Russia in marathon reading of Tolstoy's War and Peace on web

Russian film stars, a cosmonaut and French actress Fanny Ardant are among 1,300 people reading Leo Tolstoy's epic War and Peace live on the internet - a 60-hour marathon spread over four days.

From Russia in marathon reading of Tolstoy's War and Peace on web - BBC News


When Popular Fiction Isn’t Popular: Genre, Literary, and the Myths of Popularity

There is an odd cognitive dissonance that happens in these conversations, where we are simultaneously supposed to believe that literary fiction is “mainstream fiction” and genre fiction is “ghettoized,” and also that literary fiction is a niche nobody reads while genre authors laugh all the way to the bank. Throw into the mix a recent Wall Street Journal article on the increasingly practice of giving million dollar advances to literary debut novels, and you can see that the truth of the matter is pretty unclear.

From » When Popular Fiction Isn’t Popular: Genre, Literary, and the Myths of Popularity


Reading the world in 196 books

Writer Ann Morgan set herself a challenge – to read a book from every country in the world in one year. She describes the experience and what she learned.

From BBC - Culture - Reading the world in 196 books


Our (Bare) Book Shelves, Our Selves

Although the study did not account for e-books, as they’re not yet available in enough countries, Dr. Evans said in theory they could be just as effective as print books in encouraging literacy.

“But what about the casual atmosphere of living in a bookish world, and being intrigued to pull something off the shelf to see what it’s like?” she asked. “I think that will depend partly on the seamless integration of our electronic devices in the future.”

From Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves - The New York Times

In response to controversy, hundreds pack Mount Horeb library for reading of transgender book

<P align=justify><blockquote>MOUNT HOREB — In a turnout that stunned organizers, nearly 600 people filled the library here Wednesday night to hear a public reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl, with many in the crowd expressing strong support for a local family with a transgender child.</blockquote></P> From <A HREF="">

Rare King James Bible First Edition Discovered at Drew University

Now, a graduate student has discovered a treasure the library didn’t know it had: a first edition of the King James Bible.

The 1611 Bible, which surfaced in late October, is a so-called “He Bible,” named for a typographical error in the Book of Ruth that was corrected in the middle of the first printing. Of the fewer than 200 King James first editions known to survive, most are “She” copies.

From Rare King James Bible First Edition Discovered at Drew University - The New York Times

Posthumous books could come with a lot of dollar signs

Add to this the growth of websites that let publishers directly track book lovers’ sentiments, making them feel less at the mercy of critics and other cultural gatekeepers who may raise their eyebrows at the circumstances of a posthumous publication.

The strategy appears to be working. Fans of the late Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel (who died in 1991) turned a book, pieced together from pages long buried in Geisel’s files, into an instant bestseller when it was published in July. A month later, a work by J.R.R. Tolkien (whose death came in 1973) that had been previously published in an obscure academic journal was released to some fanfare in the United Kingdom —and is slated for publication here in April.

Meanwhile, the latestby Pulitzer winner Oscar Hijuelos, who died in 2013 while putting the finishing touches on the novel, emerged this month.

From Posthumous books could come with a lot of dollar signs - The Boston Globe


What Books Kids Are Reading In School

During the 2014–2015 school year, 9.8 million students from 31,327 US schools read over 334 million books and nonfiction articles, per data captured by Accelerated Reader 360TM. Search for the books kids read most below.

From Learnalytics | What Kids Are Reading

The Hawaii Project Book Recommendations

Welcome to The Hawaii Project
The Hawaii Project brings you books and book news you'd never have found on your own. We track what the web's leading tastemakers and book reviewers are writing about, uncovering things that match your favorite authors, personal interests and current events, and bring them to you daily.

From The Hawaii Project Book Recommendations

Make it now: the rise of the present tense in fiction

Barry is just one of a host of contemporary novelists who are turning to the present tense to weave this kind of magic. David Mitchell has been slipping into the here and now ever since his 1999 debut, Ghostwritten, but the shift is motivated more by instinct than any programme to rewrite the compact with the reader.

“Some books just come alive in the present tense in a way I feel they don’t when told in the past tense,” says Mitchell, suggesting the decision is a question of following the particular demands of each novel.

From Make it now: the rise of the present tense in fiction | Books | The Guardian


How Accurate Is The Old Farmer's Almanac?

Timeless, and still meticulously concerned with the particularities of time’s passages—including the positions of planets and other celestial bodies, the movement of the tides, and, of course, the weather. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is famous for its long-term forecasting. And this reputation has remained intact, even as the cultural space weather occupies, and the technology used to track the weather, has dramatically changed.

