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All the good stuff is in the first 26 pages...

What aren't you reading? By looking at the top 5 most highlighted passages via Kindle in each book, Jordan Ellenberg has figured out which books are most unread: Take the page numbers of a book's five top highlights, average them, and divide by the number of pages in the whole book. He calls the result the Hawking Index, after the much-unread Brief History of Time, though Piketty seems to have knocked Hawking off his throne (all five top highlights come in the first 26 pages, out of 700). Also, everyone finishes The Goldfinch. Previous attempts to figure out what is least finished have been conducted by Goodreads (#1: Catch-22), and by the Guardian in 2007 (which may explain why Vernon God Little is #1), which included helpful summaries. What have you not finished recently?
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 6, 2014 - 101 comments

NHS Prescribes Books for Better Health

Bibliotherapy:
From June 2013, a new scheme, Reading Well Books on Prescription will be available in libraries throughout England. This new scheme has been developed by The Reading Agency and The Society of Chief Librarians and aims to bring reading's healing benefits to the 6 million people with anxiety, depression and other mild to moderate mental health illnesses. There is growing evidence showing that self-help reading can help people with certain mental health conditions get better. Reading Well Books on Prescription will enable GPs and mental health professionals to prescribe patients cognitive behavioural therapy through a visit to the library. Here they can get books to help them understand and manage conditions from depression to chronic pain.
More on the program from the Boston Globe. Previously.
posted by MonkeyToes on Jun 25, 2014 - 6 comments

774-325-0503

Call Me Ishmael: call a number and leave a voicemail about a book you've loved and a story you've lived. Later, that anonymous voicemail will be transcribed and made into a short video for everyone to see.
posted by SkylitDrawl on Jun 22, 2014 - 8 comments

Why Libraries Matter

A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people. Why Libraries Matter.
posted by cashman on May 17, 2014 - 6 comments

"What message are we sending to young people?"

Julianne Ross asks: Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? Amy McCarthy asks a similar question: Why do all our young adult heroines look the same? Mandy Stewart also offers up her own advice: Be Divergent and Other Lessons for My Daughter. Interview with Veronica Roth on her book 'Insurgent' and feminism. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 27, 2014 - 142 comments

28 Books You Should Read If You Want To

"...one of the greatest rewards of a reading life is discovery." A short essay by Janet Potter
posted by chavenet on Feb 25, 2014 - 33 comments

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers. The Internet has provided us with yet another list. How many have you conquered?
posted by Pyrogenesis on Nov 5, 2013 - 263 comments

What Stephen King Isn't

Thoughts on what makes him a damn fine and fun read.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 12, 2013 - 49 comments

Because even bad Bowie is better than no Bowie

How to Read Like Bowie - David Bowie's Top 100 Books Don't miss Meta-Bowie or Bowie on metafilter music or in MetaTalk (just because).
posted by cjorgensen on Oct 1, 2013 - 25 comments

I was surprised by how many of the weird things ......came form the book

Tricia's Obligatory Art Blog presents " Reading "Jurassic Park" in 2013 is Weird As Hell "
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2013 - 73 comments

Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

And that absurd nom de plume! John le Carré, like some addled saint...

At Slate.com, Ted Scheinman has written a nice appreciation of John LeCarré. Confessions of a John le Carré Devotee
"...I could tell there was more than politics, class, and acts of stratospheric treason to be found in these pages. I adored the psychological acuity with which he roamed his characters’ heads..."

posted by Trochanter on May 9, 2013 - 18 comments

Reading? Ain't Nobody Got Time That!

If the bird is the word, three must be the number. Do you feel you don't have time to read everything you want? What about establishing some ground rules?
posted by huguini on Apr 2, 2013 - 41 comments

"His writing is not about something; it is that something itself."

In theory: the unread and the unreadable - "We measure our lives with unread books – and 'difficult' works can induce the most guilt. How should we view this challenge?"
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 19, 2013 - 18 comments

The Secret Lives of Readers

The Secret Lives of Readers Books reveal themselves. Whether they exist as print or pixels, they can be read and examined and made to spill their secrets. Readers are far more elusive. They leave traces—a note in the margin, a stain on the binding—but those hints of human handling tell us only so much. The experience of reading vanishes with the reader. How do we recover the reading experiences of the past? Lately scholars have stepped up the hunt for evidence of how people over time have interacted with books, newspapers, and other printed material.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 29, 2012 - 25 comments

My little piece of Heaven

People posting photographs of their bookshelves:
Father in Law's Library, built by hand in about 5 years: The card file. Details & overview.
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare: Building Wall Shelving for 9000 Books.
“…first time in years I've been able to get most of my books out of cardboard boxes and onto shelves…”
My desk after four months of working in a bookstore.
Nigella Lawson's library. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Dec 14, 2012 - 54 comments

How and Why We Read

"Reading is always an act of empathy" - John Green of Crash Course (previously) explains "How and Why We Read" (... and recommends his favorite books). [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm on Dec 4, 2012 - 19 comments

"I often read dozens of books simultaneously."

