Book Reviews

Libraries in the Ancient World

The International Herald Tribune today has this review of the book \"Libraries in the Ancient World\" by Lionel Casson. It includes a look at the history of the original library of Alexandria as well as descriptions of \"curses invoked by different cultures to protect their libraries from thieves\". Now, that might be quite useful!


The Paper Pusher

If you\'re like me, and you feel like you should read \"Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" by Nicholson Baker, but you just don\'t feel like it, you may want to read Alexander Star\'s The Paper Pusher review in The New Republic.
I know you\'re probably sick to death of reading about Nicholson Baker, but this is the best review I\'ve seen, I almost felt like I read the book when I was done.


Fireflies in the Shadow of the Sun

Just received this one via e-mail from J. Wyatt Ehrenfels:

\"Fireflies in the Shadow of the Sun exposes the moral/methodological inadequacy of academic psychology to address authentic psychological phenomena. It is a novel based largely on factual accounts and would be a suitable acquisition for librarians.\" The mission -- public service to the human spirit...\" To visit the web site, Click Here.


New Book Reviews

Casey writes \"I don\'t know if you\'ve \"caught wind\" of this new scheme to charge publishers for book reviews, but I think it is absolutely the most horrible idea I\'ve seen in the book world. Makes me grind my teeth just to think about it. And to think they actually believe librarians will read these \"reviews\"!

Anyhow, a new Uncle Frank tackles the issue here at


Libraries in the Ancient World

Lionel Gasson has written a book about the history of libraries dating all the way back to ancient times. Who would have ever thought libraries to have such a colorful history dating all the way back to dinosaurs...well okay that may be an exaggeration since we all know the only readable text for that time was the Thesaurus...(ahem, sorry) ... Anyway, check out this review by Peter Jones at Books Online.


Nicholson Baker\'s Predjudices

Lee Hadden writes \"While many librarians and
library supporters have criticized Nicholson
Baker\'s attack on library stewardship in his book
\"Double Fold,\" few have
picked up on his sartorial prejudices against male
librarians wearing
bowties. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal on
May 4, 2001, on page
W17 by Joseph Epstein, \"Fit to be Tied: The Enemies of
Civilization Find a
New Target, Just Below the Chin.\" describes and
illustrates this prejudice
agaisnt bowties.

Mr. Epstein notes that Mr. Baker \"...seems to have his
villains neatly
turned out in bowties: A man named Verner Clapp is a
\"polymathic bowtie
wearer,\" and the historian and former Librarian of
Congress Daniel Boorstein
is described as a \"chronic bowtie wearer.\"

If Mr. Baker is mistrustful of male librarians simply
because they wear
bowties, then he is seeing a trend to maybe match the
old stereotype of the
female librarian in hairbun, breastwatch, and reading
glasses on a string of
fake pearls, finger poised to go \"Shush!\" I am thus
tempted to join the ranks
and change my work uniform to something more in
keeping with guild
guidelines. I might trade in my four-in-ones for the
Daniel Moyniham look.
But then, I might not.\"


What do you want to be when you grow up?

A review in The New Republic begins:

\"Some children dream of becoming astronauts when they grow up; others dream of becoming librarians. A.S. Byatt\'s characters fall into the second category...\"


Uncle Frank on Baker

Uncle Frank has written a Review of Nicholson Baker\'s Book, Double Fold. He says we, as librarians, have to choose and get rid of some stuff.\" Saving everything, regardless of its merit, is not a choice, but an obsession\".
He also says he\'s going to get rid of those Nancy Drew books.Now that\'s a shame.


Drop and give me 20 pages, soldier!

US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki has put together reading lists for soldiers from raw recruits (Tom Brokaw\'s The Greatest Generation) all the way up to generals (Clausewitz, Kissinger and Thucydides).

Gen. Shinseki says, \"There is no better way to develop the sure knowledge and confidence required of our calling than a disciplined, focused commitment to a personal course of reading and study.\"

I don\'t often agree with warmongers, but -- right on, Brother!


Why Books Survive

The New Republic has a book review of Book Business: Publishing Past Present and Future by Jason Epstein that turns out to be much more than a review. The author of the review has more than a few things to say about books and the publishing industry.

\"The conviction that not only will people always want books, and will want them as they have always had them--on the shelves in bookstores--and will travel great distances to get to them, has led me to put upward of 300,000 books in four buildings in my hometown in West Texas.\"



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