From How Accurate Is The Old Farmer's Almanac? - The Atlantic


See Old Library Books Come to Life in Kerry Mansfield’s Expired Series

Her Site:

Mansfield was inspired to start her project after spotting an old library checkout card inside a book she found at Goodwill, which made her nostalgic for the experience of libraries before books and card catalogues were digitized. She then spent more than two years collecting at least 160 former library books she found through nonprofits, eBay, libraries, garage sales and even individual submissions. They are all “books that have lived in at least one public library, often many more,” she said. “Once they are too abused or out of date they’re written off as ‘withdrawn’, ‘removed’, ‘expired’, and taken out of circulation…. The unlucky ones get recycled back into pulp.”

From See Old Library Books Come to Life in Kerry Mansfield’s Expired Series | TIME


The 20 Most Extreme Cases Of ‘The Book Was Better Than The Movie’

Because there are extreme cases where book-lover rage is justifiable. Which cases? I pulled the Metacritic critic ratings of the top 500 movies on IMDb tagged with the “based on novel” keyword.1 I then2 found the average user rating of the source novel for each film on Goodreads, a book rating and review site.3 In the end, there was complete data for 382 films and source novels.

Here’s what each film’s Metacritic rating looks like plotted against its source material’s Goodreads rating

From The 20 Most Extreme Cases Of ‘The Book Was Better Than The Movie’ | FiveThirtyEight


Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes

Eight purple passages are up for the prize every author dreads, the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. Can Erica Jong beat Morrissey to the sweetspot?

From Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes | Books | The Guardian quarterly update: new words added today include hangry, Grexit, and wine o’clock

Today Oxford University Press announces the latest quarterly update to, its free online dictionary of current English. Words from a wide variety of topics are included in this update, so whatever your field of interest, everyone should find something they think is awesomesauce.

From quarterly update: new words added today include hangry, Grexit, and wine o’clock | OxfordWords blog


Anne Frank’s Diary Gains ‘Co-Author’ in Copyright Move

When Otto Frank first published his daughter’s red-checked diary and notebooks, he wrote a prologue assuring readers that the book mostly contained her words, written while hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex of a factory in Amsterdam.

But now the Swiss foundation that holds the copyright to “The Diary of Anne Frank” is alerting publishers that her father is not only the editor but also legally the co-author of the celebrated book.

From Anne Frank’s Diary Gains ‘Co-Author’ in Copyright Move - The New York Times


Judging a Medieval Book by its Cover

What a clever device the book is. It is compact and light, yet contains hundreds of pages that hold an incredible amount of information. Moving forward or backward in the text is as easy as flipping a page, while the book’s square shape and flat bottom facilitates easy shelving. Still, the object is useless if the information it contains cannot be found. And so tools were developed to help the reader do just that, such as page numbers, running titles, and indices. As familiar as these aids may be, they are older than you think. The page number, for example, is encountered in papyrus manuscripts made some two thousand years ago (see this older blog post).

From Judging a Book by its Cover | medievalbooks


On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry

The problem with their legacy universe is that you just can’t *control* digital things the way you can paper things, and that’s the real reason the traditional publishing industry is cutting off its nose to spite its face when it comes to ebooks. It’s precisely what DRM represents: an absurd and pathetic attempt to recreate in the digital realm a command-and-control system that profits off the characteristics of *paper.*

To be clear, what I’m saying is that traditional publishers actually make their money not from the traits of novels, or biographies, or any other kind of *text:* they make their money from bundles of paper that can essentially be seized or held up at the border, or be pulped, or burned, or just deteriorate in ways a digital file can’t.

From On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry | TechCrunch

Reading Practices Analyzing manuscript annotations

Bio-bibliographical investigations by MEI-editors on the identified owners refine their detection.

Among the material evidence of the users’ traces on books and pages, much space is devoted in MEI to the description of manuscript notes.

Their analysis and description is thoroughly articulated in thirteen typologies: corrections, completions, supplements, extraction of key words, collation, translation, structuring the text (pagination etc.), comments, censorship, reading marks (underlining and pointing hands), drawings, corrections/notes by the printer, lecture notes.

From Reading Practices | 15cBOOKTRADE



An unorthodox musical with a diverse cast about the life of Alexander Hamilton is creating waves on Broadway and beyond while it smashes box office records. Charlie Rose reports.

Book that inspired the playwright -


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