantasy genre.

From Fantasy must shake off the tyranny of the mega-novel | Books | The Guardian


Life Is Triggering. The Best Literature Should Be, Too.

That’s why one of college’s most important functions is to learn how to hear and deal with challenging ideas. Cocooning oneself in a Big Safe Space for four years gets it exactly backwards. “Safety” has been transformed by colleges from “protection from physical harm” to “protection from disturbing ideas.”

From Life Is Triggering. The Best Literature Should Be, Too. | The New Republic

Mark Twain stories, 150 years old, uncovered by Berkeley scholars

Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley have uncovered and authenticated a cache of stories written by Mark Twain when he was a 29-year-old newspaperman in San Francisco. Many of the stories are 150 years old.

From Mark Twain stories, 150 years old, uncovered by Berkeley scholars | Books | The Guardian



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