Americans pick up books -- but are they reading?

CNN has This One that asks, Are Americans reading more, or do they just want you to think they are? They say sales have been flat in recent years, but praise of books both good and great is on the rise, they don\'t say prices have increased though. President Bush is reportedly studying Aristotle.

\"I\'m not sure bookish people make good presidents, but they like to appear that way, I once asked Gerald Ford what books he read and he told me he was too busy. He presented that as being a real man: Real men don\'t read books. But after I published that (in New York magazine) he was seen carrying books around and they started putting out a list of books he was reading.\"


`Farting Dog\' Authors Experience Sweet Smell Of Success

Here\'s A Short Blurb from Wireless Flash News Service that says the No. 1 book with Canadian kids is \"Walter the Farting Dog.\"

Co-author Glenn Murray says the book was turned down by publishers for 10 years because of the edgy subject matter before Berkeley, California-based North Atlantic Books decided to publish it.
They don\'t say where the \"best selling\" numbers come from.

Topic: \'\'READ THIS!\'\' Nationwide Book Club to Book Club \'Handoff.\'

Morning America
has implemented a nationwide Book Club \'handoff\' where
(paraphrasing host Charlie), \'one Book Club recommends a book to another
Book Club.\'

it, \"READ THIS!\" kicked off the
recommendations Thursday morning with Ann
Packer\'s novel, The Dive from Clausen\'s Pier, with a chapter at
their website to whet the appetite

The Jefferson,
Texas, \"Pulpwood
Queens Book Club
\" suggested it to the Bernardsville, New Jersey, \"Mostly
We Eat Book Club.\"

asking reader\'s to comment
on the book via their e-mail form
with the possibility it might be
read on air.  They\'re also asking folk to write
in about their book club
, (or one they know about).


Grapes of Wrath Might Be Wrong Book For Sour Times

The Mercury News has an Interesting Look at The Grapes of Wrath \"Read-A-Palooza\".

CA First lady Sharon Davis kicked off a campaign to push
Californians to read the John Steinbeck classic, they ask with the state budget
shortfall at $24 billion, unemployment becoming
California\'s growth industry and the economy
crashing, is ``The Grapes of Wrath\'\' really the book
Californians need these days?
Maybe Dilbert would cheer ya\'ll up over there?

``I got it. I got it,\'\' the political consultant says, ``We have the state read `The Grapes of Wrath\' all summer.
Then come fall, we roll out our slogan: `Read The Grapes of Wrath? Heck, we\'re writing it!\' \'\'


Liberal Groups Back Away From Book on 10-Year-Old Homosexual

Bob Cox passed along word from CNSNews That Says the National Education Association (NEA), said it would not be involved in determining whether the book, Strange Boy, Friday, would make its way into American schools, and The position of the American Library Association (ALA) is that local school districts would determine whether Strange Boy would be among available reading material next fall.

\"I would guess that it would be individual school districts that would make a decision like that,\" Beverly Becker, spokesperson for the ALA, said. \"Most of those decisions take place locally.\"


Book taste linked to dreams

Bob Cox sent over Ths BBC Story that says People\'s taste in books indicates the kind of dreams they have, one of the largest studies into the phenomenon has shown. They found adults choosing fiction had stranger dreams - but were more likely to remember them.


Children\'s book features gay boy

This Guardian Story, sent in by Bob Cox, talks about a novel aimed at teenagers that features a 10-year-old boy\'s experiences of homosexuality.

Strange Boy is thought to be the first \"gay book\" aimed at the youth market since the Thatcher government introduced the Section 28 legislation to prevent the \"promotion\" of homosexuality in schools. Simon and Schuster, the book\'s publisher, expects schools and libraries to stock it.


An Actual Internet Success Story

The NYTimes has a Story on the used book business.

Some of the best places to find good deals on books turn out to be the used book sales at libraries. Nothing like throwing money away.

At the most recent Santa Monica library sale, dealers were lining up at 10 a.m. for an event that wouldn\'t begin for another nine hours. As the day wore on and people drifted in and out of the line, leaving only their book boxes behind, there were the inevitable squabbles over who had arrived first. \'\'You\'re waiting for books?\'\' asked a local bum, uncomprehending.


Collector has 4 rare Bibles under his belt

Lee Hadden passed along This One on a bibliographic convergence that has not occurred in more than 150 years, copies of the first four printed editions of the Bible have come under the ownership of a single person -- a little-known, cantankerous and very wealthy 88-year-old collector named William Hurd Scheide, who keeps them in his private jewel-box of a library at Princeton University.


Facing the Music

This NY Magazine Article that says long ago authors, and the book industry, set the cultural agenda, made lots of money, and were the generational voice. For a long time, anybody with any creative ambition wanted to write the Great American Novel. But starting in the fifties, and then gaining incredible force in the sixties, rock-and-roll performers eclipsed authors as cultural stars. But now, the music industry is becoming, in size and profit margins and stature, the book business.



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