My 6,128 Favorite Books - "Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 26, 2012 - 150 comments

Henry Miller's "The Books In My Life"

They were alive and they spoke to me! That is the simplest and most eloquent way in which I can refer to those authors who have remained with me over the years. - Henry Miller, The Books In My Life [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 23, 2012 - 7 comments

What Kind of Book Reader Are You?

What kind of book reader are you? More types of book reader.
posted by rollick on Sep 4, 2012 - 63 comments

We read to know we are not alone.

American Photojournalist Steve McCurry has posted a series of photographs of people reading around the world on his blog. He also connects them with quotations on books and reading. McCurry is the photographer of the famous photograph Afghan Girl on National Geographic's cover a few years back. Earlier posts on Metafilter on McCurry include this and this And here is some music to listen to while thinking about books.
posted by Isadorady on Aug 1, 2012 - 6 comments

Exercise is for non-book-readers!

How To Read A Book takes us through the trials and tribulations of finding reading-time comfort. (SLYT)
posted by vorfeed on Jul 18, 2012 - 27 comments

The frantic career of the eyes

Picturing Books: What do we see when we read? (Other than words on a page.) What do we picture in our minds? A consideration by Knopf's senior designer Peter Mendulsund. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jun 27, 2012 - 22 comments

Reading Along the Lines

Underground New York Public Library, a photo tumblr of NYC Subway riders and the books they read.
posted by zamboni on Jun 15, 2012 - 98 comments

YES - Fiction please! - NO

Teach.com's Summer Reading Flowchart.
posted by Think_Long on Jun 13, 2012 - 57 comments

“Why should I put down George R. R. Martin during the short trek from couch to bathroom?”

A Book Lover's Guide to Reading and Walking at the Same Time by Lev Grossman [Time.com]
posted by Fizz on Jun 9, 2012 - 53 comments

What becomes a legend most?

In 1929, John Galsworthy won a Guardian poll as the novelist most likely to still be read in 2029. Three years later, he won the Nobel Prize, and the prices of his first editions skyrocketed. His reputation has since been on a 80-year wane that shows no signs of abating. The New Yorker asks Why is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? And who will they be teaching in literature class a century from now?
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 22, 2012 - 65 comments

Adding a sense of drama to the living room.

To expose a bookshelf is to compose a self. The Paris Review towards a history of bookshelves.
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 14, 2012 - 19 comments

Bookstore cats

Bookstore Cats from Different Parts of the World [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 4, 2012 - 78 comments

Top Ten books of famous authors

Top Ten Favorite Books from authors: Stephen King's 10 favorite books. David Foster Wallace's 10 favorite books. Sue Monk Kidd's 10 favorite books via the CS Monitor.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 20, 2012 - 52 comments

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." ~William Blake

Winter Reads: [Guardian.co.uk] a new series matching the story to the season. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 22, 2011 - 2 comments

For MetaFilter, in remembrance of so many happy hours--HR

Bookdedications is a collection of gift inscriptions found in used books. Some background from the blog's author.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 21, 2011 - 15 comments

"P.S. I would like to start with 'The Myths' by Robert Graves."

Christopher Hitchens responds to a nine-year-old's question: "What books should I read?"
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 12, 2011 - 92 comments

When two readers love each other very much, they raise a smaller reader

"It’s a mistake to rarify reading and put books out of reach."
posted by burnfirewalls on Aug 19, 2011 - 63 comments

"Somebody should set up the ‘I Hate the I Hate Reading Page!"

We hate the “I Hate Reading’ Facebook page. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 15, 2011 - 138 comments

There can be only ten.

NPR Books is asking people to vote for their ten favorite science fiction / fantasy books of all time. The list is exhaustive; the picking only ten is hard.
posted by mygothlaundry on Aug 3, 2011 - 521 comments

As long as they're vertical, it's all right.

