Books

Books

Weeding the Worst Library Books

Public libraries serve practical purposes, but they also symbolize our collective access to information, so it’s understandable that many Berkeley residents reacted strongly to seeing books discarded. What’s more, Scott’s critics ultimately contended that he had not been forthcoming about how many books were being removed, or about his process for deciding which books would go. Still, it’s standard practice—and often a necessity—to remove books from library collections. Librarians call it “weeding,” and the choice of words is important: a library that “hemorrhages” books loses its lifeblood; a librarian who “weeds” is helping the collection thrive. The key question, for librarians who prefer to avoid scandal, is which books are weeds.
From Weeding the Worst Library Books - The New Yorker
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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

Book -- The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts

http://amzn.to/1SXH0u3

NPR piece about book --
http://www.npr.org/2016/04/23/475420855/timbuktus-badass-librarians-checking-out-books-under...

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Teacher solves mystery of Jane Austen book

But it may not be a 200-year-old first edition after all and it still needs to be independently verified. A Jane Austen expert at Harvard University, Deidre Lynch, (who has only inspected it by looking at pictures) thinks it actually dates to 1900. “Even a century ago, a first edition of (Jane) Austen would be awfully valuable,” she said. “And so, an unusual school prize.”
From Teacher solves mystery of Jane Austen book | Qevaz
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Books by earliest women writers in English on display together for first time

Manuscripts of the first book in English by a woman and the earliest autobiography by a woman are displayed together by Wellcome Collection
From Books by earliest women writers in English on display together for first time | Books | The Guardian
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An Open Letter to the Person Who Wiped Boogers on My Library Book

How do you live your life, Booger-Wiper? My first instinct is to imagine your home as a mucus-smeared nightmare hovel, mold at the corners and suspicious stains everywhere. But upon further reflection, I think your home might actually be fairly tidy — seeing as how you so freely deposit your filth on things that don’t belong to you. If I lent you a pair of socks, what would lurk inside of them when I got them back? If I left a piece of Tupperware in your kitchen after a dinner party, would you return it to me, empty and clean? Or would it ruin my day?
From The Millions : An Open Letter to the Person Who Wiped Boogers on My Library Book - The Millions
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Chill. It’s Not Books vs. Amazon. You Can Have Both!

According to Wired, books, and bookstores, can coexist with the dominant e-tailer Amazon just fine thank you.

"Print books have persisted, but ebooks are not going away. Amazon is powerful, but physical bookstores are still here. The book is not immune to the powerful digital forces that have re-shaped so much of the rest of the world. At the same time, books have been able to resist the forces of change because books really are different."

Getting away with murder: literature's most annoyingly unpunished characters

Nobody wants to see the baddie win, however much sense it makes to the story. Which of the villains in books do you wish retribution on?
From Getting away with murder: literature's most annoyingly unpunished characters | Books | The Guardian
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With Romance Novels Booming, Beefcake Sells, but It Doesn’t Pay

How hot are romance novels? Over all, annual sales totaled $1.08 billion in 2013, according to the Romance Writers of America, which tracks sales. And their popularity is expected to grow. Last year Scribd, an e-book subscription service, sharply reduced the number of romance and erotica novels it offered because it couldn’t afford to keep up with readers’ appetites. (Scribd pays publishers every time a book is read and loses money if a book is too popular.) Despite the perception that blockbusters like “Fifty Shades of Grey” drive sales, self-publishing has proved a boon for this particular genre. E-books make up nearly 40 percent of all purchases, according to the writers group. And there are categories for every reader’s taste, among them, adventure, Christian, multicultural, L.G.B.T. and paranormal.
From With Romance Novels Booming, Beefcake Sells, but It Doesn’t Pay - The New York Times
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James Patterson Has a Big Plan for Small Books

But Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media. So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read? Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/business/media/james-patterson-has-a-big-plan-for-small-books.html
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Margo Jefferson and Maggie Nelson win National Book Critics Circle Awards

Margo Jefferson and Maggie Nelson win National Book Critics Circle Awards
An author’s relationship with a transgender artist and a memoir of growing up in an African-American community in Chicago among subjects of books honoured

From Margo Jefferson and Maggie Nelson win National Book Critics Circle Awards | Books | The Guardian

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Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read

While e-books retailers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble can collect troves of data on their customers’ reading behavior, publishers and writers are still in the dark about what actually happens when readers pick up a book. Do most people devour it in a single sitting, or do half of readers give up after Chapter 2? Are women over 50 more likely to finish the book than young men? Which passages do they highlight, and which do they skip?

From Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read - The New York Times

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Loving Books in a Dark Age

Books took effort, time, skill. Books required dead calves, polished skins, the making of ink and colours and pens, the ruling of guidelines. They had to be written out by hand, carefully, and corrected and punctuated and decorated; they had to be sewn together so they would stay in their proper order. They required craft. They also required words, either a book to copy or else someone to invent and dictate. They mattered for their content, of course: Bede helped change people’s minds about the proper date of Easter, the way to date our lives in the history of the world, what happened in Britain when it became both Christian and Anglo-Saxon. But books also began to matter for themselves, even when they were practical books for reading and not jewelled, painted lovelies.

Books were becoming independent of the way they were meant to be read. It came to this: books were worth burning.

From Loving Books in a Dark Age : Longreads Blog

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Publishing Heavyweights Petition To End Cuba Book Embargo

More than 50 major players in the U.S. publishing industry are petitioning the White House and Congress to end the Cuba trade embargo as it pertains to books and educational materials.

Calling the book embargo "counter to American ideals of free expression," the petition — endorsed by publishing companies, authors and agents — says "books are catalysts for greater cross-cultural understanding, economic development, free expression, and positive social change."

From Publishing Heavyweights Petition White House, Congress To End Cuba Book Embargo : The Two-Way : NPR

The Mass-Market Edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is Dead

We may never know what Lee’s will stipulates, but the estate’s first action in the wake of Lee’s death is both bold and somewhat baffling: The New Republic has obtained an email from Hachette Book Group, sent on Friday, March 4 to booksellers across the country, revealing that Lee’s estate will no longer allow publication of the mass-market paperback edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. 

From The Mass-Market Edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is Dead | New Republic

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Men make up their minds about books faster than women, study finds

Men and women are equally likely to finish a book – but men decide much faster than women if they like a story or not, according to analysis of reading habits by Jellybooks.

The start-up, which focuses on book discoverability and reader analytics, has tested hundreds of digital titles on hundreds of volunteer readers over the last few months. Working with many of the UK’s major publishers, it uses a piece of JavaScript in the ebooks to look at readers’ habits: when they pick up, complete or abandon a title. The test groups were made up of significantly more female volunteers, with a 20/80 male/female split.

From Men make up their minds about books faster than women, study finds | Books | The Guardian

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The Searcher of Patterns and the Keeper of Things

For Pasanek, finding 18th-century descriptions of the mind also involves a search process performative of his topic. The first decade of his database’s existence maps closely to the history of keyword-searching in the electronic archives, a process no 18th-centuryist today can avoid. While looking for metaphors of mind might once have involved tracking down known examples and following up scholarly hunches, now it involves weighing evidence that accumulates on very different scales. Like the “desultory” readers Pasanek recalls flicking, rifling, indexing their way through books, making connections that never quite line up or that exhaust those that could be made, Pasanek himself works with a large and still-growing stock of somewhat random examples.

From The Searcher of Patterns and the Keeper of Things - The Los Angeles Review of Books

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Time to Make, and Eat, a Book!

The 8th Annual Edible Book Festival is a super fun way to get to know others in the community who have a bent for books, and baking prowess to boot. This is a world wide festival that promotes the book arts. It’s a family friendly adventure, where kids are encouraged to participate from start (creating the book) to finish (eating the book). Judging is based on Best Book, Best Tasting, and Most Creative. In the end, all proceeds go towards WNY Book Arts Center. 

8th Annual Edible Book Festival

Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 3 PM – 6 PM

Western New York Book Arts Center | 468 Washington St, Buffalo, New York 14203

From Time to Make, and Eat, a Book! – Buffalo Rising

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Dirty Old Books

Wear and tear is another way in which the manuscript shows that it was used a lot – that it had been popular among a group of medieval readers. It is not uncommon to see pronounced discolouration at the lower left corner of the page. The dark patches that can sometimes be observed there result from generations of fingers turning the page. Pages with such dirty lower corners usually also turn quite easily, as if the structure of the parchment is loosened up by the repeated turning of pages. Occasionally one encounters a page like the one seen in Fig. 4, which is dirty all over its surface. One wonders how clean the readers’ hands were – also after consulting such a dirty book.

From Dirty Old Books | medievalbooks

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Aritst renders eerie police sketches of famous literary characters

Via Comic Book Resources, Aritst Brian J. Davis has rendered famous literary characters in the form of police sketches — ensuring that if you run into one of these characters on the street, you know exactly what to expect.

Using “commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software,” Daivs drew accurate sketches based on the characters’ descriptions in their respective books. Take a look at even more on Brian's Tumblr page.

Here's Hannibal Lecter from the novels of Thomas Harris,

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What books were taken to the Antarctic 100 years ago?

When Sir Ernest Shackleton set off for Antarctica on his ship Endurance, he made sure he had plenty of reading material. But details of precisely what books he took have remained hidden in this photograph - until now.

From What books were taken to the Antarctic 100 years ago? - BBC News

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