The Gutenberg Bible
: the first book printed with movable type, is the one of the greatest treasures in the University of Texas's Ransom Center's collections. It was printed at Johann Gutenberg's shop in Mainz, Germany and completed in 1454 or 1455. The Center's Bible was acquired in 1978 and is one of only five complete examples in the United States. All 1,282 pages
now available for viewing on the Ransom Center's Web site. Also check out the anatomy of a page.
posted by ColdChef
on Jul 23, 2003 -
Faery Lands Forlorn
A.S. Byatt, author of Possession
and other novels, looks at the phenomenon of adults reading the Harry Potter children's books: Ms. Rowling's magic world has no place for the numinous. It is written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip. Its values, and everything in it, are, as Gatsby said of his own world when the light had gone out of his dream, "only personal." Nobody is trying to save or destroy anything beyond Harry Potter and his friends and family.... Ms. Rowling, I think, speaks to an adult generation that hasn't known, and doesn't care about, mystery. They are inhabitants of urban jungles, not of the real wild. They don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had.
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Jul 7, 2003 -
Why Girls are Weird.
In the ongoing debate of weblogs versus online journals, one journal-writer just hit a major milestone: bestselling fiction. Pamela Ribon, also a recapper for Television Without Pity
, attracted recent attention
when she asked her readers to support the Oakland Public Library
, and they responded in record numbers. Those online fans are now responding again. Ribon released her first novel, Why Girls Are Weird
, on July 1st, and her Amazon Sales Rank
has shot up to 212 on some days, beating out other best-sellers for sales. Pretty amazing feat, considering the book was still in pre-sales and has yet to have publicity outside of her own web presence. The story, a fictional account of a woman who creates an online journal only to find fame, fortune and romance, is loosely based on Ribon's own experiences at pamie.com
. In fact, sections of the book are from her former archives. So, will history repeat itself? How many of you are planning to try and publish your archives?
posted by astruc
on Jul 2, 2003 -
The tiny Picture Book Of Foods
is an invaluable resource for true foodies everywhere.
Learn where many of your favorite foods really come from. There are also growing secrets, educational cross-sections, and recipe tips. And pancakes.
posted by iconomy
on Jun 25, 2003 -
After 'The Bell Jar,' Life Went On.
Sylvia Plath immortalized the guest editor program at Mademoiselle Magazine in her famed book, "The Bell Jar." A photo of the 20 young guest editors was taken back in 1953, and they were all lined up in a star -- with Plath, unsurprisingly, at the top. Plath killed herself in 1971, but the other women in her program reunited recently, to discuss their experiences, how they've changed, and their famous classmate. A fascinating read for anyone who's read "The Bell Jar." (NY Times reg required)
posted by GaelFC
on Jun 23, 2003 -
Michiko Kukatani goes whacky!
(NYT Reg Required) Maybe all the craziness at the NYT is taking its toll, but everyone's favorite high-brow book bully reviews Candace Bushnell's (Sex and The City chick's) new book as a letter from...Elle Woods?!
posted by adrober
on Jun 19, 2003 -
Sandman READ poster
Anyone passing through libraries will have seen the series of READ posters, starring any number of actors, sports stars, musicians, and other celebrities. Everyone from Alex Baldwin to WWF wresllers to Yoda have been so honored.
Now you can add a comic character to that list. Neil Gaiman's creation of Morpheus, the Sandman, is now available as a poster. The artwork is by P Craig Russell, who was the artist for an issue of Sandman.
posted by dragonmage
on Jun 15, 2003 -
Hilary Clinton is a liar.
"'Living History' is a 562-page book. A work of that length would take an average writer perhaps four years to produce; a highly proficient writer might finish in two years, if working on nothing else. Clinton signed the contract to 'write' the book about two years ago. About the same time, she also was sworn in as a member of the United States Senate. ... So in the last two years Clinton has either been neglecting her duties as a United States Senator -- that is, violating her oath -- or she is claiming authorship of someone else's work."
Such is the wisdom of Gregg Easterbrook, ESPN Page 2's Tuesday Morning Quarterback
. The columns, during football season, combine incisive pigskin analysis with haiku, political commentary and -- ahem -- cheesecake photos
posted by krewson
on Jun 11, 2003 -
While everybody knows about book collecting, bookplate (ex libris
) collecting has a somewhat lower profile. But those seemingly utilitarian bookplates can be a source of endless fascination, whether for the aesthetics or the owner association. For images, see Early American Fiction
(U. of Virginia), Estonian Bookplates
, the Murray Collection
(U. of British Columbia), and the Bookplate Directory
(Notre Dame). Joseph Manzano has proposed ex Webis
(some female nudes, possibly NSFW). For more information, visit the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers
, which among other things links to a site devoted to Beethoven bookplates
(warning: prepare to hear the Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major). Or go ahead and read some articles
posted by thomas j wise
on Jun 2, 2003 -
Is your local library in dire need of books?
