Books

Lisa Bu: How books can open your mind

ABC Harder Than 123

From the New York Times:

David Javsicas, a popular seventh-grade reading teacher known for urging students to act out dialogue in the books they read in class, sometimes feels wistful for the days when he taught math.

A quiz, he recalls, could quickly determine which concepts students had not yet learned. Then, “you teach the kids how to do it, and within a week or two you can usually fix it,” he said.

Helping students to puzzle through different narrative perspectives or subtext or character motivation, though, can be much more challenging. “It could take months to see if what I’m teaching is effective,” he said.

Educators, policy makers and business leaders often fret about the state of math education, particularly in comparison with other countries. But reading comprehension may be a larger stumbling block.

Author Marilyn Johnson (& a few others) Weigh in on Print v Digital

From USA Today:

A recent survey found that half of all readers had no interest in buying e-books and that the vast majority of people who buy e-books continue to buy print books as well.

Among them are author Marilyn Johnson, who's written books about libraries (This Book Is Overdue) and the art of obituary writing (The Dead Beat). She says that "if you took my (physical) books away, I'd go crazy, but now that I've gotten hooked to readers (first a Kindle and now an iPad), I can't imagine doing without that (digital) library."
She finds her e-reader is essential when she's traveling. She even buys or borrows an e-book copy of a book she already owns "just to lighten my load and continue reading as I move through the landscape."

Johnson straddles any divide between print and digital.
Her ideal reading experience crosses all formats: "Hear the author read on an audiobook, read it myself on the page or e-reader, and own it in a beautiful dust jacket, alphabetized on a shelf, with my notes in the margins and an old review stuck in the pages, ready to be pulled down whenever I want."

Atheists to put books next to Bibles in GA parks

A national atheist group said Monday that it will donate its literature for use in cabins and lodges in Georgia’s state parks after the governor’s recent decision to allow Bibles there.

David Silverman, president of the Cranford, N.J.-based American Atheists organization, said his group is just waiting for an answer from the state on what the best procedure is to donate several books, including one titled ‘‘Why I Am An Atheist.’’

Stephen King nixes e-book version for his latest novel

More than ten years after becoming one of the first novelists to embrace the e-book format, Stephen King has become one of the first novelists to reject it.

King’s book, Riding the Bullet, was published as a one of the first e-books by Simon & Schuster in 2000 and sold for $2.95. Just recently King told the Wall Street Journal that he would withhold digital rights to his upcoming novella, Joyland, to be released in early June. The book will be sold by Hard Case Crime, an independent publisher of crime fiction paperbacks with pulp-style cover artwork. Hard Case Crime also published King’s The Colorado Kid in 2005.

Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/its-about-time/2013/may/21/stephen-king-...

Georgia State Park Cabins to Have Non-Religious Books as Well as Bibles

A national atheist group said Monday that it will donate its literature for use in cabins and lodges in Georgia's state parks after the governor's recent decision to allow Bibles there.

David Silverman, president of the Cranford, N.J.-based American Atheists organization, said his group is just waiting for an answer from the state on what the best procedure is to donate several books, including one titled "Why I Am An Atheist."

"We expect fair treatment, we anticipate fair treatment and we look forward to fair treatment," Silverman said. "If the state is going to put Bibles in the cabins, they must allow alternate points of view — all alternative points of view without taking sides."

Story from ABC News.

An Inside Look at Backstories of Decisions in Supreme Court

In her new book, "The Roberts Court," Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal and regular NewsHour contributor takes a look at the landmark decisions that have reached the Supreme Court during the tenure of Chief Justice John Roberts. She talks to Jeffrey Brown about her observations and interviews with the justices.

Google's Schmidt, Cohen Describe a 'New Digital Age'

Schmidt and Cohen authored a book - The New Digital Age

Physical Books Are Dead - Long Live Physical Books

We can thank digital for much of the gain, of course, with overall digital sales up a whopping 66%, split between e-book sales (up 134%) and digital fiction sales (up 149%). And yes, physical book sales were down, though with a mere 1% dip, only slightly. But what I’m not sure anyone was expecting was this: Total sales of physical books in the fiction genre actually grew by 3%. Take a bow, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2013/05/01/physical-books-are-dead-long-live-physical-books/

“The Quiet Volume,” Stealth Performance piece at New York University’s Bobst Library

From The New York Times Arts Beat:

What is the sound of two heads reading?

On Tuesday, in a hushed sixth-floor reading room in New York University’s Bobst Library packed with students cramming for final exams, the answer might have seemed to be: nothing much.

But for three pairs of readers scattered among the laptop-laden tables, wearing special headphones hooked up to iPod Nanos and shuffling through a pile of suspiciously literary books, the act of reading was transformed into a strange — and sometimes very loud — drama of turning pages, pointing fingers and eerily drifting thoughts.

“The first thing you notice is that for a place dedicated to silence, there’s not really that much silence at all,” a British-accented voice whispered into the readers’ ears. “After a while you start to think that it might be better considered as a place dedicated to the collection of sounds.”

The readers, who had signed up in advance, were both the audience and the stars of “The Quiet Volume,” a 55-minute stealth performance piece by the British artists Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells being staged through Sunday by Performance Space 122 as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. (The piece, which also comes in a Spanish-language version, is also running at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.)

“The whole thing made you think about the nature of your sensory experience while reading, the relationship between the voice in your head and the words on the page,” said Jessica Harris, a graduate student who had just finished performing the piece with a friend.

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