It's an odd thing that libraries – by tradition temples to the unfleshly – can sometimes seem such sexy places. The Secret life of libraries.
posted by shakespeherian on May 3, 2011 - 37 comments

2010 Locus Recommended Reading

Locus, the Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, is the paper of record in the science fiction community. Every year the editors and reviewers at Locus publish a recommended reading list which includes novels, YA novels, first novels, anthologies and collections, related non-fiction, art books, and three types of shorter work (novellas, novelettes, and short stories). If you are at all interested in the current state of the SF&F genre you can't do better than Locus' yearly effort. The list for 2010 appears in the February issue. [more inside]
posted by Justinian on Feb 18, 2011 - 25 comments

Books On Demand

The library system in Polk County, Florida has installed vending machines so that patrons who aren't close to a library can still check books out.
posted by reenum on Jan 31, 2011 - 49 comments

One million books to be given away

One million books will be given away for free in the UK & Ireland as part of World Book Night. Any adult can apply to receive a box of 48 copies of their favorite from a list of 25 titles, by the likes of John le Carre and Toni Morrison, and give them away as they please. The ambition is to roll out the idea worldwide in future years if it proves a success in the UK.
posted by philipy on Dec 2, 2010 - 27 comments

The Suck Fairy

The Suck Fairy. "The Suck Fairy is an artefact of re-reading. If you read a book for the first time and it sucks, it’s nothing to do with her. It just sucks. Some books do. The Suck Fairy comes in when you come back to a book that you liked when you read it before, and on re-reading—well, it sucks. You can say that you have changed, you can hit your forehead dramatically and ask yourself how you could possibly have missed the suckiness the first time—or you can say that the Suck Fairy has been through while the book was sitting on the shelf and inserted the suck." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 30, 2010 - 168 comments

Arthur's Classic Novels, his Love of Mankind and the Internet

Arthur's Classic Novels has 4000 free ebooks, no registration, nicely organized by author and topics: great old Science Fiction magazines l plentiful online education with 650 books for doctors l a vast collection of famous novels l short stories l by women l Buddhist Scriptures, including The Buddhist Bible, a fave of Jack Kerouac l magazines online l stories by Robert Sheckley l The Autobiography of Charles Darwin l huge collection of fairy tales l philosophy l P. G. Wodehouse l vintage technology l Oscar Wilde l Mark Twain l Rudyard Kipling l George MacDonald l the Koran l a collection of eText resource links. About Arthur Wendover. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 16, 2010 - 33 comments

Reading Around The World

A photo essay by Steve McCurry of people reading books all over the world.
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Aug 23, 2010 - 17 comments

LeVar Burton never saw it coming

Modern drinking games are often crafted around movies or television, leaving dry those with literary ambitions. Now you avid readers can get in on the fun! (via) [more inside]
posted by Korou on Aug 7, 2010 - 95 comments

John Gray on science fiction

War of the words - Science fiction was once driven by a faith in human ability to change the world. These days, the genre seeks to expose the illusions of everyday life. cf. near-future science fiction [1,2] & radical presentism [3] (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Jul 17, 2010 - 56 comments

Imagine a gym shoe stamping on a human face forever

Why are so many recent Young Adult novels set in nightmarish futuristic dystopias? Because they're just like high school. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 8, 2010 - 84 comments

The Book Tower

Book owners have smarter kids
posted by Artw on Jun 4, 2010 - 114 comments

Legality and Ethics in downloading e-books

On the ethics of illegally downloading e-books; a Teleread essay full of interesting links about these modern e-reading times. Inspired in part by this New York Times Ethicist column, and brought to my attention by this ask.metafilter question.
posted by Greg Nog on Apr 7, 2010 - 159 comments

Picture Book Report

Picture Book Report is an extended love-song to books. Fifteen illustrators will reach out to their favorite books and create wonderful pieces of art in response to the text that has moved them, shaped them, or excited them. From sci-fi to children’s books to fantasy to serious novels, we’ll cover them all. For three weeks out of every month there will be a new illustration every day from one of us along with our thoughts, process, anything we can come up with. Together we will try to excite readers both new and old and capture some of that magic of storytelling.. [more inside]
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew on Feb 15, 2010 - 12 comments

where books come to life

A beautiful ad for the New Zealand Book Council. (SLYT, via)
posted by lalex on Nov 28, 2009 - 28 comments

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