Book Reviews

Why Paper Persists

steven bell writes \"The New Yorker has an essay/book review by Malcolm Gladwell called \"The Social Life of Paper\". It is essentially a review of the book \"The Myth of the Paperless Office,\" but it includes some great observations on why it is so unlikely that we will ever completely rid ourselves of the need for paper. It is just weaved too tightly into the fabric of our daily lives. An excerpt:
Paper enables a certain kind of thinking. Picture, for instance, the top of your desk. Chances are that you have a keyboard and a computer screen off to one side, and a clear space roughly eighteen inches square in front of your chair. What covers the rest of the desktop is probably piles—piles of papers, journals, magazines, binders, postcards, videotapes, and all the other artifacts of the knowledge economy. The piles look like a mess, but they aren\'t. When a group at Apple Computer studied piling behavior several years ago, they found that even the most disorderly piles usually make perfect sense to the piler, and that office workers could hold forth in great detail about the precise history and meaning of their piles.
The story is found Here \"


New Book <i>China Dawn</i> Reviewed

A new book written by David Sheff discusses the role that the Internet will play in China\'s future.

How does the Internet play into this equation? Well, judging from Sheff\'s description, it has managed to create a lot of wealth for a relatively small number of people. A lot of deals are getting cut in China, but it\'s hard to see how Web design firms and matchmaking services are going to address the needs of the billion or so people who aren\'t yet online.

Read the review on


Some of our volumes are missing

Charles Davis writes \"If you have not had your fill of Nicholson Baker and \"Double Fold\"
here is a related article from The Independent. \"

\"We never de-accessioned anything where we didn\'t retain the content, We were concerned to retain the content of those newspapers. Holding on to the content was key. With printed materials, people do want them preserved as an artefact as well. But we have all sorts of issues on storage. We have very pressing considerations to keep all this material but our storage is running out.\"


Library revolutionary?

Charles Davis passed along this Review of Nicholson Baker and \"Double Fold\" from \"The Observer.

\"Reading this book is a little like being cast in one of Baker\'s novels: your mind is suddenly flooded with the kind of information that it usually filters out and the experience is, surprisingly, thrilling. His triumph is to make small acts of conservation look like great strikes for civilisation and, as such, seems to have tapped into a curiously contemporary urge.\"


The Gutenberg Purge

Aaron writes \"
The Online has a chat with Nicholson Baker
about his new book \"Double Fold: Libraries and the
Assault on Paper\".

Makes for an interesting read about the role of libraries
and the speed of information in today\'s age. \"


Can you have too many books?

Bob Cox sent along This Review of \"Patience & Fortitude:
A Roving Chronicle of Book People,
Book Places, and Book Culture\"
By Nicholas Basbanes.

They call the book \" grand, rambling, serendipitous treasure-house of material about books and the people who have loved them.\"

\"Patience & Fortitude\" looks at everything from the ancient classical library at Alexandria to a recent and controversial state-of-the-art information nexus in San Francisco.


A History of Books and Those Who Love Them

Henry Wessells writes...

\"Patience & Fortitude is a new journey into the world of rare books and book collecting by the author of A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. This time Basbanes gives an account of his meetings with a broad spectrum of librarians, booksellers and private collectors in travels throughout the United States and Europe.\" More from The Miami Herald.


Current state of book reviewing

The latest issue of Foreword Magazine focuses on the current state of book reviewing, including the views of a panel of publishers (hosted by the Small Press Center), the reasons that one independent publisher never sends her books out for review and an editorial on the \"mainstream opposition\" to paid reviews.


Student book offers twisted history \'coarse\'

Hermit ;-) writes \"Hilarious excerpts from a college professor\'s compilation of \"students\' most egregious mistakes.\" [ _Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students_ compiled by Anders Henriksson. Workman Publishing] \"

History, after all, is nothing more than \"the behind of the present,\" according to one student, who aptly added: \"This gives incites from the anals of the past.\"


For the Oversized shelves

Business Week\'s round-up of holiday gift suggestions includes a list of coffee-table books on topics ranging from financial markets and the end of the Soviet Union to Tiger Woods and teddy bears.



Subscribe to Book Reviews