(link from Jackie
) As budgets for books get slashed, libraries around the country are in real trouble. When long time web diarist Pamela Ribon
heard about the situation at Oakland library, she took action, by sending them a book, and by publicizing their dilemma on her webpage. 2 weeks and 300 books later, Pamie's readers
have done an outstanding job in helping out this library. She has also posted letters
she received from the library staff.
How is your local library doing in the face of budget cuts?
posted by kristin
on May 12, 2003 -
Secrets of Hitler's forgotten library:
The Scotsman Has A Story on the many secrets still to be uncovered in what is left of Hitler’s library.
In historical terms, the German dictator and architect of the Holocaust may be remembered as a burner of books, but in life, Hitler loved the printed word and boasted a collection somewhere in excess of 16,000 volumes.
A friend from his teenage years, August Kubzieck, wrote: "I just can’t imagine Adolf without books. Books were his world." But generations of historians and biographers have ignored the remaining volumes of Hitler’s library, saying they represent only a fraction of the books he once owned and arguing that many were never touched by the Nazi leader.
You may have seen This One
in The Atlantic Monthly already.
posted by Blake
on May 4, 2003 -
Proof of Life After Copyright
: An overexcited e-mail from the Gutenbergers
April 10, 2002 was the day Project Gutenberg reached 5,000 eBooks. By Moore's Law, October 10, 2003 could be the day for number 10,000. We are just over half way — 7,661 as I write this — 2,339 to go! That will take over 300 eBooks per month; we need you to help us push our average up from 268 per month to get to 10,000 by December, 31st.
God help us if the entire universe fails to obey Moore's Law: the IPO of the singularity
could be delayed. So pitch in.
posted by hairyeyeball
on Apr 15, 2003 -
writes and draws children's picture books. These books
are a sheer joy to read, both for adults and children, as they feature an interesting storyline and fantastically detailed pictures
. You can buy
his prints from his site or you could take the plunge and buy this one for U$4800
posted by ashbury
on Apr 14, 2003 -
Religion in Hellenistic Athens, A Medieval Mirror, Losing Face: Status Politics in Japan, Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982 , Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture , Freud and His Critics
and Memory for Forgetfulness: August, Beirut, 1982
--all are entire online books from the public section
of the University of California Press.
I am, like, going so nutso--Jackpot!
posted by y2karl
on Apr 3, 2003 -
Children's Books Online: The Rosetta Project
is an incredible
online resource for 19th century children's books. From the site: "The Rosetta Project's collections currently contain about 2,000 antique children's books which were published in the 19th and early 20th century. We shall be putting these combined collections on line as funding permits. Our current goal of putting 2,000 volumes on line will create an online library of aproximately 65,000 html pages. However, as we are still collecting books from around the world, we expect the Rosetta Project online library to eventually reach millions of html pages." (via coudal
posted by Pinwheel
on Mar 31, 2003 -
Books For Soldiers
If you don't know what to do with your old Clan of the Cave Bear paperbacks or want to take the boredom out of post-war deployment for those in uniform, send the soldiers a book! Soldiers can request a book or you can post the military address of a loved one and people send them their requests. I wonder if my selection
would be well received?
posted by StormBear
on Mar 21, 2003 -
What I Have Read
well not me personally, but some guy has a bunch of stats/info on every book he has read since 1974, all 2031 of em..
posted by zeoslap
on Mar 18, 2003 -
"This vellum-bound curiosity
is one of the rarest and most mysterious etching suites of the late Renaissance." Braccelli's fantastic drawings are excellent examples of early (early, early) surrealism. For higher quality images, try this link
posted by Pinwheel
on Mar 17, 2003 -
British books, built badly.
British publishers' habit of putting out hardcovers with glued (rather than sewn) bindings and non-acid-free paper makes many rather expensive books start to fall apart after only a few years, Slate
's Christopher Caldwell reports.
posted by mcwetboy
on Mar 10, 2003 -
50 Most Significant Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books.
Not sure what their criteria was, but this is a nice list. Lots of obvious, gotta-be-on-such-a-list choices, but also some surprises that should have people buying some books they might not have thought of before. (The URL is rather cumbersome, but that's the only one I could find).
posted by sassone
on Mar 5, 2003 -
Visual Relationships at Amazon.com
- Here's an interesting visual implementation of the Amazon API. It's almost like flipping through books on the shelf. What's next? A 3D bookstore rendered on the Quake engine?
posted by Argyle
on Mar 3, 2003 -
use old books as the basis for new collage works. More infamously Ukranian-American artist Natalka Husar has been served a cease and desist letter by Harlequin for her oil paintings
built on romance paperback book covers. (Currently part of the "illegal art"
exhibition. The illegal art website has perhaps the funniest EULA ever written.) This is not all that new, the Salvador Dali
museum has a couple of great examples of his work transforming cheesy prints of shepherds and sheep into surrealist drawing rooms (sorry, could not find an image online.)
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Feb 17, 2003 -
Angie was a marked woman
, paying her own ransom with a body none could resist. Someone
has spent an incredible amount of time and energy scanning in lesbian pulp fiction covers from the 50's and 60's. An interesting look into what was considered titillating 40 years ago.
posted by patrickje
on Jan 8, 2003 -